How I Differentiate the Unsupervised Newsletter & Podcast
How I am defending against increasing competition from AI-generated newsletters
THOC — The Hierarchy of Content
I have been thinking about the rise of completely AI-generated newsletters for a long time now, and discussing these concepts with Clint Gibler and Joseph Thacker and others.
Basically we all see the whole newsletter being overrun soon by AI. What used to take one of us 10-20 hours a week will soon be possible with an AI and a smart team. So here’s the question:
What kind of newsletter or podcast is resistant or immune to this type of attack from AI and other types of competition?
My first answer to that is the THOC Hierarchy, which I captured here:
It’s basically a ladder for how to make your content harder to copy, with collection and curation at the bottom, and pure original thought at the top.
That got me thinking about my show, Unsupervised Learning, and its various sections. I have lots of original content, but I also have news and discovery sections that are more vulnerable.
It’s time to start asking yourself what parts of your content can and cannot be copied.
It ultimately got me thinking about the entire value proposition. And here’s what I came up with. I’ve shared it with the community and will likely put it somewhere in the pitch for the newsletter/community as well.
Let me know wha you think.
The UL Value Prop
There are thousands of newsletters out there that hit you with the latest news, the latest projects, the latest software, etc. I used to subscribe to them all but I had to stop. What I found was that they made me feel like I was doing something useful by reading them, but at the end of the day—or the month, or the year—it was just noise. Looking backward, my life was no different whether I subscribed to 20 of them and read every story, or didn’t read any of them.
Now when I look at any media I ask myself one simple question: “How often do I get something from this source that makes me see the world differently, brings me closer to people with common goals and interests, or causes me to change my behavior in a positive way?” If the answer is “almost never”, or even “not very often”, then I remove it from my inputs.
The goal of Unsupervised Learning—both the newsletter and the community—is to produce something that answers yes to all three of those. We’re not here to fill your inbox. We’re not here to “impress” you. We’re here to help you become the best version of yourself—both in work and in life. Full stop.
If this approach to newsletters and community appeals to you, I have but one word for you. Welcome.