One underplayed advantage for Substack and subscriber-based sites is how clean the reading experience is. A mixture of advertising, sign-up obsession, and recirculation efforts has made so many sites an awful reading experience.
I don't mean to pick on CNBC, as this applies to lots of sites. But I just went to read something there and...
I've been in meetings deciding whether to add some of these widgets to a page. I've asked for some of them!

All of these decisions make sense on their own. Some are financially necessary. But the reading experience degrades quickly as they add up.
It's easy to track when a widget is leading some of the audience to subscribe or to click on to that breaking news article. It's harder to track the generalized annoyance of readers, and the new market opportunity opening for competitors...
Which is all to say I think an arms race of subscription widgets and advertisements has really increased the returns right now to truly clean design, which is an advantage for business models that don't require visual clutter.
(Also, the underlying CNBC article here, tracking the politics of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant closure, is very good, and you should read it:…)

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ezraklein

8 Nov
I managed to miss most of the horrible Paternity Leave Discourse because, well, I'm on paternity leave until January.

But: Parental leave should be universal, and it should be universally taken. And not just so men can be helpmates to their wives, who're doing the Real Work.
Men should take paternity leave because they should care for their children, and experience the love that grows out of caring for their children.

To miss that is to parent (and live) in grayscale, not color.
I've seen a lot of older men who have no idea how to care for babies. They can't change a diaper, they don't know how to quiet a tantrum. They hold the baby for a minute and pass them back. They want to connect and build a relationship, but they can't. It's a lifelong loss.
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct
Okay, time for some thoughts on "unpopularism," which is the closest I have to a synthesis in this conversation.

In short, the missing piece of popularism is what I’d call agenda control. Agenda control requires controversy. You can’t achieve it if you’re afraid to offend.
The media is attracted to controversy. Controversy requires large or powerful groups to be both opposed ands interested.

Most of the time, that requires some degree of unpopularity in your ideas.
I’m skeptical that polling is that useful a guide to issue popularity, particularly on new issues.

I think it’s more reliable as a guide to which party is favored on broad issue areas, like health care or immigration.
Read 13 tweets
12 Oct
Ross’s column today on @DavidShor and the Democrats’ woes is a good opportunity to talk through two parts of this debate that have been gnawing at me.

One is on Obama. The other is on what might be called Unpopularism.…
First, on Obama:

The popularist effort to remind people that Obama exerted message discipline in 08 and 12 risks underselling the obvious:

Obama was (and is!) Black, liberal, cosmopolitan and in 08, the anti-war candidate. He was a mobilizer first and foremost.
It's easy to forget now but the context for Obama was Kerry’s loss.

There was endless debate about how Democrats could win back “the Heartland,” how they’d lost touch with real America.

This was the era of fetishizing Brian Schweitzer and his bolo tie.…
Read 9 tweets
11 Oct
So my basic response to this is I think extended periods of divided government are much worse now than they were in past eras.

If you care about, say, climate action, 10 years of divided government is a disaster.
But you don't even need to get to the really big legislative priorities for it to be a problem.

Can you effectively staff the government and replace court vacancies amidst extended, divided government?

Probably not.
The alarm I raise in the piece is that if you care about the governance outcomes I do, the Democrats' Senate outlook is *very* worrying.

That's different than a party being doomed, and people with different governance views will see this one differently!
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct
I largely agree with this.

The debate over how Dems can win more seats through messaging — whether popularism or viralism or something else — reflect them proving unable to deploy my preferred strategy: Winning more seats through governing.
This was my first feature at the Times. In some ways, the Shor piece reflects an admission that Democrats aren't going to pull this strategy off.…
But two points of realism:

1. 50 Dems, given Manchin and Sinema, were not enough to pass many of the policies I'd prefer. That's why winning more seats matters.

2. The policy feedback loop is weaker than I'd like to admit. Child Tax Credit didn't drive Biden's numbers up.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
Shor should speak for himself here, but I started thinking this was true and ended thinking that the difference is that the DLC/Third Way version of moderation had strong ideological commitments popularism doesn't share.
I speak to this very quickly in the piece, but I think it's an important distinction:
The DLC version of moderation, or the Manchin/Sinema version, is about creating a vibe of independence by siding with corporate or status quo interests against progressives.

They'll deploy that strategy against *highly* popular initiatives.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!