Rob Howard is creating Hiatus™
83

patrons

$209
per month

The weekly current events briefing that brings focus to a world of infinite information.

No likes. No clickbait. Just the knowledge you need to be an informed, responsible citizen. Try it free for 30 days.

You work hard to achieve the benefits of a low-information diet: improved focus, less anxiety, and more time and energy for the relationships and goals that really matter.

You’re also a knowledgeable citizen and an active participant in your community and world. You’re driven to stay educated and informed. But even the slightest peek at a news site (or worse, social media) opens up a vortex of unlimited stimulation – which is a huge risk to your mindset and productivity.

The sad truth is that no one can “just check in” anymore. Even the best publications live and die on page views, and everything about their design is built to suck you in and keep you clicking. And if you do manage to take a few days off, you risk totally missing something valuable, because the “more more more” of the 24-hour news cycle means a great article might evaporate if you don’t catch it in time.

You’re smart. You’re accomplished. You’re productive. But when it comes to the infinite inputs of media, your brain is working against you. It’s simply impossible to effectively filter the visual, auditory and literary overload without the risk of getting sucked back in to the addiction and anxiety of click-driven news.

We all cope with this challenge in different ways.

Tune out completely, and you risk losing touch with the important events and movements in your world. Try to limit yourself, and you waste precious mental energy fighting a futile neurological battle against every click. Rely on your friends’ Facebook echo chamber, and you’re just screwed.

For eight years, I’ve searched for a neurologically balanced approach to staying informed.

I’m Rob Howard, the author and founder of Hiatus. I’ve spent the last eight years working to bridge the gap between the benefits of a low-information diet and the desire to be a knowledgeable, engaged participant in my democracy and my world.

My background in journalism, publishing and design has taught me that there are great reporters out there telling stories worth reading. The fact that the traditional newspaper and magazine industry has been upended by infinite, inexpensive competition in the Internet age hasn’t changed the value of journalism, but it has made it a hell of a lot harder for an individual to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’m also a web developer and technology entrepreneur with an inside perspective on the business models and design techniques behind click-addicted news. It’s no secret that our digital world is built to light up your brain with constant check-ins and perpetual motion. No matter where you look, no matter what web site or device you’re on, everyone’s angling for one more minute of your time.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with lots of competition or with making money from advertising impressions. The problem is that the result – an environment of infinite inputs and unlimited stimulation – no longer accomplishes the most important goals of the individuals news organizations say they serve. A deep dive into a great publication used to be a thoughtful, deliberate experience. It’s now the neurological equivalent of a sitting down at a shiny, spinning slot machine.

I searched high and low for a solution that could provide me with a slower, calmer, more neurologically balanced experience without resorting to cutting myself off from the events of the world. The challenge is that publications have financial needs – and at the moment, the best way to meet those needs is to turn your web site into a thinly veiled casino. Even if they have the best intentions, there’s no immediate payoff for publications to slow down your engagement. They’re competing in an industry of “more more more.”

That’s why I created Hiatus – to redesign the experience of engaging with your world.

I’ve spent decades building a thriving career as a technology entrepreneur by merging my background in journalism, design and advertising with my passions for web development and lifestyle design. My start-ups have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, TechCrunch, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, and my clients have included Harvard, MIT and The World Bank. Through it all, I’ve spent thousands of hours cultivating a low-information lifestyle that allows me to achieve focus in my personal life and career while staying involved in my community and my world.

Hiatus is the simple, powerful tool I’ve always wished I had.

Introducing Hiatus, a new way to get your news the old-fashioned way.

Hiatus redesigns the experience of reading the news to deliver a slower, calmer, neurologically appropriate balance that keeps you informed without hijacking your brain.

Hiatus is a straightforward, insightful summary of the week’s events, delivered every Thursday.

Every week, I’ll send you a short-and-sweet exploration of current events, in a form that’s easy for you to digest and is specifically designed as a one-time, focused learning experience, with no distractions. Since I don’t care about clicks, I do things differently:

  • No external links to news sites or social media
  • No likes, comments or social sharing
  • No clickbait or over-the-top headlines
  • No advertising or sponsored content
  • No distractions

Each issue will include a briefing on current events – a mix of government, entertainment, business and sports – and an occasional deep dive into a specific focus area or outside resource – such as a book or documentary – that I think is particularly insightful, educational or fun, so you can spend focused time on something that’s truly valuable (and avoid the urge to aimlessly surf).

With Hiatus, you can finally ditch the vortex of unlimited information – without sacrificing your role as an informed, educated, active citizen of the world. And you can stop fighting an endless, unwinnable battle of willpower to reclaim your time and focus – because you know everything you need will be delivered to you in a simple, relaxed, respectful weekly issue.

