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Bye (bye.fyi)
506 points by aloukissas 22 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 84 comments

I understand that this is art. That said, I don't understand the hate for email. Especially post-Slack.

Email seems to put my interlocutors in the mindset that results in paragraphs of coherent text that clearly describe an idea. Slack does exactly the opposite.

I receive a lot of one-off Slack messages that border on inscrutable because of lazy spelling/grammar/composition. I then have to engage in a costly conversation to tease out the meaning.

I also receive a lot of Slack messages that border on inscrutable because a 4 or 5 sentence paragraph is delivered one sentence at a time. The messages do not make sense individually, but also do not make sense when read together as a paragraph. People seem incapable of thinking more than one sentence ahead when using Slack. This is particularly bad among the crowd who didn't learn how to use channel-based chat well (e.g., by using IRC).

I get that "hell is other people", but compared to the alternative, email is great. Especially with a good search feature and some basic filters and some auto-replies. And especially compared to modern Slack messaging behaviors.

> I get that "hell is other people", but compared to the alternative, email is great

Honestly, I think the hatred of email is an emotional response to the anxiety people have with interacting with people. Email just compounds this by queuing up every interaction into a list, which is basically like lining up every person who needs your attention into one around-the-block line, and they never go home until you reply or tell them to high-tail it.

The long and short of it is that email fools us into thinking that we have the tools to automate the job of a Personal Assistant/Secretary/Administrator and just get it done ourselves, but most people just find out that we're just doing too much ourselves.

How is slack at all different from that, then?

I love email because everybody has it. I'd love it if all my clients, friends, colleagues, family members all used the same platform, or that all those platforms could communicate with each other.

Email is the only communications tool that can communicate between servers that already has the critical mass required to make it useful and not just a cool toy for enthusiasts.

That said the only people I ever email are clients or my girlfriend. Feels bad, man.

I Email a lot of people, Authors of books I like. People writing blogs, maintainers on github.

If someone publishs his email address it's an invitation to to get in touch. Use it!

My personal "scapegoat" for this is Skype. In my timeline, it was the first messenger to grow big among non-techies all over the world (not in the least because of its quite functional voice and video integration.) It basically set the bar for "instant messaging" UX; developers have been building in terms of that paradigm ever since.

It's important to note that siloing users within a proprietary namespace is also part of that UX. As usual, users come to demand what they've been force-fed long enough: so now you have the media complaining about privacy with a tone of learned helplessness while absolutely unable to wrap their heads around federation.

Delta Chat (https://delta.chat/en/) is an interesting project that provides a IM-like experience on top of email infrastructure. However all levels of the stack have become so bloated that it is nigh impossible to release anything that users won't perceive as shoddy without VC-scale funding.

Re: Delta Chat, I've often wondered if a solution existed like this, because in my eye the "problem" with email is that it's long-form. Nobody wants to compose an email just to send a one or two liner (good morning, what's up, etc). I'll check this out, thanks!

Re: Skype I agree, my parents use Skype, and even though I never use it, if/when I log in there's always someone I haven't spoken to in the better part of a decade, still online as if they've been using it every day since.

It's inconsiderate of others to write/say things in a way that requires the other person to spend unreasonable amounts of time and effort figuring out what the hell you're talking about.

Some people just don't care about being considerate, so they don't bother.

It's the same sort of thing as using clean dishes in the break room and not washing them afterward. You save yourself time and effort at the expense of making someone else do it.

Actually, it's probably worse than that. The writer might save 30 seconds at the expense of forcing the reader to spend 5 minutes puzzling out what they meant. Or, if an email has wide distribution, 1 minute saved for the writer might result in wasting 30 seconds for 100 people.

If I can’t decipher within 30s what the other end wants I just reply with “?”. That usually triggers a summary of what the other end already wrote but this time as one message and understandable

But (ding)

why (ding)

dont (ding)

you (ding)

like chatting (ding)

? (ding)

(ding) Hello can I ask you a question?


(3am) Are you there?

User has paused notifications if this is urgent click to send one.

< clicks button >

This so much. Just ask me the question with a greeting attached. Lots of people seem to want a traditional conversation with back and forth greetings. Many times I reply with the “sure, what’s up?” and not hear back for an hour. Sigh.

https://www.nohello.com/ is a good reply for those "Hi" messages.

I'm slightly annoyed that nohello.com alone doesn't work; you need the www.


