Site Announcements and Feedback > Announcements/Feedback/Suggestions

Massdrop x Geekhack

(1/61) > >>

Hello Friends,

My name is Will Bright, I’m a Co-Founder of Massdrop, GH lurker since ‘08 and member since ‘12. Yesterday we purchased Geekhack.

I learned about the sale thread on Monday morning, and my first reaction was.... Wut? Like many thread participants, I was surprised to see this and concerned with the potential outcomes. I’ve spent my entire life in enthusiast communities, and I’ve seen many great communities disperse because of dramatic changes in ownership or management. On Monday, I feared Geekhack would meet a similar fate. From there, I called a meeting of our founding team to discuss purchasing Geekhack with the primary goal of preserving it.

There’s a lot of great stuff about GH, some would argue there’s garbage stuff about GH, but I think it’s hard to debate the dedication and sense of community created by the mods and long-term members of this community. In purchasing Geekhack, our goal is to support that dedication and empower the moderator team to continue improving the community you’ve all invested so much to build.

We’re not making any immediate changes. All rules, standards, processes, and regulations are the same this week as they were last week, and will be the same next week, and the week after, etc. We’re not making GH an advertising platform. We’re not interested in playing favorites with vendors or group buys. We are making no changes to the moderator or admin team.

This change in ownership should affect a 0% change in your GH experience.

That said, GH won’t remain the same forever, it shouldn’t. Communities are organic, they grow, they evolve. The key from our point of view is to support that growth, rather than direct that growth. We’re working with the mod team and dedicated community members to learn more about where the community is headed and what we can do as owners to facilitate that growth. Rest assured, any notable changes will be the result of community supported initiatives, not the will of some distant actor. 

By this point, hopefully you’re feeling cautiously optimistic, but you’re probably looking for the catch. How does Massdrop as a business benefit from buying GH if we’re not changing anything to monetize the site? Having a place for people to dive deeper into Mechanical Keyboards helps Massdrop create better products and leads to people being bigger Massdrop customers.

Geekhack is where Mechanical Keyboard enthusiasts can develop their knowledge and create projects together. The community needs a place for that, and we’re excited to help GH continue as that platform.



P.S. My GH signature was one of the first Massdrop brand assets we made in 2012 and we’re still helping folks manage large group buys today : ) 

As a follow-up to Will’s post, the moderation team has drafted a response based on our feelings about the discussion we had with Will yesterday, and on the transfer of site ownership in general.

We were as blindsided as the rest of the community by the sudden announcement of the site sale and the uncertainty of its future. Yesterday evening we learned that the ownership was transferred to Massdrop, and we were contacted by Will, who reassured us that the site and how things have been run are not going to dramatically change overnight. Massdrop's intent appears to be to keep the site operating mostly as it has been, including the current arrangement for the marketplace. We will be working out possibilities of site feature upgrades and adding more dedicated forum maintenance and tech support. But for the foreseeable future, you can expect geekhack to remain in its familiar form -- and hopefully with some positive improvements on the way.

Please post your questions and feedback below, either for us or for Massdrop, and they will be answered as completely as we are able. We expect a lot of feedback, so to prevent our answers from being lost in the thread, we won’t be answering anything immediately. Instead, we’ll go through the questions as you post them, and compile a master list of everything the community would like to know. Responses to all questions will be posted later this week. We’ve included below some of the questions we’ve already asked, and the answers Will has provided to us.

In the meantime, remember that we’re all here for love of the hobby, and the community we’ve built around it. A lot of people have put a lot of work into this site, and we want to make sure that we can remain a valuable resource for a long time to come. As moderators, we want to make the best of changing circumstances, take advantage of some of the new opportunities and resources it brings, and see the keyboard enthusiast community continue to thrive.

user 18:
Q&A Part I:

Q: There's a concern about a vendor owning a platform and remaining impartial.  How is that going to change our level of autonomy and those of vendors on GH?

A: Autonomy is something we don't want to change. ... Far as the perception around a vendor owning the platform, it's important to understand Massdrop is at a pretty different scale than the vendors who depend on GH. We want to support these small vendors and maintain GH as a place where community makers can develop their businesses and products.

Q: One of the main serious questions people have is about private data collection.  If you have any statement about Massdrop's privacy policy in regards to geekhack, we'd love to get it.

A: We don't sell data to anybody under any circumstances. We don't care about real-world identities or tracking across platforms. We do care about the analysis of posts; we do a fair amount with that to determine what goes into our products. Why a headphone sounds the way it does, why we use a particular material on a keyboard instead of another, all of that is informed through analysis of the discussions on Massdrop and external platforms

Q: That's stuff you can do using the publicly-visible posts on GH whether or not you own the site though?

A: Exactly

Q: So will that model stay the same, or will how you gather feedback from GH change now that you own the site and potentially have access to more user data than is publicly-visible?

A: I can't think of anything we want that's not publicly visible, and I'm the main person driving on the analysis side.

Q: How does Massdrop plan to approach any direct competitors on the site: whether it will allow anyone to post here as before, or whether it will have control over which competing vendors are allowed?

A: Nothing changes and they can continue to operate as they have on GH. We don't want to stifle people trying to add to the mech keys ecosystem. That's how all the best products come to be.



I don't really have anything to say at this point but glad to see an end to the rumour mill and will be watching with interest. We shall see how this goes!


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version