← back

Thanks War Room

January 26th, 2022

I remember when, in a study room in Tisch library, Ben and Amanda and I first wrote three adjacent checklists off of which which we would work that night. It was the birth of War Woom.

I think everyone here knows about War Room because that's really the only way I promote this blog. Ben (its genius creator) has this background info for it, and you can sign up here!

It's pretty incredible that so much of how I stay engaged in people's lives comes from this platform. Often the first time I'll learn someone is particularly upset or happy will come from a War Room status or a completed task. Or, I'll use my status to joke with someone else, a sort of playful joshing that I don't think occurs anywhere else on any of the social medias I am aware of.

I wonder a lot about why War Room is so compelling for me—and for so many others. Ben is quick to note that of the 82 registered users, many are inactive, but that really does downplay what have to be at least 50 dedicated roomers whose productivity ostensibly rests on this platform's use. I wonder if that allure stems partly from the fact that it's so personal—that everyone on here is only a few degrees of separation away from me, friends of my friends. Like early Facebook, the goal is to connect people who are already in the same discreet social ecosystem.

Or maybe the appeal is that it's fun to use things that feel purpose-built for us. We all sort of know Ben to some degree, and it's fun to imagine that there is a real person who works hard to make the tool we use better. The fact that I can suggest a feature and the person in charge will listen to me and even think about implementing it makes me feel special—like I'm a part of the team helping War Room to develop.

Certainly, it is extremely exciting when War Room updates come out. Even when it's a little thing, roomers get pretty excited by the tweaks—another reminder that War Room is cared about by the person who makes it. It feels different from how we react to an Instagram update.

Actually, you know what War Room feels like? A garden. War Room is like a maintained garden. As users, the people who walk in the garden and enjoy it, War Room feels intimate and special—familiar. Perhaps, we have come to know the gardener who works there: Ben. We see him pruning, planting, tending to it. And seeing the work that goes into the garden makes us appreciate it even more.

One day, AWS went down and War Room wasn't available for an afternoon. And it was crazy to see how that impacted people. That was when I realized that even though I honestly don't even use War Room to write down my tasks, I depend on it. It is comfortable, cozy, constant.

Thanks Ben.