Matt Birchler

March 4, 2021

Hey World: A Love Letter to Blogs

I've been writing online for as long as I can remember. I started with free WordPress sites in the early 2000s and experimented with basically every platform known to man. I eventually settled on a self-hosted WordPress site, and then re-settled on Ghost. If you're curious, my site is called BirchTree and I write about tech, usually related to Apple.

These are great solutions for me, but they're definitely not for everyone. My site is self-hosted, which means I pay for a server through DigitalOcean (there are many options, of course), I pay for a custom domain name through Hover (again, many options out there), and worst of all, I have to run terminal commands to do things like update my software, install Linux security updates, and more.

These are not reasonable things to ask of most people in the world.

Thankfully, there are options out there that make this process easier and allow most people to start up a blog without needing to think at all about the technical challenges I listed above. Squarespace is a great example of this, and they've seen tons of success. If money is a problem, then services like let people start a blog for free, which is great.

Hey World looks like it aims to simplify the setup process even more, and remove some of the mental overhead that comes with starting a blog. You don't have to think of a name, find a theme, and figure out what service you're going to use, you can just write an email like you normally would, send it to, and boom you've got a blog post. People can even subscribe to your future posts via email or RSS, so they can follow along easily and however they prefer.

It's also worth noting that Hey World posts are ad-free and don't use any trackers. Since Hey World is only available to paying Hey email customers, Basecamp is making money on these posts, so there's no need to support these posts with ads or anything else people would consider "creepy."

I don't think Hey World will fit neatly into my needs since I've already got my setup running, but I like that it exists for people who want something basic. My expectation is actually that people will not even know they wanted this and then use it all the time.

All that said, I support anything that gets people sharing their writing online, and much like the Hey email is a novel approach to handling your email, Hey World is a novel approach to blogging and newsletters. I'm looking forward to seeing what people do with this.

And if you wanted to see this all in action, here’s a first look and demo of Hey World on YouTube.