Ungated Roundup: Issue 1

The internet overfloweth with content.

Much of it is vapid, shallow, empty—demanding your attention, then delivering little in return.

But in a world that’s increasingly ripe with opportunity for indie creators, a small fraction of that content can indeed be worth far more than the time it takes to consume.

Enter the Ungated Roundup.

My aim with these curation-heavy posts is to take on the messy task of finding signal in all this noise. I want to take that burden off your plate.

Your time, as a creator, is likely best spent creating and marketing yourself. That’s what truly moves the needle in the modern economy.

So my hope is that these roundups help you protect your time, while still giving you the chance to benefit from those rare few pieces of content that are insightful and potentially transformative.

Today, we begin with a smattering of excellent stories. Let’s dig in.

The Art of Email Marketing — Earn Customers & Make Superfans [André Chaperon]

This is the single best article (it’s actually a mini-course) about email marketing strategy on the entirety of the internet. No joke. If you’re a creator, and you want to market yourself in a way that deeply serves your audience, you need to be following André Chaperon. Do it.

Never-Ending Niches [Stratechery]

A look at what’s happening in the broader media ecosystem, and how it creates unparalleled opportunity for indie creators who focus on exceptional content for niche audiences.

How creators can go “on tour” on the internet [Nathan Baschez]

Even as the world of live events has been shut down by coronavirus, there are still opportunities to go on tour with your creative work. You just have to think outside the box of what a tour actually is, and visit people on their digital turf instead.

Worldconnectors & the new mainstream [Not Boring]

A fascinating new archetype for creators who start niche, but expand far beyond their initial domain. This model, I suspect, will be useful for those of us creatives who don’t want to put ourselves in a box or limit our creativity by choosing a niche.

Wasted Time, Money and Energy [Jack Butcher]

Many of us spend an insane amount of energy promoting things that have nothing to do with us. Then we fret about promoting our work. Let’s flip that dynamic.

What to know when choosing your membership tech stack [Membership Puzzle Project]

A deep dive on what to consider when putting together your tech stack as a news/journalism outlet that’s transitioning to memberships. Crazy that Ghost isn’t mentioned though. That’s what Ungated runs used to run on. Now I’m just a boring old WordPress site. But Ghost is still pretty cool, and the editor is


Speaking of tech stacks, here’s a more creator-centric one from Visualize Value on their Instagram:

10 ways to stand out and earn attention in a brutally competitive media environment from David Perrell. Click through to read the whole tweet thread. It’s a doozy.

Eight Marvelous and Melancholy Things I’ve Learned About Creativity [The Oatmeal]

All Oatmeal comics are delightful. This one’s no exception. But it also happens to contain some marvelous insights about the creative process.

How the Passion Economy will disrupt media, education, and countless other industries [Li Jin]

Li Jin’s writings on the Passion Economy at a16z were groundbreaking. Now’s she’s killing it with a new Substack newsletter. This piece goes deep how the idea of the passion economy intersects and interacts with the late Claytton Christensen’s theory of disruption. Very cool stuff.

And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the first (very rough, and rather rushed) Ungated Roundup. More to come.

In the meantime, stay classy



P.S. In my normal curation practice at Filmmaker Freedom, I tend to write lengthy descriptions for each piece of shared content.

However, I’ve been procrastinating for weeks on creating this first roundup, so I decided to do the MVP version.

Done is better than perfect, and iteration is the path to mastery. So enjoy, and see you in the next one, which will indeed be better.

P.P.S. Many of these stories were surfaced thanks to my newest addiction (Substack newsletters) and Gianluca Piovani’s wonderful Through The Noise newsletter.

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