join deez links on discord! 

So here’s a new thing I’m trying out with some other newsletter writers, as you may have read in this week’s Ben Smith column: Casey Newton, Anne Helen Petersen, Nick Quah, Eric Newcomer, Ryan Broderick, Kim Zetter, Charlie Warzel and I are starting Sidechannel, a Discord server (essentially a big group Slack x Clubhouse situation) to chat about tech, media, and culture with each other — and then open it up to a portion of each of our subscribers starting next week. 

Basically, Sidechannel is meant to be an added benefit if you’re a paid subscriber of these other great newsletters, but since I don’t charge for Deez Links, it’ll be a bit different for me.*

If you subscribe to Deez Links and you’re interested in joining the Sidechannel, there are two ways to do it: (the third option is to just pay for any of those other newsletters above, lol, is it dumb that I’m just telling you that):

How to join Sidechannel via Deez Links:

  1. Buy Deez Links merch!

    I’m going to attach the Sidechannel invite to any purchase of a Deez Links tote bag or pin, past or present. Send me a screenshot of your receipt between now and Monday, and I’ll send you an invite. (If you’ve already bought merch in the past, just send me a pic of it!)

  2. Apply for a free BIPOC membership.

    Let’s not pretend the lineup of these Sidechannel writers so far isn’t very white (Nick is great, but he and I do not a diverse lineup make). As a group, we’ve had multiple conversations about why it is that media/tech writers with successful paid newsletters tend to be so white, and it’s a discussion we’re continuing to have, especially since any kind of exclusive invite-only situation has the potential to exclude BIPOC people from major opportunities.

    To address this issue in the short-term, I’m “creating” 80 “free memberships” to Sidechannel available to BIPOC students and media workers. If you want one, all you have to do is email me a paragraph about what you do and why you’re interested in joining Sidechannel, and I’ll send you an invite on Monday.

    No, I’m not going to “check” if you’re actually BIPOC. Yes, by “media workers,” I mean that pretty loosely — PR folks, marketing types, publishing peeps etc. are welcome! And yes, I’ve also encouraged the other writers on Sidechannel to offer this as a way to bring more BIPOC voices into the fold. 

Note: This is NOT a perfect solution, but it’s the one I can make happen right now, with my own bandwidth. If you’ve got other ideas, lmk!

OK. I think that covers it. Basically either 1) send me proof you’ve got Deez Links merch or 2) a paragraph for the BIPOC membership option ***in the reply to this newsletter,*** and I’ll send you an invite on Monday to join Sidechannel.


  • If I join Sidechannel via Deez Links, do I get to read all the other newsletter writers’ channels? YES. Basically everyone has their own channel but we can all see each others’ channels. Think of Deez Links as your contact at Alpha Sigma Phi who can get you into the frat mixer. (wow i hate myself for that but i mean you get it now, right?)

  • What are we gonna talk about on Sidechannel? I plan to check it most evenings to sprinkle in extra links and generally chit-chat. There’ll be a #great-tiktoks mini-channel, and also maybe one for Peaky Blinders fans. If you know, you know.

  • If I have other questions, can I just email you? Yes. Just reply to this newsletter.

  • Why only 80 free memberships? TBH it’s a very arbitrary number based on how much time I have and how chaotic I want my channel to be! I’m open to revisiting the # in the future. Community management is no joke, y’all.

  • Are there rules for what I can post on Sidechannel? Yes, the tl;dr is that you must be respectful or you’ll get kicked off.


* In general, I’ve been thinking a lot this year about how to use this opportunity (and this platform) now that it’s (a bit terrifyingly) no longer just an outlet for me to shitpost to a bunch of friends. (If you’d told me as an intern in 2016 that I’d ever get mentioned alongside all these writers, including Daniel and Grace Lavery, in a NYT column, I would choked on the cafeteria granola I was secretly hoarding under my desk). 

Also P.S. Did you see The New Yorker Union launched a union solidarity pledge last week? They’ve got 2,500 signatures so far and you can add yours here!

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(aka why you don’t have to pay for deez links ;)…)
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