- HEY - 00:17
- Jason's post announcing HEY World - 00:22
- Signal v. Noise - 00:34
- The dumpster fire project - 2:02
- Jason on HEY World - 3:10
- David on HEY World - 3:13
- "Pick A Fight (on Twitter)," a vintage episode about David's relationship with Twitter - 3:28
- "100% Facebook-Free," our episode about getting Basecamp off Facebook and Instagram - 4:40
- "Two Weeks," our episode about launching HEY and running afoul of Apple - 5:21
- Berkshire Hathaway's website - 18:23
- The.Ink, Anand Giridharadas' newsletter - 18:45
- The Lefsetz Letter - 20:21
- HEY's Screener - 27:20
- HEY's Shield - 27:44
- Basecamp's "Until the end of the Internet" policy - 30:56
- Greymatter - 31:34
- David and Jason talk about how they met via email in this episode - 31:58
The Full Transcript:
[00:00:00] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.
Shaun: [00:00:01] Welcome to Rework, a podcast by Basecamp about the better way to work and run your business. I’m Shaun Hildner.
Wailin: [00:00:07] And I’m Wailin Wong. You know, it’s been a while since we heard from our bosses, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, they are back on the show today to talk about a new feature of HEY, the email service that Basecamp launched last year. This new feature is called HEY WORLD and it is a super simple way to publish a personal blog post.
Shaun: [00:00:27] If you’ve been following Basecamp for a while, you know that writing is a huge part of our company culture. We’ve had that company blog Signal v. Noise since 1999. But now Jason and David have moved their writing over to HEY World, and we’re getting ready to wind down SvN completely. So we sat down with both of them to hear about why they wanted a new home for their writing, and how HEY World is notable for all this stuff it doesn’t offer.
Wailin: [00:00:50] Oh, and you’ll want to listen to the end for a chance to win $1000 American dollars, I am not kidding. Okay, let’s kick things off with Jason.
Shaun: [00:01:08] Can you give us sort of elevator pitch to what HEY World is?
Wailin: [00:01:55] Do you want to just talk about the origins of this idea?
Jason: [00:01:59] The origins actually, in some ways, tie back to the dumpster fire project we did where you could email a dumpster fire. What it sort of kicked off was this idea that email addresses don’t just have to be for people. If you can email a dumpster fire, what else could you email? Well, and this is kind of a leap, but like, why not email the web? Why not just send an email to the web.
[00:02:18] For years, I’ve kind of wanted a personal blog, but it’s just been such a hassle to set up. Like, setting up WordPress, a great product, but a hassle. It’s a lot of work. And so I never really got over the hump of doing it because I just wanted to share something. It was like, ugh, I gotta spend who knows how long getting this set up. Right? We used to write on Medium, but I never had a personal version of Medium because Medium sort of fell out of favor for me because you can write and other people might not see it, because there’s a paywall. There’s all sorts of things, right.
[00:02:44] And so a couple things started merging together. One was like, why not set up email addresses for things other than just people? And what if you could just email the web to write a blog post, essentially. It’s one of those things where people write every single day in email. I don’t know, billions of emails a day. So it’s all easy. Everyone knows how to do it. Everyone can do it. And so if you can just address something to email@example.com, why can’t that just go to the web and be a permanent page? Be like world.hey.com/jason would be my post and world.hey.com/dhh for David’s post.
David: [00:03:14] What I really liked was the idea of getting whatever audience that I have the fuck out of Twitter. Over the years, it’s just sort of happened that way that Twitter has become the outlet to the point where posting on SvN actually felt like a downgrade in some sense, which is bizarre. I mean, we’ve been running SvN for 20 years and when I go to post on SvN, it was sort of like just to have a place to point Twitter at which was uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. I have an extreme love-hate relationship with Twitter. Depending on the day if not even the hour, you asked me whether I think it’s a good idea at all or not. But either way, even if I’m enthusiastically pro-Twitter, having your entire audience in someone else’s basket just seems like a profoundly bad idea.
[00:04:08] And HEY World would essentially put the audience back in my basket, back in Jason’s basket, back and whoever signs up for it, the audience is, quote, unquote, “theirs,” right? It’s just email addresses. You’re not reliant on whether Twitter decides to do something else tomorrow or you grow tired of Twitter, and then all of a sudden you’re just gone from the internet. That was sort of the feeling that I had that if I tomorrow decided, like I did with Instagram, you know what, I’ve had enough. I’m getting off Twitter, I’m deleting my account. That would be difficult from a perspective of like, well, I still want to share what I write and so forth.
