Dear reader,

Here I am, frantically writing the Sunday email, late Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps there will come a time when I’m not doing this at the very last minute, but I doubt it. And it’s not because I’m a remarkable procrastinator, although that’s also true. It’s because we're always in the midst of a mad sprint to the finish. Mere minutes ago, Jeff just pulled the trigger on a bunch of HUGE updates.

So, let's go through it all!

Product Updates

The Article of the Day (AOTD) is the heart and soul of Readup, but the AOTD-selection process hasn't always been super clear. As of today, we are putting that issue to rest once and for all.

There is now a very clear (ranked!) list of contenders for tomorrow’s AOTD. Every night, at 12:00 Midnight EST, the #1 Contender becomes the AOTD for the following day.

And previous AOTD winners now have a new home, which you can see by clicking Previous Winners:

There's nothing tricky or technical about our insanely good AOTDs; it's just the power of our small community of readers, reading stuff they enjoy. When you read something fully, you give it points, which "ups" it. (And for the record, when we chose the name Readup, we didn't quite realize just how on the nose that name would be!)

Plus, lots of odds and ends:

  • It's now much easier to rate stuff you've read. Just click the little gray rating icon.
  • We also made it possible to post articles multiple times. Just click the big green check and re-post to your heart's content.
  • We made it easier to add articles to Readup from your iPhone or iPad. Longtap on any links to articles, then click Share.
  • We now show the username of the first person to post something on Readup, to increase the incentive to bring new articles to the community.
  • Daily AOTD emails now have descriptions, as well as a nod to the first poster.

The Numbers

Here's the graph I shared last week, but with seven more days of data:

I like that our recent lows seem kinda high(ish?) but I still don't like that it's not a hockey stick.

And it looks like pretty much the same story with recent commenting activity. Not a dream, not a nightmare:

The Big Picture

A few years ago, “algorithm” was a word for engineers, not everyday people. But things have changed, and for good reason: people want to know why they see certain articles and not others.

At Readup, we hold our users in high esteem. So, in addition to pioneering the future of digital privacy and civil discourse, our ambition is to obliterate any confusion about algorithms. We're working to create the world’s first 100% transparent algorithm, to counter the current status quo of "black box" algorithms. It might require a bit of math and a healthy dose of deep thought, but we think our readers are up to the task.

Until next week,

Bill Loundy