Hi - I’m Max Jacobson. Welcome to Hardscrabble, the newsletter.

This may be the wrong thing to say, but I sort of hate newsletters. I unsubscribe from every newsletter I get involuntarily added to. Wow, aren’t those sketchy! You know when you unsubscribe from a newsletter, and they ask you why you’re leaving, and one of the options is “I didn’t sign up for this newsletter”? I’m the guy who selects that over and over, like it makes a difference on anything at all. You know when you click “unsubscribe from this kind of email” on an email, only to later realize that there are like 12 “kinds” of emails, and so you’re still getting the rest of them? I’ll click thru to that “manage my email preferences” page and uncheck everything, and grimacefacedly fully expect that they’ll just add new checkboxes the next day.


I love to read and write shit on the internet. I miss livejournal. I miss blogs. I don’t miss Google Reader anymore (all wounds heal) but I miss how I felt about the internet when I used Google Reader. When it died, I switched to the wonderful RSS reader Feedbin. At some point, on a support thread, the creator of Feedbin told me, “By the way I noticed you are user #39 and signed up about 2 days after Feedbin launched. Do you remember where you heard about it?” and I felt a little embarrassed and very seen. Feedbin has been a godsend for my newsletter reading: it has a feature for subscribing to a newsletter, but piping it into your RSS reader instead of your email inbox. As a privacy bonus, the newsletter operators don’t get your actual personal email address.

And, I regret to acknowledge, newsletters kind of rule. People are reading and writing shit on the internet again, I was just looking the other way.

So, anyway, I’m not necessarily anybody in particular, and I feel a little late to the party, but I like to participate, and so here’s this. I’ll do my best to be interesting enough to belong in your inbox or your Feedbin or whatever.