Since I’m encouraging writers to post their original content on this territory, I wanted to explore whether or not Stacker News is actually a good environment for writers to post their work. Three areas I looked at were:
  1. Financial remuneration
  2. Publicity
  3. Control over content

Financial remuneration

I have some familiarity with self publishing. I have friends who have tried various ways to make a name for themselves as writers and earn some income. By and large, these efforts have failed. After taking out fees for marketing, administration, binding, and other assorted necessary and useless services, the aspiring writer usually winds up losing money. There are occasional stories of someone hitting it big with Amazon sales, but big is a relative term. Even if there is some traction, Amazon is notorious for sucking up the lion’s share of any profits that may be made.
I know that many writers who blog or write articles use Substack, so I looked into their earnings rules. The vast majority of writers on Substack do not earn much money. There are of course exceptions. There are stories of people who make a million dollars a year on Substack. There are also many writers who never earn much. Even if you do hit it big, the actual (fiat) dollars you wind up putting in your pocket might be less than you expect:
After the Substack fees (10%), Stripe fees (2-4%), and taxes, you're lucky to see half of what you think you will make (1,000 subs at $10 is closer to $5,000/month after fees and taxes).
The above quote was a tweet by Lenny Rachitsky.
As bitcoiners, of course, it also matters that in the above examples you are earning in ever devaluing fiat dollars.
On Stacker News, you earn bitcoin. The amount you earn is directly correlated to the perceived value your content provides to the reader. You will be paid accordingly. The feedback is immediate. Posts tend to lose visibility after a day or so, but I’m looking to change this by providing resources where writers can have their content showcased beyond that short time period.
Posting is not free. Fees vary by territory. Right now this territory costs 10 sats to post.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone here, but being paid in bitcoin is a huge bonus. I started posting some long form content on Stacker News around a year or so ago. I saved some of those sats. The earnings from some of those posts are almost three times the value than if I had earned them today, if you measure these things by fiat standards.
It’s your decision, but given the choice, I would always prefer to be paid in bitcoin.

Publicity

There is no doubt that my territory cannot compete with Amazon, Substack, Medium and other platforms when it comes to reach and exposure. Stacker News is still young. Things will improve. Even now, though, you have the “big fish in the little pond” advantage. There is not a lot of competition yet.

Control Over Content

I know content control is a big issue with many writers. Lots of people will only post their content on their self hosted sites for complete control. There are obviously trade offs when you use a platform. However, I think this idea of ownership and control often is beside the point f you are posting online. Regardless of your method, anyone can copy and paste your work once you put it out on the web. The way I see it, you might as well earn sats for it. To each his own.
I am investigating the possibility to move my guides on SN from substack. And not for the sats mainly, but to have a direct contact with those people that need more my guides.
Yes, if you go and google a title from my guides list it appear quite on top, because of substack SEO. Not sure if that will happen with SN too. Yeah SEO stuff take time and SN is still young...
Maybe even having a dedicated territory, like "Darth-Guides" or something. See for example the Telegram channel I have where I post all the guides, for people that want to have them at hand. Is just a chronological list of them and many people are using it.
My guides are already formatted in markdown that is fully supported by SN so is not a big problem.
The aspects that keep me not doing this yet are:
  • I can't edit main posts longer than 10min. Sometimes a guide must be updated, corrected etc. And that take time.
  • I need an option to export somehow the entire pack of posts / territory (without comments) in a full zip archive. Just to have it as a backup.
  • Option to disable comments for a post. Maybe I want to keep it clean, just as a guide entry, people read it and then commenting on main SN saloon or wherever they want. For some posts yes, maybe is necessary to let people to comment and discuss.
  • I can't have separate sections by language. I usually write my guides by default in EN and ES, then later are translated in other languages. Also maybe sections / pages to configure by category / type of guide.
  • there are some more things to add but can't remember right now which.
Will see... I am not decided yet.
