Polywork: The UnProfessional Network
Back in April I was lucky to get an early invite to Polywork and I’m really liking the platform so far. If you’ve ever wished you could point people to a single site that shows all the cool stuff you’ve done and some more cool stuff you’re working on, Polywork is for you.
A work timeline
Since I started doing lots of devrel work I’ve ended up with blog posts scattered across different websites, talks maybe listed on my Noti.st porfolio, and side projects just buried in GitHub because they never feel done enough to share on social media. I’ve been wanting to consolidate that work into a single, informal timeline–something like a public, continuous brag document. (Read this excellent post from Julia Evans for an introduction to brag documents.)
Polywork is saving me from all that effort.
What’s Polywork tho
Polywork is a social media platform that’s ideal for devrel-type folks whose work often gets scattered across blogs, videos, podcast episodes, Twitch streams, Twitter Spaces, etc. It’s also a fun way to sort of brag about all the cool stuff we do, especially “fun work” (a term I’m more-or-less making up right now) that’s not tied to a specific job title like side projects, community engagement, and mentoring. (There’s a whole discussion to be had here about modern hustle culture and this idea of “fun work,” but that’s beyond the scope of this post and I doubt I’m the best person to cover it.)
When I first joined Polywork, I described it like so:
it's like a cross between an old-school facebook wall and a resume— shelby spees is masking indoors 😷 (@shelbyspees) April 28, 2021
For a better explanation of the “but why tho” of Polywork, definitely check out this recent post from the founder, Peter:Why we started Polywork
Here’s my favorite excerpt from the post:
People like Rich Burroughs tell me he thinks our product is going to help people with ADHD keep track of the things they have done better.
This made my heart swell. It’s so hard for those of us with ADHD to remember our successes. Scrolling through our own timelines on Polywork can give us that same feeling of accomplishment that we get when scrolling through commit history on GitHub. (Well it’s the feeling I get, at least when I’m doing lots of meaningful work in GitHub.)
The profile badges are a great feature because unlike on LinkedIn, on Polywork you’re encouraged to identify with roles and activities beyond the source of your paycheck. While I could totally set my LinkedIn header to Software Engineer, Karaoke Enthusiast, ADHD, LinkedIn’s culture–and American corporate culture in general–doesn’t really encourage that. This is the biggest leg up Polywork has over other networking sites: it throws out this entire notion of performative professionalism in favor of just sharing cool stuff you’ve done.
So how do you develop a great culture? Cultivate a great community. Polywork is being very deliberate about this. When I first created my profile and started adding badges, I asked the Polywork team (via Twitter DMs) about their content moderation strategy. I was impressed! It’s called The Atom Project, and they’re working with folks in the community like Emily Kager, Cassidy Williams, Ali Spittel, and Kelly Vaughn–all of whom I totally look up to 😅. As I understand it, the folks at Polywork started working with the community on moderation strategies before there was even a site! It’s refreshing to see so much thought put into this crucial aspect of social media. I’ll continue to follow Polywork’s growth to see how it serves the community.
Alright. In the interest of actually publishing posts instead of letting them sit in drafts forever, I’m going to wrap up here and say: Hey! Check out my Polywork profile at work.spees.dev!
work career social media devrel
2021-05-19 19:24 (Last updated: 2021-05-19 23:12)