Ghacklabs is a new platform for writers to get quotes from the crowd, ranging from founders, bloggers, influencers to everyday people.
Journalists and bloggers can post new stories that they’re writing about to the platform. And, people can comment for a chance to be mentioned in their articles.
In a nutshell, it’s like a mashup of Reddit (comments, votes) Quora (sharing knowledge) and HARO (getting quotes from people). It’s something new …
Here’s a general guide on how it works and some of the benefits for using it.
The Key Benefits For Users
The CORE function of Ghacklabs is free (unlimited posting and comments).
The idea behind it is pretty simple if you were to spend say “5 minutes every day, for a full year” you may end up with 300 mentions across the web. And, we think, that’s pretty gnarly.
We do have some ideas about monetizing Ghacklabs in the future. If we do monetize it, the CORE function of our service will always remain free.
Make Friends With Other People In Your Industry
The platform operates a lot like a Facebook Group (and actually that’s how we got the idea for this) but that’s another story altogether. When you talk about different subjects with people, after time, naturally you’ll make friends.
The really cool thing Ghacklabs is that you’ll be making friends with reporters, bloggers and other thought leaders in your industry. We think this is really important.
When you take a look at the platform, you’ll happen to notice that there’s a wall (aka a feed of quotes). Over time, this will change.
We have not set up categories, and as Ghacklabs grows, we expect that we might be able to open categories from a wide range of topics including food, fashion, startups, biotech, travel, personal finance etc.
The Key Benefits For Journalists And Bloggers
We use the Twitter login API to verify user profiles. This is a huge plus as there are other platforms that do allow for writers to submit quotes and typically use an email based service.
Because of this, sometimes it can be hard to verify a person is, “who they say they are.” Or, check up on their background.
Quotes in Real-Time
Journalists and bloggers need speedy responses, not flooded inboxes.
Ghacklabs is platform-based (not email-based) allowing anyone to post a quote and receive a quote in real-time.
This saves reporters a lot of time having to find sources and they don’t need to deal with a flooded inbox of emails.
The Cocreation of Content
A while back, I wrote a blog post about people sharing their content marketing tips. And got quotes from over 30 people.
This took me well over a month to write that blog post.
From finding people to quote in the article, emailing them, waiting for them to respond, then sorting through my inbox to find the quotes. And, finally writing the article.
With Ghacklabs you can co-create content (it’s a bit like crowdsourcing content). And the really cool thing is that you can ‘visualize’ all of your quotes in one place.
By sharing a wide range of varying opinions it makes content more interesting too.
How Does Ghacklabs Work?
Step 1: Logging in
Right now, we only allow people to login via Twitter. The main reason behind this is for “profile verification.”
If a journalist or blogger is to mention “you” in their article – then it’s important for writers to know that a person “is” who they claim to be.
As an example, if I created a profile with the user name “Donald Trump” – most people wouldn’t “believe it.” (I certainly wouldn’t too)
However, if @therealdonaldtrump logs in via Twitter, then reporters “know” that Donald Trump is a “verified user” on our platform.
Very soon, we’ll be adding in other alternative methods for people to sign in like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Step 2: Update Your User Profile
Ok, so you’ve logged in via Twitter. The next thing you want to do is update your profile. It’s really important because if someone is going to mention you in an article, they’ll need to do more about you.
Things like … what’s your position (ex. Founder of XYZ) and your website URL (so they know where to link back to you).
And …t’s always nicer to ‘put a face’ to a comment rather than seeing a “blank profile.” Here’s how you do it …
It’s always nicer to ‘put a face’ to a comment rather than seeing a “blank profile.” Here’s how you do it.
Click “Edit Account.”
Then fill out your details. Here, you can also “select” if you’d like to know when someone comments on your post.
Step 3: Post a Quote
Posting a story quote is easy. Just click on the “green button.”
Then enter the details about the quote. Make sure to include the “title of the publication” in the “title” section.
URL – You can leave this blank, or add in the publication URL here. This is totally up to you. If you do ‘add’ an URL in, it will link to your site.
Title – The title of the quote (a brief snapshot).
Body – You can add in any additional information about what you’re looking for.
Categories – We have not set this up as of yet, and will be doing this later once we have more stories posted there.
Thumbnail URL – We’ll be embedding images soon, and this feature is not available as of yet. We hope to have that up and running in the next upcoming weeks. We’ll thinking about allowing people to use the logos of their news sites or blogs. Love to know what you think here?