[00:04:48] So HEY World was an independence… I was about to say play? I just hate that word so much I’m not gonna say it. An independence rally cry. Let’s build up an audience that’s ours, that exists within our realm, and then we have freedom, even if we choose not to use it, that’s the other thing. I mean, it’s not like I’m getting off Twitter tomorrow, I like, still, some parts of it. And that’s fine. But just knowing that you could is such a reassurance. Realizing, as we did with the whole Apple thing that oh, shit, you know, what? If Apple for whatever reason, decides to kick us off, we’re in real trouble.
[00:05:28] This is the interesting thing about the web, the whole web 1.0 thing is not just about an aesthetic. It’s about an independence that we used to have, right? You owned your own website. You had your own mailing list. And these were sort of your things. You weren’t on someone else’s platform to get kicked off from. The other thing I mentioned in that regard, RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. And back in the day, this is mid-2000s, or something like that. This was how a lot of people consumed blogs. So they would subscribe to them in a, usually a local client. And then Google came along and created something called the Google Reader, which very quickly ended up becoming the dominant platform for reading RSS feeds. And then they killed it. And with that kill, ended up killing essentially RSS as a thing. That is a very short version of the story, but RSS still exist. Podcasts, right? podcast live in this space of not being on a platform, although that is changing a little bit.
Wailin: [00:06:34] Not if Spotify can help it, right?
David: [00:06:35] Exactly. I was just gonna say. But right now, this podcast, it’s an RSS feed, you can subscribe to it in anything. And it’ll work. If Apple decides to delist us from whatever podcast archive they have for some retaliation over whatever else we’re doing. We’re not going to be gone, right? It’s still going to work. That’s what’s special about the web. And I think we’ve lost sight of that over the past at least decade. Now there’s a growing resurgence of that. And that’s good. Newsletters is having a little bit of that same resurgence that no one gave a shit for a very long time, then all of a sudden, like Substack and these other things come out. And people like, actually newsletters, they’re great. They’re not on social platforms, no one’s controlling my reach. I’m not part of an algorithmic, whatever. This is good. This is back. And again, goes back to this web 10 theme that we had so many of the answers, so right in like 1999. We also had a lot of really wrong answers. We flushed most of those out from 2000 to 2001. And now we’re just rediscovering, literally 20 years later that there are good things about it and dig them back up.
Wailin: [00:07:44] As you were developing HEY World did you see it as a replacement for Signal v. Noise? Or did you realize later that this was just something that kind of captured your enthusiasm in a way that SvN might not have done for a long time and was maybe making SvN, like a little bit redundant?
Jason: [00:08:05] It didn’t happen necessarily in concert, but it happened pretty quickly. We haven’t sunsetted SvN, which is our blog, which we’ve been running for 20 years, or whatever. But, I think we’ve sort of lost interest in writing for it. In the last two days, David and I, I think, have written what? Four articles or five articles on HEY World that just wouldn’t have happened in SvN. And sometimes you need to just say, like, we’re done with that, we’re doing this now instead. So we are almost certainly going to retire SvN. In a in a very, you know, noble way. We’re gonna have a page up about it, and a little bit of historical background about the whole thing, but I think that we’re just more enthusiastic about writing for HEY World and that’s where we’re gonna focus our energy.
[00:08:44] Also, and we might change this down the road. But David and I have talked a lot about how companies don’t really have a voice. Even though SvN has individual authors and there’s by lines for individual authors, it is a company blog. And we’re gonna try and go in the other direction for a while, which is just like having personal blogs that different people in the company write. Maybe at some point we build a feature, we can wrap up multiple personal blogs, or have company blogs with different authors have wrapped up in some way with HEY World but we’re not starting there. We’re just starting with the personal side. So it feels like a new experiment for us. It’s rekindling the enthusiasm of writing. It’s like, the best camera you have is the one you have on you, or whatever it is. That’s kind of how this feels, too. We’re writing now. So writing here, that’s what we’re going to do from now on.
Wailin: [00:09:27] Does the writing feel different?
