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Readory - The platform for online written content


#1

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been lurking on bootstrapped for a while,

I just finished building (beta) Readory as a recently (2 yrs) self taught coder. The goal of the app is to help make finding great written content easier, as well as give more exposure to the content creators behind them.

There are so many great blogs not hosted on medium or news platforms that are hard to find. Even more-so you have great written content such as Quora answers, Ask Producthunt, INDIEHACKER posts, e-books, tutorials, and much more that are underexposed. This is why I’ve created Readory.

www.readory.com

Let me know what you think, and feel free to share on the website!


#2

Very cool! The website looks great and seems very well polished. Well done! This feels like something built by an experienced team.

It may be due to the fact that I didn’t register, but I was wondering what the green circles to the right of all the content rows were. Do they serve a specific purpose?

Great work!


#3

Thanks really appreciate it!

The green circles are supposed to represent the current hotness meter in comparison to other posts, I should make that more clear somehow, do you think its necessary to have an about page or something?


#4

Ah I see. An about page would definitely be helpful, but I think I would have caught on if they weren’t all full circles. I scrolled down pretty far and noticed that they all seemed to be complete circles. Either way, I think the site looks great.

What assisted you the most in the UI/UX work?


#5

Embarrassing! that isn’t supposed to happen at all. Let me know if it is fixed now for some reason it wasn’t showing up properly on some PC’s!

In terms of the UI/U work I would definetly say Bootstrap 4! It made it really easy to get where I wanted quickly.


#6

From the site and your post I did not get how do you define “great” or “amazing”? Is it “well-written” or “useful”? And if “useful”, how do you measure the “usefulness”?


#7

The usefulness would be determined by readers themselves, the more (likes) a post gets the closer it will get to the top of the feed. The algorithm includes activity on the post (how many comments, bookmarks) among other things as well similar to reddit.

I can see your point though perhaps great or amazing is too much.


#8

It’s fixed for me a looking great! Well done.


#9

You have a JavaScript error on your page. Install https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/javascript-errors-notifie/jafmfknfnkoekkdocjiaipcnmkklaajd and visit your website.

You’re building a Digg/Reddit clone a decade after digg or reddit were created.

That sounds doomed to failure.

I don’t see what kind of person is your target given that top 2 posts currently are:

  • “Business advice for software developers”
  • “Memoir of a cam girl”

If I were to generalize a business advice: in content business you can start with something focused and small and potentially build it into something bigger.

Trying to replicate “Reddit after 10 years” at launch… I don’t see how that can work.

The way I see it people have the opposite problem than what you think are solving: we’re all flooded with written content.

There’s a fierce battle for our attention and everybody wants as much of it as they can grab. Twitter, Facebook, reddit, digg, HN, news.google.com, buzzfeed and many, many others are fighting for a fixed amount of our attention.

They all use the same tactic: surface written content that people find interesting.

Guess what, you’re not going to win that battle.

I’ll give you a credit for hustle, I’ll eat my hat if those user profiles are not suck puppets created by you by scraping social profiles of real people. Unethical? Sure. Illegal? Possibly. Did it help Reddit? You bet. Will it be enough to jump start your website? I’m afraid not.


#10

I think the important thing to remember here, to quote you:

I think you’re right, this product market is pretty nasty to jump into. But I think the site looks great, especially for a relatively new web developer.

Also, what are your thoughts on the “more exposure to the content creators” value proposition? Do you think this gives any edge/advantage at all relative to the content giants?


#11

Hello Kjk, great feedback sorry for the late reply! You wrote so much and I can tell you put alot of thought into it, I feel as though I should give you a longer response that values your opinion.

I really appreciate the honesty and bluntness as it is not something you get often and is worth the most when it comes to ideas and feedback. I feel as though you may have missed or more likely I didn’t explain well enough what the platform is trying to do – or rather become.

I think perhaps you may be looking at the functionality of it and saying “another reddit clone” what features differentiate you? and honestly there is not much functionality (if-any) difference it is a content aggregator like reddit or producthunt. As you know user perception is the main case for any app like Readory as an example Product Hunt starting on a mailing list of products that are being released similar to what reddit/r/startups and r/producthunt was doing for a long time prior yet they have built a community out of it.

