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Hackaday For Sale, Editors Seek Crowd Funding To Buy It

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  • Buying a blog...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:34PM (#44289441) Homepage
    What exactly does it mean to "buy" a blog? Are they wanting to pay half a mil for a domain name? Is the content really worth half a million bucks? Or, are people just stupid when it comes to trying to put a dollar value on anything Internet related? It seems like a lovely little blog, but I don't see how any sane person could come up with a $500,000 valuation for it.
    • Re:Buying a blog...? (Score:4, Informative)

      by tibit (1762298) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:43PM (#44289521)

      Presumably if it brings in ~$125k in ad revenue per year, it'd be "worth" about 4 times that, or $500k. I personally think that even with that much yearly ad revenue I would not spend that kind of money on such a site.

      • Presumably if it brings in ~$125k in ad revenue per year, it'd be "worth" about 4 times that, or $500k. I personally think that even with that much yearly ad revenue I would not spend that kind of money on such a site.

        So you would turn down an investment that gave 25% returns when bonds are paying 2%? Free advice: you might want to get some professional help to manage your 401k.

        • by jxander (2605655)

          You have to take into account the lifespan and stability of websites. Maybe the creator starts up a new website and draws people away from this one, or maybe a competing website shows up, or the new ownership could just crap their pants. Maybe the creator sees the pool of potential hacks drying up, and wants to get while the getting's good.

          I'd put buying a blog right around the same level as playing craps, as far as sound long-term investments go.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Presumably if it brings in ~$125k in ad revenue per year, it'd be "worth" about 4 times that, or $500k. I personally think that even with that much yearly ad revenue I would not spend that kind of money on such a site.

          So you would turn down an investment that gave 25% returns when bonds are paying 2%? Free advice: you might want to get some professional help to manage your 401k.

          Past performance doesn't guarantee future results

          If anyone is putting a significant portion of their 401K into a highly speculative investment like an internet blog website, they definitely need professional help to manage their 401k.

          • Past performance doesn't guarantee future results

            There is no absolute guarantee that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. But past performance suggests that it is a good bet.

            Returns on this site may go below 25%, but with better promotion and ad targeting, it is also quite likely that both traffic and ad conversion rate could go up substantially, thus raising the return rate. On balance, it looks like a risky, but potentially lucrative investment opportunity, and if the editors were asking for investors rather than handouts, I would be willing to buy

            • by hawguy (1600213)

              Past performance doesn't guarantee future results

              There is no absolute guarantee that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. But past performance suggests that it is a good bet.

              Returns on this site may go below 25%, but with better promotion and ad targeting, it is also quite likely that both traffic and ad conversion rate could go up substantially, thus raising the return rate. On balance, it looks like a risky, but potentially lucrative investment opportunity, and if the editors were asking for investors rather than handouts, I would be willing to buy some shares.

              Or the editors and use rbase may decide that they don't like the new owner when he decides to muck around with the site to add better promotion and ad targeting and when they move elsewhere, all he's left with is a $6 domain name.

              If you think it's such a great investment, talk your family and friends into pulling money from their houses so they can invest in this "sure thing" company.

              • Or the editors and use rbase may decide that they don't like the new owner ...

                Read the summary. The editors are the new owners (or will be if they get the funding).

                • by hawguy (1600213)

                  Or the editors and use rbase may decide that they don't like the new owner ...

                  Read the summary. The editors are the new owners (or will be if they get the funding).

                  I read the summary and I didn't see anything about the editors cashing in their 401K's (or mortgaging their houses) to purchase the site with their own funds because they think it is a stable investment for their retirement.

            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              There is no absolute guarantee that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. But past performance suggests that it is a good bet.

              What a bizarre comparison. The sun has come up at a repeatable time consistently for as long as people were able to keep time.

              Hackaday has drawn in a variable amount of revenue for a few years at a time when the hacking craze (same time as makezine and adafruit started) really boomed. Worst of all it really is a tech site, and the tech industry seems to change gears at the drop of a dime.

              Somehow I don't think the two are comparable.

        • by tibit (1762298)

          I consider ad-overladen sites to be an unethical exploitation of the limited lifetimes of the users/viewers. If I were to buy it, the ad revenue would likely go down not because of drop in readership, but because of significant curbing of the rather ridiculous level of corporate buttlicking shown there so far. Never mind that buying into 25% ROI is kinda like what happened with gold recently. It won't last.

        • by isorox (205688)

          Presumably if it brings in ~$125k in ad revenue per year, it'd be "worth" about 4 times that, or $500k. I personally think that even with that much yearly ad revenue I would not spend that kind of money on such a site.

          So you would turn down an investment that gave 25% returns when bonds are paying 2%? Free advice: you might want to get some professional help to manage your 401k.

          $125k revenue != $125k profit
          $125k revenue for FY2012/13 != $125k revenue for FY2013/14

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          that's just assuming it would continue.. that the editors would keep editing. though I suppose you could keep editing yourself..
          but still, it's a risk. if you use the usual roi projections in .com world you're fucked up the ass with a hacksaw five times out of six.

          (125k of ad revenue sounds like a lot for such a site).

          also, good luck sourcing half a mil for it...

    • by MoFoQ (584566)

      Because it does roughly $14K a month right now without much "pimping out to advertisers" (http://hackaday.com/2013/07/01/hackaday-looking-for-a-good-home/)

      It is interesting that I mentioned the crowdfunding aspect a few weeks ago when the owner posted that he was looking to sell: http://hackaday.com/2013/07/01/hackaday-looking-for-a-good-home/#comment-1021672 [hackaday.com]

      *sigh*....it's before pay-day so I'll have to wait.