Jason: [00:09:30] It does for me, and I’m trying to figure out why. Part of it is there’s no overhead. So this is a subtle, subtle, subtle thing. But I think it makes all the difference, which is that you’re just writing an email. And we all write emails all day long. We’re comfortable with the editor we use to write in emails, which is HEY, for us. It just feels simpler than logging into WordPress and having tons of options and every time you write there’s a paragraph block you can format. This just feels lighter. Of course it always has that that new blog feel. It’s like, ah, this is kind of nice. And we don’t have much of an audience yet, which is also kind of nice to start out. So for me, it feels lighter, faster, less formal. And I like that quite a bit.
David: [00:10:11] The thing about the lightness to me really relates to experiences I’ve had with other kinds of products. So I just recently got a new Canon camera. It’s a really good camera, and it’s got autofocus. It’s got a million settings. And I was thinking like, I need this for the kids as they’re moving around real fast. And I’ve had the camera now for about a month. And you know what, it’s so good. It does all the things, and I don’t want to take pictures with it. And then I picked up my Leica again my like app is manually focused. It kind of sucks at capturing kids in motion. And you know what, I just I love taking pictures with it. It just, it doesn’t have the things to it.
[00:10:57] And the main thing, actually, that I’m doing most that HEY World doesn’t have is comments. I’ve had an incredibly conflicted relationship with comments. I remember in the early days on SvN, or maybe the mid days, the mid-2000s. We had conversations inside the company, should we turn off comments? Because a bunch of people that the company would post something in the comments would be what internet comments are. Often awful, occasionally insightful, always draining. And I was always on the side. No, no, no, it’s keeping us real. Like you can’t just be in your bubble. We’ve got to let the world in, right?
[00:11:36] And what I found especially then, again, contrasting with just being on Twitter all the time is that listening to other people react to shit on a public stage day in and day out, year in and year out, decade in and decade out. It’s just so fucking exhausting.
[00:11:53] HEY World doesn’t have that. You can reply to an email if you’re signed up for the newsletter. And that’s a completely different experience. I’ve already felt… I’ve only posted like, I don’t know, three things. And I’ve gotten replies. And you know what the replies are nice. I’m not saying that all replies to all newsletters are nice, they’re not. But there’s something completely different about having a conversation with someone that’s not on a fucking stage. And all the other conversations I’ve had about my writing, they’ve been on a stage, and everyone is always, including me, playing to the gallery. Right? Like, it’s not just about trying to convince the other person, it’s sort of your awareness that this is actually a performance, and it’s just exhausting. And it detracts from this feeling of writing.
[00:12:33] I’ve gone through this on Twitter, too. Can I just turn off replies. For all sorts of reasons, it didn’t stick, and I got sucked back into it. With HEY World, it’s sticking, because we literally didn’t build the feature. And we’re not going to. There’s not gonna be comments on it, there’s not gonna be likes on it. There’s not gonna be retweets on it, it’s not going to be a fucking stage for anything except for your writing.
Shaun: [00:12:56] What else is HEY World missing, that people would probably expect from a modern blogging platform?
Jason: [00:13:03] Templates. So you can’t decide how your post looks, it’s just text. It’s basically a typewriter. Search. You can’t search. You don’t name your blog. There’s no name, just you. Image formatting options. It’s whatever you can do an email with HEY, itself, it’s the same as writing an email. And I think that’s the beauty of it.
Wailin: [00:13:23] It only took two weeks to build, right.
Jason: [00:13:26] So it took two weeks, once David jumped on the project to finish it up. Jonas and Tassia had been designing it for a few weeks before that. But all in it’s a very straightforward and simple thing that we’re able to do in less than a cycle. And what ends up happening in most cases in most products is you keep adding more stuff as you get towards the end.
[00:13:44] Here, on the 16th of February, I wrote up something called purifying V1. This is a few days before launch. And this post, we actually decided to cut a bunch of stuff. So we’re gonna take things out, which simplified a variety of things, simplified the UI. David had to write less stuff. And this is the thing, is that I think the way to ultimately ship stuff on time here is for things to get narrower and narrower as you go. Not wider and wider.
David: [00:14:09] The funny thing too, for me about the two weeks was we had originally lined it up for something else, and then that person had something else they had to work on. And then we’re like, we’re just gonna delay it. I was like, no, I want this now. I have like 10 posts in my head that I don’t want to post anywhere else. I want to post them here now. And I was just like, I just started sprinting, actually. Usually we don’t like that word. And I agree why we don’t like that word for all sorts of reasons. But this was a good application for it because I was like, I want to use this now. So we’re going to Judo the hell out of it. As in we’re going to cut all the scope we possibly can and we’re going to V1 at this really hard.
