The Buzz: Fixing internal communications, growing company culture, and staying true to your roots.

Every few weeks, we publish The Buzz, a wrap up of industry articles, videos and conversations the Honey team is loving and learning from. Here’s what we’re buzzing about this week.

1. How Fast-Growing Startups Can Fix Internal Communication Before It Breaks - First Round Review

This First Round article looks at what URX CEO John Milinovich is doing to keep internal communications alive at a fast-growing startup. Around the office, he’s implemented Contrarian Office Hours for company feedback, invited team members to give Tech Talks about their current projects, and talked to team members in one-on-one meetings. As URX grows, Milinovich continues to contribute to the company’s wiki, which documents everything employees (new and old) would want to know. Read the article here on First Round.

2. Fast-growing Startups Fight to Stay True to Their Culture - Upstart Business Journal

As companies grow larger, maintaining the collaborative vibe they had as a scrappy startup gets increasingly difficult. For some, when the company reaches a turning point of 30 employees, not every employee can still be involved in every decision - so how do you scale company culture and make every team member feel like they are contributors? Read the article here on Upstart.

3. 3 Principles for a Contagiously Engaging Company Culture- Fast Company 

Ping-pong tables, break rooms, and beanbag chairs are great, but “company culture” is more than just perks and the newest office space. True company culture should be a catalyst for change, promoting employee engagement and happiness. This FastCo article details three variables that determine company culture, and how to put each in action. 

4. Onboarding 101: 3 Companies That Roll Out the Red Carpet for New Employees - Friends of the US Chamber of Commerce

Making a new hire feel welcome is not only great for employee moral, but also paves the way for future engagement. The companies that do the best job at guiding their new hires through the onboarding process are Zappos, Cisco, and Birchbox. Read how they do it here.

5. The 12 Most Common Email Mistakes Professionals Make - Business Insider 

Until the next startup comes along and reimagines email, it’s here to stay. This Business Insider article reminds us of some common email mistakes made in in the workplace - including hitting that reply all button. Read the article here.

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Honey now supports Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud embeds.

If you’ve been sharing tweets, Instagram pics, or music on Honey, your posts are about to get more awesome. We’re excited to announce support of Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud embeds. 

Check it out…

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To embed a tweet, pic, or music clip, just paste the URL into the post. Clicking on a Twitter card or Instagram photo will open a new tab, while clicking on a Soundcloud clip will play the song. 

Happy sharing! 


Have questions? We’re more than happy to help. Send us a note at support@honey.is.

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The Buzz: Making global work, investigating employee happiness, and navigating the business of BFFs.

Every few weeks, we publish The Buzz, a wrap up of industry articles, videos and conversations the Honey team is loving and learning from. Here’s what we’re buzzing about this week.

1. How to Deal When Employees are Scattered Across the World - FastCompany

As it becomes easier to communicate with advances in technology, more companies have teams that are spread across the globe. Managing a global workforce while ensuring engagement and happiness for remote teams is tough - FastCompany highlights 5 considerations for managers in this article.

2. Why You Hate Work  - The New York Times

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This op-ed piece from The Energy Project explores why “the way we’re working isn’t working.” Employees are happier and more productive when they feel valued at work, have the opportunity to focus on tasks, and find meaning in their work. Investing in meeting these needs benefits not just employees, but also the company. Read findings from the study, where this infographic is from, here at The New York Times

3. 5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans- Fast Company 

Meanwhile, the Danish love their jobs. Arbedjsglaede is a Danish word that means “happiness at work,” which is encouraged and applied in the company culture and environment. Take some ideas from the Danish by reading this article on FastCo.Exist.

4. Mindfulness, purpose, and the quest for productive employees - The Guardian

Employee wellbeing and employee productivity go hand in hand. Positive relationships at work cultivate community and meaning. When employees feel they have a purpose, they’re more likely to build connections with each other and drive productivity. Read the article on positive workplace culture here at The Guardian

5.  How to Navigate the Murky Waters of Workplace Friendships - Brain Pickings

Workplaces may or may not foster true friendship: “Work may be one of the best sources of friends, as well as one of the most desirable places to have one. The point is that these relationships are always, at least initially, influenced by the utility factor.” True friendship is rare, but they do happen in workplaces when individuals bond over and nurture a range of interests. Mark Vernon explores workplace friendships in The Meaning of Friendship, which Maria Popova writes about here on Brain Pickings.

