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Ask HN: Best curated newsletters?
127 points by neilsharma on Feb 7, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments
Based on my experience, Google searches rarely surface high quality blog posts, articles, and insider analyses. Twitter + LinkedIn have an SNR problem. HN is great only for the (primarily US) tech/startup scene, and other similar sites often lack the community standard or size to maintain a consistent flow of worthwhile new content.

What hand-curated newsletters or websites do experts in any field find incredibly useful? A recent example I've found is Mattermark's daily email newsletter, which has a curated list of 5-10 articles and blogposts from investors and operators.

Open to lists that aren't career related too -- ie: a jazz playlist curated by professional jazz artists.

For tech I'm honestly trying to keep up less, I want more time in my life to read shitty fiction etc (and you know, spend time with humans I guess); I've spent the better part of a 15 years keeping up _too_ much IMO.

On nothing to do with tech: I'm desperately trying to find something that covers general world news without too much of a US slant, in a nice concise way. Next Draft (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) is pretty good, but is very US heavy.

When I trialled subscribing to The Economist their Espresso app-- which is essentially a daily curated newsletter-- was pretty decent, so if you sub to them you should definitely check it out.

These days I'm trying the qz daily digest, which I think is working out OK: they talk about what to expect in the next day, what happened while you were asleep etc. If anyone has any better suggestions I'd love to hear them: I like how the economist actually talks about other parts of the world apart from the states, but I don't love it enough to pay their standard sub rate.

In terms of general flowery writing I get emails from Medium based on what I've read, emails from Pocket based on what I read, and longform.org's newsletter. Depending on how snowed under I feel at any given time I either just delete them without opening them, of potentially skim them to see if anything is interesting.

"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." – Bruce Lee

I've subscribed the Quarz RSS feed (not the daily newsletter). I am mostly pleased with their articles. They do have a weird obsession with women's issues, though. It's not that I don't care about these but articles on this subject are often a bit fluffy for my taste.

Example: http://qz.com/599694/a-peek-inside-modern-day-elite-kitty-pa... (I read that article two times and still don't understand why "Kitty Parties" are of significance and how they differ from other social gatherings of business minded women or people in general)

@OP: Thanks for posting this questions. Looking forward to other people's answers. I find it quite reassuring that other people also long for curated newsletters.

Kitty parties are a huge thing for women :) It's a women-only kind of thing, mainly. Quite popular in India too (probably inherited from British colonial times), at least among the married women crowd. To try to describe it, I'd say that for women, it is something like "girling out", similar to geeking out or such terms. Meaning doing something you like, possibly intensively (along with others).

Great question! I hope it gets traction and makes it to the front page. I'm curious to see what people come up with.

I like Dave Pell's Next Draft, which is just interesting general news stories, and also Azeem Azhar's Exponential View, which covers tech, with a slant towards AI/ML. In terms of stuff the HN crowd is less likely to already know about, I like Archinect, which covers architecture. It's not really a curated article roll-up so much as it is an architecture news site, but their weekly email is a nice way to stay on top of what's going on in the field.

Thanks for the suggestions -- looking into them now. Clever idea to sign up for a site's weekly email instead of skimming the site.

I used to sign up for an HN newsletter that'd only show the top posts. I thought that was an effective way of pushing only the best content to me every few days. Realized later that I enjoy reading a some articles that didn't get a lot of upvotes.

I also tried to create an open google doc where a small group of friends could share links to articles they found particularly noteworthy. Participation was 0, so I gave up and now just store interesting articles in my bookmarks folder. Messy.

I've been thinking about setting something like this up, but over email. Anyone who opts in to the mailing list would be able to submit a link+description, and once a week some software would automagically send out an aggregated email to everyone who opts in.

The problem is getting it to the optimum size. If it's too small, it won't work because nobody will want to post. If it's too large, then the signal-to-noise ratio drops and it's no better than Reddit or HN.

Also, moderation is hard.

