Feb 09, 2004

notes on basecamp

Been mucking about a bit with 37signals' Basecamp. A few notes...


  • It's official, everything's now a blog. Even project management apps are now blogs. With categories. And to do lists. And calendars. But really, everything's a blog. And don't you forget it.

  • They skirted around the security issues of RSS and iCal subscriptions by providing none. At least they make it very clear to the user that they don't provide any, but Big Clients aren't going to like that very much.

  • At first I thought the fade effects were an optical illusion ("man, I've been staring at this screen too long"), but after a while you wish that you had the time to build a web app and steal their source to do it yourself.

  • Did I mention that everything's a blog? It's true, everything's a blog. While I'm all over the "blog as effective communications tool" thing, I'm not quite sure that project management should be shoehorned into this mode as well... Where are the dependency flags? The identification of the critical path?

  • Relatedly, the milestones functionality lets you shift all milestones out by N days, but not selected milestones. I'm sure this is coming soon, and will get to the dependencies issue.

  • Wait. No file upload? You're kidding, right? That might work for some agencies, but they expect clients to upload docs to their servers and then provide an URL? I must be missing something.

  • Forget the project management angle; Basecamp could just be useful as a private commun-o-blog-thing.


Of course, all they need now is a Wiki or some "social software" branding and they'd be the buzz of eTech. (Shudder.)