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Updates to Your Feed: Read/Unread Posts and Easier Navigation

As you’ve probably noticed, your Honey feed is looking a little different today. We’re excited to announce a few new features that make it easier to manage and browse through your feed. Check it out…

Read and Unread Posts
Take a quick look at your My Feed page, and you’ll likely see that a few posts are now grayed out. This is a new feature that tracks which posts you’ve read and which posts you’ve not. 

Gray posts are those you’ve already read.
Black posts are those you’ve not yet read.

Here’s an example…

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Previous and Next Post Navigation

Open a post in your feed and take a look at the post header. You’ll notice new left and right arrow buttons. These controls let you navigate forward and backward through your feed without having to return to your feed page. Have a look…

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These navigations will respect the feed you’re in and the sort you’ve selected, so if you’re in a specific topic page and have the ‘most popular’ sort turned on, you’ll navigate from post-to-post within that topic’s posts based on popularity. 

Pro tip: Use the J and K keys on your keyboard to navigate forward and backward instead of using your mouse to click the buttons. 


Have questions? We’re more than happy to help. Send us a note at support@honey.is.

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New Admin Feature: In-feed post view counts.

This morning, we launched a new admin feature that makes it easier than ever to keep track of the Honey posts your team members are reading, referencing, and loving!

New post view counts.
Now, throughout your feed and on each post page, you’ll find a post view counts next to the comment and like counts. This number is accompanied by a small eyeball icon and is only visible to organization admins.

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How it’s calculated.
This post view count includes:

  • The total number of times a post has been opened and viewed. 
  • The total number of times instant notification emails about the post have been opened. 

Because many of you use Honey for evergreen, persistent content, we’ve chosen to count total views as opposed to unique views. 


Have questions? We’re more than happy to help. Send us a note at support@honey.is.

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The Buzz: The death(?) of email, big data job hunting, and six reasons your employees are heading for the exit.

Every few weeks, we publish The Buzz, a wrap up of industry articles, videos and conversations the Honey team is loving and learning from. Here’s what we’re buzzing about this week.

1. Can Email Survive in a Social World? - Wired

Email’s not dead yet. As the nature of email changes, organizations are rethinking how communication takes place and adapting enterprise social networks. New mobile and social capabilities complement traditional email functionality to tear down information silos, shape business, and amplify benefits to your business and end users. Read it at Wired.

2. Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You - Forbes

There’s a saying that employees don’t leave companies - they leave managers. With this decade’s low job retention rate in mind, managers should be aware of why employees leave. Here, on Forbes, are six reasons your best employees quit you, and how to keep them.

3. The Key to Employee Engagement Has Less to Do with Management Than You’d Think- Fast Company 

Meanwhile, Mark Lukens suggests that employee engagement should begin with those at the frontline who collectively have the best knowledge of customers wants and needs. By encouraging customer-facing employees to contribute to company strategy, managers can support their passion for the company and help shape engagement. Read it here.

4. Job Hunting is a Matter of Big Data - The Guardian

Can quantitative big data and algorithms offer insights to examine culture fit and optimize teams? Pentland, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, is collecting data on real-time human performances by monitoring interactions between teams. So far, the data suggests that the success of teams correlates with engagement and exploration amongst team members. Read about Pentland’s study and others at The Guardian.

5.  37 Employers Share The Most Cringe-Worthy Resume Or Job Application They’ve Ever Seen - Thought Catalog

And an honorable mention for the week - with worries about engagement and cultural fit, hiring potential employees is tough. While you’re looking for that awesome hire, here’s a collection of slightly awkward but very funny job applications pulled from AskReddit on ThoughtCatalog. Read it here.

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Product Insight: Switching From Upvote Arrows to Like Hearts

You’ve probably noticed that Honey’s looking a little more lovable these days. Recently, we made the switch from green upvote arrows to red like hearts. Log in and take a look.