[00:14:48] We cut out like all sorts of stuff, QA, to some extent. I think, because the stakes were so low. This was just for me and Jason in the very early beginning so we could run at a different pace. And we ran at a high pace. Again, not in terms of like working 12, 14 hour days, but just as in cutting the scope really aggressively.
[00:15:08] Part of this whole no QA ended up, when we were then rolling it out, we were gonna silently roll it out or we did silently roll it out. Or rolled it out with Fernando, who’s one of the people are the ops team in the morning that we were going to start using it. And we thought we took down HEY. I was like, Jesus, how did this happen? I thought I checked it. I checked it in beta, checked it in production. I started tweeting, like HEY is down like this was early morning EU time, I was just assuming like emergency comms myself. I was like, fuck, how did we break it? I don’t understand it. Just I’m like, oh, HEY is down. I’m really sorry ugh.
[00:15:45] We went through the whole thing and we realized, HEY, was never down. HEY was down for me and Fernando because we had content that was made with the new version of HEY, that had HEY World in it that was trying to display in the old version of HEY, that didn’t have HEY World in it and then it was breaking. And it was just such a cake in face moment where you’re like, oh, man, did I just like tweet over 100,000 people that our services down and then gave an update about how it was still down. And I was still working on it. And then had to update it, oh, like, sorry, actually it was only down for me and Fernando.
[00:16:19] It’s just a great humbling moment. I kind of love those things after the fact, even though, I mean, we got so far as to call like the code red emergency Zoom call. People got woken up. So that part wasn’t that awesome, I will admit. But, we live.
[00:16:33] This whole project had a really vintage 37signals feel to it. Both in terms of the urgency with which we ran through it, the slimness of the V1, the small amount of code that it had, and then we just ran with it.
Wailin: [00:16:52] One feature of HEY World that I found interesting that I wanted to ask you about is, so I read one of your posts, and then I started scrolling down because in my experience in the web, as you scroll down, you just get served an endless amount of content until you realize five hours has passed. And then you’re like, alright, well, gotta take a sip of water now. And I noticed that at the end of your posts, it just ends. The page just ends. And then if I want to read more of your stuff, I got to go and like click on your profile photo at the top. And then I can see the whole list of posts. And then I can click on the one that looks interesting.
[00:17:28] So was that deliberate, not to have this endless scroll?
Jason: [00:17:30] Yeah, the initial idea. We didn’t even have an index, initially. It was just like individual posts that lived on their own. And then, you know, we thought it would make sense to wrap it up on an individual basis to be able to see all the posts that someone wrote. But yeah, this is not an endless scroll. This is one idea at a time. And if you care to read anything more, you can figure out how. It’s not even that obvious. You have to click on the person’s face at the top or tweak the URL. The main thing is, here’s an article, here’s just someone’s thoughts. Here’s what they wrote. And that’s all there is.
[00:18:41] The other thing that kind of was interesting, I was reading, Anand has this newsletter called The.Ink, which is published on Substack. And I was reading this article about how the American Dream is now in Denmark. It was like two pages, there were like five boxes to sign up for the newsletter. Like every three paragraphs, there’d be a break, and then there’d be a box, like, hey, sign up for the thing. And it was just like, yeah, I don’t want to make that. We don’t even cookie. There’s no fucking cookies. So we don’t even know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re already subscribed, when you go to the web, it’ll still ask, do you want to sign up for the thing? Because there’s no cookies. Literally, the post right now as it stands is, there’s the header, that’s your avatar, your name that clicks back to the index. Then there’s the meat of the post. And then at the bottom, there’s just like, “It’s sent with HEY,” in small text. There’s not even a logo. And the other link is use restrictions. And then there’s a link to report abuse. That’s it.
[00:19:39] HEY World right now, in large part, I think is interesting to people because of all the things it doesn’t do. And the hardest possible thing, this is the thing Jason harps on all the time is, can you stay that simple? Everything usually just attracts shit, right? You launch a new product and it’s a magnet for stuff. And then I think of Craigslist. Craigslist is kind of my idol. I know Jason has gone over how the design is, in many ways, sort of awful in design-y kind of senses but then also just like totally perfect in other senses.
