Don’t do ALL THE THINGS!

I’m rebooting the Coywolf Newsletter to be more curated and have a bit more of my personality baked into it. It will still include Coywolf articles, but it will also have stories from around the web that I think are interesting and worth sharing. It may also have occasional commentary like this:

Software companies are starting to do everything, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing

ConvertKit recently launched new commerce features that enable its customers to sell digital products and subscriptions. It’s an interesting move because ConvertKit already integrates with membership services like Memberful. And this past week Squarespace announced Member Areas that provides paywalled content.

The new features are indicative of what many companies have been doing this year. Instead of integrating with other services, companies are reinvesting and adding new features that complement their service. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. I’ve been watching MailChimp add new features unrelated to email, and I’ve found it more confusing and distracting than actually providing me more value.

My biggest concern about companies adding features outside their wheelhouse is that it takes resources and focus away from their core product. I prefer they make the product I signed up for better than to try to be all things to all people. I prefer using Memberful just for membership management and then taking advantage of its third-party integrations to handle things like email and discussion forums.

I expect this trend to continue as companies look to grow their customer base. While this direction may be inevitable, I’m not sure it will be better for their customers.

Fleets. Ugh.

In March 2020, I wrote about how Twitter was testing Fleets in Brazil. Twitter officially announced the launch of Fleets in the U.S. If you’re not familiar with Fleets, they are a copy of Instagram Stories. As with other social networks that use them, they’re designed to get you to spend more time on the platform. I’m not a fan, and I don’t use them. Sreekar on Twitter perfectly captured my sentiment about Fleets with this tweet.

Someone really doesn’t like Fathom

I use privacy-focused Fathom Analytics for all of my sites instead of Google Analytics (GA). One of the reasons I use it is because I want to treat my visitors the way I want to be treated. While it doesn’t provide all of the granularity that GA provides, they are working on campaign reporting. I helped them work on it in the early stages, and it should be an upgrade to how GA’s UTM tags work.

For the past two weeks, someone has been conducting a relentless DDoS attack on them. My best guess is that it’s probably someone who isn’t happy that they came up with a way to bypass ad-blocking extensions. Even though Fathom’s service is privacy-focused, negating the need to be blocked, they still aren’t happy about it. But perhaps it’s a nefarious competitor trying to put them out of business to gain an advantage. We may never know. What we do know is what happened and what they did to mitigate it. They tell the fascinating story in their Above Board podcast.

No more room on your desk? Try hanging it.

Jason Torchinsky, Senior Editor of Jalopnik, ran out of desk space. He needed a place to put his mail holder, so he hung it from the ceiling. Genius, insanity, or both?

That’s it for this newsletter. Stay safe out there! 😷