Would it work for me?
Aether Pro is a communication app. It’s post-based (similar to email, but with smart threading and other modern features), instead of chat-based. You can think of it as a much better Google Groups.
Here are a few features of Aether Pro that makes your workday less painful:
- Unlimited channels, we don’t nickel and dime.
- Unlimited channel members (guests), and they are not single-channel, they can join multiple channels.
- 100% backwards compatible with email, can be used entirely through email for people who prefer email, and those who prefer the app can use the app. Aether Pro will make them work in the same team seamlessly.
- Smart threading. Your posts infinitely nest, and you can have multiple discussions in the same thread without getting confused who replied to what.
- Voting to surface most important content up top, so everyone has to spend less time reading
- Easy communication with external people, like contractors or your users community by making a channel public, and letting people sign up via email. To these people, your channel acts like a mailing list, and they won’t have to sign up for anything.
- Markdown and code highlighting in 180+ programming languages.
Using Aether Pro as a single-user
You don’t need to be a team to get your money’s worth from Aether Pro. You could be a single person, and use it to create loose, email-based communities. Community members are free, so you would only pay for your own account, and that’s it. You can create infinite number of channels (each of them a separate mailbox that you can program, with their own email address), add infinite number of channel members to those channels, and moderate your communities. (Heads up though: we have zero tolerance for spam.)
Here are some single-user use cases from existing customers. Meet-up administrators, conferences, even residential building managers who want to send announcements to residents and allow for discussion and decision-making have been use cases for Aether Pro.
Using Aether Pro as a team
While you can get a lot of value from using Aether Pro for communities, one place it shines is when you add your team into it. This way, you get all the features of the above, for each of your team members, but also get to work with them in a much more productive way. How so?
If you’re using email internally with each other
As mentioned elsewhere, we’re not trying to sell you on a new religion, we just make tools you already know and love more powerful. You like email — we like email. Aether Pro is 100% backwards compatible with email. It just makes your mailbox so, so much more powerful.
If you’re using a chat app as your main discussion tool
Aether Pro is not chat based, it’s more similar to email. In fact, it’s 100% backwards compatible with it. (And yes, we toiled countless hours to get that just right.)
Being email-like avoids chat apps’ dreaded obligation to be online all the time. A chat room is an all-day conference call with no agenda, but you still have to be there. Aether Pro is built to avoid that.
"In most orgs I know, Slack is not used like email, but instead like a never-ending conference call. And just like in calls & meetings, you can avoid them, but if you never take part in them the rest will unavoidably perceive that as a lack of initiative & interest on your side."— Andrew Montalenti (@amontalenti) August 18, 2019
Aether Pro works well where chat gets too noisy
If you’ve been in a chat room (Slack, Mattermost or IRC), you know how noisy it can get when the team grows. Here’s a real-world example:
|An ordinary day in a startup|
|Your team lead starts a discussion over the architecture with the DevOps lead and pulls in the designer. Some folks from your engineering team join the conversation that’s been going on for 25 minutes. What do you do?|
|** Option 1 (best)**|
Be there while this discussion is happening. This is a low chance since you are likely doing your actual job, focused on the task at hand, not on the chat app.
You have this conversation muted, and then you have to figure out what happened from the chat log.
|**Option 3 (worst)**|
You get repeatedly pinged by this conversation while it is happening, while you’re trying to fix a bug, design a UI, or have a meeting. You try to keep an eye on the discussion, and another on what you should be doing, and neither ends up being productive.
The noise threshold is where you encounter issues like this on a regular basis. At what number you’ll encounter this depends on how judiciously your team uses your tool of choice. However, even the best team will start to have trouble beyond a certain size. Chat does not scale.
You get distracted a lot. We can help with that
You’re busy. You get a lot of notifications, emails, most of which are non-important, but some very important, and you don’t know which is which. If you use chat, you know some people abuse
@all and they have to be politely told it’s not a good idea. You start keeping your chat status on busy all the time, but it seems to have no effect. That’s because if you do it for long, after a while people will start to treat your busy as online. You then start to keep the app closed, or keep it at offline, but then you worry that people will think you’re not working.
Moreover, every time you’ve just gotten going, somebody pings you, and asks about whether you have the link to the latest ticket, the product proposal, or the latest mocks. These are not urgent requests, but it’s delivered through a channel that treats everything as urgent.
In the end, since the attention of your team is a fixed, finite commodity, it is a zero-sum game, and the more people you have, the more often this will start to happen.
If stealing focus from people for your benefit is as easy as just typing
@all:into a team chat, given a large enough team, somebody will be doing that all the time.
Aether Pro protects your focus, and lets other people distract you only if important
- Conversations on Aether Pro are like email. They are longer than single line chat messages, they can nest multiple levels. A thread can have multiple things being discussed within it while still making sense. More importantly, the threads continue to make sense far better than a chat log long after the conversation has transpired.
There is no expectation of an immediate response since you don’t ping someone directly, but ask a question to the group.
It batches notifications, so you don’t get notification spam of a ping every 10 seconds in an active conversation while you’re trying to code.
Teamwork apps that are based on chat are optimized for teams who don’t lose much from interruption. Their tradeoffs are designed to emphasize more communication over deep communication.
This creates the illusion of doing something while the actual output is negative: doing nothing, plus preventing others from doing their work.
Aether is more suitable for people who need more uninterrupted focus.
Have questions? We’re friendly
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