The Fast Decline of HEY World

Before deciding to come back to primarily posting on my own blog only, I’d been enjoying using HEY World. Something I was interested in seeing was what the usage of that looked like over time. Since I’ve been learning Ruby, this seemed like a great thing to write a script for and find out.

The first thing I needed, however, was a list of blogs. To do that I created a for links on Twitter, used Proxyman to get the responses.

I did a bunch of scrolling back in time to when HEY World first came out, copied the responses, and then wrote a script to grab all of the usernames of the blogs that were being linked to. I ended up with a list of about 523 unique blogs that had posted a link to Twitter at least once. Seemed like a pretty good sample to me. I was actually a little surprised there were that many to begin with.

I then wrote my other Ruby script to pull the feed of every HEY World blog I had, add up the global posts per day, and save them to a hash. Once that was done, I outputted it as CSV so I could see it in Numbers.

Screen Shot 2021 05 04 at 12 50 14 PM

HEY World became publicly available on March 4th, 2021. On that day there were 212 posts, the next it was 194. Lots of them are just people trying it out to see what it is and then never posting again. There’s a lot of blogs that have 1-2 posts, which seems expected. After the first couple of days it trails off pretty quickly and within ten days or so it’s in the 20-30 posts a day range.

Of course the reason this is interested is due to the controversy surrounding Basecamp, and what’s happened since then.

On April 27, 2021, the Verge posted their article Breaking Camp about what had gone down at the company. For a couple of days, the numbers stayed around the low to mid twenties, which seem about average.

The last four days, however, they’ve dipped into the 12-14 new posts a day range. It could be normal, since there’s other slow days, but my feeling is that the people who’d remained using it (like me) pretty much stopped as more and worse information has come out about what was going on at Basecamp.

Collin Donnell @collin