Every week, Hiatus helps readers stay informed without losing control.

“I had to stop reading the news.”

Over and over, I heard my friends say this. The most engaged, intelligent, honest people I know were being forced to completely check out of current events. They correctly identified that news publications were playing to our worst tendencies – stirring up fear, anger and emotion instead of reason, compassion and compromise – because it drove page views and sold ads.

I also realized that their choice to avoid the news made total sense at an individual level. But with a larger perspective, the result is that our most engaged, knowledgeable citizens are also the ones who reject the media’s presentation of current events – and as a result, most public discourse ends up in the hands of people who embrace and enjoy the fear-, anger- and click-based news cycle.

Some Hiatus readers don’t read any other news – and they’ve told me that every week, when they hear friends chatting or debating about current events, they love the feeling of being informed and knowledgeable without getting trapped in the media black hole.

Other Hiatus readers still read the news, but can finally relax about it. A reader in Colorado told me, “I used to check into the news 10+ times a day during work, now it’s just a couple times a day, and I tell myself that if I miss something, Hiatus will catch me up on Thursday.”

Here’s what some other readers – from across the age, location and political spectrums – have told me about their Hiatus experience:

“It wasn’t biased and kept to the facts, which helps avoid the echo chamber feel.”

“I love the straightforward and non-political aspects of the articles.”

“I am finally up to speed with news instead of my head being in the sand.“

“This morning I read Hiatus to my five-year-old daughter, and we got to talk about so many great learning points!”

“With Hiatus, I don’t wait when it arrives. I read it immediately, because I know I can finish it without investing a huge amount of time. I’m confident that I’m getting straight-forward news with no fluff.”

Creating a calmer, healthier future – one patron at a time.

The way we engage with our world is broken. Whether you’re being bombarded by ads on a news publication or barraged with anger on social media, it’s hard to avoid the sinking feeling that something about the Internet (and by extension, our society) has gone very wrong.

As individuals, we’re faced with a tough question: How do you create meaningful change in a world that seems so far gone?

My answer is simple: Lead by example.

When I created Hiatus, I envisioned a better future — not just for publishing the news, but for the way we interact with each other and with our world. Yes, I’m delivering a unique service to individual readers every week — but that’s just a small part of my mission. The bigger goal is to create both an exemplary publication and an exemplary business. I want to prove that serious, responsible citizens will invest in a calm, focused approach to the news, so that other publishers can see the success of Hiatus as a beacon of hope in a flood of algorithms and anger.

The future is not more ads and more data.

The future is not vicious commenters rubbing salt in partisan wounds.

There’s a better future that we can shape together — and your support is crucial to making that a reality.

By contributing to Hiatus, you’ll receive your weekly briefing, but much more importantly, you’ll be leading by example.

You’ll show advertising-addicted publishers that there’s an audience who’ll pay for quiet, focus and calm.

You’ll show propagandists that there’s a healthy, balanced place where their vitriol doesn’t earn attention.

You’ll show social-media marketers that we don’t need smarter algorithms — we need more humans who actually care about humanity.

And most importantly, you’ll show the people around you that your actions (and your investments) match your words.

I know I’m asking a lot. I know that building a reader-funded publication is new and uncertain ground. But I’m not in this for an overnight success or a million-dollar exit.

If we work together to prove that writers and publishers can earn a living without descending into the media vortex, we make it that much easier for the next publication — and the next one, and the next one — to take the leap too. I can’t set that example alone. But with your help, we can build a powerful audience with a meaningful voice, and prove that there’s money in honesty and simplicity too.

Join the Hiatus mission today, for as little as $1 a month, 100% risk-free. If you decide Hiatus is not right for you – for any reason – within your first 30 days, just send me a message and I'll refund your first month's payment in full.

Become a patron today, and help me make our calmer, healthier future a reality.

Tiers
The Hiatus Weekly Briefing
$2 or more per month 59 patrons
No links, no likes, no distractions. Just the knowledge you need to be an informed, responsible citizen.  Try it free for 30 days. 


Delivered every Thursday. 100% ad-free.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.

Boost Your Support
$5 or more per month 8 patrons
Support the Hiatus mission of bringing calm and focus to the news by boosting your support for the Hiatus weekly briefing.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.

Supercharge Your Support
$25 or more per month 0 patrons
Support the Hiatus mission of bringing calm and focus to the news by supercharging your support for the Hiatus weekly briefing.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.

