Apothecary Garden, Moscow.
I agree with Scholar’s Stage skeptical take on Substack:
A running theme in all of these essays is the importance of seeing individual authors not as individual authors, but as voices in a chorus. No writer is an island. If a “public voice” is inspired to spend hours massaging paragraphs and digging up references, it is because she has something to prove, and more important still, someone to prove it to. She writes in response to ideas she has heard or read. She feels compelled to add her voice to a larger conversation. The best thinkers speak to more than their immediate contemporaries, but without that contemporary argument in the background few would bother speaking at all.
The old blogosphere, consisting of clusters of people writing on topics of interest (e.g. the “Russia Watchers”, the HBDsphere – to name the two I was part of) was killed off by social media.
Substack is not going to revive it for the reasons given in that article.