The Duck of Minerva

The Duck of Minerva Newsletter is Live

3 May 2022

We’ve got a newsletter! Yeah, sure, the large front-page button labelled “newsletter” might’ve been a clue. But still, the Duck of Minerva is (kinda) on Substack.

We’re not alone.

The old academic and academic-adjacent blogosphere is, apparently, in the process of reconstituting itself over there. There’s Abu Aardvark, Brad DeLong, Tim Burke, and many others. It reminds me, albeit only slightly, of how my old usenet group reemerged as a Facebook page. But with paywalls.

It’s probably obvious that – at least until a few days ago – I’ve only read individual posts on the platform. These did strike me as essentially longer-form blogging with a Medium-style aesthetic. Now that I’ve gotten a look at Sustack’s page templates… yep, it’s no-hassle blogging.

Now that we’ve got a newsletter, what are we going to do with it?

Van Jackson pitched it to me as a way of aggregating content – an upgrade from the venerable, and declining, use of RSS feeds to follow websites like the Duck. It might also be the forcing mechanism that I need to get my blogging groove back. Otherwise, I’m still not sure.

Does it make sense to reproduce the newsletter here?

Should we be posting Duck content to Substack?

One thing I can say: we have no intention of paywalling our content. As one of the new buttons foreshadows, I’m not above begging for tips. Paywalls, though? Even if we didn’t rely on guest posters, it still wouldn’t fit the ethos.

What else is happening? We do have some cool new content on the way. But I’m always looking for more.