14Jan24 Roundup: Dogs and Cats, Living Together

In which I cover Zendesk's acquisition of Klaus, Substack courting Nazis, more Tech layoffs, and play Bad Job Bingo with a whole bunch of jobs.
14Jan24 Roundup: Dogs and Cats, Living Together

We Support ended their newsletter back in late October 2023 after almost a decade of faithfully serving the CX community, and I’ve keenly felt their absence. I don’t think I could replicate the magic of that esteemed community even if I tried, but I do want to at least attempt to meet the CX community’s need for sharing news, job resources, and just general professional signal-boosting and cheerleading.

So: enter the Support Human Roundup.[1] I’ll be playing with format, content, and timing of the Roundup in the coming weeks to see what works, but this newsletter will almost certainly be much more longform than We Support NYC’s newsletter and include considerably more snark and commentary.[2]

In today's Roundup:
News from Around Supportlandia (and Beyond)
And Now for Some Good News
Read, Watch, and Listen
Get Hired
Upcoming Events

News from Around Supportlandia (and Beyond)

Dogs and Cats, Living Together[3]

Venkman from Ghostbusters saying, "Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!"

Probably the biggest news from this week was Zendesk’s announcement of their pending acquisition of Klaus, maker of much-beloved cats-tomer service quality assurance software.

The acquisition prompts some obvious questions about Klaus’s future as an independently operating product and whether it will continue to support help desk platforms other than Zendesk.

Given Zendesk’s previous habits regarding their acquisitions – such as Zopim (now Zendesk Chat), BIME (absorbed into Zendesk’s analytics offerings), and Smooch (both now absorbed into Zendesk Messaging) – it’s, uh, not looking great.

Regardless of what happens, best wishes to your team, Klaus! I hope you’re all able to retire in luxury to your small-batch catnip farm of choice.

Publications Flee Substack After Founders Court Nazis, Because of Course They Did, Who is Even Surprised Anymore, Not this Very Tired Jew

Man in Nazi uniform asking, "Are we the baddies?"

Hey, so Substack, what the fuck.

Tl;dr: The Atlantic’s Jonathan M. Katz found numerous openly Nazi and white supremacist newsletters with potentially thousands of paid subscribers, from which Substack takes a cut. Katz also found a pattern of the co-founders willfully ignoring racist and antisemitic content in favor of bringing in new publications and readers interested in news and politics and so-called “free speech” ideals.

When confronted with widespread criticism of Substack’s Terms of Service and moderation policies, company Co-Founder Hamish McKenzie said, among other things, that:

[A]ggressive content moderation” didn’t work. “Is there less concern about misinformation? Has polarization decreased? Has fake news gone away? Is there less bigotry? It doesn’t seem so to us.

Because why even try to responsibly moderate your platform when racist antisemites have so much disposable income, amiright?

Look, as a community professional myself, I’m willing to acknowledge that content moderation is usually not as straightforward as users think it is. There are many difficult gray areas, but hate speech in the communities we build is not one of them.

I’m not holding my breath for Substack to figure this out, and even if they do, it’s likely too late. Many publications who were already considering leaving Substack, including major tech blog Platformer, are now making themselves heard loud and clear by migrating to other platforms (such as Ghost, which powers this newsletter).

InVision to Shut Down by End of 2024

Vision from the show WandaVision, saying, "What is grief, if not love persevering?"

After 12 years, InVision announced last week that it will be shutting down at the end of 2024. Fair winds and following seas, friends.

You Get a Layoff, and You Get a Layoff, Everyone Gets a Layoff![4]

In addition to InVision, Frontdesk laid off all 200 employees and closed its doors on January 2. Also, since the beginning of 2024:

  • TechCrunch reports that Audible, Discord, Google, Amazon, Twitch, Unity, and VideoAmp all laid off between 5% and 35% of their employees and that Rent the Runway and Pixar are planning layoffs soon (10% and as high as 20% of their workforces, respectively).
  • is tracking additional layoffs at companies like Instagram, Chargepoint, Citrix, Sofi, Uber Freight, and Lever.

But none of these are as embarrassing or offensive as how Cloudflare conducted itself while laying off employees this past week:

Scott Albro on LinkedIn: A lot of layoff news since the new year. We're not out of the… | 245 comments
A lot of layoff news since the new year. We're not out of the woods. Layoffs happen. I'm just not sure why we can't be better at them. It's fixable. Start… | 245 comments on LinkedIn

You’ll note that, rather than linking to the original TikTok, I’m sending you to a LinkedIn post about this outrage by Scott Albro (who seems nice enough and as far as I know is not affiliated with Cloudflare). I’m doing this because:

  1. Brittany is a Woman on the Internet™ who dared to stand up for herself and I’m sure she’s having A Real Fun Time Right Now™ and doesn’t need more exposure, and 
  2. You’ll find more ex-Cloudflare employees in the comments of Scott’s post elaborating on their equally horrible experiences getting the news.

So I guess a lot of us are having A Real Fun Time Right Now™.

But at least we can comfort ourselves with the fact that we’re decent human beings whose critical thinking and empathy for others allow us to avoid plastering our spectacularly bad takes on the world wide web in front of all the people we may ever work with, UNLIKE SOME DUDES.[5]

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Support Human.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.