October 4, 2021
No big news, since I spent most of this past week trying to clean up the slate for the Q3 -> Q4 transition. A smattering of updates this week, then:
- I got the big subscriber views transition over the wire this past weekend! Around 85% of Buttondown's pageviews are going through the new, HTML-based views: that remaining 15% is attributable to folks on custom domains (which had a now-fixed bug) and folks with custom CSS (who I need to manually ask to audit their CSS and then migrate over.) I am going to probably be very negligent at driving down the latter camp to 0 so I can finally unship the old code.
- I tweeted about the Q4 roadmap! This roadmap looks different than the one I mentioned last week (or was it two weeks ago?) I realized that pulling in ergonomics and bug fixes was, while admirable, useless: that's the stuff I do anyway. Really what I struggle with is narrowing down specific features to work on in a period, and so I culled things down to just the feature-level work. This makes things easier from a marketing perspective and I think, from a prioritization perspective. I haven't started any of these yet, but this week will lightly start with an easy victory: improving the public archive list.
- I purchased newletter.new for $500. My fiancé is not pleased with me, but I actually think this is a good idea: I can have this redirect to the demo once that's live, and there's something vaguely alluring about a
.newdomain. Buttondown's marketing & positioning has really matured around being "just a newsletter tool" — no ecosystem, no multichannel, just newsletter-ing, and this fits that vision well.
- I open sourced the documentation site, and the blog will likely follow suit later this week. So far this has not been a big deal: I tweeted once about it and that's it, with no traffic. I think this will be a good long-term play for traffic, though!
- Tallied up some of the month-end statistics (costs, time spent, that kind of thing) for the project. September looked good: costs were stable (I have finally solved the case of the monotonically increasing Heroku costs!) except for AWS (which is just increasing due to email volume), and time spent was about what it felt like (72 hours, or around 2.5 hours a day.)
- I think I have some good headway in finding a technical writer who can help with documentation. I need to resist the urge to say "well, if it's gonna take me twenty hours to onboard this person, can't I spend that twenty hours just writing instead?"
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