This. Just ask your fucking question

I get the point, but it feels very 2015. You can manage notifications with fine granularity now lol. I don’t get how people still don’t know how to properly use async chat.

> I don’t get how people still don’t know how to properly use async chat.

Really? On Sunday September 9791, 1993, you don't get how people still don't know how to properly use async chat? I don't believe you.

underrated - for a very meta reason

Email is also completely extensible. There is so much easy automation and scripting I have done with email.

It’s disappointing we are moving away from it.

I don't think that everybody hates mail, I don't have majority of problems that were outlined in the (now deleted) 25 problems with mail that was pushed forward by Hey.

But I think that there is a growing set of people that have very particular problem with mail. People that are somewhat public figures, such as podcasters, journalists, YouTubers, app makers and what have you are quite regularly complaining about email. I think this is because they need to keep a public address open towards real people and there is a large power bias. A hundred people can send you a message with a bug report or a correction about stuff you made, it takes them 10 seconds each. But for you to read and answer individually it would take you hours.

I suppose that Hey and other solutions with all the triage and snoozing is for them. Systems like Slack are kind of orthogonal to this.

I hate that self-hosting your mail servers is a huge hassle and will most likely get you on spamfilters even though you haven't spammed anyone.

I don't hate email per se but these days receiving an email usually means someone wants something from you (money, paperwork, or even just a reply) and that's stress inducing. You see your email notifications and sigh 'okay, now who wants what from me again?'

How is that at all different from Slack?

I don't hate email. I hate outlook and the shitty way it works with email.

Outlook responds to the first word of an email being "Congratulations" by doing some fireworks animation.

I recently got an email that said "Congratulations on getting a sabbatical, but we are cancelling all sabbaticals"

And I thought Clippy was a learned lesson.

"Congratulations smart ass, you just killed the live server".


Web Outlook is better than the desktop crap, because flagging literally means nothing these days. At least online you can pin so important messages bubble to the top.

Why can't the desktop version do this?

And they almost got it with the priority tab at the top. Just copy Gmail, it has been far superior since it was introduced, and as history shows Microsoft isn't above replicating other people's work.

I don't get the hate for email. Like at all. I'd rather have people send me one well phrased coherent email than:

- 3-5 fragmented chat messages where I have to search for meaning

- one infinitly long speech message where someone else basically forces you to witness their attempts of focusing their thoughts

- a @-mention in a group timeline where you have to Ctrl+f a smalltalk-filled timeline to figure out what they actually want from you

What I like about email (and letters) is that people have to formulate coherent thoughts if they want something from you. They have to write a subject and that alone pauses them to think about what they want.

Every form of communication that moves the burden of decyphering meaning to the receiver should be avoided IMO.

Same. After 30 years of continuous e-mail use, it's finally working. Spam is down to 0-1 message per day (pobox.com and fastmail spam filters). Most businesses now respond to e-mails. Large e-mails (large attachments) finally work. No more character set problems. No more broken / unsafe e-mail clients (most people use webmail). No real delays, no full mailboxes, no bounces for stupid reasons anymore.

It's not time to abandon e-mail, it's finally fixed and here to stay.

Something I don't like about email is that often has this "always online" assumption about it. At some times in my 20s I was taken advantage by this. Get a 9am email on a Saturday to fix something even though I was never on call, it would encroach like that.

There definitely was a turning point of sorts in my career when things like Slack became common place. I just cmd-q the app when work is over. The green light is off next to my name. The default assumption of boundaries seems slightly healthier. Send a PM to my username without the green light next to it at 9am on Saturday and you aren't asking me how I didn't see it Monday morning.

As for longer form work discussion, I prefer Github issues or an internal forum. I don't like the privacy of email with work discussion. That's for friends and family. I want all work matters to have an audience in the open.

As for friends and family, there's a place for both email and chat.

This is quite interesting. Email is much more strongly async for me than chat. I only check work email a couple times a day, and ignore it over the weekend. But people's main complaint about slack is that it is always online.

FWIW, I only use Slack per se for fun social groups.

Weird for me it is the other way around. Answering a email after one to two days is totally acceptable, in a chat not so much.

I was reluctant to use whatsapp and other chatting apps up until two years ago. voice notes have been really annoying for me, and for so long i have been literally ignoring them! Now with this corona i started to use chatting apps more regularly and at times i get really lazy to write so i will just voice note.

i still struggle with them though

As someone who grew up with things like ICQ, MSN or Skype Chat I think chats jave their place. For chitchat or conversation with friends it is very nice.

