I've covered email newsletters here before, because I think that, when done right, they can be an extraordinarily powerful tool.
It's taken a lot of trial-and-error to find the good ones, like The Caesura Letters and WithLinks. I've found the gems through the sheer power of numbers- I've tried a lot of newsletters on for size over the years.
In all that time, I've never come across anything like The ListServe.
The ListServe is an email lottery. Currently, there are a little over 23,000 subscribers. Each day, one of those subscribers is chosen at random to write a newsletter to all other ListServe subscribers. There is no topic, no agenda, nothing to sell- just one person, saying what they want to say to the rest of the world.
The result is a wonderfully eclectic range of culture and emotion from around the globe. You need a couple of examples, I see.
Here's Dana from WV:
I love West Virginia in the way you might love a senile grandmother. She helped raise you and in general, she’s well meaning, but she also likes to shout racist things in public and can’t help walking outside without clothes on from time to time.
... and Dax Foley:
My biggest fear is not reaching my full potential. Not mining every morsel of me. If my dreams are too small I’ll limit myself. Fear, false hope, and expectations will creep in and block my path to self-actualization. But if my dreams are planet-sized, orbiting through an infinitude of lost thoughts, at least I’ll get to find out.
... and Anuranjan:
My only advice to anyone — ride a motorcycle. Not because you can go fast or because it looks “cool”. But mainly because it can teach you many things and give a new perspective towards life.
Subscribers come from all over the world: less than half are from the US, 90 are from Belgium, two from Macedonia, 267 from Turkey (at the time of this writing).
This is a powerful tool, and a wonderful way to start each day.
Startups: Need a good copywriter? I'd love to speak with you; just send me an email.