write.as blog

What we're writing.

We love open source software at Write.as. We use it every day, from the operating systems our developers use, to the servers and bits of code our platform runs on. We open source many of our libraries and clients, and are moving towards open sourcing our entire web application.

Recently we saw an open source project, Liberapay, suddenly had their Medium publication taken down with only 12 hours notice — apparently the result of some automated process — and we stepped up to offer them a discount. They ultimately had other plans, but we thought we should make that offer official, and open to the entire web.

So we did. If you maintain an open source project and need a maintenance-free place to write about it, now you can get our Casual features for free (or 25% off of Pro)!

Our Casual plan lets you use your own domain name (with SSL included) and publish to an audience on Read Write.as — so your hosted blog can still be yours, and you'll have readers from day one. We also take a strong stand for free speech on Write.as, don't let algorithms remove content, and are funded by our founder and customers — so your words will be safe here.

We hope this will help more open source software maintainers effortlessly get their words on the web, so they can spend more time creating awesome software that powers the world. And if you're a student, non-profit, or educational institution, ask us about other discounts we offer!

#casual #pro #opensource #pricing #discounts #policy

We're excited to bring in 2018 with a long-requested feature: tags for your posts.

To get started, you'll do what you already know how to: include a hashtag in your post, like #newfeatures. Readers will see a clickable link (like that one) to a page that lists out all posts using that hashtag. Each tag even has its own RSS feed, so readers can subscribe to the topics they enjoy!

If you've already included hashtags in your posts, you don't need to lift a finger — all those posts are magically searchable now. If you haven't been tagging your posts, now is a great time to start!

In the future, tags will be even more useful:

  • Find posts about certain topics among the public blogs on Read Write.as
  • Search for posts by multiple tags, instead of just one
  • Pin tags to your blog's navigation, just like you can with posts (a potential feature — if you like this idea, please vote for it here!)

We hope this makes Write.as useful in even more ways. As always, let us know what you do or don't like about tagging — and happy new year!

#updates #organization #tags

One of the most exciting parts about building a simple app and sending it out to the world is seeing how people use it. Often you'll see people find new uses that you never imagined — other times, they'll show you exactly what you should build. While a plain writing-focused blogging platform has been perfect for most people, we also saw some wishing to spruce things up with some graphics.

So today we build that directly into Write.as with our early launch of Snap.as!

The Snap.as UI.

Now Pro writers can upload photos, save a note with each (that'll come in handy later), and get the bit of text you need to add an image to your post. Like Write.as, it's simple, ad-free, and respectful of your time — and unlike free image hosting services, Snap.as is supported directly by you. That means we'll keep building it with your best interests in mind.

To get started, simply sign up with your Write.as account and start uploading!

This is just the start for us. Next you'll be able to import your photos already hosted on free services (so they have a permanent home), and eventually you'll be able to share beautiful, simple galleries. Check out our roadmap to see what's ahead, and as always, let us know how you like Snap.as!

#updates #photos #pro

We're excited to announce that November was our first month with positive cash flow 🎉 That means our existing monthly customers and new customers together generated enough revenue to cover all our basic expenses (besides the humans) for the month!

As a bootstrapped company going for sustainability, this is a major milestone for us. It means we're getting closer to profitability, and proving it's possible to build a simple, focused, and ad-free product that sticks around for good. That means you get to enjoy having a reliable home for your words for years to come, and don't have to sacrifice the things you care about (like your privacy) in the process.

We're incredibly excited to see what the coming months hold. To all the customers who have bought our product and thus helped fund us: thank you! We wouldn't be here without you. You're awesome.

On a related note, we've also launched our transparency site, Inside Write.as. There you'll find some of the metrics behind the platform, from how users and posts on the platform have grown over the past 3 years, to our annual revenue. This is just another step towards building a transparent organization that stays accountable to you.

Are you thinking of participating in National Novel Writing Month this November? Whether you regularly join in or you've always wanted to sit down and seriously pursue that novel, we want to help you clear your mind and get your words out to the world. So for the entire month of November we're making our best novel-writing features available to everyone, whether you're a paying user or not.

Higher character limits

First off, we're giving everyone room to write by lifting the 50,000-character limit on posts to 500,000.

A special NaNoWriMo blog

If you don't have a Write.as blog yet, now is a great time to start one for your novel. You'll enjoy a distraction-free space for your 50,000+ words.

For those who already have a blog on Write.as, let us know if you plan on doing NaNoWriMo this month. We'll give you an additional blog on your account that you can dedicate to your novel, with its own URL, title, and format. You'll be able to easily move existing posts to and from it, and to continue using that extra blog after the month is over!

Unlocking the Novel blog format

To go along with your dedicated NaNoWriMo site, we're opening up our Novel format to everyone for November. This will put your posts in chronological order, so if you create a new post for each chapter of your novel, your first will always be at the top of your blog, and readers can scroll through future chapters like they would a normal webpage.

You'll be able to change to the Novel format for the entire month of November, and any blog using it by the end of the month will keep it afterwards indefinitely — you just won't be able to switch away and then back again unless you upgrade to our Pro plan.