Goals
$209 of $2,000 per month
When we reach $2,000 per month, I'll add the Hiatus Monthly Recap, a big-picture look at trends and major events.
1 of 3

The weekly current events briefing that brings focus to a world of infinite information.

No likes. No clickbait. Just the knowledge you need to be an informed, responsible citizen. Try it free for 30 days.

You work hard to achieve the benefits of a low-information diet: improved focus, less anxiety, and more time and energy for the relationships and goals that really matter.

You’re also a knowledgeable citizen and an active participant in your community and world. You’re driven to stay educated and informed. But even the slightest peek at a news site (or worse, social media) opens up a vortex of unlimited stimulation – which is a huge risk to your mindset and productivity.

The sad truth is that no one can “just check in” anymore. Even the best publications live and die on page views, and everything about their design is built to suck you in and keep you clicking. And if you do manage to take a few days off, you risk totally missing something valuable, because the “more more more” of the 24-hour news cycle means a great article might evaporate if you don’t catch it in time.

You’re smart. You’re accomplished. You’re productive. But when it comes to the infinite inputs of media, your brain is working against you. It’s simply impossible to effectively filter the visual, auditory and literary overload without the risk of getting sucked back in to the addiction and anxiety of click-driven news.

We all cope with this challenge in different ways.

Tune out completely, and you risk losing touch with the important events and movements in your world. Try to limit yourself, and you waste precious mental energy fighting a futile neurological battle against every click. Rely on your friends’ Facebook echo chamber, and you’re just screwed.

For eight years, I’ve searched for a neurologically balanced approach to staying informed.

I’m Rob Howard, the author and founder of Hiatus. I’ve spent the last eight years working to bridge the gap between the benefits of a low-information diet and the desire to be a knowledgeable, engaged participant in my democracy and my world.

My background in journalism, publishing and design has taught me that there are great reporters out there telling stories worth reading. The fact that the traditional newspaper and magazine industry has been upended by infinite, inexpensive competition in the Internet age hasn’t changed the value of journalism, but it has made it a hell of a lot harder for an individual to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’m also a web developer and technology entrepreneur with an inside perspective on the business models and design techniques behind click-addicted news. It’s no secret that our digital world is built to light up your brain with constant check-ins and perpetual motion. No matter where you look, no matter what web site or device you’re on, everyone’s angling for one more minute of your time.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with lots of competition or with making money from advertising impressions. The problem is that the result – an environment of infinite inputs and unlimited stimulation – no longer accomplishes the most important goals of the individuals news organizations say they serve. A deep dive into a great publication used to be a thoughtful, deliberate experience. It’s now the neurological equivalent of a sitting down at a shiny, spinning slot machine.

I searched high and low for a solution that could provide me with a slower, calmer, more neurologically balanced experience without resorting to cutting myself off from the events of the world. The challenge is that publications have financial needs – and at the moment, the best way to meet those needs is to turn your web site into a thinly veiled casino. Even if they have the best intentions, there’s no immediate payoff for publications to slow down your engagement. They’re competing in an industry of “more more more.”

That’s why I created Hiatus – to redesign the experience of engaging with your world.

I’ve spent decades building a thriving career as a technology entrepreneur by merging my background in journalism, design and advertising with my passions for web development and lifestyle design. My start-ups have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, TechCrunch, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, and my clients have included Harvard, MIT and The World Bank. Through it all, I’ve spent thousands of hours cultivating a low-information lifestyle that allows me to achieve focus in my personal life and career while staying involved in my community and my world.

Hiatus is the simple, powerful tool I’ve always wished I had.

Introducing Hiatus, a new way to get your news the old-fashioned way.

Hiatus redesigns the experience of reading the news to deliver a slower, calmer, neurologically appropriate balance that keeps you informed without hijacking your brain.

Hiatus is a straightforward, insightful summary of the week’s events, delivered every Thursday.

Every week, I’ll send you a short-and-sweet exploration of current events, in a form that’s easy for you to digest and is specifically designed as a one-time, focused learning experience, with no distractions. Since I don’t care about clicks, I do things differently:

  • No external links to news sites or social media
  • No likes, comments or social sharing
  • No clickbait or over-the-top headlines
  • No advertising or sponsored content
  • No distractions

Each issue will include a briefing on current events – a mix of government, entertainment, business and sports – and an occasional deep dive into a specific focus area or outside resource – such as a book or documentary – that I think is particularly insightful, educational or fun, so you can spend focused time on something that’s truly valuable (and avoid the urge to aimlessly surf).

With Hiatus, you can finally ditch the vortex of unlimited information – without sacrificing your role as an informed, educated, active citizen of the world. And you can stop fighting an endless, unwinnable battle of willpower to reclaim your time and focus – because you know everything you need will be delivered to you in a simple, relaxed, respectful weekly issue.