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10 sats \ 0 replies \ @mo 12 Feb
That's a great alternative and looking forward to read them again here :)
The only issue I see is the inabiliity to make updates (something substack allows). On SN, once a post is published, there's no way you can edit. On nostr instead, you can edit long-format articles and resign it as many times you wish
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Yes, there are issues. I think it's possible that @ekzyis has an idea in the works regarding the first issue- editability, which I think would be great for territory owners too.
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I just don't want to see how SN became another reddit shit.... sad thing, is already moving towards that way. And that's why I do not want to post more stuff on SN (only urgent /important matters).
Some people even accused me that I am posting too much. So I said, ok I move away, I don't care. Let's see what shit are you posting...
Still watching to see the SN direction.
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Just my opinion, but we need you here to keep the bitcoin focus, and also as a teacher. No question it's chaotic because of growing pains. Re territories, the new dev ones seem to increase deep discussion regarding building. Yours would too. I'm trying to increase adoption by pulling people from reddit to a sats based earning system, the way nostr is. I understand your worry, though.
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People who say anyone else posts too much or wrong kind of stuff can close their eyes...or downzap.
Posts that get zaps get to the top, the rest quickly fade. I don't understand people who want to moderate by other means.
The zapping is the moderation!
Let the sats speak! This is the genius of SN.
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271 sats \ 7 replies \ @ek 12 Feb
Unfortunately, I am not. At least no new ideas.
Imo, the UI should include a changelog for every edit (after the timer) but if the changelog should be similar to Github is not clear yet.
But in general, a lot on SN related to writing is inspired by Github.
For example, this is how it looks on Github:
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Yeah, I don't really think that would be useful. You would want the edited post NOT to appear to be edited. Obviously you want the change record in github, but I don't think you need it for a post.
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271 sats \ 5 replies \ @ek 13 Feb
You would want the edited post NOT to appear to be edited.
Mhh, why not?
Maybe I'm too worried about abuse, but I think commitment to your text within the current edit timer also has benefits.
With no changelog, there would also be no more edit timer.
The changelog doesn't have to be obvious but I think edits should be transparent 🤔
As far as I can tell, you want edits to work like currently just with no timer, right? For everything or just for posts?
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Let me explain what I see as a use case. For what we think of now as a regular post, I think things are fine as they are. What I am looking for would be a static page, either like @grayruby 's idea of an expanded territory description, or a different type of post, that would be freely updatable and editable with the purpose of keeping items current, like an online bulletin board, index, etc. I think that's what @DarthCoin is looking for too, but I could be wrong. The purpose would be to update information without having to delete the old post and make a new one.
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271 sats \ 3 replies \ @ek 13 Feb
So you're talking more about a new post type? Which can be edited indefinitely with no changelog?
Else I don't get how a changelog for everything (no need to determine beforehand if you want to edit this item in the future or not) would interfere with your use case.
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Let's say I have a post with linked posts contained within it, like an index. Then let's say the stacker deletes that post and I want to replace it with a different link. It would be cluttered and pointless to have change logs visible if these updates are made frequently.
I think Stacker News is a great place to debut work; especially, if the author is interested in feedback. There's nowhere else, to my knowledge, where you can get the same degree of thoughtful input from your readers. Even if an author is planning on primarily publishing on one of the bigger platforms, there's basically no downside of putting it here first/also.
What role do you envision this territory will play for writers?
Rolling out one chapter at a time seems pretty good, but ultimately authors probably want the complete book to go up in a different format (and probably on a broader platform). However, as those individual chapters roll out, authors are bringing in some income that might help support them until they put the full work out.
Do you have some publicity strategies in mind to bring more attention to your authors?
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A while ago we were talking about the prospect of breaking up writing so that each paragraph, or meaningful chunk, was its own "comment" and readers being able to give feedback, either w/ sats or commenting on your comment. I still think there's something interesting in that form factor, a combo of incentives, tech, and norms, that would allow pieces of longer content to accrue in a different way that could be a new kind of signal to a writer.
