Dear reader,

Another week, another nail-biting slide to the finish. But we made it, people, and that’s what matters. It’s now possible to edit and delete your comments on Readup!

We’ve been moving the needle (pushing the envelope?) on civil discourse for years. And yet again, we’re out ahead of the pack. Check it out:

Product Updates

In all the places (iOS, Chrome, etc.) you’ll now see two wonderful little buttons underneath all of your comments:

Here’s how it works:

  • After you make a comment, you have a three-minute grace period to make changes and fix typos.
  • After three minutes, you can add an update to your comment (to clarify something you said, for example) which will include a timestamp.
  • Any comment can be completely deleted at any time. But deleted comments can’t be un-deleted, so be careful!

The Numbers

Total daily active users remains stable in the mid-double digits. In terms of overall user retention, we’re actually doing okay. We need to “feed the top of the funnel,” as the marketers would say. Those numbers are code red urgent right now. Urgently ugly, basically; we’ve had a few days recently where not a single new user account is created. We’ve had better overall traffic (outreach) numbers in the past, and that problem needs to be in the rear view mirror by the end of 2019.

Next: Yippee! Overall engagement on the AOTDs continues to rise. More and more people are reading and responding, and the shorter articles are especially popular. Here’s a list of Readup’s top publishers:

No huge surprises here; we’re tri-state cats with New York in our blood. The Atlantic and WIRED, I’ve noticed, are positively surging in the last few months.

The Big Picture

Making it so that comments can be edited and deleted was surprisingly tricky. Where you see two simple buttons, Jeff, Readup’s fearless CTO, sees this:

Psychedelic, right?

The complexity of the Readup platform from a technical perspective - tons and tons of code - is astounding to me. But the part of the whole thing that truly explodes my brain is that so many of our toughest decisions come down to a combination of art and science. This Thanksgiving and Christmas, Jeff and I are going to have a lot of IRL time together, and we’re planning to make some bold changes in the marketing department. And we’re really excited about bringing new, smart people on board to help out on that front.

Readup is a beast. It’s a massive, complicated thing to explain. But we’ll never grow to be the size we want to be if we can’t (1) simplify our message and (2) empower our users to share it.


Bill Loundy

Readup's Armchair Literarian