Issue 50 Oct 08, 2023

50 thoughts on 50 issues of the Bored Horse

This issue marks the fiftieth I’ve sent under the Bored Horse flag!

Unfortunately, Revue shutting down meant a few of those issues getting lost. I can probably restore them, and at some point I’ll add them to the archives for posterity.

The Bored Horse isn’t the first, nor the only, newsletter I run. Despite this, I have some random thoughts on the journey here. So, in no particular order, have at it:

  1. I rarely have evergreen content, despite the fact that I could and should. Best intentions are hard when you’re busy.
  2. Planning is everything.
  3. Plans fall apart unfortunately. Some of these letters are written at the moment they’re scheduled, which is not ideal.
  4. I read a lot. That helps with the linkage section.
  5. Speaking of linkage, a lot of you were glad to see it return. That’s fun.
  6. I cull my links hard. At times, I’m considering a links only letter to compliment this one.
  7. Once a week is a good amount of writing for a non-commercial project like the Bored Horse. I’m fine with that.
  8. But what about all those links?! Yeah, it’s a struggle.
  9. I get about three emails per issue, overall. I cherish those emails, those thoughts and the input from the readers.
  10. In comparison, the website generates maybe 4-5 emails per month.
  11. Tweets have all but died for me. I think it’s because I’m not paying. There was a bit more interaction there about the essays before. Now, not at all.
  12. Not that Bluesky’s any better.
  13. No one talks to me about Bored Horse things on Instagram.
  14. Linkedin has some reach, no real interaction though.
  15. I don’t worry about these things because I don’t have to. That’s liberating.
  16. If you’re considering to launch an online project, consider ignoring metrics and focus on what you’re doing.
  17. Of course, that’s probably bad advice if you’re going to do ecommerce.
  18. The newsletter platform journey for the Bored Horse thus far:
  19. First, Substack. I bet you didn’t know that, but I had the letter on Substack first. No proper issues were sent though.
  20. Second, Revue. I liked the fact that it connected to a lot of services for link sharing, and I could integrate the newsletter into my Twitter profile.
  21. Third, Mailerlite and Convertkit. When Revue shut down, I jumped around. I ended up using Convertkit for a bit.
  22. Fourth, Buttondown. This brings us to today. I like Buttondown for so many reasons, but most of all, it’s the privacy mindedness.
  23. I don’t fancy another move. Moving newsletters around is a hassle.
  24. Although, moving from Buttondown would be pretty easy since they let me set the letter post on my site as the canonical URL for an issue’s online version. Good show.
  25. But no, I don’t see why I’d move. I pay annually.
  26. Yes, running the Bored Horse costs money. Most things do.
  27. Domains (there are two) cost money, I host with Cloudflare and pay them, and the Buttondown newsletter service, alongside Plausible for some honest stats.
  28. No, I’m not making money on the Bored Horse. I don’t have any plans for any sort of monetization either. If I did, it would be purely optional.
  29. I do plug my stuff at times. Like Considering today for example. Do subscribe to that one.
  30. Not that it makes any money, it’s an online thing that will or will not become something. I like online things.
  31. There’s an idea to do some small funny things under the Bored Horse brand. It is, after all, the best way to learn new things.
  32. Learning by doing is probably the best saying ever.
  33. I learned HTML by reading the source code for websites back in the day. Then I tried to replicate the parts that I liked.
  34. It’s harder today, everything is a lot more convoluted.
  35. On the other hand, it’s easier than ever to launch a blog, newsletter, or whatever.
  36. At least, if you’re prepared to either pay for it, or give away your data and/or content.
  37. Own your content. I’ve said that a thousand times, and will keep saying it.
  38. “Content” is a pretty dull word for things, isn’t it? I’ve been looking for a better one. “Art” carries too much weight though.
  39. I call each letter from Considering today a transmission. That fits there.
  40. Anyway.
  41. When I started Bored Horse, I kept reminding people that it wasn’t about NFTs.
  42. What a scam that turned out to be, eh?
  43. Bored Apes were a thing. But I was bored first.
  44. I went with Bored Horse because there was a domain name, That was funny to me.
  45. The first site used the domain though. I switched domains with the relaunch.
  46. I should really make a proper logo. A bored horse, who knew that would be so hard to draw?
  47. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a drawing. I’ll figure something out.
  48. Tell you what: When we hit issue 100, there will be a proper logo.
  49. And some merch, with a giveaway. How about that?
  50. I hope you’ll stick around. Thanks for reading.


⌨️ Scott Galloway has thoughts about the recent writer’s strike. Spoiler: He’s not impressed with the result.

🧘‍♂️ Ever wondered how emojis are chosen? Then this is for you.

📧 Speaking of emojis, now Gmail users can reply with them, much like Outlook has been doing for a while. I don’t think this is a good feature for mail.

🎸 This made the rounds a while back, but I never got around to sharing it. It’s Rick Astley joining the Foo Fighters for a slightly harder rendition of ”Never Gonna Give You Up”.

🤖 Microsoft’s Kevin Scott has a surprisingly sober look at what AI is and what they’re doing with it. He’s one of many stewards of this new technology, and although I think he’s a bit naive, there’s at least a sense of dignity and hope in there.

🇹🇼 Painfully US-centric, but Taiwan might be the next Ukraine. The only difference is, it’ll likely be Chinese days or weeks after an invasion starts.

🐰 I love this! Animal Crossing goes Lego.

Got something I should read? Send it to me, either by replying to this letter, tweeting to @tdh, or hitting up on Bluesky. Thanks!


📚 After The Dragonbone Chair, I needed something a little faster paced, so I’m back to the Dresden Files, with another popcorn book. This one’s called Small Favor, and it’s more of the same, but slightly better written than the previous one, as has become the norm with these books.

🎵 I’ve been listening to Dorothy on my walks, for whatever reason. I’d forgotten about the 28 Days in the Valley album. It’s pretty good.

📺 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was a lot better than I expected. Quite enjoyable, even.

🎮 Battle for Polytopia has gotten a lot of playtime this week. I think I’m pretty much done with it now, though.

It’s a horrible world at the moment. People are dying from war and terror attacks. Remember the bright spots, and help others do the same. There’s beauty and joy too.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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