Oh hi Substack!
We have come here to chew bubble gum, and have conversations that re-enchant the culture. And we’re all out of bubble gum.
Well hi friends. Today, we’re officially relaunching Foster’s media shenanigans here on Substack. All of our newsletters, essays, magazines, blistering manifestos about the future of media and culture, etc. This is their home now. Heck, maybe we’ll even launch a podcast.
We’re making the leap because it’s become gobsmackingly obvious that Substack offers the right set of tools, and the right social environment, to embody our collaborative philosophy. Plus, it’s where many of our writers are already publishing!
Our core belief is that writing is inherently social and collaborative. The act of writing is often done in solitude, but when we write, we’re contributing to a conversation that began long before we sat down at the keyboard, and will continue long after we hit publish. Further, we believe that transformative ideas and stories, the ones that drive the human story forward, rarely emerge from isolated individuals. They emerge from humans who immerse themselves in a larger conversation, and hold the creative tensions between differing perspectives. In other words, cultural magic emerges not from siloed minds, but from scenes and conversations.
And boy does Substack have tremendous scene-building and conversation-having potential. More so than any other platform for writers, connection and social activity are woven into the DNA of this place. And we intend to push those capabilities and cultural norms to their limits.
There’s one other BIG thing we’re aiming at, which is to build this publication in such a way that it fills us with life. That’s our north star. It’s gotta be fun, and it’s gotta enrich our collective spirit.
Practically, that means we’re ditching the rules and best practices of the creator economy. We shan’t be niching down or trying to “add value” by giving authoritative advice. There will be zero credence given to The Algorithm, and we will not be making data-driven editorial decisions. It’s seductive to chase the illusion of control, but we’ve played those games long enough to know they neither nourish the soul nor enrich our commons. That path is a slippery slope that reliably leads to average, mechanistic writing devoid of life.
Instead, our plan with this Substack is to follow our curiosity and trust our felt sense of aliveness. We won’t pretend to be Experts who have the Answers. That’s the story of the old world. Instead, we have some big hairy questions that we’re embodying and exploring together. Whereas answers close down possibilities, the right set of questions, explored earnestly and with the spirit of adventure, can open up portals into new worlds. By living the questions, and encouraging a multiplicity of voices to participate in the conversation, our plan is to foster a scene of writers that’s unmistakably human, and that radiates life in a way that few places on the internet do.
Everyone can feel, in some subconscious way, when a writer is enjoying themselves and pulling a thread of undeniable resonance. It’s alluring, seductive, and reminds us of the spark of life within us. Likewise, we can all feel when the words we’re reading were someone’s unwanted obligation. Reading such work feels like an obligation, too. The internet is overflowing with writing that we tell ourselves we should read because it seems valuable. But the bet we’re making is that nothing is more compelling and magnetic than a small scene of writers who are having the time of their lives.
Welcome to Co-Authored, friends. Let’s have some fun.
P.S. We recently relaunched the Foster website. You may want to bookmark it. foster.co