Where I think the selling point of Readory will be is that we give readers and authors an opportunity to share content that they read/wrote and find interesting – this is especially important for bloggers as many of them do not use medium to host and like to maintain control of their own blogs (code/monetisation etcetera). This gives them a chance to get referrals (and improve SEO and exposure) which is the main reason some DO join medium/huffington instead. Also I hope that people will be sharing great Quora answers, askplaybook, articles, e-books and great forum discussions (like this one). That would be giving people a way to get quality content from what they want without getting the fluff (i.e. search on google startup marketing and you get "10 ways to sell through e-mail from COMPANY X (MAILCHIMP) BLOG ".

In regards to are the profile real people? I didn’t even realise that I could scrape user profiles through omniauth until you mentioned and I googled it. I’ve just got a developer jump on board as a co-founder after the Indiehacker post I did about Readory. The post got around 1.6K views of which the (profiles you mentioned) 180 people have signed up till now. Whether it was because I wrote a personal post or not time wil tell whether I can get those same conversion in a more hostile environment. If you would like to know aswell I’ve been optimising the app with the developer and adding features so if you want to keep up with how we do (hopefully well) sign up and you’ll get an e-mail when we launch on PH and HN

I hope I’ve been able to convince you that there is at least some value in Readory. If not I’d love to hear why now that I’ve made the proposition a bit clearer.

@kins I would love to know the answer to your question aswell if anyone else also wants to answer it!

Cheers


#12

There’s a story I like about an elephant where several blind people touch an elephant in different places and each of them concludes that “elephant is like X” but X is different for each person.

It’s a stretched metaphor because what you do is willful blindness.

You look at a an elephant (“Product Hunt”). You see it has a trunk (“Product Hunt wasn’t completely unique”). You see that your stuff has a trunk (“my product isn’t completely unique”). You then conclude that your product is also an elephant (i.e. a successful product).

You ignore the fact that elephant is also gray, and your product is not, it weights a ton and your product does not etc. There are more differences than similarities.

I don’t think Product Hunt is like Reddit at all.

It’s not like anything that existed before. At the core it’s a software discovery platform and those did exist (like alternativeTo or softonic) but it’s a very unique blend of daily curation, reddit-like commenting and hard work of making it a community and finding a business plan to support full time work.

Coming back to the elephant story you can point to similarity of Product Hunt to this or that but it was more different than alike than those other things.

Also, I’ve already said:

If I were to generalize a business advice: in content business you can start with something focused and small and potentially build it into something bigger.

This applies to Product Hunt. They are not Reddit, they are very focused on software discovery.

This doesn’t apply to Readory which is Reddit in scope and majority of mechanics. You didn’t create a site about Russian Dolls, you created a site about anything.

You have a good explanation why I, as as a creator, would want to post my stories on Readory (self-promotion) but I won’t if you don’t have readers. I’ll focus my self-promotional efforts on places that already have an audience, like Quora.

You don’t have a good explanation of how you’ll acquire readers.

The business of linking to other’s people content has only 2 successful patterns.

You either have high-quality curation (like techmeme or topical newsletters like
https://golangweekly.com/issues/202). They require fair amount of work and in case of newsletters you have to start early enough, before other people have the idea to start a newsletter on the same topic.

Then you have sites like Slashdot, Reddit, 4chan, HackerNews, Indie Hackers etc.

Superficially you might think that they are about the links. That people go there because that’s where the most interesting articles are and therefore the most important thing is to assure links are to high-quality content.

That’s not correct.

At any given time there are 100x more interesting articles out there than there are on front page of HackerNews. You need to meet quality bar but going above it has diminishing returns.

Those sites are about discussions i.e. comments.

And because we’re all vain, what matters the most is number of other people on the site because no one wants to scream into abyss. When we scream, we want an audience.

That leads to “rich get richer and poor get poorer” dynamic because over time people migrate to places that have other people and abandon places with less people. We have only so much time to spend on online screaming. I mean commenting.

Compare https://voat.co/v/golang to https://www.reddit.com/r/golang/ or https://lobste.rs/ to HackerNews.

And that’s why Readory has no prospects in this world.

You maybe think it’s about the quality of the links but it’s all about people screaming at each in comments.

And that’s only satisfying if there is an audience.

