Second Brain, BASB, and Roam

Recently I began reading more about second brain and BaSB (Building a Second Brain) concepts which I credit @ABp for drawing me into this via Roam itself. Ironically, as I was reading this particular article (a good one I might add), I noticed a new message in my inbox.

Roam Growing Pains + Update

I quickly switched tasks (Superhuman compels me to stay at Inbox Zero) and discovered there was a significant data loss incident at Roam.

Beloved Roamans,

As some of you already know - this week, Roam committed the cardinal sin for a writing app and failed to save some of our community’s notes.

Oddly, the announcement from Roam’s founder referenced this article which has since been taken down.

This was predictable result of Nat Eliason’s excellent intro to Roam post (see here) hitting the top of hacker news recently, and a big influx of new users ramping up usage with Roam.

Oops! That’s not good for Roam users, but it’s also not the type of news you want to see for the segment of solutions that are designed to capture and sustain personal and business information.

This news comes with the sobering reminder about our deep discussions of backup and recovery strategies, specifically @William_Porter’s comments.

But the takeaway here is that all of these services are subject to possible failure and it’s a useful reminder to anyone who might pressure a startup into taking risks to develop features without measured planning and deep testing. Just sayin’.

Back to Second Brain reading as soon as I backup a few things. :wink:

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@Bill_French: Yes, I got the same email this morning from Roam. Once I remembered what the heck Roam is and figured out why I’m getting email from them (I have an account), my responses were in this order:

  1. I feel their pain
  2. I’m glad I’m not using Roam much right now
  3. Yikes, this could happen to some of the services I am using (viz. Coda)

I’ve been doing this stuff a long time. At least in my own view, the First Commandment is THOU SHALT NOT ALLOW THE DATA TO BE LOST.

William

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@Bill_French, Good Morning! Always enjoy reading your insights. In fact, I’ve happened across quite a bit of your material over at the AirTable community, which I’ve been perusing for further ideas on how to build in Coda and of course solve my number #1 item - building references. And interesting to hear you’re a user of Superhuman, too, further evidencing you are on top of cutting edge productivity stuff!

I have actually been using Roam quite a bit, mostly to try to manipulate their linked references around and see what I could build. In fact one of those docs was an example Coda Schema!

One thing I was really hoping to test in Roam, and this is something I have also tried to solve in Coda, is building of Reference Docs from notes snippets strewn across the app. In particular, in my situation I have a team of 4 Product Managers, let’s call them. Often we’ll meet, and during the meeting discuss the beginnings of what is a Team Guideline-like doc. For example, how do we want to set up our staging when we migrate some of our websites onto a new platform? So I’ll write a few paragraphs of what the team discusses. But this should later get into a final copy. So how can I take these initial meeting notes, and add them to the final doc, without laborious copying and pasting and otherwise killing the data record that’s the origin of the doc. And I’d also like to reference the start of the whole concept of the doc from the meeting record, the “source,” which is later very useful to look back on.

There is a great discussion by our colleague @GJ_Roelofs here:

that was too advanced for me, but brought up a lot of these points. I think Roam has gotten some of this potential, and that could come to Coda with some of those reciprocal references we’ve been talking about!

As for the reliability stuff, I concur 100%. Thankfully we have some performance gurus in here keeping tabs on the Coda Product Team as they work forward!

And while I have you, I’d be interested in your feedback, and that of your fellow Power Makers, about a few posts I just put in. If you have a moment that is!

Sorry if that is overly self-promoting. Thanks for the post, and take care!

Yes! I get to check my inbox for $30/month. :nerd_face:

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