Tag: newsletter

How to sponsor Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel newsletter

TL;DR: My weekly newsletter, Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, goes out every Sunday morning (UK time). There’s 850+ subscribers and that’s growing every week. You can sponsor the newsletter by emailing me: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com. It’s currently £400 per month, but this will increase in 2016.

A few years ago I started a newsletter called Things I Learned This Week. It was for my own benefit as I used it as a way to review what I’d come across that week. It started off small, but grew by word of mouth and people forwarding it to their friends.

Last year, I renamed it to Things We Learned This Week as I wanted to make it more inclusive. I’d envisioned people sending me links which I’d curate into something useful. That happened on occasion, but it became clear that people appreciate a clear voice.

So, this summer I rebranded my newsletter Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel. My good friend Bryan Mathers created a wonderful header image and I set up a page at thoughtshrapnel.com. My aim with Thought Shrapnel is to inform, entertain, and persuade. The current format is:

  • Sponsor message
  • Short introduction
  • Tweet of the week
  • Three main links (education, technology, productivity)
  • Six shorter links
  • GIF of the week
  • Quotation of the week

There’s two simple and straightforward reasons I’ve decided to allow limited, carefully chosen sponsorship. The first is that my newsletter takes time to create. It’s extra to my weekday commitments, taking me away from my wife and children. I need a justification for that. Second, it motivates me to create an issue during a week when I’d otherwise be lazy. There were plenty of issues of Things I Didn’t Learn This Week back in the day.

Sponsoring Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel gets your message in front of an engaged audience of educators, technologists and productivity enthusiasts. Sponsorship is exclusive: there’s only one sponsor per month.

Here’s how it looks at the top of the newsletter:

Sponsorship screenshot

There’s also a space for the sponsor’s logo at the bottom of the newsletter.

Check out previous issues of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel using the link below. Note that until Issue #185 the newsletter was known under a different name:

Newsletter archive

If you’d like to make an enquiry, including requesting more detailed statistics, please email me at hello@nulldynamicskillset.com. Multi-month sponsorships and dates further out than six months are also available.

Many thanks to Makers Academy, nCube, Think Associates, and C-Learning for being early adopters and supporting the newsletter over the last few months!

Important news for subscribers to my weekly newsletter

Many readers of this blog have the good taste to also be subscribers to my newsletter, Things We Learned This Week (TWLTW). A few of that elite group have complained that TWLTW hasn’t been turning up in their inboxes on Sunday as they’ve come to expect.

I don’t like to disappoint, but couldn’t fathom why, all of a sudden, my newsletter wasn’t getting through to some people. Thankfully, I think I’ve found the problem: GMail.

Thanks, Google.

As Ryan Holiday points out, here’s what to do if a newsletter isn’t getting through to your ‘Primary’ tab:

Easiest option

Promotions --> Primary

  1. Find an issue of TWLTW. You may need to check your ‘Promotions’ tab or the Spam folder.
  2. Drag that email over into your ‘Primary’ tab.
  3. Click ‘yes’ when GMail asks if you’d like to make this change permanent.

This should work for 90% of people.

Belt and braces approach


  1. Enter ‘Settings’ within GMail
  2. Choose ‘Filter’ tab
  3. Click ‘Create a new filter’ and enter mail@nulldougbelshaw.com
  4. Click ‘Create filter with this term’ and then select ‘Never send it to Spam’
  5. Click ‘Create filter’

Still not working? I suggest switching email provider. 😉

If you’re not yet one of the enlightened people who subscribe to my weekly newsletter yet then you can rectify that right now by clicking here.

Main image CC BY-ND Dennis Skley

How to subscribe to (and sponsor!) my weekly newsletter

After some recent prompting by Aral Balkan I’ve made my Things We Learned This Week newsletter easier to sign up to. It goes out every Sunday morning – wherever you are in the world.

