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"Roam Research" -- New web-based personal wiki

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Posted by NickG
May 6, 2020 at 02:53 PM


They posted a few hours back that they’ll start charging soon, next month they hope, with the stated intention of weeding out uses who don’t want to pay the (now confirmed) $15/month.

So part of their solution to lack of capacity is to force down demand (they’re also increasing capacity anyway, to give them credit).

It’s all in the twitter thread at https://twitter.com/RoamResearch/status/1257857549606387712

One would also like to think that they’ll:

- Settle on a defined feature set
- Produce some halfway reasonable documentation
- Establish some basic admin features (delete database, change email for a start)
- Establish a proper support function

I have to say, their generally cavalier, high-five style of marketing has me wondering whether how much of that they’ll do. Playing with the cool new toys is much more fun than the slog of preparing for cutover (I have much - very much - experience of handling this particular problem)

Mark wrote:
I doubt they’ll be charging anytime soon. They just closed off new
>signups because of scaling issues. Some people lost data.


Posted by MadaboutDana
May 7, 2020 at 08:55 AM


This is rough on early users, and disappointing when the concept itself is so clearly exceptional.

It’s interesting to contrast the slow-but-solid Workflowy approach, which is often criticised for being too slow. Here, what I think people really mean is “too opaque”, i.e. not transparent enough, not following any obvious roadmap etc. Here, again, Workflowy have made significant improvements in recent months.

Pierre, of course, is a wonderful example of what happens when somebody follows the slow-but-steady AND super-transparent approach (I’m talking about InfoQube). And even he has to put up with a lot of criticism. It’s amazing how entitled users become if they’re not very self-aware. It reminds me a bit of the attitude cyclists all too frequently adopt versus pedestrians, even when said attitude is clearly unreasonable/illegal (e.g. riding on the pavement/sidewalk, riding through traffic lights etc.).

People, eh?



Posted by Paul Korm
May 7, 2020 at 10:06 AM


Agree.  Roam-love, or perhaps Roam-aversion, have at least kicked off a small reaction in the market with developers either making new apps that incorporate or get inspiration from Roam-like linking features (Obsidian) or adding the features to forthcoming releases (Tinderbox, Drafts, Workflowy).  Roam may or may not succeed, but note taking apps might improve because it was here.

tightbeam wrote:
I imagine that the better features of Roam Research will be incorporated
>into other apps (Workflowy, for instance, soon will have “Roam-style
>backlinks”) marketed by developers less ... eccentric ... than the Roam
>guy, so it won’t matter what he charges.


Posted by tightbeam
May 7, 2020 at 10:50 AM


MadaboutDana wrote:

>Pierre, of course, is a wonderful example of what happens when somebody
>follows the slow-but-steady AND super-transparent approach (I’m
>talking about InfoQube). And even he has to put up with a lot of
>criticism. It’s amazing how entitled users become if they’re
>not very self-aware.

I don’t think it’s a case of “putting up” with criticism. Legitimate, *useful* criticism lubes the gears of progress. A developer who doesn’t welcome that kind of criticism, or who wilts under it, isn’t worth much. I’d like to see more criticism on this forum rather than the all-too-typical “what you’re doing is great, keep it up!” (I wonder how many of those who praise then go on to pay for whatever they’re praising.)

In Pierre’s case, I believe most of the “criticism” focuses on the steep learning curve of InfoQube - quite legitimate! - and the consequent suggestions to flatten that curve somehow and thus attract new customers - quite useful!


Posted by Dr Andus
May 7, 2020 at 01:03 PM


So Roam have closed the beta to new users… Here is the announcement:

“This isnt normal - Scaling Update (from Conor)”


And some user reaction to recent troubles:

“I’m so close to drop roamcult”



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