[00:20:14] And then my other role model for this is Lefsetz, I think it’s called is, is it Lefsetz on Music?
Jason: [00:20:19] Lefsetz Letter.
David: [00:20:21] Lefsetz Letter is the only newsletter that I’ve been subscribed to, a little bit on and off, I’ve had to take some breaks, I will admit. On and off for over a decade. And it’s so simple. There’s no trackers in there. There’s no nothing because he used literally 2006 technology. That’s when you sign up for. And he didn’t change it. It never got upgraded, never got changed. And I’m like, that’s inspiring.
[00:20:44] For me, one of the key ways of looking at this is that HEY World is not a platform. It doesn’t want to be a platform. A lot of people said, oh, this is like, Medium.com. No, it’s nothing like Medium.com. Because it’s not a platform. We’re not trying to make this a platform. It’s not like a newspaper we’re curating. I think a lot of the current problems with the internet is that everyone tries to capture a platform. I just want to make a fucking typewriter that’s nice to use. That’s it. The idea that you’re selling someone a tool, and that’s different from publishing their stuff, I think is an interesting experiment, at least. To see could that have different outcomes? And I think that’s one of the reasons I don’t like Facebook, for example. All the shit that’s on Facebook gets pushed in everyone else’s face by an algorithm that finds the most enraging content. The stuff that would keep your eyeballs locked the longest on Facebook, and puts that in front of you, right? So you’re in this constant mode of rage. HEY World has none of it. People were like, hey, if you go to world.hey.com, there’s no index, like, it just redirects to a HEY. Yeah, by design.
Wailin: [00:21:59] At the same time, though, you do have to be mindful of abuse, right? Potential abuse. And it’s more than a typewriter, because we’re also facilitating the distribution of that beyond the literal typewriter. Since we’re publishing online, it’s like instantaneous, and you can reply to that person.
[00:22:19] I wonder if you could talk about the abuse policy that you crafted and how you thought about these issues? Because I think that this is an interesting time to be launching a publishing non-platform.
David: [00:22:34] Yes. And I think what’s interesting here is that we’ve gone further than any other newsletter or publishing platform in that regard. That literally every single post that gets either emailed out, or put on the web on our typewriter paper here, has links at the bottom spelling out use restrictions, and a link to report abuse. It isn’t a perfect parallel. But it’s an experiment, unlike where we end up somewhere else, than this idea of being a platform that’s responsible for amplification, and closer to the typewrite company, or the paper company or anyone else who facilitates the distribution of the written word. I’m interested in this because this is far closer to the scale of the typewriter or the paper manufacturer or anyone else than it is to us publishing op-eds in the newspaper.
Jason: [00:23:28] There’s been some interesting debates internally about how far to go with this. First of all, let’s also say that you have to pay for this to use it. It’s included with your HEY for You account, which is $99 a year. So that’s a little bit different, too. There’s a bit of a hurdle there. We’re also not allowing it to be used on trial accounts. So you can’t sign up for a trial and blast the world with a bunch of terrible things. But we’ve talked about some other things around like, should you have to basically prove that your intentions are to use HEY for email, and then you also get this other feature. So for example, we’ve thought about, what if they have to be a HEY customer for 90 days, and they’ve had to reply to 100 emails. So like, they’re actually here to use HEY. And we probably won’t do that initially. But it’s something we’ve thought about. So we have thought a lot about this. We just don’t also want to make it so onerous that it’s hard just to share and trying to figure out where the where to draw the line there.
[00:24:21] Something I don’t think we have done, but I think we should do. Inside the app, there’s an admin for HEY World. Because we say send an email the world@HEY, and we’ll post it to the web for the whole world to read. At the top of that page, we should probably say, your posts are subject to use restrictions policy linked up here, just to kind of put that also in front of people when they’re writing something.
David: [00:24:43] One of the parallels that I’ve been thinking about is the concept of active versus passive safety. The car company Porsche has long been all about, you know what, it’s great to have 1500 different airbags in your car. But wouldn’t it be better if your car handled so well that you could avoid an obstacle and not crash? And I think there’s something to that concept of having active safety instead of trying to clean up a problem you’ve created. And that’s the part I find interesting about this idea of the typewriter versus the platform, that if you’re not amplifying someone, it’s just a completely different dynamic.
