Home Blockchain Slogging, Blockchain, And Innovations In Crowdsourced Content: Interview With Founder Of HackerNoon

Slogging, Blockchain, And Innovations In Crowdsourced Content: Interview With Founder Of HackerNoon

22 min read

An interview with David Smooke, Founding father of HackerNoon, and new methods to show distant groups’ chatter into publishable content material.

Based in 2016, HackerNoon is an impartial expertise media publishing platform based and run by David Smooke and Linh Dao Smooke. The location works with over 7,000 contributing writers — an revolutionary method to crowdsourcing content material — and publishes about 30 tales per day.

That, together with a sure editorial standpoint and character on tech tales, has garnered a loyal following. 

David Smooke, CEO & Founding father of HackerNoon, mentioned in an interview on the Growth Manifesto podcast: “…Our mannequin is contributors personal their content material, they usually give it a non-exclusive license to HackerNoon, and we are able to edit and distribute it. <…>it’s between social media and conventional publishing.

For those who publish on Forbes, it’s a variety of pitching; it’s a variety of backwards and forwards, it’s type of a clunky login and submission of content material.

So having a superb contributor expertise is there, however each publish goes via a second human, and there are high quality management points, there are content material enchancment efforts, in order that’s like only a higher expertise.

I believe the second human rule is one thing; everybody ought to use once they publish on-line.”

The location can be recognized for its method to expertise — with its founders targeted on long-term progress and one of the simplest ways to reply publishing challenges.

Whereas most conventional publications battle for management, the Smookes are blazing new trails and new methods to deal with challenges.

When HackerNoon separated from Medium, as an alternative of constructing on WordPress or Moveable Sort or some other commonplace content material administration platform, Hackernoon constructed its personal device to permit for progress.

Once they needed an emoji system to love, snort, smile, and so on., at particular photos and features, it was created on blockchain as a strategy to observe feedback.

“Slogging” — a portmanteau of Slack and Running a blog — is their new revolutionary content material effort and a brand new method to think about crowdsourcing your distant group’s chatter.

Why waste the witty banter — and the occasional sudden perception — on the depths of your slack archives, when you may flip them into publishable content material?

We interviewed David Smooke regarding slogging, and the solutions seem under edited barely for size.

David Smooke, Hackernoon

What’s the concept behind slogging?

Slogging, or Slack Running a blog, emerged from HackerNoon’s inside use of Slack. Wanting again on the final 12 months, our tech lead had printed 30,000+ Slack updates however solely 12 HackerNoon posts. So we made an utility for tech leaders to transform insightful Slack discussions into well-formatted HackerNoon posts. 

Is that this pushed by Slack adoption? 

Sure and no. Sure, within the sense that it wouldn’t exist with out our admiration and utilization of Slack as a group writing utility. No, that Slogging shouldn’t be but obtainable within the Slack app retailer.

Up to now, it’s solely been utilized by a choose group of not too long ago printed HackerNoon authors within the Slogging.Slack.com environment. You may learn the primary 55 slogging posts on the HackerNoon #slogging tag. For high quality management, each submission goes via a Slack admin and a HackerNoon editor. 

As we proceed to work out the UX and editorial workflows of changing high-quality inside discussions into well-read public posts, we’ll be launching the second occasion of Slogging. It’s referred to as Quoticle (Be aware: hyperlink results in a WIP touchdown web page), which we outline as an article composed of a listing of quotes.

It’ll leverage the Slogging utility to be our HARO (Assist A Reporter Out) competitor — a brand new strategy to get your skilled quote printed in a HackerNoon story. 

Is it an try to make shareable content material out of Slack conversations?

Sure, most positively. What number of insightful discussions are misplaced to the ether? As technologists particularly and professionals usually, we spend nearly all of our workday having conversations in principally non-public areas (like Slack and their rivals).

What if a fraction, one of the best fraction, of this large content material library will get printed? Slogging, hopefully, will proliferate insightful {and professional} conversations.

Is that this an possibility you plan to make obtainable in your platform solely? Provide to different platforms?

As soon as the app is publicly obtainable, we’re curious about working with Slack’s prime tech communities and Slack’s prime tech prospects.

The directors of these Slack situations will be capable to submit their finest historic and future Slack discussions as tales for publication by merely clicking “…” and deciding on “create slogging draft” inside Slack.

A HackerNoon editor will evaluate all slogging story submissions.

HackerNoon has already printed hundreds of tech companies, and I believe Slogging will also be a method for us to be a extra integral a part of the content material creation course of.

Sooner or later, I’d be prepared to combine Slogging into extra content material administration methods and content material functions, however for now, readers can exclusively read Slogging posts on HackerNoon

Who’s the perfect author/consumer and reader for slogging content material?

To be trustworthy, it’s too early to inform. But when I had been to guess, it might be somebody whose day job is one thing apart from writing full time.

Slogging could be an ideal place for them to show their content material which often is considered solely by their teammates into public items that may doubtlessly be considered by lots of, hundreds, and even thousands and thousands.

