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Cover image for Why is everyone so excited about PolyWork? First impressions aren't good!

Why is everyone so excited about PolyWork? First impressions aren't good!

InHuOfficial
Specialising in accessibility and website load speed / performance. If you have a question about [accessibility] or [page-speed-insights] ask away and I will help any way I can!
・1 min read

Hi, just wondered what I was missing (as I am sure there is something!).

Just signed up to PolyWork with a VIP code and I just don't get it?

I spent ages scrolling through the never ending list of tags to add to my profile (which had repeated tags all over the place), weird but I get the concept.

Anyway got it all set up and...now what? I added a link to a post (the editor is not great...and you can't add alt descriptions so I had to improvise...so that immediately puts a big nail in the coffin for me anyway) - great, now what?

Headed over to the "multiverse" - nothing really makes me want to follow anyone on there as it is just a list of names, went to "space station"...sure maybe I will contact a couple of investors but yet again it seems very basic and limited.

I have yet to see a feed with articles or anything like that to give me ideas of who I want to follow.

The whole thing is slow and clunky, having to press a couple of times to get pages to load.

So please, what am I missing...is it all marketing hype with the "invite codes" rubbish and the pretty graphics, or do they actually have something special and I am just not getting it (and if that is the case, could someone tell me how I am meant to be using it!).

Thanks in advance.

Discussion (32)

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

My understanding is it's like linkedin but for peers rather than recruiters. You would make a profile to 'sell' yourself with the hope of finding a collaborator, mentor, mentee or investor. Being British, so you can relate, I hate selling myself so feel a bit out of place on the site. I just use it as a place to link to my Dev articles.

As @afif says it's not indexed and that's because their robots text says don't index it...

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Oh hadn’t checked the robots.txt...what an unusual choice (although after seeing the HTML I wonder if they are actually aware they have blocked the site! 😜), you would think they would want it to start indexing.

Still nobody has anything good to say about it, just same as me, you filled some bits in but have no idea what else to do with it 😜🤣

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone • Edited

If you go to the documentation link (at the top of robots) their robots is an exact copy of the first example 😅

Thread Thread
inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

OMG that is brilliant, honestly!

Did you see my comment about <h5>s as links? Who is building this thing? This is the HTML for their Nav...also what the fuck is a <turbo-frame> doing in an <ul>?

<ul class="navbar-nav ml-3 d-none d-lg-flex flex-direction-row align-items-center">
  <li class="mr-5 nav-item nav-item-underline">
    <a href="/multiverse">              
      <h5 class="text-dark" data-element-id="headingsMap-0">Multiverse</h5>
    </a>
  </li>          
  <li class="mr-5 nav-item nav-item-underline">
    <a href="/spacestation">              
      <h5 class="text-dark" data-element-id="headingsMap-1">Space Station</h5>
    </a>
  </li>
  <turbo-frame class="mr-3 d-none d-xl-block" id="nav-bar-earn-vip-codes-button">
     <button name="button" type="submit" class="btn btn-secondary btn-block d-flex" data-toggle="modal" data-target="#earn_vip_codes_modal_trigger" id="share_vip_codes">
       <span class="ml-n1 mr-2">
         <svg class="svg-inline--fa fa-ticket-alt fa-w-18 text-light-red" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" data-prefix="fas" data-icon="ticket-alt" role="img" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 576 512" data-fa-i2svg="">
          <path fill="currentColor" d="M128 160h320v192H128V160zm400 96c0 26.51 21.49 48 48 48v96c0 26.51-21.49 48-48 48H48c-26.51 0-48-21.49-48-48v-96c26.51 0 48-21.49 48-48s-21.49-48-48-48v-96c0-26.51 21.49-48 48-48h480c26.51 0 48 21.49 48 48v96c-26.51 0-48 21.49-48 48zm-48-104c0-13.255-10.745-24-24-24H120c-13.255 0-24 10.745-24 24v208c0 13.255 10.745 24 24 24h336c13.255 0 24-10.745 24-24V152z">
          </path>
        </svg>
        <!-- <i class="fas fa-ticket-alt text-light-red"></i> Font Awesome fontawesome.com -->
      </span>              
      <span>Get Invite Codes</span>
    </button>
  </turbo-frame>
</ul>
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And if you want a real laugh check out the network tab on polywork.com/inhuofficial - 5.2MB to display that?

I think I am done, I can't keep looking at it any deeper, it is making me lose faith in my fellow Devs! 🤣🤣

I haven't seen a comment redeem it, maybe I will be wrong but I think someone has just blown $13m on a dud!

