How have humble newsletters become so friggin' awesome again?

I subscribe to some excellent newsletters (see my list below). I love their chatty tone, I love that I'm guaranteed of discovering something incredible, inspiring, funny or strange. I love that they help me to make sense of the tangled web out there. Most of all I love that I am receiving the newsletter because I asked for it. 

Here's my list:

  • 5 Intriguing ThingsAlexis Madrigal (senior editor at The Atlantic) sends out his newsletter every day. Included are links to 5 always-awesome things. It's great. Sign up.
  • The Best of Journalism: Conor Friedersdorf (staff writer at The Atlantic) sends 2 emails a week with recommendations for truly excellent long form reads. It costs $1.99 per month but it's absolutely worth it.
  • Robin Sloan. Irregularly sent out but worth the wait when it arrives. Hard to describe this one - Sloan himself describes it as a 'note from a friend'. 
  • Brain Pickings. Maria Popova = awesome. 
  • The Ed's Up. Award-winning British science writer Ed Yong curates a bunch of brilliant sciencey type stories and links. 
  • Quartz Daily Brief.  This news briefing starts my day. I love that it's structured into categories: 'what to watch for today', 'over the weekend', 'obsessions,' 'matters of debate', 'surprising discoveries'. Links take you to Quartz stories as well as external ones.