    • by EvanED (569694)

      They said that they were offered a revenue-sharing stream of $10K/month for 30 months. The reason they declined that, from what the editors were saying, was that it would leave too little revenue for other stuff. They also say that the current owner is using the revenue stream to fund other, unrelated startups.

      If those are true, it's likely they're getting more than $10K/month. You're looking at 3-5 years to break even at the most if that were to continue. Hackaday has been around way longer than that.

    • by tibit (1762298)

      What exactly does it mean to "buy" a blog?

      Same as with doing an inter-bank transfer. A couple of entries in a couple of databases get changed. That's about it, if you want to be "exact" about it. Namely, the domain registration records will be changed, and the domain will be either re-linked to your (new) user account if you are keeping the registrar, or will be transferred to you. Same thing will happen at the hosting company: the hosts (if any) and the content will be transferred to your (new) user's account there. What $500k buys you, exactly, i

    • by citizenr (871508)

      What exactly does it mean to "buy" a blog? Are they wanting to pay half a mil for a domain name?

      no nonooo, they want US to pay half a mil so they can keep getting paid from ad money on a monthly basis.
      They dont want to pay ANYTHING out of their pocket.

      I said it many times in HAD comments - register hackperday.com and start fresh.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Wrong, wrong and wrong. They aren't selling the content. It's a blog. The content exists on other sites.

      What they are selling is a following. They are selling many thousands of hits a day. They are selling a large number of regular users (myself included). They are selling a name that people recognise which will draw in advertising revenue.

      In that respect they aren't doing anything out of the ordinary. They are selling a profit making business just like any other and given the following hackaday has they ar

  • Ownership (Score:4, Insightful)

    by d18c7db (1031260) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44289527)
    So the way I see it, the campaign initiator is asking a whole bunch of supporters to buy this site for him at a cost of $540000, the contributors will not be part owners or have any say in the direction the site is run. They'll just get some trinkets in return, stickers, T shirts or some free advertising for a year.
  • Just wanted to say I don't have a stake in this either way, and I'm not contributing anywhere. I read Hackaday and live near Caleb Craft, and thus enjoy taking a peek from time to time.
  • One fan's view point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Monday July 15, 2013 @06:19PM (#44289833) Homepage

    I've read hackaday for years.

    A couple weeks ago on July 1st, Caleb Kraft announced he was leaving [hackaday.com] and the site went for sale on the same day [hackaday.com].

    This was kinda suspicious for both things to happen at the same time especially because Caleb never explained why he left. HOWEVER, Caleb has posted to his personal site [calebkraft.com] that he's started a new job at EETimes.com. Not sure why that was worth keeping secret.

    Still, the whole thing feels like the current owner is holding the site for ransom. The way it is being explained is that the profits from hackaday are being poured into other weblogs, but if this campaign is successful, a non-profit will be formed and advertising profits will be poured back into the site.

    I don't understand why they don't just buy a new domain. The freakin site is made with wordpress, who cares, the community can migrate.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      The community isn't worth maintaining anyway. Most of the people posting either don't seem to know what they are talking about or are just trolling. Really, the level of trolling approaches YouTube at times, and the admins don't seem to be able to do anything about it.

      I think the basic problem it that HAD was build around Arduino level readers, people who really don't have a lot of knowledge or understanding and gawk at fairly simple "hacks" that many of us do day-to-day in our jobs. The really knowledgeabl

      • This isn't Caleb's idea. It's mine.

        If the campaign fails to meet its goal, Jason will either sell it to someone else, or he'll keep running it like it is forever. If it does succeed, I'm not a dot com half millionaire. Jason gets the money. I just get the job of making Hackaday better than what it is now.

        As far as the trolls... Yeah. We do a hands-off moderation policy. We might start thinking about some sort of 'voting' comment system if this thing succeeds.

      • by mirix (1649853)

        Yep. 90% of the 'hacks' are terrible, most of the write-ups are terrible, and 95% of the comments are clueless or trolling.

        Still some interesting things on occasion, though.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Who bothers reading comments on there anyway? They are slightly better than youtube level. I might scan through them for interesting links, but generally it's just a bunch of bickering. JUst look at the projects, fuck the comments.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I agree - the write ups are terrible - the editors can't edit, and they have a very thin technical knowledge. HaD could be great - if they invested in qualified writers and took the time to copy edit.

        PS If you follow the threads on HaD you'll see that despite running a profitable site, they previously had the gall to ask for donations for a 3D printer... The level of profits only becoming apparent when the site went up for sale. Not straight up, not guys I would trust to do business with.

    • Guy behind this whole mess here.

      You might have noticed some really weird stuff on Hackaday recently. The two new additions to the Hackaday 'family' - the lifehacks and handmade subdomains - are Jason's idea. We weren't too thrilled with the lifehacks but I digress.

      The straw that broke Caleb's back was the suggestion of a 'fashion hacks' sub. I'll admit what laqueristas can do is extremely impressive, but it's not really Hackaday, is it?

      When the 'for sale' post went up, a whole bunch of people suggested doin

      • by MoFoQ (584566)

        well...that doesn't mean Caleb can't make a cameo appearance once in a while...shoot....you need his help for that old VW project we keep hearing about.

  • I like hackaday, been following it for years. But now that it is for sale, i might as well forget it. 99% that some corporation is going to buy it and ruin it.

    Makers are big, hacking is big, somewhat popular site based on those 2? Ya, corporation is going to fuck it till it bleeds, then leave it for something else.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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