We are expanding our newsletter product line with five new topics covered. From now on, we are also focusing our free Deepnews Digest exclusively on the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
by Frederic Filloux
There is no reason to stop expanding. Especially if you are already decentralized. At Deepnews.ai we are spread between Bordeaux (France), Brussels, Denver, and Delhi with a potential key recruit in Mumbai. As for myself, I left Paris for a remote village on the Loire River with a 100 Mbps fiber connection and a lockdown that looks more livable than in the capital. That’s the magic of a tech company. (And on Tuesday, my great journalism students will be online at 8:25 am sharp, from different locations across the world, for our pleasant weekly seminar. I intend to share with Monday Note’s readers the best ideas they’ve got for their current assignment on the crisis).
No reason, then, to stop working.
Last week, we launched five new Distills, our professional newsletters based on our proprietary technology, the Deepnews Scoring Model.
They cover the following topics:
We now have eleven newsletters in our product line published the following weekdays (click on links to see samples):
• Tuesday: Future of Food, and the challenge to feed 10 billion people without further destroying the planet. And The Gig Economy viewed from all its different angles including industrial and labor. More than anything else, this activity is bracing for fundamental changes in the coming months.
• Wednesday: Matter of Facts, originally created to cover and to pay tribute to those who fight misinformation; this newsletter has lately been covering COVID-related misinformation. We are then adding Future of Medicine, originally designed to cover new therapeutics and new procedures. This one too looks to be dominated by the pandemic, though with a focus on the vital research being done.
• Friday: Free Wheeling, on the business of self-driving cars and related sectors (optoelectronics, guidance & navigation technologies, network & communication, insurance, infrastructure, data science). Regulating Big Tech was meant to be one of the dominant business topics for the year 2020 and the idea is to centralize the information about all of its different angles.
Right now, our best-seller is Matter of Facts, followed by Future of Food, then autonomous vehicles, facial recognition, and space industrialization. Interestingly enough, this ranking shows what our readers for the first part of the year have been concerned about, news accuracy, the environment, and privacy.
Also on Friday, we will be publishing our special edition of the Deepnews Digest devoted to the global response to the pandemic. As we currently scan more than 1500 vetted sources, last Friday we collected and scored more than 5,000 stories just focused on the idea of working from home. The Digest is and will remain free.
Though readers now have much more choice, right now, given the extraordinary circumstances, we are not jacking up the price on the Distills. A subscription for a single newsletter remains $9 or €9 a month; for three topics, it is 12 dollars/euros and 15 dollars/euros for a set of 5. (You can change your list as you wish during your subscription). And since we are launching a new batch during a time when we want as many people as possible to have good information, we currently offer a 50% discount. This is how cool we are.
A word on how we picked these five new subjects. First, we implemented the same principle we wrote about previously: the subject must be newsworthy, forward-looking and challenging; its coverage must be scattered, unstructured, with few or no must-read sources that dominate the discussion.
Second, we polled the readers of our Deepnews Digest and the subscribers of the Distills. It looked like this:
Later we decided to add a topic that was not on the list: Women in Tech. It is exactly the kind of subject meaningful to us: undercovered, no (or no prominent) publication of reference and a matter of growing importance as it is still a long way to go until women get the place they deserve in the tech world.
We shelved the rest for now, until, maybe, the next batch, scheduled for late Spring or early Summer. It will actually be interesting to see what will be relevant three months from now, given the terrible circumstances we are facing. (To my utmost concern, a large part of the American people do not realize the scope and the brutality of the pandemic as we, in Europe, are experiencing). As for Deepnews’ newsletter system, it will certainly become out of place to consider, as we did three months ago, launching a newsletter about 3D Printing or the Drone Economy. Relevant subjects might more likely deal with a wrecked economy, the future of globalization, the urgent necessity to redirect global efforts to build a better and universal healthcare system, as well as the need to vastly expand science funding.
Despite what’s going on, Deepnews’s roadmap remains unchanged. A recently secured funding (sigh), though modest, will give us enough runway for now. In the meantime, we will continue to scale up our newsletter system, with great concern given to making it increasingly relevant to what’s ahead of us. We will also be working on the second stage of the rocket: a self-serving API aimed at the news industry and the corporate world to spotlight, score and rank the best possible content, by using deep learning algorithms.