There is no audience on Readory and I haven’t heard a plan to create an audience.

Not that it’s impossible to bootstrap a discussion site.

Indie Hackers did that recently, but here are important things that Indie Hackers did that Readory doesn’t do:

  • the site is focused on a single topic
  • the creator bootstrapped the site with unique content (interviews)
  • he relentlessly promoted the site on HackerNews and reddit
  • creating that unique content and promotion was his full-time job
  • it took him months of daily, full-time hard work to get any traction and over a year to get acquired by Stripe (and I wouldn’t count on being so lucky)

See https://medium.com/the-mission/how-indie-hackers-grew-from-zero-to-170k-sessions-in-3-months-ded6b2eb032 https://www.indiehackers.com/blog/acquired-by-stripe

That’s the success story. If you just put up a website and hope that people will submit links, upvote links and comment on them then you’re much more likely to end up as https://voat.co/v/golang. Last post submitted 2.4 years ago.


#13

Throwing out metaphors and making assumptions doesn’t validate your reply I agree with each of the points you made and I could have told you the same thing. I can understand at this point you are just trying show evidence of your superior knowledge on making a great product based on your vast amount of experience in creating great apps. What you should know is that before a entrepreneur wastes their time on an application they validate a very basic model.

Communities and platforms are not built in one day I shared a basic idea for feedback on Indiehackers, bootstrapped.fm and a small subreddit to gain a small amount of viewers in order to validate it. If you look at the posts you will see that all the feedback was great and actually more positive then expected.

You don’t think I’ve read most of the interviews on Indiehackers or read Pieter Levels books on bootstrapping a business?

So responding to each of your assumptions individually.

but here are important things that Indie Hackers did that Readory doesn’t do:

  1. he relentlessly promoted the site on HackerNews and reddit

— How do you know I’m not? did you ask if I am active on reddit, IH, HN, and PH?

  1. the creator bootstrapped the site with unique content (interviews)

— did you see the readory/interviews page? I have already finished my first four interviews with David Walsh, John Paul Aguilar, WP beginner and other great bloggers.

creating that unique content and promotion was his full-time job

— When did you decide that I don’t put in enough hours?

it took him months of daily, full-time hard work to get any traction and over a year to get acquired by Stripe (and I wouldn’t count on being so lucky)

— Again your saying that I haven’t worked full time and hard to get traction when I’ve literally just started to get product validation?

I actually wasn’t going to answer as I have so much better ways to spend time (since your almost trolling at this point) but at some point it gets ridiculous. If you are so telepathic and understand exactly what startup will be successfull, I would like to know what apps you have founded yourself? I’ve shipped three and sold one (not for much) btw.

Founders spend alot of time on their apps don’t try to bury them on assumptions and your high horse. Also before you try and cover up by saying " this is just criticism ".

If you said

" I think your app doesn’t have an audience or its not obvious are you planning on marketing towards a certain community, or even I think you don’t have enough focus maybe reducing the categories to things that related to being a platform for writers yada yada" That is constructive feedback/criticism not what you have replied. The first time I said maybe I didn’t explain it well enough but now it’s obvious.

Communities like this and Indiehackers exist so people can get the feedback they need to progress. If I wanted to get someone to try their best to bury my idea, I wouldn’t post here.

That will be my last response anyway on this thread – I know how this goes enough it will never end. Thanks for the discussion.


#14

Fair enough.

But if you wanted only actionable advice why did you ask for opinions?

So here’s actionable advice. If you’re looking for actionable advice, ask for actionable advice, like:

My objective is to grow the readership of the website. I’m planing to do interviews with creators and promote them on social media like IH and HN. I would love to hear your ideas on how I can improve my website, make it more useful and attract more visitors.

That would set the tone for the kind of feedback you’re interested in. As a bonus it wouldn’t sound so nakedly self-promotional.


#15

Johnny, I know you said above you’re done responding, but I bet you’ll read this :grinning:

Commenting anywhere is the new publicity - the more the better, no matter what they say.

And, #1 requirement for building anything: You’ve got have a thick skin when people sling rocks (intentionally or unintentionally) at your baby. The more you can say, “That’s interesting, they called my baby startup uglier than a dead fish. How can I use that?” the better off you’ll be.