Every week, Hiatus helps readers stay informed without losing control.

“I had to stop reading the news.”

Over and over, I heard my friends say this. The most engaged, intelligent, honest people I know were being forced to completely check out of current events. They correctly identified that news publications were playing to our worst tendencies – stirring up fear, anger and emotion instead of reason, compassion and compromise – because it drove page views and sold ads.

I also realized that their choice to avoid the news made total sense at an individual level. But with a larger perspective, the result is that our most engaged, knowledgeable citizens are also the ones who reject the media’s presentation of current events – and as a result, most public discourse ends up in the hands of people who embrace and enjoy the fear-, anger- and click-based news cycle.

Some Hiatus readers don’t read any other news – and they’ve told me that every week, when they hear friends chatting or debating about current events, they love the feeling of being informed and knowledgeable without getting trapped in the media black hole.

Other Hiatus readers still read the news, but can finally relax about it. A reader in Colorado told me, “I used to check into the news 10+ times a day during work, now it’s just a couple times a day, and I tell myself that if I miss something, Hiatus will catch me up on Thursday.”

Here’s what some other readers – from across the age, location and political spectrums – have told me about their Hiatus experience:

“It wasn’t biased and kept to the facts, which helps avoid the echo chamber feel.”

“I love the straightforward and non-political aspects of the articles.”

“I am finally up to speed with news instead of my head being in the sand.“

“This morning I read Hiatus to my five-year-old daughter, and we got to talk about so many great learning points!”

“With Hiatus, I don’t wait when it arrives. I read it immediately, because I know I can finish it without investing a huge amount of time. I’m confident that I’m getting straight-forward news with no fluff.”

Creating a calmer, healthier future – one patron at a time.

The way we engage with our world is broken. Whether you’re being bombarded by ads on a news publication or barraged with anger on social media, it’s hard to avoid the sinking feeling that something about the Internet (and by extension, our society) has gone very wrong.

As individuals, we’re faced with a tough question: How do you create meaningful change in a world that seems so far gone?

My answer is simple: Lead by example.

When I created Hiatus, I envisioned a better future — not just for publishing the news, but for the way we interact with each other and with our world. Yes, I’m delivering a unique service to individual readers every week — but that’s just a small part of my mission. The bigger goal is to create both an exemplary publication and an exemplary business. I want to prove that serious, responsible citizens will invest in a calm, focused approach to the news, so that other publishers can see the success of Hiatus as a beacon of hope in a flood of algorithms and anger.

The future is not more ads and more data.

The future is not vicious commenters rubbing salt in partisan wounds.

There’s a better future that we can shape together — and your support is crucial to making that a reality.

By contributing to Hiatus, you’ll receive your weekly briefing, but much more importantly, you’ll be leading by example.

You’ll show advertising-addicted publishers that there’s an audience who’ll pay for quiet, focus and calm.

You’ll show propagandists that there’s a healthy, balanced place where their vitriol doesn’t earn attention.

You’ll show social-media marketers that we don’t need smarter algorithms — we need more humans who actually care about humanity.

And most importantly, you’ll show the people around you that your actions (and your investments) match your words.

I know I’m asking a lot. I know that building a reader-funded publication is new and uncertain ground. But I’m not in this for an overnight success or a million-dollar exit.

If we work together to prove that writers and publishers can earn a living without descending into the media vortex, we make it that much easier for the next publication — and the next one, and the next one — to take the leap too. I can’t set that example alone. But with your help, we can build a powerful audience with a meaningful voice, and prove that there’s money in honesty and simplicity too.

Join the Hiatus mission today, for as little as $1 a month, 100% risk-free. If you decide Hiatus is not right for you – for any reason – within your first 30 days, just send me a message and I'll refund your first month's payment in full.

Become a patron today, and help me make our calmer, healthier future a reality.

Recent posts by Rob Howard

Tiers
The Hiatus Weekly Briefing
$2 or more per month 59 patrons
No links, no likes, no distractions. Just the knowledge you need to be an informed, responsible citizen.  Try it free for 30 days. 


Delivered every Thursday. 100% ad-free.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.

Boost Your Support
$5 or more per month 8 patrons
Support the Hiatus mission of bringing calm and focus to the news by boosting your support for the Hiatus weekly briefing.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.

Supercharge Your Support
$25 or more per month 0 patrons
Support the Hiatus mission of bringing calm and focus to the news by supercharging your support for the Hiatus weekly briefing.


Want to contribute a different amount? Use the Custom Pledge option below.