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      Loved the article, and particularly liked this quote:

      “Solutions Exist” does not mean “Problem Solved.” Even though many backup solutions were available, most people did not back up their data.

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        This is a shameless plug for Merehead…

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          I’ve been reporting their posts as spam. Not only are the articles irrelevant for this website, but they were written like someone was just like “Hey what are popular keywords people are searching for? Let me just go down the list and follow the formula and write one for each of these keywords.” Sites like these (and the people continually sharing them) have been watering down the value of the site IMO. Granted, there isn’t a lot of great quality content in the bootstrapping world so it’s hard to fill it with that

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            I’ve banned this spammer.

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          The design of that website looks awfully familiar, ha.

          Was a cool story though

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            LOVED this talk, thanks for sharing.

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              Solving the chicken-and-egg problem is really hard. I’ve been involved in a few projects that dealt with it:

              • Walraven, an online game: Marketing failure, new players were rare so a community never formed. We never felt we had enough stuff for players to do to feel good marketing, but we probably sold ourselves short. Developers eventually wandered off.
              • NearbyGamers, arrange offline meetups tabletop gamers: brutally slow growth, it has all the problems of a dating site: very regional so you redo chicken-and-egg grown in every city, profiles fall out of date, successful people quit the site in pairs/groups, users need private chat and ignore public chat so the site looks like a ghost town, etc. I’m glad I took the excuse to learn Rails and I get lots of warm fuzzies for helping fellow hobbyists make friends, but I would never touch a site with mechanics like a dating site again.
              • Lobsters, tech social news site where I’m a user, not an admin: success! When I joined the site’s homepage changed over weekly and there were maybe 10 comments per week. From June 2014 to winter of 2015 I typically posted a dozen stories per day to help the site reach a critical mass of regular visitors - heck, in 2015, I submitted 18% of all stories. The site now gets at least a dozen stories and dozens of comments per day and the chat room is very active. It has a happy, cohesive community that’s steadily growing and defining itself.
              • Barnacles, you’re soaking in it: limited success. I’m hugely appreciative of some of the stories and discussions we’ve had here, but I don’t feel like we’ve really gotten the flywheel turning. We only get a few stories and comments per day, there’s not a lot of reason for a visitor to make it part of their daily routine. I’d like to do the same thing I did with Lobsters, but it’s been a very busy year. It doesn’t help that in the space a lot of the content is, if not outright lead gen, sometimes very thin content marketing with lots of popup/flyover/exit-intent garbage. Even when I get interesting info I’d feel like a reverse garbageman spilling out a dumpster on your lawn so you could pick out a couple nice things.

              I’d say community-driven websites are generally a bad business idea. They take a ton of time and effort to start and you can monetize them only very slowly (I have no plans to make money from Barnacles, fwiw). Once the flywheel is turning they can “run themselves” for months or years, especially if you can do at least a little pruning of toxic people or bad material.

              I think the only thing you can do is give people a reason to regularly return and make it easy to do so. Post a lot of whatever you want to see on the site (links, comments, etc.) and make damn sure your email notifications/subscriptions work, users always get a permanent login cookie, etc. Then find related sites and try to draw attention to yours in the least spammy way possible. Be prepared for a very long slog.

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                @pushcx - Do you think it has anything to do with a limited amount of bootstrapping related content out there to begin with? I love this site and would love to contribute but almost everything I read about in this space comes from here or Hacker News.

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                  It doesn’t help that in the space a lot of the content is, if not outright lead gen

                  I’m glad it’s not just me thinking this - some of the blog posts make me wonder if bootstrapping is just a get-rich-quick scheme for those who can’t dream big :(. Appreciate everything you do for lobste.rs though, the diamonds in the rough are truly great :).

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                    Great advice. Thanks for such a thought out response. Would you say there is a point where you know the site isn’t going to make it? Ideas of where it should be after a month?

                    Also, thanks for creating Barnacles. I really like the idea of a place for bootstrapped application creators to have a discussion.

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                      All of the above have been labors of love, so if I spent a year of attention and they didn’t take off, I wouldn’t consider it wasted.

                      I don’t know where I’d draw lines, but I can suggest some metrics worth paying attention to:

                      • Activation: Are visitors signing up for accounts?
                      • Retention: How many times do users return? Is their average time on site increasing?
                      • Engagement: Are users posting more, posting higher-quality, posting more frequently, and responding to each other?

                      Qualitatively… I saw your link and took a minute to look around. It looks like a nice basic forum. I recognize several of the names of anime, so I’d guess it’s mostly popular stuff, which is a mistake. Don’t spend any time on an anime like Tenchi Muyo. If someone wants to nerd out about a world-famous anime, people have created a million sites, blogs, and forums in the last 20 years. Find a fanbase that doesn’t have a home and give them one with features they can’t find anywhere else.

                      Right now your features look like a subset of reddit - do something reddit can’t because of its scale like collaborative image galleries, patreon integration for fan artists, transcripts, etc. Do something anime fan sites can’t do like polls, wikis, file sharing, etc. I can’t guess what feature would blow the cat ears off an anime fan because I’m not one, but I’m sure there’s something they want. What are anime fans most annoyed at the quality of, or tired of waiting for, or arguing over?

                      Until you know what that feature is, stop coding (except for bugfixes). The site works, so spend your time on content production and marketing. Find something useful to write that nobody has - not just “hey, here’s a review of this episode”, but email the distributors to get release dates for all future countries, or get cable listings to find when every episode will air, or side-by-side-by-side Japanese/Official English/Fan translations with downloadable subtitle files. Probably all these top-of-my-head things have been done, but there must be some schlep nobody else has undertaken.

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                    Cool article, but even better website. Found a solid reading list for the rest of the week, thanks

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                      I don’t know that I care that Snapchat stories never make the news on HN..

                      But, I can agree with you that I really like this website and am happy to also contribute in any way I can, would love to see more links on the site, curious where some of you guys find the articles that you’re sharing

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                        Great guide actually, thanks.