You’ve Cott Mail May Be Cutting Back, But It Isn’t Out Of The Game

Regular readers know that I’m a big, BIG, fan of Thomas Cott’s You’ve Cott Mail newsletter and Twitter feed which is why his announcement that he’ll be cutting back on the newsletter portion of his arts news empire came across as a bummer (emphasis added).
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After sending out these emails for nearly 20 years, I have decided to pull back on doing YCM on a regular basis…In the end, You’ve Cott Mail is not my job – it’s just a hobby of mine – and the grind of seeking out new and interesting items to share with you via a themed email each workday morning has become harder for me to sustain….Still, I’m not ready to give up doing YCM entirely. I hope that removing the burden of the daily deadline will reinvigorate my interest in keeping it going in some form. At this point, I can’t tell you how often I will be sending out emails, or if the nature of YCM’s content will change. For the moment, I plan to keep sharing items of interest on at least a semi-regular basis via YCM’s Twitter account, since that requires less time to do than these emails.

I can wholeheartedly sympathize with Cott’s sentiments about the grind and how few recognize that these efforts are a hobby and, most decidedly, not a job. Nonetheless, it is comforting to see that his messages will still appear in our inboxes from time to time and I can say that I’ll be looking forward to each occurrence like a child growing up in Michigan anticipates a snow day; s/he may not know when, but it will happen…someday.

In the end, I’d gladly give up a dozen Arts Journals, Musical Americas, et al (apologies in advance to those not listed) to keep a daily You’ve Cott Mail newsletter around but it’s worth pointing out that in addition to the less frequent distribution schedule, Cott is keeping the Twitter feed up and running. So if you haven’t done so already, it is high time to set up a dedicated YCM column in TweetDeck.


About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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