We hope opening these features to everyone will encourage more people to start writing this month. We wish we could join, but we'll definitely be reading as people share their progress publicly. If you feel inspired, feel free to share with our writing community over on Writing Exchange. And as you go, we'd love to hear how Write.as works out for you, so we can improve our novel-writing features in the future.

As we continue to grow each month, we're seeing more and more writers migrate to Write.as from other platforms. We've already helped some move from Ghost (message us if you're thinking of doing the same), but there have also been writers who just want to move posts on their own. So we've just made it easier for them to sync up their post dates, and in the process enabled some new abilities for everyone else.

Now everyone can edit the metadata for their posts. If you publish a blog post and find that you don't like its slug (the last part in its URL), now you can change it; if we didn't save the correct language with your post, now you can fix it. And if you'd like to change the initial “created” / published date on any post, now you can do that, too — we even support future dates so you can schedule posts.

To edit your post's metadata, first publish it, then press the Edit link at the top of the page. You'll see a new icon in the top right that'll take you to that post's metadata editor.

Hover over the header in the editor to find the Edit Metadata link

A few things to note:

  • You can't schedule cross-posts, because editing the “created” date requires publishing a post first. However, we may support this in the future.
  • Changing the slug of any blog post will gracefully update the link on your blog home page, but will break any manual or external links to that post — your previous slug won't redirect to the new one. Be careful when updating this, or do it soon after immediately publishing to prevent broken links.

We hope this little added feature will make Write.as more useful for everyone. As always, let us know how you like it or if there's any way we can make it better!

#updates #newfeatures

In the United States in 2017 we've seen a barrage of attacks on the public, and efforts to dismantle protections that seek to keep us free, safe, and healthy. One area those attacks are aimed at is the very platform you're reading this on, the internet.


April was a month of relatively small changes that brought big improvements to the product. Recently, we've seen certain patterns emerge in how writers use Write.as, and last month we tweaked things to make them work more closely to what users expect.

We were also excited to launch a long- and frequently-requested feature, static pages.

  • Static pages. Now you can create an “About me” or other pages from a normal post — and it's super simple to do. Currently for Pro subscribers only.
  • Delete blogs. Now subscribers with multiple blogs can easily delete extra ones from their account. Deleting a blog automatically makes its posts anonymous, so now blogs can be used for things like temporary public spaces for your writing.
  • Export posts as zipped text files. To further our goals for data freedom, we've made it possible to export all of your posts as plain text files. And you don't need to be a subscriber to do it.
  • Nicer page titles. While we're flexible on how we pull out the title of a post, we noticed many posts still didn't have a great title for the reader's browser or search results. So now posts will always have a relevant title, even if you don't explicitly add one.
  • Markdown fixes. We made our Markdown more strict, so it works more closely to what we've outlined in our formatting guide. This fixed indented text, as well as certain horizontal rules.

#updates #newfeatures

We're happiest when we can talk to you, the writers. After all, you're the main reason we keep getting better and better. We like building a conversational company in Write.as, instead of one that merely dictates its wishes to the masses, expecting you to accept whatever we come up with. We take care of the overall vision, but you point out our blind spots and show us things we would've otherwise missed.

Now we want to know how we're doing from as many of you as possible: how useful have we been for you? What have we helped you accomplish? We ask these two questions in our latest writer survey, and would be forever grateful if you took half a minute to fill it out.

It's aimed at anyone who's used Write.as for a bit, so if you're just getting started, we'll gladly take your response after you've played with the product some more. Otherwise, the questions are multiple choice, with room to elaborate if you want to give us more detail. If you'd like to chat directly with us, remember we're always around. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Take the Spring writer survey.

When you can speak your mind safely, the words come more easily. Mental blocks built by others' expectations are removed. The cogs of your brain are free to move again.

But you don't need to be alone to be free from expectations — you only need the right environment. Write.as aims to be that environment, from our conscientious apps to our small community of writers, all publishing under pseudonyms.

We know that great writers take the time to read and absorb the ideas around them, continually growing in style, method, and thought. Exposure to a variety of ideas helps us grow faster and see things in ways we never could've on our own. So a complete environment for recording our best thoughts needs a strong, constant source of inspiration.

Today we're opening read write.as to more writers, both subscriber and free. You don't even need to sign up to submit your writing. Now anyone can write freely, and share their words anonymously with our growing community.

Everyone will now see a “read.write.as” option in the editor menu when you've chosen to publish as Anonymous. Subscribers' posts will go straight to read.write.as, just like their public blog posts do, and free users' posts will get a pass from the Write.as moderation team first, to be sure we don't get inundated with spam or other harmful junk.

We recently published a set of community guidelines to help everyone understand why we might not accept a given post. We'll be continually updating this policy as more people write and new questions come up, but ultimately we want the writers to dictate their own guidelines. What kind of community do you want to see? How can we balance free speech and a safe environment? Keep in touch and help shape our fledgling space.

#updates #newfeatures #readwriteas

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