Photo composite by Jim Cooke, photo via Shutterstock

Slack DM with [EDITOR A]

Tom Scocca Is anyone writing about this stupid chat-in-pubic thing?

Tom Scocca *public


Slack DM with [EDITOR B]

Tom Scocca What’s the difference between this and Twitter?

Tom Scocca [Link to Medium post about Talkshow]

[EDITOR B] i guess….

[EDITOR B] self respect?

[EDITOR B] this seems real real real dumb

Tom Scocca The premise I guess is that everything anyone does is interesting and should definitely be broadcast.


Slack DM with [EDITOR A]

[EDITOR A] it’s in discussion

Tom Scocca I was thinking of just chatting at people about it and publishing the chats.

Tom Scocca Like this one.

[EDITOR A] hmmm

[EDITOR A] do it for gizmodo

[EDITOR A] Assigned

[EDITOR A] there

[EDITOR A] publish that

Tom Scocca OK.


Gchat with [FRIEND A]

Tom Scocca Why would a person want to put their texts in public?

[FRIEND A] oh i like talkshow

[FRIEND A] it’s dumb but cute

Tom Scocca How does it differ from people tweeting at one another?

[5 mins]


Gchat with [FRIEND B]

Tom Scocca Why

Tom Scocca [Link to Medium post about Talkshow]

[19 mins]


Slack DM with [EDITOR A]

[EDITOR A] the clock is ticking tom

[EDITOR A] where’s my post

Tom Scocca I’m chatting as fast as I can.


Slack DM with [EDITOR C]

Tom Scocca I’m chatting with people about this

Tom Scocca [Link to Medium post about Talkshow]

[EDITOR C] What is this shit habibi

Tom Scocca It seems to overrate how interesting text conversations are.

[EDITOR C] Texting me in public is Twitter

[EDITOR C] All my texts are boring as shit

Tom Scocca I’m going to publish this exchange, OK?

[EDITOR C] The majority of them are to my wife or son and involve stuff like “I’m going by the store, should I get anything?”

[EDITOR C] Sure


Gchat with [FRIEND A]

[FRIEND A] nobody can get in your mentions

Tom Scocca Hm, OK.

Tom Scocca May I publish this?

[FRIEND A] [REDACTED]

Tom Scocca It’s going to be anonymous.

[FRIEND A] OH then fine

[FRIEND A] yes

[FRIEND A] lol


Slack DM with [EDITOR C]

[EDITOR C] Sometimes I text gossip with my cronies but the precise reason we’re texting it is that it seems reasonably not-public barring some massive, epochal hack of the internet’s mainframe

Tom Scocca So you’re saying you wouldn’t use this.

[EDITOR C] I would not use this

[EDITOR C] When I text with people to have the sort of conversations I wouldn’t mind having on a performative public-texting app

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[EDITOR C] It’s precisely because texting has an immediacy to it that the use of an app would remove

[EDITOR C] [UPLOADED SCREEN SHOT OF BORING TEXT CONVERSATION]

[EDITOR C] Here’s an example of a typical boring text exchange; I wouldn’t mind this being public but a) who would possibly want to read me and [REDACTED] talking about a UFC flyweight fight and b) the precise reason this was a text exchange was that [REDACTED] wanted to get my attention by invading my actual phone number to talk about the fight

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[EDITOR C] If he’d tweeted me I would have been much more likely to ignore the invitation to conversation, true, but that’s much more true of a public-texting app.

[EDITOR C] As manners questions go, “I need something between Twitter and texting” seems like the problem least in need of an answer that I’ve heard in a really long time


Gchat with [FRIEND C]

[FRIEND C] Has the Yogurt Desk reacted to the Chobani news

Tom Scocca It’s struggling with it.

Tom Scocca [Link to Medium post about Talkshow]

Tom Scocca I’m chatting with people to see how welcome this new app would be.

[FRIEND C] Publicly?

Tom Scocca Yes

[FRIEND C] OK where

Tom Scocca I mean I’m just pasting DMs into a blog post.

[FRIEND C] Yeah OK

[FRIEND C] So it’s an app that looks like people IM’ing but you can... argh

Tom Scocca Right.

[FRIEND C] Jeepers who asked for that

[FRIEND C] And then what, people can join in? Big deal, that’s comments on a kabillion sites

[FRIEND C] Or a “chat room” from what, the 90s?

[FRIEND C] <So-and-so has entered the chat room>

[FRIEND C] Bleah!

[FRIEND C] And then there’ll be ads in it I guess


Gchat with [FRIEND B]

[44 mins]