Hacks Hackers SF

Erin Jo Richey:

I built my first website in notepad. It was 1999, I'd just finished a powerpoint class and my dad wanted a website

I made my own website shortly after - I include my college course and a blog and the rainbow gifs I liked at the time

you should be your own platform because you desebve to control your own content

rather than post to places like facebook or twitter, post to your own site and be your own platform

when you are your own platform you have the freedom to choose and to change

if you don't like your hosting company or your posting platform, you can change

I know it is 2015, and you can't ignore social networks, but you deserve to have the original record

social networks come and go -do you remember these? (shows ~50 that died)

if you want to establish yourself as a writer, photographer, film-maker, be your own platform

if you want to be paid or attract an audience, you owe it to yourself to be your own platform

this is my platform: erinjorichey.com


we set up site where anyone can contribute art, and anyone can publish it as shirt

you're saying "wait max, isn't crowdsourcing terrible?" we found not

constraints matter: don't give broad goals, give specific ones

be positive: call people by their name, have them participate, don't be like a machine

have contests: but don't pick the one winner - we need a lot, not just one answer, so make sure al can see

Colin Mutchler:

hands up if you really love ads? (not many hands) 37% of the internet have downloaded blocking software

in 1999 I hated ads enough that I wrote on one on the subway, and got busted by the cops

maybe a revolution did happen with help from these platforms, but did anything fundamentally changed?

investors put money into facebook & twitter to make a return, so it shouldn't be surprising that we now see ads

we are trying to remake advertising for good - we got an Occupy Wallstreet ad on Fox News

to convince regular people to advertise, don't use the word, say "help this artist reach an audience"

frame advertising as a gift - his friend wants to give the gift of reach to Steve the artist - a human gift

Will the internet survive? I'm not sure. if it is going to be different it is because humans fund attention

Austin Smith:

Alley Interactive is a digital firm in NY - sorry

even though New York is 3 hours ahead we're a year behind tech-wise

publishers are protective of their audiences and want to engage with them directly

don't try and get between the audience and the publisher - media companies are wising up to this

if you want a publisher to pay, solve their problem not readers' problems

if building a product for journalists, make it open source - training journalist to operate CMS's is no fun

journalist operate on a news cycle, the business people don't - journalist won't use it if they don't have a need

to keep publishing clients, don't let content marketers use your software. At least rename it

2 products news organisations want to buy: 1. Solve Web to Print

no publisher is good at doing web first then print - everything doing this is some huge janky thing

2nd ideafor publishers: Dsta managemnt and print subscriptions combined

Ben Werdmüller: summary of presentation

i work with @erinjo on @withknown and we'll get on integrating indesign tomorrow

recently a man in NY posted a photo of him kissing his husband on his wedding day, and instagram removed

it's very easy to flag things as inappropriate on social networks - breastfeeding and drag queens every day

when Mark Zuckerberg posted about Charlie Hebdo, many of the comments were marked inapproriate

we've all heard of Snowden and the NSA, but we are all spying on each other as well

the PEN American center reported that > 1/3 of writers in democratic countries self-censor because of NSA fears

the cloud sounds fluffy, but it is actually someone else hard drive, and it can be easily deleted

the internet was designed for resiliency - unlike the silos we pour content into now, it was decentralised

what if we wer all service, we were all platforms, and stored our data on servers that we controlled

what if our servers were in our living rooms and newsrooms?

look at intel compute sticks and sandstorm.io as ways to store this

there are other platforms too, like @withknown that @erinjo and I work on

back int he day Microsoft freed us by giving computers on our desks; our dat shoudl be ours too

Ryan Singel:

At Contextly we think about evergreen stories a lot - stories that aren't just current

an example from a publisher we work with - more than 40% of views went to content published before 2014

we wrote a story about Silk Road, and I got notifications that it was a top ten story every day for years

Mother Jones published a series of charst showing inequality in america, and it got more views than the Romney leak

there are seasonal evergreen stories - valentines, st patricks day and xmas recipes

there are also definitive stories that people refer to over time

to identify evergreens - look at referrals over long timelines, but also talk to your staff

evergreen stories are those that your community tells you that they are right for them

NPR indentified their evergreen stories and share one very day between 3am and 6am

publications should have an evergreen strategy


we shoudl do evergreens and was told "ad team saysadvertisers hate that"

Ryan Singel:

you can use the evergreens to build audience, and can sell a package around valentines day when ad buyers show up


having your own server? open source will get more usage? what?

Austin Smith:

I'm talking about the journalist/biz/tech relationship at the company - selling that is hard;

journalists don't have buying power - give them an open source thing with a SaaS platform that helps them now

businesses are about results - if journalists can say "lots of people came here for this, can we pay for it now?"

Ben Werdmüller:

open source is a process as well as a licence - it's a way to involve your users more directly in your product

we work with education a lot and they work with open source software too


whenever I watch cable news we see lots of people funded by defence contractors; not by peace activists

Max Slavkin:

we got one artists on CNN ever, maybe we can get more over time

Colin Mutchler:

what trends in media changes all the time - the #OscarsSoWhite tag today is an example; they force TV to talk

if you do it with money it can go quicker. It depends on the issue and who owns the channel


people switch from selling to journalist to selling to brands - is this a bad thing?

Austin Smith:

brands have different needs from publishers so if you chase them you'll lose the publishers

brands have an ultimate goal; publishers just want people to keep reading

verizon built an undercover news site, but they wouldn't let journalists cover net neutrality

I know this is weird from a new yorker but you need some shred of idealism to be in the news business, even in2015

Corey Ford:

do you have advice to publishers to be better customers for innovators?

Austin Smith:

publishers need to have more money

publishers and biz people pit themselves against their editorial staff. They need long-range perspective

it's hard to ask a dying news media brand to take a long term perspective

Erin Jo Richey:

our platform is open source and we'd very much like to have journalists and media companies working with us

we are working with educators, and they like open source too, so we recognise the tension between use and sales

a lot of people told us to talk to marketing and brands as they have money