Step 3: Comment on a Story
First, click on the title of a comment or alternatively you can click on “comments.”
Then write your comment where it says “New Comment.”
You can also edit or delete your comments anytime (the same thing for story posts too).
What’s In The Pipeline?
We have a few ideas for some cool things in the future like free images that use artificial intelligence to “recommend” images based on the topic that a person is writing.
Other things like developing a new “comment system” that could be used as an “applet” to plug-in to platforms like LinkedIn, Seek and Facebook.
And, because we are a startup, the skies are the limits. Who knows, we may even open up a startup accelerator in the future …
But for right now, our main goal is to squash bugs and improve the general functionality of the product first, then look at other ways to add value.
We want to create a product that people hopefully love.
For us to “improve” the product, we need people to use it, post up stories, comment, and let us know about any things that we can improve.
We’re well aware that Ghacklabs has a long way to go. And, we’re just a small team of people working at home, trying to create something cool for the world.
Special thanks for anyone that’s helped me, or has believed in me. Those include, and not limited to:
Renata Cooper – For investing in us when we were “super early stage.” I’m forever indebted to you.
Andy Zhu – For building Ghacklabs. Andy did everything from the back-end, front-end to dev ops … the whole thing. Right now, we really need a full programming team to help Andy out (and hopefully soon, we’ll make this happen).
Emma House – Emma must be one of the coolest chicks on the block. She was my startup support buddy.
Sydney Startups – I have gotten an unbelievable amount of support from you and have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of you in person. Without you, I don’t think I would have grown as a founder and many of you have helped to shape me in some manner or form. Thank you!
Adelaide Startups – You guys are just totally awesome! I’ve had the pleasure to meet a lot of you at SouthStart last year, and really hope I can make it to your event this year. For some strange reason, I feel that I share a strong connection to Adelaide – it reminds me a lot like my hometown, Port Macquarie.
Ghacklabs Quotes – To everyone that participated in our Facebook experiment. Without you guys, I would have never been able to do this. Our MVP was actually the Facebook Group, “Ghacklabs Quotes.”
Build in Public – For taking the time to give us feedback on our product whilst we were building it. You guys rock!
Yifat Shirben – For letting us run an experiment with you. From the experiment, we learned a lot of useful information. Thank you so much for the kind gift that you sent me : )
Holly Cardew – Your insights into things we could do in the near future = very cool. And, it was a real pleasure to meet you!
Suzie Nguyen – All I can say is, thank you so much and I owe you “fried chicken.” (Inside joke hehe)
Nathan Hague – The best way to describe Nathan would be a genius, kickass marketer who is way in front of the curve (and a super cool dude). Just from having one conversation with you, you totally reshaped how I see our product.
Jacquie Garrett – For being the first person to “comment” on our platform. You have no idea how stoked I was!
Rami Song – My beautiful wife who put faith in me, and worked full-time, giving me time to build Ghacklabs. I wouldn’t have been able to make this happen without you!
Isabella Fitzpatrick – My cute two-year-old daughter for putting up with a dad that’s creating something and taking care of you at the same time. I hope to be able to spend more time with you soon.
Lastly … If You Would Like To Help Us
People generally like to help as it’s a part of “what makes us human.” But sometimes, people that want to help, don’t know what they can do to help you.
If you would like to help us, here are some ways you can:
1) We need more journalists and bloggers to post stories to Ghacklabs. You can help us by posting a story, or by telling some of your writer friends about us – and see if they’d be interested in posting a story?
2) Startup founders can help us by commenting on our platform (on the plus side, there’s a chance you might get mentioned in some articles). Or, if you happen to know of any friends that could dig a product like this, let them know.
3) Helping us by sharing the word. This can range from telling friends, sharing Ghacklabs on social media, emailing a couple of mates, mentioning us in your newsletter, or even writing about us. Every little bit really does help.
4) Commenting below with any general feedback on our product, things we can do to improve, or any bugs that you’ve happened to have found (if you do happen to find a bug, please let us know which device you’re using, what’s the issue, and which browser you’re using).
5) Providing general support and encouragement. It’s unbelievably hard to start a startup. You have a new idea or a problem that you want to solve, and you’ll have plenty of people that tell you “no that won’t work” or try to persuade you to “give up, and go get a job.” Startup founders do need support, encouragement and to be reminded “why” they should “not give up” but “persevere.” Even if things do get tough (which they most certainly will).
P.S. Check out Ghacklabs and we hope you like it : )