[00:25:24] If you’re not giving someone a pedestal to start shouting their shit, it’s different. When I lived in Chicago, I’d walk downtown and there’d be this guy yelling about like, the end of the world in some religious terms or something. And people just looked at that and went like, okay, and then they walked on, because no one was giving him a TV show with 10 million viewers, right? They weren’t giving him that platform, they weren’t giving him that distribution. If that’s how you build things instead, such that people who just want to spout shit, they don’t get any help from you to make that travel. I think that’s the parallel to active safety.
[00:26:01] Rather than building an oh, we’re hiring 30,000 content, moderators at Facebook or so on? Why do you have to hire 30,000 content moderators? Like, what is it about your business model and your setup that requires an entire army if not a small country of moderators to make it work? Right? That’s some serious passive safety on an unavoidably inherently unsafe platform.
Shaun: [00:26:27] Samuel Chambers, by the way.
Wailin: [00:26:28] Who’s Samuel Chambers?
Shaun: [00:26:30] The State Street preacher, that’s out front of Old Navy, since 1969.
Wailin: [00:26:36] Oh, wow. Good for him.
Shaun: [00:26:37] We need to give him a blog, is what we need to do.
Shaun: [00:26:41] You know, you had mentioned that you’ve gotten a few email responses to your posts, and they’ve all been nice. And maybe there’s something to the idea that when you have to type a personal response, that’s not a performative dunk on someone. That maybe that kicks in some kind of filter, where you’re like, okay, I’m gonna be more reasonable than I would be otherwise.
[00:27:05] And then I was thinking about how I actually don’t think this experience for a lot of women and people from marginalized backgrounds who, if you look at their inbox, they get like the worst kinds of like abuse and harassment that goes right to them. But then I was thinking that if you’re a HEY customer, you have The Screener, and maybe you could have someone else even look at your screener. Anyway, I’m just thinking out loud, but it seemed maybe the combination of having like The Screener there would provide like a little bit of a buffer even for people who do get a lot of very personal abuse leveled at them privately.
David: [00:27:36] Huge. Huge. And I think this is why it pairs so well together. And not only do we have The Screener, we also have something else we call the Shield that, I’ve talked to a lot of journalists. Over the summer, I was talking to one in particular who was just getting a torrent of abuse for talking about Bitcoin and other things. In the conversations with her this idea that sometimes you get mail bombed, right, like, it’s not even just an individual sending you an email, or maybe there’s 100 of those, maybe there’s even 1000s. There are people who just like, I’m gonna screw with you. And I’m just gonna send you 100,000 emails.
[00:28:15] Actually, when HEY first launched both Jason I got mail bombed. And this was one of the things I was talking to the journalist about was that she was saying, when she writes something like that, her email basically stops working. Because if you use a normal email system, like Gmail, or whatever, all the emails just flow into the same box. She was like, I can’t even use email. That went straight into the thinking of this. Both, The Screener protects, like your so called real email, right? And that Screener might have, as it did for Jason and me when we first launched, like, it literally had 100,000 things in it. But our email continued to work, anyone we’ve screened in could still email us. So that all worked.
[00:28:51] And then The Shield is our… I think it’s hey.com/shield, is our concierge service, essentially, for anyone who’s facing abuse. We will clean it up, too. If you have 100,000 mail bombs in your thing, we will clean it up. If you’re facing abuse of any kind, we will clean it up, and we will investigate it. So we can’t solve the internet. That’s the other thing, right? You’ve got to accept the limitations of what’s possible here. But if you have multiple layers and rings of defenses, you can make it so much better than what it is.
[00:29:23] And I think that’s sometimes the dichotomy that’s being put out there like well, either we have to make the whole internet permission-based and everyone should ask if they can, or there’s nothing we can do. No, there’s so much room in the middle for just making, A: getting email replies is better than getting internet comments. So that’s one ring of defense. Doesn’t solve the whole thing. The Screener, okay, means you can still receive emails, even if you’re getting feedback, okay. And then if you’re getting like torrents of abuse, then you could still rely on a continuous service like The Shield. That’s three layers of protection that means that like maybe there’s 2% of the abuse left that you would otherwise have faced. If you had posted something publicly on the internet, you would have gotten like 100 times or maybe even 1000 times more. And that’s just the sort of realistic help we can offer.
