It’s hardly a that I’m interested in way too many things. My PhD changed because this machine learning thing just seemed too interesting not to pursue.

Was that enough to keep my full attention?

Of course not. I also:

  • Learnt Python
  • Taught Python
  • Went to and won hackathons
  • Played around on kaggle
  • Created Youtube videos
  • Wrote blogposts

… you get the gist. I like creating things. I like doing things.

When cassidoo mentioned Polywork in her newsletter, I was intrigued. What would a social network that focuses on the many facets that make us up be?

What already exists with Linkedin?

Linkedin focuses on titles and credentials first.

This is also what Corporate America focuses on.

Oh, you graduated from Harvard? A job at McKinsey? Impressive. Here’s my card.

Additionally, you try to gain a following by “showing thought leadership”.

Recruiters telling incredible stories of empathy that none of us workers has ever experienced. Like being given a chance despite showing up late. Or a chance despite being drenched from the rain.

Double spaced creative writing assignments, followed by “Thoughts?” and “Agree?”.

I’m not the kind of person that would get a job at McKinsey or Accenture (despite people working in these companies telling me otherwise). I would not get into Harvard or MIT. I don’t receive awards either I’m afraid.

I try to share interesting things on Linkedin that are relevant for people getting into machine learning, but I’ve never been great in the popularity contest.

What is the Reality I See?

The most interesting people I see are the creators and doers.

Marie Forleo coined the phrase of multi-passionate individuals. And I feel seen with that description.

Yes I could talk about machine learning for hours. It is what I chose to talk about online.

But we could just as well talk about climbing, weight-lifting, pen & paper, scuba diving, or many many other topics and I’d be happy as a fish in water.

I love building things with others. Writing these things. Creating videos online. Speaking at events. Teaching, Learning, Communicating.

Sure thing life would be easier with Harvard credentials, an ex-Google in the Twitter bio, or any of these credentials. But only as long as they come with the other fun things.

My favourite human trait is curiosity.

Why do I like Polywork so much?

Polywork focuses on the things you do.

You have two small lines for your jobs and all the space in the world for an update of what you’ve been up to.

Limited space for jobs on polywork

But let’s start at the beginning.

The Badges. All the Badges.

When you set up your profile you can choose badges you’d like to add to your about-me.

You can even create some yourself that you deem missing.

When I scrolled through, even the ones I didn’t identify with were badges I thought “oh interesting!”.

Check out this thread for inspiration.

Now I can proudly display that I play chess, when I’m procrastinating on my Python code:

Jesper Dramsch' Polywork profile

These badges are the link to posts you can make.

Activities and Posts

Once you have your little profile set up, you can post activities.

You can be as granular as you want.

Some people post big life updates.

Other people are way more granular:

  • Streamed on Twitch? Update.
  • Wrote some Code? Update.
  • Hit rank 1200 on chess.com? Update.
  • Published a new newsletter issue? Update!

That’s my approach. I love adding activities to the feed.

It feels rewarding to get to score with the small things. Something that isn’t a fully-fledged project.

I get to talk about the things I’m up to and they don’t need to be Linkedin-polished.

This is my favourite bit about Polywork.

Polywork Timeline of Jesper Dramsch

You can tag each post with activities.

These activities in turn are connected to the badges you saw before.

This makes your posts discoverable under badges, so you can see what other people that enjoy the things you enjoy are up to.

What Polywork Doesn’t Do.

Deliberately, Polywork has decided against likes.

That’s it.

Your activity isn’t a popularity contest.

It just is and is allowed to stand for itself.

There’s also no algorithmic curation of your feed. However, that used to be the case on every platform until they ran out of funding, so we’ll see how that develops.

What Polywork Does Do.

Polywork has community in mind.

You decide beforehand, which things you are open to be contacted about.

Guest lecture? Yes. Angel Investing? No.

This is a feature that has moderation in mind.

Considering the types of harassment folks are subjected to on other social media platforms, where anything but the most egregious threats is “in line with the community guidelines”, this is a refreshing approach.

Polywork has recently called for moderators to apply, as user-generated badges will always be a target of abuse as well.

Building a welcoming community? Yes, please.

What’s to come

Polywork has just announced the Spacestation.

A feature where you can find people that are open to help on the specific things you are looking for.

Angel investing? I may not be your go-to, but the people open to investing are!

Need a podcast guest? The Spacestation can provide your next guest!

How do I get in?

I understand that Polywork may not be for everyone.

But it scratches an itch personally, to build a community of passionate individuals that like to draw outside of the box.

Currently, Polywork is invite-only.

I talked to them to get a special code for my readers, so of course it’s

late-tothe-party 🎉

Because we’re all late to the party sometimes.

Find my profile here: polywork.com/jesper