43 Folders

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Thoughts on a new 43F board?

I like the Google group, and it's hard to argue with its relative success. Three thousand eight hundred forty one people (at this moment) are using it in some form or fashion, and it's been a reliable, relatively high-volume source of interesting conversation, great tips, and enjoyable elbow-rubbing. But some things about it kind of bug me.

1. It's flat - There's only one area to wrangle all the different conversations, and it can be kind of hard to keep up when things get busy (or, for example, when the higher-volume threads go afield of something that interests me)
2. It looks kinda weird - On my Mac the pages have that weird "Google" look where the type is tiny and lines break weird, and, frankly, I never really enjoy reading the actual _site_ (as opposed to the actual posts in the RSS feed). In some ways, I think this discourages me from participating as much.
3. It's impersonal - You can't have a cute little picture and funny signature. People apparently really like that.
4. It's hosted someplace else - I'm not a martinet about this issue in the way a lot of people are, but sometimes I feel like I'm sitting in someone else's parlor.
5. It's Google - I personally have zero beef with this, but I've met a lot of folks who are adamant about not feeding Google's insatiable appetite for our data. Consequently they only _lurk_ on the Google Group, if even that.

In sum, although I'm not married to the idea, I think it might be fun to try hosting our own conversations on 43 Folders, using prettier software that allows for more broken-out conversations. Although we'd be doing this less as a mailing list and more as a regular old board, we'd still have RSS, which is nice. Best of all, there'd be feeds, per topic. So Windows folks could avoid Mac talk and vice versa, etc.

I don't want to disrupt the community on the Google Group by any means, but I'd like to hear what people think about doing a board here. I'll be posting more in the coming days about what I'd like to do, but feel free to give me your basic gut check by responding to this topic.


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