Key thing is we need to be moving from a list of links to something that can be digested. Here are some guidelines adapted from advice that @lroddy sent me:
1. Before even starting to write ask yourself: What is the aim of a weekly summary/ newsletter? Of this one in particular? Is it to encourage interaction within the community?**
YES! We want the newsletter to help spread the word about the great work our community members are doing.If we do a good job of featuring their topic on the newsletter on a certain week, it also informs the entire community on what is being discussed. This encourages learning, more collaboration etc.
Make it digestible.
EdgeRyders is made up of a smart bunch of people but that doesn’t mean that everyone will necessarily understand certain words used within a certain profession or expert area.
Write the newsletter in such a way as to make the posts digestible and say to the community “hey this thread is really important - here’s why you should join this conversation.”
Be respectful of people’s time.
A newsletter can save time for the busy members who just want an overview of what’s being discussed.
It shouldn’t be overwhelmingly long and each reader should learn something new having read the newsletter itself. Have an idea sparked. Or be shown a really important thread.
2. When approaching the writing of the newsletter ask what happened in the world in the last week and how did it feature in conversations on EdgeRyder? What issues or solutions did EdgeRyder’s communities raise this week in relation to that newspiece?
Don’t be afraid to set the agenda.
What edgeryders do is newsworthy . Leonie interviewed a professor of linguistics and migration that was mentioned on the 27th of May newsletter - that’s newsworthy.
Build a connections between now and then Sometimes communities put forward a new idea for a problem that had been discussed on the site three years ago and it is resonating again with the community - that‘s important to highlight.
3. Try to find a new angle, and look forward to what will be relevant soon.
A good example…
The conversation around Covid 19 has been discussed a lot over the past few months since it reached Europe, a certain amount of fatigue sets in for many, particularly as it’s in the mainstream media so much too.
That doesn’t mean it’s not important and shouldn’t be written about and a way EdgeRyders can overcome disinterest in certain threads concerning a rolling topic is for newsletters to note how that conversation and discussion has evolved.
*For instance, when Coronavirus lockdowns began there was a lot of talk about how companies and employees would adapt to working remotely. The conversation changed to the fact that it pressured certain employers into seeing that it worked and then in the last two weeks came Twitter and Facebook announcements that all staff in US offices would be working from home. This conversation is going to move along more as people consider what it will mean for town and city centres that had office buildings and space bought up by large tech companies. What will it mean for the restaurants and coffee shops that sprouted up with these buildings and rely on commuters for custom? Google announced it will give €1000 to each employee for office equipment to use at home. Will apartments be built larger from now on to accommodate home office space? * These are all interesting questions that follow the story through .
4. Pick an engaging headline or subject line for the newsletter.
It’s important to put some thought into the subject title. Some of our topic subject lines work well in summarising what is in the newsletter and those interested can click on. Example from 20th of May :The second coming of big tech, statistics and the edgeryders online summit
If you saw “The second coming of big tech” you would click to see what it is about. When you do click on you see that the second coming is happening because of Covid 19. That’s a really interesting outcome. It would spike people’s interest more to include that in the headline than something like “How Covid-19 is strengthening the big tech companies”.
Once you click onto the newsletter, the intro could perhaps summarise that long read and what’s been said about the imbalance in the news . Write it in its context by referring to the report that show US billionaires have increased their wealth by $406 billion and how shareprice of Amazon fell when investors thought Gilead (pharma company) trials for a vaccine were going well and people would be going back to work (not working from home and buying from amazon).
4. Find and focus on ONE red thread that ties together multiple posts.
Finding a common theme between two or three posts is needed for each newsletter and then the link sentence in between will be intuitive by just explaining what’s being discussed in each thread.
After the common themes have been linked break the newsletter into different sections with headings like “In case you missed it” and “Food for thought” that highlight some other interesting topics spoken about on the platform.