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    Readup is a social reading platform. No ads. No distractions. No liking or upvotes. We help you pay attention to what matters: reading.

    blog.readup.comBill Loundy2/8/214 min
    60 reads36 comments
    9.7
    blog.readup.com
    60 reads
    9.7
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    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      5 months agoWriter

      Finally, Readup has a Manifesto. ✊ I'd love to know what you think.

      My goal here was to say what we're all about, instead of what we're not all about ("move fast and break stuff," being evil.. you know) and also let go of some of the talking points that are starting to feel old. I'm so done thinking and talking about clickbait, fake news, echo-chambers - all that crap. Readup isn't fixing the past, we're building the future. Reading is the future.

      In the coming weeks (as we gear up to launch some seriously huge updates that are going to completely transform this whole thing -- Paid Readup, basically) we're going to tighten up all of our documentation across the board, including our Mission, Core Values, How it Works, FAQ, etc. So the timing seemed right here.

      Then again, I guess it's always a good time to have a conversation about Why?

      • KaylaLola5 months ago

        Oh, Bill I miss you so much after reading this. I can just feel your heart opening up and begging us to do the same <3 I’m so grateful to have Readup in my life.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          5 months agoWriter

          ❤️❤️❤️

      • jamie5 months ago

        Because..... Just because. and... It is time to turn off and tune in.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          5 months agoWriter

          “Turn off and tune in” is interesting. You mean giving up screens? God knows I’ve spent enough time thinking about that in the last few years.

          I initially had a paragraph that started with “Readup is the closest thing to being offline when you’re actually online” but it felt like the wrong place for an anti-screen manifesto (obviously) and because Readup doesn’t have offline mode yet, which I thought might confuse people.

          Regardless, to me, Readup does have this element of ‘tuning off, out, and in’ that you describe. Reading does exactly that to us.

          • thorgalle
            Top reader this weekScoutScribe
            5 months ago

            All we gotta do is wait for the Readup Reader™️ e-ink device :)

            Or invest in Kindle rooting & custom firmware development (though that would probably not be legal, and thus neither advisable nor scalable).

            Or, most realistically, start a partnership with an e-ink general-purpose tablet manufacturer. This Google search returns at least the Onyx Boox Note. Sad that most (all?) e-readers have closed ecosystems :/

            1. Update (2/10/2021):

              I read up on this a bit. When Readup is on Android we're covered already, Chinese innovation made sure of that.

            • bill
              Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
              5 months agoWriter

              Cant wait.

              I have a running joke with Jeff (not entirely a joke) that my ultimate "end game" (10 years from now?) is to have a Readup Reader and get rid of literally all other digital/internet technology (including email, smart phone, flip phone, everything) and live in a tree.

    • thorgalle
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      5 months ago

      200% YES to all of this. Except maybe, I have to agree with what Pegeen is saying.

      I wondered sometimes: what if the subscriptions eventually fail to make Readup a healthy business? You can't keep investing your time without return. One thought is that even with little to no growth, you might be able to maintain Readup rather than grow it. Charge a voluntary or mandatory contribution from Readers. Don't share that with writers. That could be "sustainable". It could stretch Readup's life some years, maybe a decade.

      But at the same time, I also think that stagnation equals decay in tech. Without the capacity to change, things can only go backwards. That's why I agree: Readup has to grow in order to stay true to its purpose.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        5 months agoWriter

        stagnation equals decay in tech

        True. And not just in tech. Stagnation equals decay in everything, everywhere.

    • monstertuck5 months ago

      Growth will be a result of our success, but growth itself is not the goal.

      I love this. I’ve been thinking about capitalism recently. Why are we forced to grow? Why do companies have to grow to be successful? Why can we not create sustainable businesses that cover their costs, meet and exceed customer needs and be done?

      I think that growth will come, and perhaps it will be a hockey stick but even if it is more of a low angle ramp I think it’ll come. It doesn’t need to be a fancy marketplace, but it can’t be. And Readup can grow with the community to meet their needs without becoming a behemoth that spins of more and more revenue year after year.

