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Tag Archive for ‘Jason Fried’

Changes at Basecamp ➝

Jason Fried, announcing some policy changes they’ve made at Basecamp:

No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account. Today’s social and political waters are especially choppy. Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant. You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target. These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work. It’s become too much. It’s a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It’s not healthy, it hasn’t served us well. And we’re done with it on our company Basecamp account where the work happens. People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can’t happen where the work happens anymore.

They got a lot of heat for this. I guess people really like political discussions at work or something.

But I think it’s a positive change and will result in a much more pleasant environment for all of the folks at Basecamp. Personally, unless it’s directly related to your work, I think you should avoid political discussions on employer-run communication channels.

If you feel the need to voice your opinions on such matters, there’s plenty of other places to share it. Start a weblog, publish it on Twitter, or write about it on Substack — there’s an endless sea of options.

I think this bit from David Heinemeier Hansson adds a bit more context behind these decisions:

But more so than just whether I think that’s productive or healthy, a significant contingency of Basecamp employees had been raising private flags about this as well. Finding the discussions to be exactly acrimonious, uncomfortable, unresolved. Yet feeling unable to speak up out of fear that they’d have an accusatory label affixed to their person for refusing to accept the predominant framing of the issues presented by other more vocal employees.

Which gets to the root of the dilemma. If you do indeed strive to have a diverse workforce both ideologically and identity wise, you’re not going to find unison on all these difficult, contentious issues. If you did, you’d both be revealing an intellectual monoculture and we wouldn’t be having these acrimonious debates.

Whether you think it’s important to share thoughts on politics and societal issues or not, it’s definitely unhealthy to create an environment where colleagues feel backed into a corner on contentious matters that aren’t work related.

It’s easy to have the knee-jerk reaction — to be frustrated about these changes because we all want the world to be a better place. But I think most, after a bit of pondering, can recognize that the individuals within Basecamp can continue advocating for the issues that are most important to them. They simply aren’t afforded an audience of colleagues that just want to get their work done without being faced with all of the world’s most difficult problems.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

‘Hey, World!’ ➝

Jason Fried:

Email is the internet’s oldest self-publishing platform. Billions of emails are “published” every day. Everyone knows how to do it, and everyone already can. The only limitation is that you have to define a private audience with everything you send. You’ve gotta write an email to: someone.

So I thought, why not expand the possibilities here? Of course still let email be email, but what else could email be?

The folks at Hey.com are experimenting with a weblog publishing platform where your email client is the editor. It’s an interesting idea. It is worth noting that other platforms already have this as an option. But I get it, they have their own take on the idea.

I am curious how editing an entry would work, though. On WordPress, if you were to publish by email, you still have an editor you can go to for changes after publishing. Would this service offer something like that?

It would be weird if that wasn’t option, but truthfully, anything that gets more people publishing is good for the web.

Andy Nicolaides, on the announcement:

A blogging platform in this style will also remove one of the elements that always feels like a bit of a blocker for me, the design and naming of my blog. I’m consistently unhappy with the design of any blog I make, and then when I do write I spend too much time worrying about adding images and making it look nice instead of just getting the words out / down.

In addition to the publishing by email, HEY World is also de-emphasizing the design of your site. Their thinking is that it causes too much friction. I can understand the sentiment, but fortunately that isn’t something that has been too much of a barrier for me personally.

Back to Jason:

For now, this remains an experiment. I’ve got my own HEY World blog, and David has his. We’re going to play for a while. And, if there’s demand, we’ll roll this out to anyone with a personal @hey.com account. It feels like Web 1.0 again in all the right ways. And it’s about time.

I’m not a Hey.com user, but I am excited to see where this goes. And speaking more broadly, there does feel like something neat is happening right now. An undercurrent of interest in moving away from the existing social media sites. I hope many will move to publishing on their own domain, but at the very least, it would be nice to see the Facebooks and Twitters of the world shrink a little bit — both in active users and influence.

➝ Source: world.hey.com