Thread Thread
inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Oh and FYI to remove your account...you have to email them! Email sent, we will see how that goes! 🤣

I also clarified I wanted my information deleting not just deactivating...I bet that will have them sweating (if they care about GDPR...which they might not!)

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

Looks Like Classic Pump n dump

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jayjeckel profile image
Jay Jeckel • Edited

I'm sure the company is completely legitimate, but just looking at their website front page has my scam alarms sounding left and right.

I have to have a VIP Code or join a waitlist, I can't just sign up? It's not a packed night club worried about the fire marshal, it's a website and on the internet you only need to hype things that don't stand on their own.

There are no navigation options and the page itself is as slow as my old grandma rolling through a patch of mud.

They made the terrible UI design decision to treat the page like a vertical slide show, meaning I can't scroll text to where it is comfortable for me to read. Don't do this. You're not an artist setting up a canvas to be viewed in all its glory; you're an engineer designing an interface to allow real people to navigate information. Just let the user scroll the page like normal. Fancy design is bad design.

Scrolling through the slides it just gets worse. Nothing of substance is said, just the standard marketing spiel that every shifty cousin, infomercial presenter, and shady startup has been using since the beginning of time; life is hard, existing solutions are too complicated, you're so busy and frustrated, with our solution your life will be so much better. What is their solution and how is it different? Not a peep.

But don't worry about any of that, look at all these awesome 3D animations!!! I mean, what screams we're a technically and practically superior service that can sell itself on its own merits more than spending a bunch of money on fancy graphics that take up more than fifty percent of every page!? Wait, I know, failing to optimize those graphics so they don't slow down the entire page; that will really show that we're a competent company!

After slowly scrolling through a dozen slides, finally the bottom of the page and useful links... or maybe not. There's a link to a ToS page, but no About page link, so I still have no idea what purpose this company is supposed to fill.

The Terms themselves are fairly standard butt-covering, but a few parts do jump out as worth mentioning.

In addition to the service getting the normal license to display a user's content, one also agrees to extend this license to anyone that uses the service; this seems to be an attempt at avoiding the problem Instagram ran into with users making copyright complaints over their content being shown on 3rd-party sites using Instagram's embedding mechanism. Nothing shady here, an understandable and acceptable move.

Sections 13.2 and 13.3 are two that need to be pointed out. The former attempts to remove the user's right to sue the company by forcing arbitration (specifically in New York and you might have to pay for the privilege) and the later attempts to remove users' right to form a class action against the company. The idea behind clauses like these are the legal equivalent of black magic and are unethical on their face as their goal is to take away one's right to protection under the law. They are also very possibly unenforceable as it biases the contract toward the more powerful party and in some jurisdictions they are explicitly illegal. Regardless, they are definitely a protection only needed by companies that haven't ruled out intentionally breaking the law and/or harming their customers.

Lastly, buried in the ToS is a link to their Privacy Policy. Nothing surprising there, just your everyday 5,000+ words detailing all the information they'll gather about you, where they could get it from, and who they may share it with. The part I like the most is that they make a point of listing "Publicly Available Sources" as one of the ways they could find information about you. Something almost refreshing about a company willing to admit they aren't above diving into your local library's microfiche archives if that's what it takes to gather more information on you.

My conclusion: They couldn't tell me what their service is much less give me any reason to think it would be useful, but there are a number signs telling me they aren't competent enough to build an informative website and several more signs that this place might just be some kind of scam, con job, or at best a hype driven fly by night money sponge.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Great rant with some excellent points.

It doesn’t get much better when you actually get in, fancy graphics, ugly UI (but I can put up with that if the thing works), slow and makes very little sense.

I didn’t look at the website in detail just saw pretty pictures and people promoting it so I thought I would check it out.

So far nobody seems to have anything positive to say so I am guessing I will just delete my profile if nobody gives me a good reason (looking unlikely)

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afif profile image
Temani Afif

worth to note that today they are raised 13m$ sifted.eu/articles/polywork-announ....

For me, such site can simply help in having another profile that can link to your works to boost your SEO and your internet visibility but I see nothing yet. My profile is still not indexed on google

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Yeah I know they got the funding...but that just means they are good at marketing and have managed to build a decent base (the "invite only" thing is genius marketing...even if it is just smoke and mirrors!).

I am not surprised it hasn't indexed, the site is slow, they use <h1>s for everything - oh except the menu where they use a <h5> for a fucking menu item! (seriously, inspect your profile, h1 for each section, then in "multiverse" and "spacestation" they use h5s!)

...and it looks like it is styled with TailWind (ok that doesn't have any effect, but haters gotta hate! 🤣)

The fact you can't add alt text also won't help you index!

So far my first impressions are getting worse and worse...I am really hoping someone can show me some magic I have missed!

