In 1971, MIT grad and computer engineer Ray Tomlinson sent the world’s first official email.
For a long time, these were email’s two primary functions: direct peer-to-peer messaging (your friend emails you a funny link or life update) or business transactions (a brand solicits your patronage; a publisher sends you something to read). But in recent years, a third cohort of email sender has cropped up: the individually authored, mass-distributed email. Or, as we’re calling it for our purposes here, the single-operator newsletter. These are entrepreneurial folks going at it alone, independent of media organizations.