Things We Learned This Week newsletter

Sign up: http://newsletter.dougbelshaw.com

You’ll notice I’ve also included a link to sponsor a month’s worth of newsletters by clicking on the ribbon to the top-right. This is a recent innovation and I’m very grateful to Ian Nairn of C-Learning for sponsoring the month of May:

C-Learning is a Cloud Learning Services company which provides schools with a range of services and solutions to help teachers and students make the most of technology hosted in the cloud. With an overwhelming choice we bring you a range of tried and tested services already being used by many schools, teachers, students and parents to deliver improved communication and collaboration to support teaching and learning in school, on the move and at home.

PS I used GitHub Pages to create these sign-up pages, something I’ve blogged about before.

TILTW reaches 100!

A lot has changed in both my life and the world at large since January 3rd, 2010, the date when I hit publish on a post marking the first in a series entitled Things I Learned This Week. The structure of the weekly roundup, however, has remained similar with its rationale pretty straightforward: I get a chance each week to read and review the links I’ve collected and curate something of interest to others. Everyone wins.

Originally, I used this blog to post the weekly roundup and diligently produced TILTW for the whole of 2010 before declaring a hiatus. When I resurrected TILTW in April 2012 it was in the form of an email newsletter (which has now grown to a subscriber base just shy of 400).

I’ve linked to all 100 TILTWs below for the sake of posterity, if nothing else. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who have have expressed their pleasure at the newsletter either by hitting reply when the email lands in their inbox, or via various social media channels. That always makes me smile! 🙂

If you haven’t yet signed up for TILTW you can do so below. The newsletter arrives in your inbox every Sunday morning (UK time).

>>>Sign up here <<<

List of all TILTWs

Originally, I thought that other people might like to create their own Things I Learned This Week. I’m not precious about the name and would welcome more curated content! Feel free to riff on the idea. 🙂

Image CC BY vxla

Have you subscribed to TILTW yet?

Condescening Wonka - newsletterEvery Sunday I publish a (free) newsletter called Things I Learned This Week.

It’s divided into five sections:

  • Education
  • Technology
  • Productivity
  • Miscellaneous
  • Quotations

It also features links to the blog posts I’ve written that week.

If you haven’t subscribed to TILTW yet, have a look at the latest issue (#65) or browse through past issues then hit ‘Subscribe’ at the top-left! Alternatively, go directly to the subscription page below:

>> Subscribe here <<

“It’s About Time!” Introducing Synechism Ltd.

I did something this Bank Holiday weekend that I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years: I registered a Limited Company with myself as sole Director.

Synechism Ltd.

Why now?

It’s not that I’m looking to leave my current employers in the short-term, it’s more to do with getting things in place for when I finish my doctoral thesis in July. I want to start working with people on interesting projects and setting up a company helps me do that in a straightforward way.

The new site for my business is at Synechism.com.

What kinds of projects?

The tagline of Synechism Ltd. is making connections, creating meaning. I’ve developed a modified version of the Hierarchy of Understanding developed by Briggs, et al. (2002) upon which I’ll be basing a lot of my work.

I’ve a wealth of experience from Primary and Secondary school level through to Higher Education, so the majority of my projects in the first instance shall be focusing on the education sector. However, through my work with businesses and third sector bodies in the last couple of years, I’ve realised how much they could also benefit from working in partnership.

The wonderful thing about the technologies available to us is that I can just as easily work on a project with someone in a different continent and different timezone as I can with those local to me. For example, a week ago I presented to a conference in Australia from the comfort of my study.

I’m looking for educational institutions, businesses and third sector bodies who are interested in the kinds of things I am – namely:

  • Models of learning
  • Digital and New literacies
  • Knowledge workflows
  • Productivity 2.0
  • Mobile learning
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Google Apps Education Edition

That doesn’t cover everything, but gives you a flavour of the kinds of connections and meaning-making I’m talking about.

I want to know more!

Great! Head on over to Synechism.com and click on the contact details. 😀