For work not so much.

The only time a group chat worked was on a low budget film set where I worked as a camera operator, because people only wrote something there when they needed sth.

I _love_ voice messages on WhatsApp. I use them all the time. It's way better than writing out a novel to someone. Just send a quick two minute audio. Done.

Fast for you, slow for everybody else. You are putting the burden of making sense of what you say onto the other side.

If your speech messages are concise and follow a bottom line first approach, this could be okay. After a certain length and complexity the other side will have to take notes. If you are not a clear speaker they will have to relisten and take notes.

Additionally speech is usearchable which could be very bad for the other side as well — imagine someone who has to listen through 10 speech messages to figure out what you said.

My girlfriend once had a manager who loved speech messages as well (I heard some of them). These messages were 15 minutes long, full of chitchat about her live and the workplace and somewhere around minute 9 the three sentences that should have been communicated to my girlfriend appeared.

My girlfriend told me that she wasn't the only person who would just completely ignore these messages with the sentence if it would be important, she would send us an email.

So if one is in a position where one can offload the burden of decyphering and searching for meaning in the words to others, speech messages are certainly comfortable for the sender. Sometimes they are also totally fine (e.g. to loved ones, friends, people where you know they hate reading).

But in most cases you are creating work for others — work multiplied by the number of receivers and number of times they have to listen through your stuff.

Imagine e.g. if you work in IT support and all you get is speech messages. That would be hell.

The problem is that it now takes the recipient 2 minutes to listen to your message, and can't search for it when they need to reference it again in the future.

If you literally just typed out the same words you spoke, the recipient can 1) interpret your message faster and 2) search for it and find it in the future. Removing those two features for marginally faster message composing just seems selfish and a waste of the recipient's time.

"Fuck apple This website was made in Microsoft Publisher on Windows 95."

I like Bye logo much more than Hey's one


Also at the bottom:

> Questions? Need help? Email us at no-reply@bye.fyi

Honestly it would've been funny even if it wasn't no-reply.

It would be funnier if they didn’t eat their own dog food and had a support@gmail.com, or a 800 number.

For those that are wondering about HEY and if it will change the world: I myself have been using GTD for Gmail as written in this brilliant guide[1].

Basically, I've split my inbox into three inboxes with a Gmail native plugin: Needs action, Waiting Reply, Scheduled and the default inbox.

Every other day I will skim through my default inbox and categorize every email in each bucket by applying a star to it. My inbox remains zero most of the time.

I would highly suggest giving this a read.

1. https://dansilvestre.com/gtd-gmail/

Cheeky. The “Enterprise Feature” is hilarious, but it did make me wonder about such a thing: having disposable/specific email addresses for different “personalities” with automated personalized communications. What I’m imagining: an email address for <insert cause here> that can be used to actually email, SMS, call your congressperson(s) in your own style based upon its contents. I’m on mobile and being lazy and not researching what is already possible and/or legal, but the current waves and momentum for social movements now are rising and my experience in software development is making me connect the two.

Anything automated is disingenuous and missing the point.

I don't really understand the point of this. Yes, hey.com is yet another reinvention of email. So what? Email has a lot of pain points. I don't see the need to mock someone for trying to improve the current state of email.

I say this as someone who vastly prefers email to say, slack.

Ah, is there a reason why you don't prefer Slack?

In my experience, slack has a poor signal to noise ratio. Important information gets lost as people post gifs, memes, or banter in the same channel.

Search has gotten better, but it's still not great.

Some people expect you to respond immediately, defeating the purpose of asynchronous communication for non important / non blocking matters.

The format (like IRC) encourages multiple fragmented sentences instead of one long, cohesive message.

Slack isn't that bad by itself; it's mostly how people use it compared to say, email.

Ah, I agree. Not sure if people have completely given up on email to use Slack. It's an excellent collaboration software, though.

Quirky caricature of the web we inhabit. After my mind settled from the shock of hilarity, I realized it's a spoof of Hey.

The creator of this nonsensical satire is an animation studio called Thinko. They do some cool stuff, with tools developed in-house.


