Our Software Neutrality Self-Policing

Sascha and I thought about how to resolve conflicts of interest on this site. How can we evaluate other apps regarding their efficiency in knowledge work when we have our own app? The answer is: We can’t. It is not honest. So we decided: we won’t evaluate note taking apps anymore.

We’re not just producing information products like books anymore. I am programming The Archive, which is a note archive application by our own design, and we think it’s the best that’s happened to humanity since sliced bread. This naturally makes us biased when evaluating other apps. Does an app meet our objective standards? There’s an obvious conflict of interest, and we want to do our best to be honest and true, and to keep this platform interesting.

From now on, we won’t write anything judgmental about Zettelkasten archive apps. (Except when we find out some app makes your computer explode.) This is the best way to evade the dilemma of (1) wanting to write about interesting software and (2) our conflict of interest, now that we are selling our own software.

This website shall be a platform of interesting discussion about knowledge work, and about writing in particular. We do not want to make the moneys we make ruin that platform. That’s why we aren’t available for software reviews anymore. This also affects past reviews by me which I have now removed – except the one of nvALT, which is free open source software, so there’s no conflicting party.

This personal policy of ours does by no means exclude you, dear reader, from publishing your reviews on this blog or have us link to it. Sascha and I will refrain from joining forum discussions and writing blog posts concerning the competition, that’s all.

Take René’s Sublime Text 3 plug-in, for example, which is an amazing feat! As reviews, there’d be Marko’s DEVONthink review, or Nick’s Trello review, or DutchPete’s OneNote review.

Are you interested in reviewing an app for this blog? Check out our baseline for Zettelkasten reviews if you want an inspiration, and look at our tools page for links to interesting apps and reviews around the net. Then write us!

(Last updated: 2018-03-19)