Your new like hearts work exactly like your old upvote arrows. 

  • Users whose posts you like will receive an email and in-app notification.
  • Your likes will continue to influence the most popular sorting algorithm on all of Honey’s feeds.
  • You’ll also notice we’ve added comment likes, so click that heart as much as your… heart… desires. 

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Although a seemingly small change, lots of thinking, research and team debate went into the switch. 

Why the switch from upvote arrows to like hearts?

The switch started with something small — we were getting questions about exactly what an upvote was. In the world of social products, ‘upvote’ simply isn’t used as often as ‘like’ or ‘favorite.’ Our goal is always to make Honey as clear, usable, and approachable as possible, so we knew something had to change. 

As a team, we whiteboarded a number of different options, thinking through the design, language, usage and user behaviors around each. All things considered, we settled on our new like hearts. Our Design Director Jason summed up why…

  • Likes are low friction and non-committal, making the behavior quick and easy!
  • Countless other social products and communities use like hearts, which means they’re familiar to all of our users. When it comes to new technology, repeatable behavior patterns are always a good thing.
  • "Like" is more colloquial, making the feature more approachable and easy to work into offline conversation. "If you like it, click the heart!"
  • Companies we look up to, like airbnb, have seen significant engagement increases with the switch to hearts. More engaged users means better communication for your team.

Have feedback about the change or questions about how the update affects your account? Drop us a line at hello@honey.is. Our team is always happy to chat!

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Honey changes its business model from freemium to 30 day trial.

This story was published in Technical.ly Brooklyn by Brady Dale on April 14, 2014.


The team behind Honey, which aims to be a better internal company intranet, made a big strategic switch earlier this month when it moved its sales model from a freemium, tiered approach to an unlimited 30-day free trial followed by pay-per-user billing. The team walked us through the process and described key changes they made to make it work.

We covered Honey’s intranet service before. Previously, a company could have up to 10 users free forever and then there were tiers above that where the price for the service escalated. You can see one natural problem here, a small company might be reluctant to let that 11th employee in and even a larger company might hesitate to let that next employee move it to another pricing tier.

The freemium model also failed to create a sense of urgency on the sales side, said Alison Morris, Client Services Manager on the Honey team.

Now, under the 30 day free trial, a company can have as many users as it wants in its platform to trial, but at the end of 30 days they will have to pay for each employee in the system (though they don’t have to bring every employee in).

“Usually when we do a product release, we can do a lot of it in advance,” said Morris, by way of explaining just how much work this changeover was. “In this case, a lot of things had to change at the stroke of midnight.”

Here are some of the changes that Honey had to make to work under this new model:

  • Completely revamp there life cycle of emails to new users, so that they fit into the 30-day window. The email content is designed to guide companies to a successful deployment of the platform, based on “what kinds of behaviors we saw at other successful companies,” Morris said.
  • Updating the life cycle of emails to administrators, who hear from Honey at least twice per week through the trial.
  • One of the best new emails comes on the second day. It’s a personalized email from CEO Rachel Kaplowitz that invites new companies to set up a call with her to talk about the service. The response rate to that has been really high, which helps with sales and also introduces the Honey team to new use cases.
  • The in-product on-boarding experience. Design elements walk new users through features of the platform as they open it for the first time. That went live Friday.
  • The software around billing had to move from the bucket approach based on the total user base to one that charged per account within a company.
  • Honey is using Stripe, a developer-centric payment startup, for its billing.
  • They also changed the system so that a domain isn’t locked out if one team within a company goes through a trial of Honey and doesn’t buy. Later on, if another team started the process, it would just start fresh, rather than locking that previous team out.

It’s only been a little over a week since the change happened, but they are starting to see signs of improvements, said Morris.

Open rates on their emails are better, more people within companies are getting invited to use it and more content seems to be going up more quickly. This last point is key, she said.

“That empty room syndrome is one of our biggest challenges,” Morris explained. A company launches a new internal social network, and there’s nothing there. The company has to put its own content in, and the sooner it goes in and the more of it there is, the more likely the firm is to adopt.

Here are some screenshots of its new onboarding prompts, which launched this weekend:

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Chip Kellam, CTO, explained that if the content is going up, that’s a good sign.