Shaun: [00:30:13] Can we end with sort of your feelings about the upcoming end of SvN?
Jason: [00:30:18] I have no feelings about it, to be honest. No, truly, like, I don’t.
Wailin: [00:30:21] I knew you were gonna say that.
Jason: [00:30:24] Well, I mean, it’s just, it’s a blog. I mean, look. I’ve been writing it for longer than anybody else has, like, it’s over. And that’s cool. That’s fine. It’s good. And by the way, we can always bring it back. Let’s just call it a hiatus that could last—an indefinite hiatus. And that makes a little bit easier to absorb. I think.
David: [00:30:40] Signal v. Noise has literally run since 1999. What gets to run 20 years? I mean, I think we made it pretty far without going to complete trash. And in fact, it didn’t go to complete trash, it just kind of petered out. And also, the whole until the end of the internet, like the original pages was still there. I linked to SvN posts from like 2003, and 2004 and 2005 all the time. This is the wonderful thing about the internet. It keeps working. As long as we host the files, they’re still there. This is why the web is the greatest publication and application platform that’s ever been devised. It keeps running on your browser in 2021. Isn’t that fantastic?
Jason: [00:31:23] Sometimes I’ll go on DuckDuckGo and search for like an old post and we’re linking to some old version of SvN. With an old design. All the stuffs there. I mean, there’s some stuff that’s gone from the early, early, early days when we used to run on something called Greymatter, which is like one of the earliest CMS things for blogs. But a lot of it’s still around. It’ll stick around. There’s nothing lost, so it doesn’t feel like a loss.
Shaun: [00:31:45] Sure.
Wailin: [00:31:46] We’re only missing the post where you asked for help with PHP and met David.
Jason: [00:31:49] Yeah, I don’t know where that is.
David: [00:31:50] Man, that is such a treasure of a post that I can’t believe it’s lost.
Jason: [00:31:54] It’s gotta be… I mean, we gotta look in the Wayback Machine this got it’s got to be there, somehow.
Shaun: [00:31:58] This was the post that caused David to first write to Jason right?
David: [00:32:02] Yes.
Jason: [00:32:02] Yes.
David: [00:32:02] This is how the whole thing got started. Me writing Jason from Denmark. Jason didn’t know who the hell I was. I was just a person writing on the internet. And here we are 20 years later. It’d be amazing if we could find that. That’s a call to all internet sleuths out there.
Jason: [00:32:18] Yeah, we should actually put a reward out.
David: [00:32:20] Exactly. A reward.
Jason: [00:32:21] 1,000 bucks. Let’s do it. $1,000.
Wailin: [00:32:23] Okay.
David: [00:32:23] Boom.
Wailin: [00:32:24] Okay.
Jason: [00:32:25] Find the original post that I wrote about asking for PHP help that David responded—oh, you wouldn’t know that David responded because he emailed me. But some clues. PHP, there’s like a book database thing. The issue, I think, was pagination.
David: [00:32:39] 2001 is when it was published. In, I think, Fall. Maybe September or something.
Jason: [00:32:47] Find it. $1000 for the first person.
Shaun: [00:32:47] All right, fun.
Wailin: [00:32:48] Okay. $1,000. Terms and conditions apply.
Shaun: [00:32:52] That also goes for finding Wailin lost LiveJournal, right?
Wailin: [00:32:55] Oh, yeah, no one’s ever found my LiveJournal. No one’s ever found my LiveJournal.
[00:33:01] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.
Shaun: [00:33:06] Rework is produced by Wailin Wong and me Shaun Hildner. Music for the show is by Clip Art.
Wailin: [00:33:10] If you find this last Signal v. Noise, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Rework Contest in the subject line. The first person that sends us a verifiable working link is the winner. Remember, that’s email@example.com with Rework Contest in the subject line.
Shaun: [00:33:31] You can read Jason’s HEY World posts at world.hey.com/jason. David is at world.hey.com/dhh. Our show is on the worldwide web at rework.fm, where you can find show notes and transcripts for all of our episodes.
Wailin: [00:33:47] We’re also working on a Signal v. Noise retrospective. So if you have a favorite memory you’d like to share or let’s say you are a longtime anonymous commenter who would like to finally unmask yourself, leave us a voicemail at 708-628-7850 or record a voice memo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that voicemail number is 708-628-7850.