      1. Update (2/10/2021):

        but it can be*

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        5 months ago

        Beautiful.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          5 months agoWriter

          agreed

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        5 months agoWriter

        truly eloquent. i have thought about this comment at least 2 or 3 times since i first read it yesterday. 🆙🆙🆙

    • Pegeen
      Reading streakScoutScribe
      5 months ago

      Bill I love almost every word of this manifesto. What I’m tripping over is your “corporate strategy.” For me, this paragraph is confusing. And it does sound way too Zen. I feel Readup IS a solution to a MAJOR problem. But you and Jeff have a problem too. Advertisement free reading, a huge part of your manifesto, means you need revenue - you NEED to make a living so you can continue to provide this service. Readup HAS to grow. And I don’t have any fears that it will change the quality of it’s community. What I fear most is that Readup will not survive due to lack of growth.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScout
        5 months ago

        Good catch! Our actual strategy was already laid out in a previous blog post. After reading this a second time I think that whole paragraph you cited should just be cut all together. It doesn't really say anything and I think the whole thing reads better without it.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          5 months agoWriter

          Yep!

          • DellwoodBarker
            Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
            5 months ago

            Great Discussion.

            Personally reading that paragraph says:

            ReadUp is not driven by status quo dollar sign hypnosis eyes which speaks volumes and I Imagine as The Way of the Future in Revolutionary, Forward-Being Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation.

            The paragraph just solidified for me that you’ve got your Hearts in the right place.

            That said, as a ReadUp Reader who joins the Community in Support of Full Vision. I am so Excited for RU to Grow and for you guys to reap the Phenomenal Rewards of Hard Work on a platform that helps people and society.

            My Brain Thanks You 🙌

        • Pegeen
          Reading streakScoutScribe
          5 months ago

          Thanks. I learned how to read deeply on Readup!

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        5 months agoWriter

        I so agree! Especially this is something I relate to on a really emotional level:

        What I fear most is that Readup will not survive due to lack of growth.

        “Fear” is a strong word, but it really fits here.

        There’s a difference between corporate “culture” and corporate “strategy” and you identified an obvious spot where I’m mixing things up. Same thing has happened in the past when I’m talking about “going slow” as an answer to everything when, of course, it’s not. It can still be a really helpful value/idea, without being a way to do everything. Sometimes it’s crunch time. Sometimes it’s reflect time.

        • Pegeen
          Reading streakScoutScribe
          5 months ago

          Bill, it took me over an hour to write that comment! I struggled with every word because I know it’s emotional with you. And I’m relieved you understood what I was saying. The only reason I was able to tell my truth about your article was because you asked for it. And also because I care deeply about you, Jeff and Readup.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            5 months agoWriter

            Ahh! On an personal level, we have so much in common.

            I have many friends who are starting companies and I sometimes think deep down that they're doing something very wrong, or even that they're destined to fail. It's a horrible feeling. In some cases, I have told them. In some cases, I have not. It depends on a million circumstances and the emotion in the moment.

            When I choose to not give tough/real feedback, I leave the conversation like omg thats obviously happening to me too! And: People tell me they think we're on the right track, but secretly they think all of this is insane.

            Self awareness is so hard. It requires having real, deep (and sometimes super hard) connections with people who really know you.

            Also, I had no clue you took so long to write that comment, but it proves something obvious: Attention and thoughtfulness yield true, meaningful insights.

            Truth matters. Also, truth and "easy" have nothing to do with each other. But truth and "work" are siblings.

            Last thing, this wasn't even that tough of feedback!! lol. Jeff's totally right, it's a paragraph thats so easy to scratch.

            PS jeff reviews my blogs and usually scratches 1 or 2 weird/bad/wrong paragraphs. I should have pushed him because with this Manifesto he was just like "love it! ship it" ... lol, probably wanted to get back to his job, hacking away on Readup subscriptions.

