When we moved from Florida in June, I had a bit of regret about a thing I should have done but didn’t when we lived there.
I really wish I had taken the time to go to our beach entrance and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic more often.
It was lovely when I did.
It set the pace for the day.
But I didn’t actually do it very often and I have no one to blame but myself.
An interesting thing happened after we moved, though.
A friend who lived nearby started posting daily sunrise photos from her beach entrance on Instagram/Facebook.
So now, each morning when I check my feed, I see and like her photos.
It feels like they’re for me.
This friend went through A LOT last year, and though we were in touch in a get-things-done-for-our-daughters sort of way, I had no clue about her heaviest heavy stuff. It’s stuff she’s moving past, and I think the morning beach walks are part of her healing.
They’re part of my healing, too.
They’re a taste of something I meant to do but didn’t, and now I get to enjoy what should have been in a different way.
These vicarious sunrises are becoming a new ritual for me.
If we think of this in terms of newsletters (because, I know, I know, that’s social media—not email), I think it hits close to the most important goal of the genre: to build connection by sharing.
Above all else, a newsletter is an outlet for creating and sharing something important to you/your brand with people who agree it’s important and welcome it into their lives.
It can be you inviting them into a world you build for them to inhabit.
It can be therapeutic and ritualistic.
It can be the sunrises they want to make time for.
Now, let’s see what newsletter news we can shed some fresh light on today.
3 Cool Zaps You Can Use To Collect Links
When I was creating this feature feedback form last week, I got a little excited about the many, many ways you can collect links and have them waiting to be used in your next newsletter.
So, naturally, I spent some time this week figuring out how I could use Zapier to bring in content my readers might like and came up with a few cool use cases I want to share with you.
1. Collecting YouTube Video Links to Curated
For this, you’ll find YouTube in Zapier.
New Video—When a new video is uploaded by a specific YouTube user name
New Video in Channel—When a new video is published to a specific YouTube channel
New Video by Search—When a new video is uploaded that matches a specific YouTube search string
New Video in Playlist—When a new video is added to a specific playlist
Tip: Everything is pretty self explanatory except for which thumbnail image to pick. I found that the one called Thumbnails High URL brought in the best quality image… but I may grab that and add a play button in Canva then bring that into Curated so it still feels like you press play.
Use Cases: Maybe you want to follow a certain search term you know your audience likes, you want to stay tuned to what certain news outlets or brands who post videos are announcing, or you post your own videos you know you’ll want to share. This Zap can automate that process.
2. Collecting RSS Links from Top Sources to Curated
In addition to using an aggregator to process links around specific topics, you can use RSS by Zapier to bring in links from sites you know publish quality content you’d like to share. You’ll need to find the RSS URL for those sites.
Trigger Options (these are very obvious):
New Item in Feed—When new content is added to a feed
New Items in Multiple Feeds—When new content is added to multiple feeds
Tip: Here’s how to find an RSS link if the sites you want to follow don’t have a RSS link available (it’s usually lumped in with the social account icons).
Use Cases: I think this is best for following writers and publications you know create high-quality, share-worthy content. In my case, I set up RSS Zaps to collect links from Ann Handley’s blog, Content Marketing Institute, and What’s New in Publishing. I’m testing to see if that sends me too much content to process or just the right amount. I also found the RSS feed for the Newsletter Crew podcast and set that up as well.
3. Sending Project Management App Status Changes To Curated
For this, you’d use the project management app your team(s) use and select the proper triggers for task/project completion.
In Trello, that might mean moving any task into a Done column, while in ClickUp or Asana it might mean completing tasks within specific workspaces or projects.
Use Cases: I see this as primarily ideal for internal team or organization newsletters. If you’re collecting links to the tasks or projects your team has completed, that means they’ll all be waiting for you to add to the next newsletter. From there, you can determine which ones you want to include.
Additionally, if you maintain a public roadmap using an app like Trello, you could also set this up to make sure the marketing team is aware when a feature is deployed so that it’s included in the next customer-facing newsletter.
ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.