Within the quick time period, we’re targeted on including worth to HackerNoon writers. Within the mid-term, we’re targeted on elevating and validating the Slack discussions by tech corporations and tech communities.

In the long run, I believe Slogging may also help develop any website, product, or group that has insightful discussions on Slack.

Does HackerNoon do any white labeling or licensing of its proprietary tech like your CMS?

We don’t right now. We constructed our personal content material administration from the toes up. At the moment, it’s powering HackerNoon.com and a few dev environments.

I don’t assume it’s mature sufficient (but) for all the first consumer kinds of a community-driven publication, that are readers, writers, editors, sponsors, and directors.

As we additional develop the expertise for every major consumer sort, we create a extra sustainable digital financial system. In the long run, I do hope to energy extra websites with our content material administration system.  

We additionally constructed our personal award voting software program, which powered Noonies 2019 and 2020. We proceed to check and iterate on the product, and we’ll be launching extra voting software program situations in 2021. 

What was the concept behind your emoji responses?

The emoji responses — and extra broadly, find out how to facilitate worth from readers to writers — are/is one thing we’ve been taking part in with for some time.

We first demo-ed emoji reactions at GitHub’s HQ in SF and extra not too long ago earned a grant from Mozilla to take our emoji reactions inline.

An emoji requires only one motion from the reader to convey a spread of reactions to the author. As most websites and running a blog platforms solely supply “like” buttons or emoji reactions on the story stage, it may be tough to not possible to inform what a part of the story resonates with the reader.

By taking the emoji reactions inline, we’re capturing the place the worth switch truly occurred, which is tremendous useful imho (sic). We’re engaged on methods to make use of this information to drive related distribution on HackerNoon and throughout the web at giant.

We additionally open-sourced our group’s pixelated social media iconspixelated site icons, and pixelated emoji reactions so others can use these designs freely on their very own functions and websites.  

You had talked about blockchain as being a part of your progress in your Progress Manifesto interview — does that proceed to be true?

For blockchain capabilities to realize adoption, their efficiency and ease of integration have to be higher than the non-blockchain options.

The decentralized net ecosystem continues to be younger; the expertise is highly effective, and the UX is catching up. Not too long ago, we built-in Web Monetization, which is constructed atop Interledger, for HackerNoon writers.

This permits writers to just accept micropayments by way of the browser, based mostly on the period of time studying from others within the Net Monetization ecosystem. What we like in regards to the underlying technology is that it’s targeted on interoperability, that means it may be built-in with any cost technique, together with blockchains, bank cards, and even new ones that have not been invented but.

Listed here are the first 2,277 web monetized stories printed on HackerNoon. 

Are blockchain articles getting mainstream consideration? 

#Blockchain is probably the most used story tag on HackerNoon.

On HackerNoon, subject material like programming, bitcoin, startups, software program improvement, synthetic intelligence, and entrepreneurship all have comparable time studying created ranges to blockchain.

Whereas blockchain has turn out to be a buzzword in some sense, it’s actual, in some sense, that whoever makes one of the best database wins the web.

On the homepage itself, we’ve been curating #decentralization above #blockchain as a result of regardless that it has fewer tales, we expect it’s a phrase that higher encapsulates the larger development of the web’s evolution.

To take care of an authoritative voice within the business, we’ve got editors who’re selective in regards to the blockchain content material we publish on HackerNoon. They’re positively getting extra mainstream consideration, and we are attempting our greatest to present probably the most consideration to the highest-quality blockchain articles on the net.

Supply, HackerNoon.com/Tagged

Do you see future makes use of for blockchain at HackerNoon? With different publishers?

Completely. As we publish quite a bit about cryptocurrencies and blockchains, our contributing writers have given us loads of concepts about find out how to combine blockchain expertise.

I’m optimistic for (and can be protecting my eye on) blockchain’s potential to distribute internet hosting prices, index content material, examine for plagiarism, and even do some fundamental fact-checking.

As I’ve mentioned earlier than, I nonetheless assume HackerNoon’s highest potential route might be the Time Studying Token. 

What do you anticipate from crypto and the BTC bull run in 2021?

I believe we’re very, very early within the digital money revolution. Individuals typically get too caught up in coin costs’ fluctuations.

People are irrational, coin costs are irrational. But when that’s what grabs the eye of the lots, so be it. When you concentrate on the digital money revolution,I believe it’s extra helpful to consider what foreign money is backing each transaction?

And the way is that proportion transferring from authorities foreign money to a cryptocurrency? 


The pandemic in 2020 has made us extra of web-based tradition than ever earlier than — we spend extra time studying, watching movies, and in any other case consuming content material. For those who might graph the rise of content material subsequent to the rise of BTC, I’m wondering if they could observe parallel since they’re being pushed by the identical cultural and behavioral shifts.

It’s encouraging to see a brand new publication increasing its digital footprint by experimenting with the nexus of content material and expertise — opening up new methods for their very own and different publications to consider publishing, monetize, and, by hook or criminal, create compelling content material.

Picture: Courtesy of Hackemoon

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