The hardest part of the shift was communicating effectively with those customers who were and had been under the freemium model for some time and those other potential customers who were already midway through the sales cycle. The four person team had to reach out to each of those edge cases and work with them one by one.

Companies that were already under a paid platform of some kind were given the option to simply stay on that scale for as long as it made sense for them.

For the small team, the change appears to be decreasing friction in their day to day work. They no longer have to negotiate with clients about new pricing tiers as they just barely cross over into a new bucket, customized billing has been eliminated and their isn’t any internal confusion over just which special deal they had granted to which company and for how long.

Since companies now pay on a per user basis, there’s no sudden jolts in prices. Additionally, since Honey can integrate with APIs, it’s possible for companies to put users on autopilot, such that when an email address shuts down when an employee leaves, that user would automatically shut down in Honey, too. That means admins don’t have to worry about double-checking that they aren’t paying for users who are no longer at the company.

Honey is a four person team based in Huge Labs in Dumbo. They are not yet discussing revenue or user numbers.

The Buzz: The importance of engaging employees, finding talent, and keeping great managers.

Every few weeks, we publish The Buzz, a wrap up of industry articles, videos and conversations the Honey team is loving and learning from. Here’s what we’re buzzing about this week.

1. The Importance of Employee Engagement - Pinterest 

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A visual treat, this infographic looks at why employee engagement is so important and suggests how to increase engagement at work. Take a peek at it above, and look at the whole infographic here on Pinterest

2. What’s More Important - Talent or Engagement? - Gallup Business Journal 

In this Gallup study with Ann Inc, Gallup investigated whether talent or engagement is more important - it turns out, talent to be a great manager is the critical first ingredient. But talent and engagement go hand in hand - once talent is in place, engaging that high talent accelerates performance. Read it at Gallup

3. Can You Manage Engagement Without Managers? - Gallup Business Journal

Zappos recently announced that it will eliminate the manager role to flatten the hierarchal chain of command and increase productivity. But can you really engage your employees without managers? Gallup argues for the necessity of great managers in their case study.

4. Aon Hewitt Research Reveals Steady Progression in Global Employee Engagement Levels - Wall Street Journal

Aon Hewitt conducted their annual Trends in Global Employee Engagement study, and found out that around the world, employee engagement levels have increased 61% in 2013. Creating agile organizations is impossible without engaged employees. Read Aon Hewitt’s study here.

5. How to Sell Investing in Employee Engagement to Your Boss - Vignette Agency 

As a director of human resources, internal communications, or any other manager of employee engagement, it might be difficult convincing your company to invest in employee engagement efforts. Luckily for you, Vignette Agency has a handy employee engagement superfan email template! Coupled with our own How to Use Honey for HR deck, it may change a few minds. Take a look at the template here.

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The Buzz: Working happy, killing email and investigating employee activism.

Every other week, we publish The Buzz, a wrap up of industry articles, videos and conversations the Honey team is loving and learning from. Here’s what we’re buzzing about this week.

1. Why the ‘Employee Engagement’ Industry Has to Change - LinkedIn

The typical engagement survey is no longer a good measure of employee commitment and passion. Josh Bersin muses about the shift from employee engagement as a concept to employee engagement as a mindset. Read it at LinkedIn.

2. The Happy Secret to Better Work - TED

Here at Honey, we believe that when happy individuals make up happy teams, they create better work. Shawn Achor talks about the happy secret to better work in his TED talk - watch it below, or here.

3. Social Media Ignites Employee Activism - Forbes

"Employee activists" are those who draw visibility to their workplace and advocate their company both online and off. Karen Higginbottom writes about the rise of social media and employee activism in the workplace. Read it at Forbes.

4. Enterprise Social Networks May One Day Replace Email - Huffington Post

Himanshu Sareen writes about moving away from the archaic reply-all emails towards enterprise social networks. Read it at The Huffington Post.

5. 7 Steps to Improve Your Employee Engagement - Beyond Philosophy

Colin Shaw writes about the importance of employee engagement for customer experiences and shares his steps on how to improve it. Read it at Beyond Philosophy.

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