New year’s changes

As announced on Youtube in the first day of 2024, every year between Christmas and into January we take a hard look on how we do things here at Sofa HQ and try to improve when and where it is possible, incrementally, with a view to avoid rocking the boat too much but to also make our work better.

Last year we announced multiple technical changes. Some of them panned out, some not so much. Those that worked are now being built upon while those that didn’t will be shelved and maybe tried again several years from now, at best.

This year’s changes are more in the realm of procedure rather than technical. A procedure is an official and/or established way of doing things. For many things that we do we continue to hold no procedure. This allows for fast adaptability (or agility as the corpo lingo these days calls it). However, as anticipated in years prior, some things can no longer be done without a procedure. Or they can be done but at an increasingly unsustainable cost.

So… without further ado…

The most important change comes by opening up (partially) our secondary server. Throughout 2023 we tested it for various tasks and modified a free version of a ticketing system to suit the needs of our operation.

In 2024 we are opening it up to the public. We don’t know what form it will take after public testing. Maybe excessive abuse will force us to revise this procedure to introduce a log in. Or maybe not.

Still, regardless of how it will evolve, most announcements will no longer be on this website but there. As a virtual “sticky note”. Still public, but not boosted. Only for those interested.

All announcements, including this one next year, will be there. The threshold for “major announcement” that warrants presence here will be raised very high.

No more DMs. Open a ticket!

The year 2023 saw a 200% rise in DMs (mainly on Telegram) on our staff compared to 2022. And in 2020-22 the number of DMS increased by further 300% compared to 2019. This is unsustainable and distracts us from our mission. Not only it has become impossible to reply to everyone, but even attempting to reply to half of the messages is a drain on mental resources. Not to mention that a significant proportion of the messages are repetitive.

As such, throughout 2024 we will work to answer to as few of them as possible and instead direct you to read the FAQ and fix your problems alone. And if that still doesn’t work, then you will be encouraged to open a ticket and wait. The response time will be increased to 72 hours at first and then increased even more.

With the exception of the Donors’ Circle, our DMs should be presumed closed. All tags on Telegram will also be unceremoniously ignored. The three people working closely on this have 400 unread messages or more every day. This cannot go on and will not go on.

Anyone who doesn’t follow the procedure will see his/her request ignored. All tickets whose answer is already available in the FAQ will be instantly closed with prejudice. Same goes with tickets with incomplete information or who don’t follow procedure.

While we understand that some of you prefer e-mail, some of you prefer Telegram, some of you prefer this or that… we are few and you are many. And we’d rather use the time to do the work that we have to do, rather than run around in circles for your messages.

The transition will be slow, but firm. Speaking of which…

FAQ page

The FAQ page right now only contains the really frequently asked questions. The ones that eat 50% or more of our overall time with communications.

In time we will add new questions that tend to be repeated. The objective is to decrease the amount of time spent with communications by at least 90% outside of the Donors’ Circle. While this may sound radical, it is simply a return to the 2019 policy but adapted for the current realities. In 2019 we’d prioritize messages differently but the outcome was quite similar to the objective pursued now.

2024 is already a very busy year. We know we won’t have time for communications. So the next best thing is to equip y’all with the tools to no longer need that much communication. Of course, we mean electronic communication, not in person coffee ☕ . That remains as holy as it has always been.

New wishlist

The old wishlist was, at least in spirit, fulfilled. Also, some of its elements were already pasée. So we came up with a new one – that addresses the production needs in accordance with the current inventory. Please review it and see if you can help.

As always, any funding that doesn’t have an immediate or attached purpose goes towards the inventory, including the Wishlist.


Over time we will expand the use of and access to the ticketing system even more – in accordance to our general philosophy of controlling our own data and relying as little as possible on third-party corporations.

Generally, we will continue to strive to avoid contributing cluttering crisis. More than 70% of the people have at least three online accounts that they don’t even remember creating and at least five more that they can no longer access but can’t delete either. Managing online accounts is tedious business and is a drain on people’s mental health. As a result, we will try our best to accommodate those who don’t want more online accounts. This is one of the reason our paywalls are more permissive and have so many side-options.

Of course, this is also because we despise GDPR with a passion and because managing people’s private data is a headache in itself even without the burdensome regulation by the EU.

Speaking of paywalls, we are currently toying with an option to add paywalls to some articles. It is still unclear whether it’s worth the effort. But, should we decide to introduce it, the implementation will resemble the podcast paywall: as wide and as many options as possible and no requirement of signing up with yet another account with this website.

In previous years, we’d dedicate the first three weeks of January for tinkering with the tech and with the procedures. But, this year is busy. So this concludes the bulk of the yearly evaluation. All other minor changes will be announced on Services if need be.

And with that, we’ll get back to the regular work.

The Sofa
The Sofa is the virtual representation of the editorial board of the Network