I honestly don't really get the "Imbox" idea of Hey email, they say you will get a separate tab to show all emails coming from unverified addresses, but isn't that going to be full with spam just like your spam folder in gmail? I don't want to dig through hundreds of spam messages to find important ones. I don't know, maybe I don't understand something

It feels like Hey is trying to solve a bunch of problems already solved by other email services. If anything, the problem with gmail and the like is they try to be too smart and end up getting it wrong. It feels unreliable when an important email ends up in the wrong category.

Outlook and the like have the sweep feature which makes managing email quite easy. The built in unsubscribe tool works very well.

I think maybe the premise is that people don’t know how to use their existing tools well, but then I don’t have confidence Hey will do a better job. They tried to get me to watch their CEO explain it for 37 minutes.

The other thing I find questionable is how this would work with third-party email clients. Anytime the service tries to ‘reinvent’ email, it ends up breaking standard features, like being able to use your own email client. Look at gmail and how their tags concept translates to e.g. imap

Edit: I assumed DHH was running Hey because he’s been complaining about it so much lately.

Gmail killed bundles (Google Inbox) though.

They run an automated spam filter before putting mail into the screener thingie. https://hey.com/features/the-screener/

They claim it's better at not removing genuine messages which is possible but remains to be tested.

I know nothing about Hey but it could be 3 tiers still? Verified addresses, unverified addresses and detected spam?

If I send you an email right now from my personal domain, I'll show up under unverified, and I'd like to think I'm not spam. Really, I imagine it's simpler to view the verified section as the special inbox, where only priority contacts show up.

An older site they put together -- from 1998 apparently


This is not from 1998 lol. It’s just made to look that way. The people behind Thinko are designers.

Indeed, it uses modern HTML5 + CSS, nothing about the site itself is old other than the design and using a <marquee> tag.

Wow the amazon link on the page still works. I wonder which website has more than 22 years of link stability.

The fact that amazon links from 20+ years still work correctly today is amazing to me.

well, halt the amazement, amazon didn't sell whole computers in 1999, let alone 1998.[0]

It's a clever parody though; but I don't remember needing JS as much in The Real 1998 (tm).

[0]: https://web.archive.org/web/19991013091817/http://amazon.com...

You have a point. The website seems to be more recent than it claims.

That matrix-style background animation wasn't known until 1999.

hahaha damn, the old web was marvelous!

Haha. Certainly the best thing on the internet today!

Announcement tweet:

> Today we are thrilled to announce a new solution to an age old problem.

> Overwhelmed by your e-mail inbox? Say HI to BYE


I'd love to see some revenue numbers from this business :)

I tried to pay 99 cents to see who else paid 99 cents, but sadly got an error message that their api key was temporarily disabled.

I'll happily take a gmail alternative with custom domains and great spam filtering. I've yet to see anyone able to compete with how little I want to care about this topic.

But it's going to be hard to pull people away from the g-suite bundle when the money is going to be at the enterprise level.

The page is filled with tweets from people saying they're going to report this app to Apple...

Often, companies holding a trademark will want to create an account on a popular service to prevent others from hijacking it.

Here, that wouldn’t work. Could companies holding a trademark force a company to never create an account with that name?

from their video, Hey.com is more like an asynchronous chat system that happens to use SMTP as the communication protocol, they just store your contact list for you. It s got some good ideas, but those had better be implemented as extensions to smtp servers. Would be neat to be able to control our contacts list without siloing them behind a private company.

in any case glad to see hey.com continuing to get more attention

The only thing I hate about the email is the way people quote previous messages, putting all their answer above original text.

I was so accustomed to the way FIDO conferences used to reply to messages (I guess it is called Usenet Quoting), that I still use it now, and I wish email clients would use it y default, down to the original sender initials.

There are a few more funny links at the bottom of the page.

What's the thing in the top right corner, though?

Is this affiliated with Hey in some way?

No, it's a brilliant pease of irony by an animation studio making fun of Hey for being full so of themeless for "reinventing" email. Look at the bottom for more of their work. I'd love to see them tackle HN.

ahh gotcha lol, that’s pretty hilarious!

what did I just read?

Looks like an alternative to hey.com :-)

mind == blown

And the result is?

This is outstanding, I wish you could monetize satire products, hey deserves mocking and this is just a brilliant implementation

Did this page really need Javascript?

It’s like people never read JavaScript: The no parts

Most of that page could have been done with image maps, shrugs.

Edit: Don’t downvote me just because I like text.

I will say this, Hey.com is getting some awesome free marketing lately.

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