Welcome to Media Hackers.

We're living in the wild wild west land of opportunity at the intersection of media and tech.

I’ve got a lot of frustrations about the intersection of media and tech.

So much so that I wrote an entire damn newsletter about it. And that actually had other’s sharing their frustrations. It’s a complicated world.

We’re living in a time where full-time freelance roles are “okay,” you’re lucky to have a job in journalism, and if you do, forget about a liveable wage, and in a time, where journalism is arguably more important than ever, but also more attacked than ever. The business models of yesteryear have failed you, and dammit, your editor still isn’t on the company’s slack (true story).

And if you’re on the tech side, you’re faced looking at a world that feels “slow” or “out of date” in media. It’s hard to create tools that, dare I say, actually talk to people? And when you do make a tool that could be perceived as helpful, well, it’s hard to actually encourage adoption. Also, you’ve been taught to build fast, test iteratively but this is in direct opposition to the thoroughness and research-focused journalism rules.

Needless to say, we’ve got two worlds, with problems that are closer than one could think.

As much as I spend much of my free time thinking about how journalism and tech just aren’t getting along, I remain optimistic about what they could do. One of my favorite discussions to have in this realm happens when I’m chatting with community managers and audience engagement editors.

They’re the same role, often just in different industries. Much like many other areas of the world — we’re more alike than we think.

At the end of the day, startup founders and journalists share much of the same traits

Insanely Passionate. If you’re fortunate enough to catch them at after hours, they’ll be likely to tell you what they’re working on, the story their chasing or the problem they’re solving.

Curious. Startup founders excel at thinking out of the box, journalists leverage curiosity to gather sources.

Trust. It goes without saying that journalists need trust to do their jobs well, heck, how can you be a source of truth if people don’t trust you? Startup founders require trust and integrity

Adoption. Journalists are looking for people to read and subscribe to their content, to become someone’s source of truth. Startup founders want adoption of their product, they crave early adopters and beta testers.

Monetization. Now that you’ve got your first users, how do you monetize them? Whether it’s looking at new ways to fund journalism (a long term problem summarized here), or hitting that golden profitability moment in a startup. Do you choose to bootstrap or VC? How do you sustain this? What are your short term/long term projections?

Let’s start working together to build a better future, welcome to Media Hackers.

In this newsletter, you’ll get active tools, tips, and tricks towards building better media products and communities around them using no-code tools, basic monetization strategies, and community-building tactics. I’ve even already sourced interviews for those who are leaders in this regard, building a better tool kit.

As an added bonus

This newsletter will have a paid subscriber side to it, however, I’ll be granting full access to early subscribers. Shoot me an email (erinmikail@hey.com or reply to this newsletter) and I’ll make sure you’re added to the list. 😉

Early subscribers: thanks for being along for the ride.❤️

How you can help

Have a feature you want me to take a peek at? Something you’re building for the sake of it? Have someone I should chat with — let me know.