Newsletter #95

500K views on Unsplash. Now what? | ChatGPT quality concerns | The story of an iconic logo | How the old web looked like | The Metaverse fail | A ChatGPT alternative | and more

Greetings from Vienna. Enjoy the summer wherever you are. No matter your location, I hope you find some interesting links below. Here are some of my highlights:

  • Social: Threads by Meta still on
  • Growth experiment: How much traffic does Unsplash bring to your website?
  • Branding: One iconic logo and a failed X


Hello to 10 new subscribers. 👋 I’m Rolf from Fresh van Root. This newsletter features content and apps at the intersection of AI, marketing, productivity, tech, content creation, and social media – for curious minds. 

🧠 Hand-Picked Content

Social Media: Threads? You Will Come Back! (Article, 5min)

From fastest growing app ever to failed app in a couple of months? Not so fast! Meta constantly adds new features or promises to ship the most requested ones soon. One essential feature requested was the “following” feed, which allows you to see only posts from accounts you follow and makes the app more usable. But the most significant driver for Threads is Musk, who keeps destroying Twitter, and therefore its users want a rival to succeed, and Threads is positioned best right now to benefit from that. More

  • Bonus: A starter guide for Threads, featuring a survey polling 300 people. More

Technology: Are Answers By ChatGPT Getting Worse? (Article, 10min)

Users complained on Reddit that answers by ChatGPT got worse. Provided solutions to math problems, restructuring text and coding advice deteriorated over the last few months, especially with GPT-4. The research and products by Open AI are closed source, so there is no public knowledge about how the algorithms work. More

Metaverse: Biggest fail in tech history? (Article, 5min)

Hundreds of millions to gain a handful of active users. That was the Metaverse. Zuckerberg silently buried it. You see him only raving about Threads lately. This write-up summarizes the big announcements, brands, and architects who jumped on the Metaverse train – and burned money. More

Design: The Story Of The NASA Logo (Blog, 5min)

It’s one of the most iconic logos, and it gets printed on sweaters, t-shirts, caps, and much more for years. But who created the NASA logo? You can read this post to learn about the history and people involved in creating the logo. More

Web Culture: The Looks Of The Old Web (Mastodon Account)

Time flies. Do you remember what the first commercial web pages looked like? This Mastodon account shares screenshots of 30yr old web pages and triggers feelings of nostalgia. More

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Productivity: Notion Alternative anytype

Notion blends between note-taking, project management software, team-wiki, and more. It defined a new product category and triggered many developers to create “Notion-like” products. anytype is one of them. It’s a (currently) free Notion alternative, having a similar user experience. It claims better security and better offline availability. It lacks collaboration features right now, so it’s aimed for personal use, but overall already a polished product. Screenshot | More

Generative AI: Define Your Own Prompts

Typeblock is a no-code tool that allows you to build and publish your custom AI app on the web. By now, you have heard that by adding more details to your prompt, like target audience, tone of voice, target platform, and more, the output will be different (better). With Typeblock, you can set up custom forms to generate the advanced prompt in the background. This could help A) save time and B) ensure that your not-so-advanced colleagues still get proper results. Typeblock is still a very young product in the category of AI helper tools, and we will see more of it in the future. More

Generative AI: ChatGPT Alternative

Claude AI is a new product (from Anthropic) competing with ChatGPT and Google Bard. We took it for a test, and our first impressions were good. Feature-wise, it is behind ChatGPT – it has no plugin marketplace, and the interface is very simplistic. But it is great to see that we got more options. The service is officially only launched in the US and UK, but you can bypass that limitation using a VPN connection. Screenshot | More

Bonus tip: ProtonVPN is a great VPN service. More

Creators: Pixelate Images

A fun way to turn an existing image into a pixelated version using this ASCII tool. 1min demo | More

📣 Fresh van Root

Freshblog: Results From Our Unsplash Growth Experiment Are In

We got 500K views on Unsplash, but how much traffic did it drive to our website? You can learn about that in our newest blog post. More

🏞️ Work Weeks During Summer

via Reddit

Browser Game Oh Yeah!

If you like Tetris, or other games involving arranging blocks, you might like Blocks. Drag and drop blocks into the empty square. You will figure out the rest. More

🖼️ Rebranding Twitter To X

Twitter and Tweets entered the Zeitgeist and our language years ago. And this rebrand will go down as one of the biggest failed ones in history.