Yeah, I hear you. Community-driven newsletters / news sites have a very narrow success zone -- too small and it'd lack fresh content, too large and it'll have SNR problems.

I think the best solution is to find one or two people who know their stuff to curate everything. Add community engagement mechanisms incrementally. For example, enable social media sharing and commenting before account creation, upvoting, and article submissions.

Wonder how a Quora/Medium model (invite-only) or The Information (paywall) would work for newsletters, since content isn't original?

That's a good idea. But had you thought of making it on any topics at all, or for some domain?

Dave Farber's long-running (over 20 years now!) mailing list is a bit like this, moderated by Dave Farber of course.

The Google doc is an interesting idea.

I think the stuff I line most on HN doesn't always correlate with what has the most upvotes, so I don't think I'd be happy with a best-of-HN summary either.

Are there any email newsletters you already subscribe to and would recommend?

Aside from mattermark daily, I've haven't found a single newsletter that has had consistently good material. Tried several, but kept unsubscribing when they started to feel like spam.

I found some of the human-made playlists on 8tracks.com to be better than a lot of the algorithmically generated ones on Pandora/Spotify/Youtube, but music is highly subjective.

Been meaning to give product hunts collections a solid attempt: https://www.producthunt.com/collections

For book recommendations, I find an intellectually-minded friend on Goodreads who has similar tastes to me, and just go down his/her list.

I think a general pattern here is: there are positive deviants in society whose tastes and interests correlate with my own far stronger than the average's.

For tech, Peter Cooper has a bunch of newsletters - JavaScript Weekly, Ruby Weekly, etc.

Great original question, BTW.

Next Draft is awesome! I've been reading it for almost 4 years, and its one of my primary sources of general news. He limits it to ten stories a day, and his curation is excellent. I find myself looking forward to clicking through it everyday.

Second Azeem’s EV. And if you happen to live in London you should check the periodical Exponential Dinners he organises

I second https://www.brainpickings.org/ and also would like to add http://nextdraft.com/ (though it is more "general news") - other than that I can't help, because I actually prefer to use rss-feeds over Newsletters.

Some RSS-Feeds I follow and which might be of interest: http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/ - http://www.rand.org/blog.html - https://blog.codinghorror.com/ - https://bsdmag.org/

(PS: You can also get rss-updates about new entries in Youtube-Playlists (google it) and if you use Twitter and follow some interesting people, that might also be a good way to stay up to date)

Also a gem of a blog is Joel Spolsky's joelonsoftware.com. He doesn't post much now but read the archives. You won't regret it.

For iOS, I really like iOS Dev Weekly: https://iosdevweek.ly

Dave, who runs it, also built https://curated.co, which is a tool for producing these kind of hand-curated newsletters.

A WordPress curated newsletter you can find at http://wpmail.me

It's sent once a week and you should find at least one or two good articles that are worth reading.

Then there is https://www.brainpickings.org where the author reads a bunch of books and sends out a newsletter with a resume of each book. I personally don't think there's anything like this out there!

http://highscalability.com/ - For news related to building large web apps and software.

https://summitroute.com/blog/ - (mine) Infosec news.

http://ben-evans.com/#newsletter - Email only newsletter from Benedict Evans of A16Z mostly related to large mobile business moves.

https://www.feistyduck.com/bulletproof-tls-newsletter/ - TLS crypto news (monthly)

http://golangweekly.com/ - Golang links

I subscribe to, and enjoy reading, http://postgresweekly.com/

In the Hadoop ecosystem, the Hadoop Weekly has been pretty useful to subscribe to:


I enjoy reading

* http://softwareleadweekly.com/ - about people, culture, leadership

* http://www.devopsweekly.com/ - DevOps, by Gareth Rushgrove

Just my pick. Indeed, I've found links there that haven't popped up anywhere else (HN, Twitter), so I second the original poster's opinion that mail newsletters are a good thing - wouldn't have thought that.