But as you say below, some thought on the evergreen issue still needs to be thunk.
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It seems to me like there's a lot of potential to make some money and get helpful feedback at a pre-final draft stage.
I've been thinking about how to attempt a series where I work through an economic research project in real-time. Each step would be a post and the comments would serve as something like real-time peer review. I'm not particularly close to carving out the time for such a project, but I would like to try it out at some point.
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Good question. I'm starting to think about it now. Of course the newsletter gives a little publicity, and I'm thinking about distributing it more widely as an email newsletter. I also have begun cross posting to nostr, then X down the road. I'm open to ideas.
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I like the email newsletter idea. You can create your own little (and maybe eventually not so little) literary society.
Working out the evergreen problem will probably matter more for this territory than most of the others, too. Some sort of catalogue will be indispensable.
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Although SN has far fewer users than sites like Medium or Reddit or Amazon, you have a much greater potential of some few of those readers actually reading what you write.
And the genius of SN is that if a user reads your post it's incredibly easy for them to zap it and so they often do.
If you don't have much of an audience anywhere else, you should definitely consider writing here.
Additionally, as the OP mentions there are a few factors working in your favor on SN:
  1. You earn in bitcoin
  2. You have relatively little competition
  3. You are a bit of a novelty
I've been writing reviews of old cyberpunk classics and I've made a few dollars. Maybe if I was famous I could start a paid subscription substack and get people to pay me for such reviews but I doubt it.
The real question is why do the sats I earn on SN matter so much to me? Because they do.
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The real question is why do the sats I earn on SN matter so much to me? Because they do.
Indeed SN strong point is the V4V thing that is using. And works nice.
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Well said. Thanks for explaining it probably better than I did.
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I love how you are exploring managing ~BooksAndArticles. Keep up the great work. I would love to see it grow!
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YOU gave me the ideas and impetus, like for the newsletter. I envisioned more of a static territory page or pinned post that was editable without reposting. That would not have worked.
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I wouldn’t downplay your territory if I were you. Reason being:
  1. You need to have 100 followers before you can start earning on Medium. I don’t fancy going through the hard slog when I can immediately earn sats here
  2. You can apply for Google Adsense via your blog, but you will have to work hard at establishing a following before you start earning. The algorithms of Google Adsense are unclear. I sometimes earn one cent per day for my article but I don’t know what I do right to warrant that one cent. I don’t know how to upscale my efforts. It’s annoying.
  3. The formatting here at SN is fabulous. I frequently copy my articles here and paste them over on Publish0x. It’s amazing how the photos get transferred without a hitch. This territory has made me write more!
Pls keep up the good work
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Thanks for your kind words, and your great content.
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203 sats \ 2 replies \ @kr 12 Feb
There is no doubt that my territory cannot compete with Amazon
How many people read the average book published on Amazon?
I’d guess less than 1,000.
If you get to the top of the page on SN, it’s quite possible that over 1,000 people will read your content today.
140 sats \ 1 reply \ @Atreus 12 Feb
I've thought about posting some of my early drafts here... 🤔
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That would be a big feather in our cap if you did. Thanks for considering it. I think it's fair to say you will get thoughtful feedback here.
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Wonderful summation and plenty to think about. The benefits of posting articles and short stories, even if it’s only for feedback or reccomendations, is worthwhile. And given that post visibility fades quite quickly you could produce things almost as a work in progress. I’m not sure there is a living to be made writing on SN (yet) but any creative working toward accelerated fortune & glory should probably look elsewhere…. low time preference and proof-of-work around here.
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Very good points that I forgot to mention. There is nothing preventing anyone from posting material here from their substack to gain visibility. I also forgot to mention you can publicize those articles with a pinned post (how the hell did I forget that?)
