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I built a chat room for bootstrappers - Bored Hackers


#1

Hey guys, Hosted Comments guy here. My latest project is a chatroom! To start with, there’s a single chatroom to discuss anything related to technology and entrepreneurship, so feel free to join.

Link here : Bored Hackers

My focus is currently to get users to join the chat and build a community. If you’re interested in the big picture, it’s an experiment at building the community site that I wish existed : like reddit, but chatrooms insteads of forums. Some of the features/goals : public chatroom based communites, pseudonymous users, transparent moderation logs, an open source code base and a site that is welcoming to non-technical users. Support for user created chat rooms will be added shortly.

If existing forums, including this one, are any indication, getting a community site off the ground is going to be hard. If you have any thoughts on how I can accelerate the process, would love to hear them.

My current plan to grow the site:

  • send personal invite emails/messages to users on forums that I hang out on

  • link in the footer of my tech blog (few hundred visitors per day)

  • release an open source version of Hosted Comments which I expect will gain traction and use my chatroom as the community for all discussions

  • I plan to build a forum alongside the chat, so for each topic there will be a chatroom and forum

  • try and get crypto and programming communities to host parallel communities using my site (this is going to be especially hard)

Would love to hear your thoughts on my project and hope to see you on Bored Hackers.

On a side note, I’m struggling to decide on an accurate but catchy tagline for the site. “The chatroom of the internet” ? “Public chatroom for hackers” ? Something else?

Note : you can view the chat history by scrolling to the top of the chat window and clicking “Load previous messages”


#2

Why not Discord then? Many subreddits have servers there and it works great for them.

Re: chat for hackers or entrepreneurs:


#3

The reddit for chat analogy is more of a long term goal.

I launched the site 3 days ago and my initial plan to grow the site has already changed. While discussing the topic of growing the site with a member of the chat room, I decided that the best way to grow the site is to have a way of repeatedly driving traffic to the chat room. So here’s the plan : have a daily topic (eg - common myths about bitcoin) and personally identify and invite people to ask their questions in the chat. I’ll consolidate the questions and send them over to an expert (there are a few people in the chat room who offered to help), who will answer the questions. I’ll publish the answers in the form of a blog post and people can continue discussing the content in the chat. It’s a good way to repeatedly drive traffic to the chat room. So invite users -> have them discuss a topic -> talk to an expert about the topic -> publish a blog post -> drive traffic to the chat room.

I’m currently working on the first blog post : “The plan to scale Bitcoin”. There will be a new topic every week, so it’s a good way to explore different topics, some technical, some geared to towards startups.

Re: chat for hackers or entrepreneurs : that could be a problem, so I’m working on adding a couple of features : a forum alongside the chat room as well an option to publish blog posts. I’ll probably have a better answer once I’ve run the site for a while.

Thought I’d share what happened since I launched the site 3 days ago :

  • 50 registered users

  • 1900 chat messages (many interesting conversations)

  • attacked by 4chan trolls who spammed the chatroom with thousands of inappropriate messages. Had to close registration because of the trolls, now it’s invite only.

If anyone wants an invite to the chat room let me know.


#4

Online communities have really complex dynamics, I would suggest experimenting with managing the existing ones instead of building everything from scratch. Also I think that managing cryptocurrency-related communities is a nightmare chore.

How do you know that the trolls were from 4chan, by the way? I really doubt that a thread “let’s raid a barely known chatroom” could get attention on any imageboard, let alone 4chan which is extremely fast nowadays.


#5

Also I think that managing cryptocurrency-related communities is a nightmare chore.

Agree with that, so that part will come much later, if at all. For now the focus is growing this single chat room.

How do you know that the trolls were from 4chan, by the way? I really doubt that a thread “let’s raid a barely known chatroom” could get attention on any imageboard, let alone 4chan which is extremely fast nowadays.

Here’s an archived link (nsfw) : https://archive.fo/bIjZj


#6

Yep, basically the same person bumping the thread every 5 minutes to keep it alive. Probably one of your “friends” from one of the communities where you posted the link. :slight_smile: