Andy Nicolaides

March 8, 2021

Some Initial Thoughts On HEY World

Hey, World 👋

I’ve been using HEY World for just a couple of days now, but I already think I’m going to stick with it as my blogging service of choice for the foreseeable future. If you’re at all interested in this service, I’m sure you would have already read through a plethora of first impressions and pros and cons lists, so I apologise in advance for potentially rehashing old ground. As I’ve mentioned previously, however, a switch of blogging platforms, or writing apps, always inspires me to start posting more, so I wanted to share some more thoughts with you. Hopefully you’ll indulge me.

I was originally going to write up a pros and cons list, but a pro for me could be considered a negative to others, so I’ll just call out a few key points that I feel best support my decision. 

Simplicity


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I’ve mentioned above that someones pro is another persons con, and I don’t think anything about HEY World embodies this as much as this subheading. HEY World removes a lot of the trappings and hassle that’s often put me off blogging. No hosting requirements, no domain registration, and no constant tweaking of template designs!

Options for your post itself are basic and trimmed down. Being, essentially, an email you’re publishing you can add photos (but not videos) and add some basic rich text formatting such as links, bold text, quotes, and bulleted lists. This focus on the writing above embedding Tweets or YouTube links is, again, extremely restrictive, but does lend itself well to streamlined posting and removes much of the overthinking that can go into posting.

One App To Rule Them All


I have a serious problem with procrastination sometimes, and never more so than when it comes to trying to maintain a blog. Why focus on writing when there are so many new markdown editors to try?! The fact that the HEY app that I’m already using for email is now also acting as my blogging tool / service is a nice touch and once again really helps me focus on what’s important, the writing.

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Within the app you can easily manage your published articles, your subscriber list, and writing all within the clean, compact interface.

This simplicity extends yet further. Unlike most blogging platforms you have no way of adding Google Analytics or similar tracking to your blog and you don’t get any viewing numbers or really any analytics to speak of. Lack of tracking is a big selling point of HEY so it should come as no surprise that it’s not present here either. The only metric you have is a small subscriber count under the HEY World menu option. These are only subscribers who have agreed to have your posts emailed to them, it doesn’t take into account RSS subscribers.

Once again, this may be seen as a blessing or a curse. For me, I already know my subscriber and reader numbers would be low, but that’s not the reason I blog so not knowing how many people have seen my posts isn’t a concern. I like to invite people to talk to me about my posts where I can, and it’s a nice surprise when they do, but I certainly don’t expect or anticipate it.

Newsletter subscribers can simply reply to the email they receive for me to receive an email response which is a really nice touch and I’ve already started a few nice conversations with people doing just that. It’s a far more pleasant and even mature way to have a conversation about feedback and thoughts than just comments on a blog post. 

A Blog and Newsletter In One


With HEY World you not only get the blog element, but it also has a built in Newsletter function which, seeing as it’s positioned as a way for you to email the world makes a lot of sense. I’ve often thought about starting a newsletter but it’s a very saturated market right now, with a lot of far superior writers sharing some great and insightful content. With this, however, I can sort of dabble in that world without putting it out there as a traditional newsletter.

Each published post will have a separate option to also ‘email to your subscribers’ so you don’t have to push everything to their inbox if you don’t want to. They can live entirely as a post alone. People that find your post can then choose to subscribe to receive future posts in their inbox.

As I’ve written previously, this is the area of HEY World I’m most unsure about. Is every post good enough to push into someone’s inbox? Should I only push out more traditional newsletter like posts to peoples inboxes, such as ‘top links of the week’ or something similar? If people have taken the time out to subscribe, should I not be sending them everything I post? I just don’t know on this front and it does take away from the idea of just putting stuff out there on the web.

So far I have a small base of 7 subscribers to the newsletter component. There are possibly others that have subscribed to the RSS, but I’ve no way to know that. Those that subscribe to me, or any other blog, via RSS will receive everything, so why is email different? Inserting myself into someone’s email inbox just feels far more intrusive to me, but I’m going to aim to regularly share posts with people and use this subscriber number as the canary in the mineshaft. If I start losing people it’s time to start backing off I suppose!

Where Next?


For me, I think I’m going to wrap up The Dent blog abs give HEY World a good go. I liked, and still so like, Micro.Blog but there were just one too many fiddly elements to it that started to put me off wanting to use it. The layers between my head and posting are greatly reduced with HEY World which can only be a good thing.

If you’ve been kind enough to add The Dent to your RSS in the past it would be great if you could add the new feed instead or even subscribe by entering your email at the bottom of any post or the main page

Thanks for reading and stay safe!