It's quite hard to build up a following these days. In the last 5-6 years, I made such newsletters for the coffee world, airports, plus cultural items and tech news out of Brazil. For all of them, I made use of my knowledge/familiarity of Romance languages and would thus translate foreign news to add to my newsletters. Essentially, I learned they were "nice-to-have" but not necessary in order to operate in these fields (the latter being what I was aiming for).

- For coffee, I learned people in the know are after 24/7 changes in the commodities market.

- For worldwide airport news, well, I don't think there is much of a market there (though I would regularly capture 30-50 pertinent articles per day).

- For Brazil news, cultural awareness is nice to have but in order for something like that to be needed, I would think the focus would have to be Business, and very specific (in fact, I played around with making newsletters like this).

- For Brazil tech, I think it was too early on in its development because there were only around 10-15 items per day.

There's a final component I failed to consider with the first two newsletters above, I had no product dev, no one on the inside to say "hey, focus on this aspect, that's what people need."

There's a good one on internet (and non-internet) culture at http://tedium.co/

Quartz's daily newsletter for everything global. - http://qz.com

Morning Reader, for general tech news - https://morningreader.com

hackernewsletter for avoiding lurking on HN too much - http://www.hackernewsletter.com

Try NewsletterStash http://www.newsletterstash.com/

It's a newsletter directory where you can search and find all kinds of newsletters even with subjects outside the tech world. (I've got no affiliation with them, just found it a while back on OpenHunt and thought it's useful.)

I personally recommend Snippets from Social+Capital (s23p). I like their pick of articles - very logical and insightful. Delivered once a week, it captures an essence of what goes on in the tech and startup world while casting aside all the hype and hoopla that most other blogs end up pushing.

Take a look at some of their past newsletters - http://us10.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=d7f0f45160075006b2...

2nd Place : Weekly Newsletter + Podcasts from Andreessen Horowitz (A16z). The podcasts are amazing - discussions with entrepreneurs working on bio-tech, AI, Fin-tech, Quantum Computing. All the people I would love to hang out with.

Preview http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=35c671b34bb40414916...

Non-tech: Brain Pickings FTW!

For Data Science: Data Elixir http://dataelixir.com/

I run Mandarin Weekly (http://MandarinWeekly.com/), for people learning Chinese. It comes out every Monday, and I've been doing it for more than a year. It's fun to hear from other people learning Chinese, around the world!

Fully disclaimer: I'm the one writing this newsletter.

Cron.weekly is a weekly newsletter (every Sunday) with news on Linux and open source. Focussing on the technical side mostly, featuring new tools & projects and guides & tutorials, as well as the latest news, releases, ... pretty much anything noteworthy in open source.

It's available here: http://www.cronweekly.com/

And all archives are available here: http://www.cronweekly.com/archives/

I pretty much NEVER subscribe to anything like this as it seems like a given that I'll eventually get spammed.

Recently, though, I signed up for the "cron.weekly" [0] newsletter and it's actually pretty decent. I think I first saw it mentioned here.

The "archives" [1] are available as well, so you can get an idea of what it's like before you sign up.

[0]: http://www.cronweekly.com/

[1]: http://www.cronweekly.com/archives/

Hi there,

I'm writing that mailing list, so I'm very happy to read you're enjoying it. Thanks for sharing!


In addition to others mentioned here, I've been enjoying Weekend Reading by Assaf Arkin for a roundup of lighthearted tidbits about the dev world, in addition to some useful tips:


Example link from yesterday's I liked: https://twitter.com/HenryHoffman/status/694184106440200192

For Android development, Android Weekly is the most popular newsletter: http://androidweekly.net/

I read http://www.MarketingLand.com 's MarketingDay Email every day & http://www.SearchEngineLand.com 's SearchCap.

MarketingDay does an amazing job curating posts from around the web as well as give you the top stories published on MarketingLand that day. It is a must read for anyone involved in any area of digital marketing.


I don't always have time to read it. But, when I do, I never regret it.

Looking at their archive [0], it appears the last "issue"(?) was a little over 14 months ago.

