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Milestone and a Thank You!
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This week, it’s a bit of a different post since we are celebrating a milestone at Nominal News – we have hit over 200 subscribers! We wanted to use this post to share about our journey on Substack and thank our readers, without whom this wouldn’t be possible.
Nominal News is a 2-person team – a writer and an editor – that started in November 2022. I started Nominal News with the purpose of bringing and sharing the tools and skills that I have acquired as a trained Ph.D. economist, and use them to discuss the various current economic issues facing us today. I focus on finding and discussing the most up-to-date research, as I believe that economics has at least some answers to a lot of today’s economic and social issues. I also set out to root out some misconceptions we can often see in the popular media, as writers typically ignore the whole body of research on a certain topic or misconstrue the research itself (as was recently the case with an Economist article on working from home). Thus, I hope that Nominal News is and will be a valuable source of information for people that are interested in today’s social and economic issues.
After a few initial articles, I quickly realized that I need assistance on several fronts – making my articles clearer and easier to follow, as well as challenging some of my thoughts and arguments. That’s where my editor stepped in to help with the quality of writing and the accessibility of the content, as well as making sure all important points of a topic are addressed. The help has been immense! That’s how Nominal News became a 2 person project. Nominal News is still a part-time publication for us (one of the reasons why we have not enabled a paid feature), but we hope that as we continue to grow, we will be able to turn this into a full-time project!
Many often ask about growth and how many subscribers we have. Below is a graph showing how our readership has grown.
In the first 3 months growth was modest. I attempted to increase visibility by launching a Twitter (now X) account and a Reddit account. Later, when Substack launched Notes, I also started posting there and continue to do so. Most recently, I also went on Threads, but this appears to have died down a bit since the initial hype. Our recent growth can be mainly attributed to the Substack network, mainly via Recommendations (big thank you to my recommenders!).
Regarding some other fun statistics, my most viewed articles so far were:
1,630 views – Inflation and Expectations (March 1, 2023) – how should we think about the recent inflationary spike and what needs to happen for it to come down.
1,360 views – Wages and Inflation (December 4, 2022) – to what extent do wages cause inflation?
553 views – Marriage Preferences and Gender Outcomes (March 26, 2023) – how partner preferences impact the glass ceiling.
On the other hand, the articles I enjoyed writing the most were on housing and deregulation and community civilian interventions, as I learned the most when writing them. These articles have also challenged my prior beliefs on these issues and altered how I think about them.
Most recently, I have become very interested in the growing literature on working from home and plan to write more about it, as new research comes in, especially given the pushback remote work has received in the media domain.
Substack – a short note
Substack is a great platform. The variety of writers and the quality of writing is extremely impressive. I am currently subscribed to 29 substacks, ranging from topics on economics (, ,, , ) and math () to restaurant reviews (), book advice () and tennis analytics (). If you have enjoyed reading my articles, I highly recommend searching Substack for other great writers. Additionally, the community itself, at least in my experience, has been very constructive. You can have productive discussions under articles or in Notes, give and receive suggestions and support each other in the process of writing. You will very often receive responses from publication authors if you comment on their article or Note.
There is definitely still room for improvement on Substack, especially in the early/starting phase for writers, but overall the platform appears to be progressing well.
None of this would be possible without you and all of the readers of Nominal News. When I started writing in November 2022, I didn’t have any targets regarding readership. But having 200 subscribers in about half a year surpassed my expectations! It has been truly very exciting and the support from the community has been fantastic. Given the variety of other options available to readers, it does mean a lot that you have chosen to subscribe and read our work. We hope that our articles have been a good use of your time!
To all our recent new subscribers – welcome! In case you’d like to read some of our previous articles, today we are releasing a Categorized Archive that groups the articles by categories – including Policy, Economic Concepts, Inflation, and Research - along with a short description of each article. Please check it out!
So where do we go from here? Naturally, we will continue to write articles on a weekly basis.
As the aim of our publication is to write on current social and economic issues (basically anything involving human interactions) pertinent to you, please feel free to let us know of any topics or questions you may have, or even forward an article / paper / fact that you find interesting (feel free comment below or email us at nominalnews at gmail.com
We are also always open to any feedback and suggestions about Nominal News – especially around my writing, clarity of thought, length of articles, and if there is anything additional we could do that would be helpful.
Thank you for being a valued reader of Nominal News and we look forward to hearing from you!
Cover photo by Natalie Bond.
Below are a few articles that we have written that you may enjoy:
Christmas Holidays and Gift Giving (December 25, 2022) – gift giving has been studied a lot. Typically, every year there are articles pointing out that gift giving is a net-negative action. What does economic research actually have to tells us about this, and why we should continue to give gifts.
To Compete or Non-Compete (April 30, 2023) – why non-compete clauses do not solve any issues, but only create costs.
ChatGPT and AI - Predictions on Labor and the Macroeconomy (April 3, 2023) – with many predicting AI technology will revolutionize work, how can we use economic models and frameworks to think through the implications of this new technology, and why many predictions in the media are contradictory.