This originally appeared as Issue No. 125 of the Content.Events weekly newsletter on April 24, 2023.
It’s our anniversary, or thereabouts. It’s okay, I didn’t get you anything either. I just wanted to mark the occasion. The first issue of the UX Writing Events newsletter — the original banner of this publication — went out April 27, 2020.
I’ve liked doing a newsletter for the topic of events because both are ephemeral. There’s an archive of these newsletters, sure, and videos from conferences, sure, but it’s more about what happens because of, not what happens during, that really makes the thing, you know? That said, if you’re feeling nostalgic, many videos from many events from many generous meetup organizers past are readily found on YouTube, including in my own UX Content Playlist.
Some facts and figures:
- The first issue hit 104 inboxes on that Monday, and the buzz from day one let me send it again on Tuesday to another 134 folks.
- The first event ever listed, fittingly, was an instance of Mule Design’s pandemica-era “Quarantine Book Club” event series, featuring Michael Metts and Andy Welfle and their book Writing is Designing. The online 2020 edition of Confab was right after that.
- As of this issue, as you can see above, 125 newsletters have gone out. That puts the average a wee bit over 41 issues per year. So, as promised, most weeks, but not all. Not too shabby by my standards, consistency-wise.
- Subscriber numbers tipped me over the free account threshold in early 2022, and Mailchimp fees to date total $656.62. A little less than I’d imagined, actually.
- While not every donation has been because of this newsletter, the majority of donations to my Buy Me a Coffee page come from C.E subscribers, for which I am very grateful. Total donations since I started that page in June 2020 are $2,409. (Note: When the newsletter went out, it had a typo listing the BMAC start date as June 2022; that’s incorrect, donations have come in over just shy of 3 years.)
- If I got to bill someone for my labor on this project at my hourly rate, they’d owe something in the neighborhood of $75,000.
- I didn’t track opens for a long time, but in the time that I have these past few months, the open rate for this list is consistently been between 50% and 60%. Thanks for reading, friends.
And some shout-outs:
- Andy Welfle has been subscribed the longest.
- Julia Steffen was the first person to donate on BMAC.
- Content Strategy Seattle’s Ariel van Spronsen has used the event submission form most often, followed closely by SVC’s Larry Asher. (Do Seattleites enjoy forms? Must investigate further.)
I’m sure there are more fun facts to be gleaned from the archives: number of events featured, geographic distribution of events, total swear words used in my essays, and so on. But I’ll leave that to all to a larger milestone, at a future date when I am perhaps also more adept at using AI tools, cuz I ain’t got time to re-read all that.
If you’re in the mood to support this publication on our anniversary, please do so by kicking some money — or an email asking how you can help — to a content or UX community in your area. If you don’t have one, but would like to start one, send me an email; happy to help. If you’re not sure if there’s a community in your area, you can do what I do: search Meetup, search Eventbrite, search area colleges, ask on LinkedIn, and keep following the information scent until you turn something up!