[0]: http://www.devopsweekly.com/archive

Still very much alive and excellent - I think he just hasn't automated the archive update.

I've been pretty happy with Charged (www.char.gd). Nicely summarized articles on the tech news for that week, with links to the originals and links for further reading.

Thank you!




I like how they post the weekly newsletter on the website. I'm not subscribed, but I read it every week. It's a nice way to stay up to date of some technologies I use daily.

Farnam Street Blog Newsletter: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/

Great source of wisdom

I run Daily Tech Video, at http://DailyTechVideo.com/, with a single, curated conference video about the sorts of topics I like -- namely, Web development, programming languages, and databases. I started it to keep up on topics and conferences, and I'm now up to more than 430 videos, categorized by language, technology, etc.

I like http://www.StrictlyVC.com for VC/Startup related news. I also enjoy http://www.MarketSnacks.com for a quick and often humorous read in the morning related to wall street and the public markets.

Linux Weekly News (http://lwn.net/)

For Machine Learning I can't recommend Talking Machines (http://www.thetalkingmachines.com/blog/) highly enough. It is a podcast though.

If you're into food and agtech, we run https://AgFunderNews.com Our weekly newsletter features our top articles and other top external articles we shared on social media. Newsletter goes out to >15,000 people each week with a 30% open rate.

You can check out,




Disclaimer: I am the curator of these newsletters.

My friends hand curate newsletter related to Fintech and bitcoin & cryptocurrency

http://www.fintechstreet.com http://www.altcoinweekly.com

I really enjoy the stuff in Redis Watch - anything and everything about Redis: https://redislabs.com/redis-watch-archive

DISCLAIMER: I'm the curator and janitor of the newletter

I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content coming out of most places, so I created one that focuses on technology and reducing noise on a weekly basis - about 7,000 subscribers now: http://char.gd

http://importpython.com is a Python Weekly Newsletter. Unlike some of the other newsletter on Python it's not just the best of Reddit but articles that aren't even on Reddit. Check it out.

http://importpython.com/newsletter/ is one I enjoy reading. Specially the open source projects they feature every week have been helpful to my development/work.

http://tinyletter.com/data-is-plural Data Is Plural by Buzzfeed's data editor. It's a curated list of interesting open data sets that can be used to build stuff.

I'm curating Fullweb Weekly[1], a newsletter for Fullstack developers.

The format is the top 5 links of the week + 1 mini article. About 1100 subscribers now, I also welcome contributions!

1: https://fullweb.io/

For engineering, I would recommend Sliced Ham [1]. It contains some engineering and development blogs from various companies and individual contributors.

[1]: http://www.slicedham.co/

Shameless plug, but I am curating a Deep Learning / Artificial Intelligence newsletter: http://www.wildml.com/newsletter/

My up-to-date list of newsletters (present, past, and future): http://www.andjosh.com/lists/newsletter/


Curates a personalised list of electronic music/soul jazz vinyl releases based upon items you add to your Saves list

IF you are python programmer, importpython (http://importpython.com/newsletter/) is the must for subscription

Data Machina reliably surfaces links that I wouldn't have seen otherwise: https://tinyletter.com/datamachina

From https://frontendfront.com I send a newsletter every Monday with the most upvoted front-end news of the week.

I compile some random links and send them out every week: https://www.skorgu.net/weird/

Azeem Azhar's Exponential Life David Farber's Interesting People Benedict Evans weekly digest Sinocism Webstock's weekly newsletter TechTails by Smalldog Electronics

For front-end & web-development, the weekly »Web Development Reading List« is pretty nice.


I use http://www.pearltrees.com, fully hand curated. I think it matches exactly your needs.

Beta List's newsletter

importpython for python programmers.

I like these, tending towards the .NET world

Alvin Ashcroft's Morning Dew http://www.alvinashcraft.com/

Chris Alcock's Morning Brew http://themorningbrew.net/

Regular Geek http://regulargeek.com/category/geek-reading/

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