Daily Tedium

The Difficult Second Album

Tedium is a pretty cool newsletter. But two stories a week is a little limiting. So we're making room for the overflow.

By Ernie Smith

Testing 1, 2, 3: Two years ago, Tedium got its start based on what I like to call the "difficult second album" theory. "The cliche that you have a lifetime to make your first album and only a year or two to make your second holds true," The Guardian's Dorian Lynskey wrote back in 2003 of this basic concept, in the context of The Strokes, whose second album wasn't actually all that difficult. (But Fiona Apple? Now her second album, with its 90-word title? That was a difficult second album.)

In my case, I wanted to blow up the expectations I built around ShortFormBlog, a site known for hewing tightly to the news cycle and not letting go of it, no matter how cool it seemed. But Tedium's been around two years. The point has been made. I've blown it up. So now's a good time to expand on the basic idea of Tedium a little, while maybe borrowing ideas from the original one.

Tedium the newsletter isn't changing—you'll still get longish pieces about weird things from me twice a week. But the format, for all its strengths, has some weaknesses, including the fact that I can't immediately bounce off suggestions on pieces as quickly as I'd like.

So, here's what I'm doing. Starting next week, I'm posting content on Mondays and Wednesdays—not every one, but enough where its presence will be noticed. Shortish things, less than 300 words, that allow me to comment on things that may not be full Tedium issues, but might help flesh out bigger ideas. No news-cycle stuff. Not necessarily current. Maybe lists. Maybe weird design ideas. A slightly different look. Things that fit in with the spirit of Tedium without replacing its role in your inbox.

And on Fridays, I'll highlight interesting/weird stuff that I discovered during my most recent Amazon/online shopping bender. It'll be a mixture of art and commerce of sorts. You're free to ignore the commerce. Just appreciate the art of the matter.

It's more Tedium. But not much more. Keep an eye out. — Ernie @ Tedium

Ernie Smith

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Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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