            Big love, big hug. ❤️

    • Florian5 months ago

      So much good stuff in there, Bill! Right now this one seems the most important and relevant to me:

      We reject the increasingly superficial rapid-fire daily news cycle and the tendency that it has to promote herd-mentality along ideological and political lines.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        5 months agoWriter

        🆙

        Lol, I actually cut out two more paragraphs about the awfulness of bipartisanship, binaries, etc. It felt like a frustration unique to someone living in the USA. So glad you dig!

    • EZ19695 months ago

      This rings very true to my experience of ReadUp. My best online reading experiences have happened here.

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        I second that!

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          5 months agoWriter

          🔥

    • danielw5 months ago

      Growth will be a result of our success, but growth itself is not the goal.

      This is what I am most worried about. One of the most valuable things in Readup is the selection of thoughtful articles and respectful discussion. I worry what happens when the community gets larger.

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        I understand that feeling. It's hard to imagine Readup as it is today with thousands of active Readers. But that's the thing: Readup will grow with the growth. Readup will thoughtfully adapt itself to a larger community.

        Things will definitely be different. There will also be some some things we miss from today. But I'm hopeful that overall, growth and change will be a net positive. And I believe that Readup will be able to overcome the challenges it will face, and upkeep the values and commitments in this manifesto.

        • danielw5 months ago

          I sure hope so.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            5 months agoWriter

            Me too! And, on this topic, I’m feeling significantly more confident than I felt, say, a year ago.

            Regardless, it’s a seriously interesting (dare I say fun!) problem to solve. And keep solving, as we keep changing.

            When I was a PM at Couchsurfing (responsible for all marketing and community mgmt stuff) there was this really complicated dichotomy within the global CS community: half the community wanted to grow grow grow (“CS should take over the world! We need more hosts! More surfers!” Etc) and half the community wanted to stop growing (“This is losing it’s soul; it’s getting to big”). At that point we were 6 million members globally.

            Point is, I realized: Couchsurfing was a movement that would grow (and, healthfully lose some people along the way) according to it’s own schedule. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to pretend and communicate like we had any control over it. That’s not to say that there aren’t obvious things that companies can do to accelerate or halt growth, but there’s still some value in letting go the right amount. Does that make sense?

    • bartadamley
      Top reader this week
      5 months ago

      Our objective is to make reading online feel more like reading a book.

      I think any of us who use Readup can vouch for this. My time reading digitally has skyrocketed due to my use of Readup. The beauty of it too is no matter what date the article is from, all articles are formatted in the same minimal style.

      Which makes Reading online so enjoyable.

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeReading streakScout
      5 months ago

      That’s why reading a book feels so different from “reading” through tweets or emails. Indeed, scientists have proven the distinction on a neurological level. Deep reading is good for your brain, and “surfing” the web is not an adequate replacement. Thus, our objective is to make reading online feel more like reading a book.

      Overwhelmed by the information and decrease in attention span have led to increase in consumption of bite-sized content in the form of Twitter threads, Instagram posts/stories, TikTok, etc. Everything has become Game of Content.

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        Must read about the Game of Content! Starred ⭐️

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeReading streakScout
      5 months ago

      Just like exercise or healthy eating, reading has intrinsic value. Beyond the fact that it can be enjoyable and fulfilling in the moment, reading confers a long list of long-term emotional and mental benefits to the reader.

    • danielw5 months ago

      I like it!

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      5 months ago

      Distractions destroy reading.

      I did not Fully Grasp how True this is until deleting social media accounts and RU immersion. Life-changing.

      Wherever we are is where we’re meant to be and however big we are is how big we’re meant to be. This is more than a zen mantra; it’s the closest thing to a “corporate strategy” that we’ve got.

      One of the Most Refreshing aspects of RU.

      Nobody can tell you what’s right or wrong, fact or fake, and we find it alarming when any network, publisher, or platform even suggests that they can solve that problem for you. They can’t.

      🎯💯🎯