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

It's not genius marketing, it's pretty common with services that don't have enough to offer of their own merit.

Thread Thread
inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Oh no give them credit, their marketing team is doing a good job when they can raise 13 mil on what they currently have (you could build it in a week probably!).

Their landing page is on point with beautiful custom graphics and they have targeted the right people to share their "VIP codes".

No their marketing team is doing a really good job, the devs...eeek!

Agree entirely on the "all form no substance" aspect though and as i said in the post, the wait list is just smoke and mirrors marketing.

It seems these thoughts are echoed in the comments so far. I am hoping someone who uses the platform can tell us all we are wrong!

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I've never heard of it, so I'm your single data point that contradicts "why is everyone so excited about it".

I can't think of any service that's been released in the last decade and is invitation-only or waitlist that's worth my time. That trick is just there to create artificial scarcity to make people want something they can't have, and to generate a buzz. It's usually covering up a mediocre product, and I view it in the same way as films with review embargoes until the day after their release.

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alvaromontoro profile image
Alvaro Montoro • Edited

Based on my experience creating my profile, sharing a couple of things, and surfing the site a bit: I am with you. It is mostly marketing hype and the new developers' fad (as the hello email thing or the .dev was in previous years).

At the moment, the site is too basic for anything really meaningful. But on the positive side, it seems to be growing and adding new features, which is fresh and nice. As @afif mentions, it is just another profile to boost your SEO. But it requires maintenance too, so...

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Hmmm, perhaps I should apply for a job, it looks like they have the marketing team on top form but everything else...they will burn that $13 mil in no time! I could do it for as little as $1 mil, I don't want to be greedy 🤣

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ekafyi profile image
Eka

I made an empty profile just to squat on my username. In theory it should be a fresh departure from Linkedin's approach. In practice I just found it mostly visual frills 🤷🏽‍♀️. I don't particularly enjoy promoting myself unless I really have to (ie. applying for a job, a grant, etc; which I'm not doing at the moment), so that may also be a factor.

I rather like the concept of "showcasing people's activities / impacts in various fields". Outside of web development I dabbled in other fields—not at the professional level that warrants entry in a formal CV, but maaaybe I need a platform to showcase my achievements in those fields. Maybe one day Polywork could solve that need, but currently IMO they have not executed the concept very well in their product.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

I have a feeling many are squatting their profiles.

It won’t be the first time I have been wrong if it becomes massive, but I think they have left too many people going “huh?”.

Second person who doesn’t enjoy promoting ourselves, we all need to work on getting better at self promotion and shaking that “it’s boasting” feeling! 😜

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

I will update this page as people educate me on the benefits / pros of PolyWork. As I said I am sure it is probably just me missing the point somewhere!

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arximughal profile image
Muhammad Arslan Aslam

No magic there. Just genius marketing and pretty graphics.

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arximughal profile image
Muhammad Arslan Aslam

Or maybe, I've missed the whole point as well 😅

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Glad it isn't just me! 🤣

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auroratide profile image
Timothy Foster

Of all the things people have brought up, the one that does it for me is that I can't highlight text on the homepage >.<#

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Honestly just stop it, it’s already dead! 😜🤣🤣

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

God it is worse than I thought, I assumed it was just an overlapping element getting in the way...nope, it was deliberate!

-webkit-user-select: none;
-ms-user-select: none;
-moz-user-select: none;
user-select: none;
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Why, just why?

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leob profile image
leob • Edited

Terrible, this says it all ... "they" don't want us to copy/paste their brilliant (read: inferior) stuff! Well I'm not at all interested in the concept (yet another way or channel for self-promotion ...) but even if I was, this does it really.

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ms_74 profile image
Mariam Reba Alexander

Its a new platform, give them time, may be give all these feedback directly to the Polywork dev team.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

If you happen to know someone there and think they would benefit from the feedback in the comments then please do share the article with them.

I can't share it I have been far too mean! 😋🤣

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ms_74 profile image
Mariam Reba Alexander

Nope

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foresthoffman profile image
Forest Hoffman

Hmm, I am interested to see how features are fleshed out, so that it may differentiate itself from the LinkedIn ecosystem. I think we'll just have to wait and see.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I’m not anti-poly work, it’s interesting, but they definitely know how to create hype itself. 😅

Will the hype train translate into real value over time? We’ll see.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

You should ask for a seat on the board to steer them towards a performant and well coded site! (yes that is a compliment...I know they are rare coming from me! 😋)

It does feel like hype no substance at the moment...but I am taking notes on the hype part, a very useful skill!

Perhaps DEV could start a waiting list with VIP codes? You will be at 10 million users in no time! 🤣