How MediaTag.io’s newsletter is designed
Hello! I’m Gui, founder of MediaTag.io. This is one of the post detailing my thinking behind the creation of MediaTag. Sometimes the decision is obvious, sometimes I have to weight the pros and cons of several options. But in any case, the outcome has to appear simple from the point of view of a visitor.
Here I explain why the newsletter has 5 articles each week, talking about creativity.
Even though the newsletter‘s theme could have been the tool itself, it is actually about creativity. There are indeed some news about MediaTag’s evolution, but this isn’t the focus at all. Some people asked me why this isn’t the other way round, so here is the explanation.
First, I try to put myself in the shoes of people who will receive it week after week. I did subscribe myself to many newsletters, and while some are great, some only described a specific app. So after 2–3 weeks I got bored. Boredom transformed into indifference. Indifference transformed into unsubscribing. That’s definitely not the way I want to run this newsletter.
And MediaTag isn’t about features. It is about how it can empower you, as a person using it. And the way it can empower you is by making you more creative.
This is the real goal of this tool. Not just to “keep everything organised”, as it is currently the main tag line on the front page. Keeping everything organised is a mean to an end, and that end is to make you more creative. I want you to see all the media you like in the same place. I want you to understand the common attributes between all those things that make you think. I want you to see deeper into those sources of inspiration. Those are where you draw your ideas from, and if you can see them easily next to each other, two great things will happen:
First, you will not forget the inspiration you had when you saw them. This is crucial, as distractions are plentiful, and they sometimes prevent us from remembering the important things.
Second, you may see connections between them. Seeing several landscape photos next to one another will allow you to imagine others, by combining them. Or maybe you’ll think about that photo you want to take or that place you want to go and visit. Who knows, that’s up to you.
But it will make you think, without you making a conscious effort about it.
So creativity is the driving thread of what you will read in MediaTag’s newsletter.
Expect links to articles about filmmaking, visual arts and many other crafts, as well as short films, video essays, and any piece that I view as respectful of its audience.
A nice thing about the links is that they redirect to videos or articles that have been saved inside MediaTag. That allows a few things:
- You discover the app. If it’s your first time, you just learn that it exists (although you probably signed up for the newsletter, so may have come around once or twice). It then gives you an idea of what it is to navigate in it. You can’t edit stuff, but you can read and watch.
- You may notice my avatar and name on the topleft, which suggests you are viewing items under my account. Which in turn suggest you would be able to do the same if you signed up.
- You may be curious to look around. You will probably notice that below each video or saved webpage there are other media, related to it. They are related because they have been assigned the same tags. The more tags in common the sooner you will see them. So maybe you will find another article or video that you like in there.
- You may also click a tag, among all the public tags that are displayed. This will allow you to navigate not just around the articles that have been mentioned in the newsletter, but around all the media that I’ve saved, and which have been assigned a public tag. This allows you to read and watch other media, but it also teaches you more about how the app works. In that case, that you can assign tags to media, and that some tags can be set to public. You may discover more, for instance that webpages can be archived and downloaded, or that you can tag any moment inside videos. But I’ll let that discovery up to you, at least for now.
- And maybe you’ll find one of the themes interesting and you’ll click on the watch button, so that you can be notified if any other new media related to it is added.
But the newsletter’s main goal isn’t to make you discover the apps features. It is meant to make you feel what it stands for. I hope you will feel that you are learning something, and most importantly, that you will enjoy looking around, and connecting articles, videos and photos together, and even getting new ideas for your own projects, whatever your craft may be.
Why no images?
If MediaTag is such a visual tool, why does the newsletter not have images to reflect that?
Well, the newsletter does not have images… anymore. The first ones did have a nice photo for each link, but I realised an annoying problem after a few weeks: I could not see all the links at the same time. So I had to scroll to discover it. Scrolling isn’t a problem at all in most cases, like for instance when reading this post. You know you are supposed to go from top to bottom.
But when you are sent a list of links, you just want to scan it to get an idea. And if you have to scroll a lot, you may go down, then back up, then down again, and you’re still not quite sure of what is inside. You may not even be sure if you’ve seen everything.
Not having images solves that. Just links, with a quick description. Straight to the point.
If it was monthly, you would have forgotten me.
If it was daily, you would hate me.
Weekly is just a nice sweet spot for this type of information. It also creates a habit, so if I do my job well, you will be looking forward to your creativity shot every Saturday.
This isn’t about breaking news
The newsletter is timeless. I don’t try and chase what has happened every week in the world of creativity. Sure, I would update if there were major events or talks, but the world is going fast enough, and creativity isn’t something that you can rush. It has to go at its own pace, and we all have a different one. So you may see links to articles or videos that are a few years old. And that’s okay, because what they communicate is most likely still relevant.
So don’t feel pressured to read this newsletter every week. Are you on holiday or want to unplug for a couple weeks? That’s excellent. I don’t want my newsletter to pull you away from this noble goal, there are enough distractions everywhere. You can come back to them later, what’s inside will still be interesting.
So that’s the reason MediaTag’s newsletter has 5 weekly articles about creativity. It allows you to discover the app at your own pace, and most importantly, it shows you the essence of what it is about. Nothing more, nothing less, but that’s plenty.