Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




The experiment

This board is the only thing that ties all of us together. We are all going to get an email, and yet there are going to be strong barriers in place sop as to make discussion on this topic more difficult.

The only thing that I can tentatively conclude from this is:
- The mailing will be the start of an experiment
- Input will be a differentiated mailing. Not all of us will get the same mail (otherwise it could just as well be (temporarily) posted)
- Output will be our observable reactions (this board and private communications to FCS)
- FCS will be the only ones in a position to carry out the analysis of the experiment
- Hopefully they will communicate the results back to us and share their findings.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

"This board is the only thing that ties all of us together"
Watch the "all", sunshine.


Friday, February 28, 2003

Well in the usual group dynamics if the cue ball is slammed into the pack of reds a core will tend to glue together.

Then they might get picked off one at a time.  Of course sliding in the 'don't pass this around' will mean that some will just have to pass it around, whatever 'it' is. I can't imagine anything Joel would want to do I'd care enough to do that about though.

What does tend to happen though, if owners of mailing lists, discussion lists etc, change the rules or moderate fiercely, is that parallel groups form.  They may die from lack of a real reason to hold together or they might have sufficient impetus to survive.  www.wdguide.com is one of those.

In lots of ways I quite like the silent but deadly method of moderating, but then I don't care enough about what I write on here to get upset.

Simon Lucy
Friday, February 28, 2003

I had similar ideas myself.  I remember reading that Joel sends out different offer coupons to different people, and then records the take up for analysis.  Perhaps something similar is happening here.

Whatever's going on, its a long time since I had this much anticipation for an email.

Ged Byrne
Friday, February 28, 2003

You mean you didn't receive the email yet?



Just kidding, Ged :-).

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

Think back to the topic of the email.

This board is the experiment.  He is watching the opinions of what we "think" he might do.  He is gathering market info with out sending the emails.  If you want to fool him.  Shut up and quit talking about it.

Mike
Friday, February 28, 2003

Oh great.  Another "reality" series, except this time we're the players, with no power to vote anyone off.

sedwo
Friday, February 28, 2003

"Q: Where is Heisenberg's grave?
  A: Around here somewhere."

Yes, I find it interesting to see the Heisenberg effects that the email will stir. I also hope that I will get the email, even though my last attempt to registration didn't result in any actual letters received.

The only reason I would not publish something on my site is that I would try to avoid making it "persistent". In the meaning that if someone (i.e. a client in Joel's case) would later visit the site, I wouldn't like them to be able to see it. I know that even if I would publish it and take it down later (breaking the unwritten rules of web publishing) it could still be availbale in google cash for example. Since many of Joel's articles are quite related to the business side, this kind of precaution may be needed for some sensitive articles.

Btw, has it ever happened to you that while writing an email, or an article, or even in a live conversation, you know that it would be way better for the situation not to say what you are about to say, but at the same time, it fits so nice, and it's so smart and funny, that you absolutely _have_ to say it, with total disregard to the effects?

Dimitri.
Friday, February 28, 2003

If it is so sensitive why mail it out to 1.000 people?
The only thing that makes sense is a none uniform message.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

"it could still be availbale in google cash for example"

I think that you can put headers in your pages that instruct robots not to work on this page etc.  Google bots would respect them, unless you paid them a _lot_ of cash

The more I think about this, the sillier it is.  There is absolutely no technical reason for publishing by email rather than on the site.  Despite/because-of all the copywrite stuff about the email, the text will become as available as it is infamous.  (So if it doesn't get republished, then that is because it isn't worth reading.)

But it has helped swell the email subscription list.  Maybe.

nice
Friday, February 28, 2003

It would of course have been nice to have seen the mail delivered before the close of the European business day.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

Would you like that on a gold platter or a silver platter, sir?

Oh please.
Friday, February 28, 2003

Well, if Joel does send out different emails, then I'm sure people will post them here for comparison. Of course, he could then delete those posts, but that is a different on going discussion..

runtime
Friday, February 28, 2003

Your the experiment. Your the only real person on this board.

bot123
Friday, February 28, 2003

Well, if you want to see if they're different, people could always post MD5 hashes of the email they got. Completely legal even under copyright, since you can't reconstruct the message from the hash, and a quick way to see if they're different.

Chris Tavares
Friday, February 28, 2003

I feel bad for Joel.  Some people are basically treating him as untrustworthy, ignoring his reasons for things, and assuming his life revolves around explaining some damn forum software he once wrote.

I expected that other people would have interesting weblogs along similar lines, but this has not happened.  Many have interesting insights, but are not willing to put in the effort this requires, or don't have a tolerance of flames.  So this increases the audience past which this board was perhaps designed.  (Notice how those who know better than Joel never do the work of implementing them on their own blogs, which would ease the load on JoS?)

So definitely I'll stop posting, since I'm on enough boards that I am just too likely to be offtopic here, as I have been in the past.

Too bad Joel started from a pretty smart guy with a blog to becoming in peoples' eyes a content-shovelling CEO of an insidious corp.  Blah.

anonymous
Friday, February 28, 2003

And there are obvious ways to subvert any countermeasures Joel puts in his emails.  So if one's going to be a jerk about Joel's simple wish, he can at least be an intelligent one, and stop completely dissing Joel on his own board as if he wasn't reading.

anonymous
Friday, February 28, 2003

Well of course the obvious thing to point out is that he could have never bothered to write it in the first place.

Would you prefer it that way?

Brian Hall
Friday, February 28, 2003

I suspect that once the email goes out these preparations will make more sense.  I bet there is more going on here than Joel just trying to crank his email subscriber numbers.

Matt Conrad
Saturday, March 01, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home