For anyone wondering why development has been a bit slow on recent features like email subscriptions and our different apps, here’s a bit of explanation. Basically, we’re getting ready to move into an interesting new space as a company that’ll really help ensure we’re here to stay.
[…] we’re finally settling into a very interesting use case we’ll be pursuing next: knowledge-sharing within businesses and organizations […]"
To be completely honest, my first reaction is that I am a bit disappointed . That is a huge switch of focus, IMHO. Teams use a blog in a very different way than a blogger would and would stress different features, and collaboration is much more important.
I totally understand that financial stability if the company is of the utmost important, as without it, none of these projects go anyway as people need to be paid and need to live of something .
But it feels like you guys are spread too thinly on too many projects. Maybe my thoughts are perceived as harsh, if it comes across that way I apologize beforehand, its not my intention. I just try to describe what I see, as a customer and from an external view:
- The idea of jot.as was floated around and people were asked for feedback, but so far no one if it will be a product or not, with what timeline etc.
- The draft.as project idea came up, and peopler were asked for feedback. But so far no word on the state or a timeline (something like “dont even think about it before Q3 2020” would be totally fine)
- Improvements on snap.as were announced and the services stayed more or less the same (and the idea of having snap.as as a completely separate product have been abandoned if I understand it correctly).
- It was said that write.as would see improvements, people were asked for feedback and thoughts, but so far only two new features (editor, subscribe to posts) have been implemented. I don’t see an official roadmap for new features, only two or three different kanban boards that are linked on different pages and/or conversations, which are very confusing to the external view.
So, I am confused, I dont know what to expect, a (maybe even revised) vision statement would be great, and I would love to have some clear communication, with a rough roadmap and intended features for each project. If some projects wont be implemented this year, or next, that is fine. Sometimes stuff happens and projects need to be shuffled around, some might turn out unfeasible etc. But communication is key here in my opinion.
If Santa would grant me one wish, I would ask for a simple
stateoftheunion.write.as page with a quick status for each project (maybe, “In Development”, “Idea”, “Done” and a sentence or two), with a list of features that you want to implement, maybe even with a rough estimation ("Feature XYZ – Est. Delivery Q3 2020). That page would have a “Last Updated” timestamp and it would get reviewed every quarter. That would be neat!
I hope that I can look back a month from now and I will think “Damn, your first reaction was totally wrong”. We will see. I will stick around till my subscription ends in November.
No bad blood or bad intentions or anything, maybe its just not a “match” when it comes to expectations. Maybe it is a case if “it’s not you, it’s me!”
Sounds to me like having this big opportunity could help bolster the platform, and provide the funding needed to deliver the add-ons and expansions to the single user accounts.
However, I think a confirmation, especially to subscribed / paying members that the Teams project will not impact or drastically affect the direction and usability of the single user Write.As would be reassuring.
I feel a lot of us moved away from the “corporate” platforms over to places like write.as because of the focus on the individual, and the distraction-free emphasis.
I have to agree that some form of roadmap as mentioned by @jason would be great too. Draft.as and posting to blogs on the mobile app are two things I’m sorely hopeful for!
Anyway, definitely exciting times.
I appreciate the input! It’s helpful to know your perspective.
@jason I definitely understand that it might look like we’re doing 1,000 things at once, but while there is a lot going on for us, we’re very focused
My goal in sharing the ideas for Jot.as, Draft.as, etc. was to see what might be worth pursuing, and in which order. I then try to take those ideas and figure out how they fit into the overall picture of our app suite, which changes with time, changes in the market, and our own progress. This process of course takes time – as does actually building the things. I try to make it clear that we’re just gathering ideas because we have other priorities at the moment, but maybe this was my fault for making it seem like any of these products are coming anytime soon.
So, today it’s safe to assume that none of these add-on products will come within the next two years. Our focus for the foreseeable future is on Write.as / WriteFreely and Snap.as (note: it will work as a separate product in the near future – that hasn’t been abandoned).
But I do like the idea of publishing a single, polished roadmap. It would have to be vague and make no promises, because we need to remain flexible. But it could at least explain the various stages we’re at with our different products, so everyone knows what to expect.
You can rest assured the only impact will be a better experience for you.
As you mention, this new direction will directly fund our bigger vision and ensure our sustainability. And again, Teams and the single-user Write.as experience share the exact same underlying software, WriteFreely. I’m very wary of this software losing its focus to cater to a single audience, and we’ve held that line pretty well (I think) over the past 4 years. So if you’ve trusted us with that so far, I’d say you can safely continue doing so.
Again, I appreciate you both sharing your concerns. Let me know if anything is still unclear.
I’m very curious as to something that would be made for teams. I’ve seen several companies in the past post about how they used a blog internally for various communication.
- Github - Team - https://zachholman.com/posts/github-communication/
- Automatic(wordpress) - P2 - https://ma.tt/2009/05/how-p2-changed-automattic/
- Zapier - Async - https://zapier.com/blog/remote-team-management/
Many others using something like discourse to do the same.
Very curious what write.as for teams would look like and if anything of this sort.
Yep, it’ll share these exact use cases. Besides the interest we’ve seen from people outside of Write.as, using it internally with our fully-remote team recently has shown it’s a nice tool for this.
Awesome looking forward to seeing how it turns out! I work on a remote team in a semi distributed company and we recently started using discourse forum to do some of this. But would love a more focused tool.
Very cool. I’d definitely like to get your feedback if you’re interested in using it with your team when we launch.
To start off, I imagine it’ll be more of a complement for things like your existing forum. But over time as our other apps develop, they’ll help support more kinds of communication and integrate with Teams, just like they do with Write.as / WriteFreely. Improvements for everybody
Definitely interested! We’re software devs so people either love or hate when we give feedback.
But we do like to help out by giving feedback to other companies we like.
I’m subscribed to your blog and will here on announcements so I can be sure to check it out.