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Well, you could write a post tomorrow as ‘Stacker News for Writers Part 2: Stack Harder!’ (All sequels need their own title)
‘Stacker News for Writers: Creatives Stack Too’ perhaps
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Sequals are big now. Maybe a franchise? The Return Of The Killer_________
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Red fuzzy dog with legs… I am now misremembering a very young George Clooney watching cowboys getting beaten up by ninjas with Colonel Gaadafi rolling around on the floor….
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Anyone who thinks Stripe is an option needs to live a little longer.
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Would you say SN is good place to post crime novel?
I'm in the process to pitching Stacker news to a writer I know...
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I really don't see a downside to introducing your work and getting feedback. Best case scenario, it is popular and the writer earns a lot of sats. Worst case, he will get some feedback and suggestions.
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This is one of those posts that I would like to bookmark to my SN account
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you can bookmark! you can! you just have to believe!
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I think SN is an excellent gateway for writers. It would be awesome if someone built a sats denominated substack style application over nostr where I could sub for say 10k-20k sats a month to someone's blog.
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I guess blogspot and habla are the closest right now.
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Can you subscribe with sats?
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I don't think so. When I was using those sites there was not a subscription option. Maybe someone has more updated info?
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I've used blogger / blogspot for about 10 years. I made $5 USD. The whole time from ads. Once I had a lot of traction but I hated the ads.
I love Stacker and I like reading other Stackers.
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Thank You for the ideas You provide. To me as a classical journalist/media owner it's a kind of a refreshing experience here
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I'd mention here the Publish0x which pays in crypto for writing articles. Readers are tipping and writers get paid a few fraction of ETH or OP, but is almost nothing... However, I enjoy reading there good articles, as I do here too :)
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315 sats \ 1 reply \ @mo 12 Feb
SN is becoming an educational platform for shitcoiners1! who ever has thought it would happen...
Footnotes
  1. Sorry mate, that's the nomenclature you deserve after mentioning those three letter ponzies.
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You think so? I hope so too, but the reality is other. Many shitcoiners here are trying to only grab some sats to exchange them for some shitcoins... Shitcoiners will always do shitcoining and will never learn.
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Yes, but the writing there will forever have the shitcoin taint. It's remarkable how that platform is (like) fiat. Completely ripping off the writers.
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I don't think ETH is a sh coin... However, they have changed paying coins few times and some of them were really not useful, obvious sh coins!
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I would define ETH as a shitcoin for the following reasons:
  1. Premine-Vitalik and his buddies cashed out.
  2. A single company runs and controls it. Look what happened here: https://www.coindesk.com/consensus-magazine/2023/05/09/coindesk-turns-10-how-the-dao-hack-changed-ethereum-and-crypto/
  3. Proof of stake. I'm sure others can add to the list. This is off the top of my head.
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How smart is that? It means that Bitcoin is also a sh coin... according to your assertion, as it has BRC-20 now! Also, staker (from Staker.News...) means one who participates in proof of stake! Sorry, but your confusion is total, man... But I agree, you are not part of the creators of Staker.news! Happy staking!
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It's Stacker News, not Staker News. They mean different things:
Cambridge Dictionary
stacker
Meaning of stacker in English
stacker noun [ C ] UK /ˈstæk.ər/ US /ˈstæk.ɚ/ stacker noun [C] (PERSON/MACHINE) Add to word list someone whose job is putting goods or other things on shelves, or putting things on top of each other: The supermarket is recruiting checkout clerks and shelf stackers. I got a job as a crate stacker for a brewery. He worked as a stacker at the public library.
Definition of staker:
something that is staked for gain or loss b : the prize in a contest c : an interest or share in an undertaking or enterprise
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261 sats \ 1 reply \ @teodor 13 Feb
You're right about the word. I was wrong. Sorry.
Yes, Publish0x also changed their "crypto" from one thing to another. I played with it in 2020 and grew to hate it.
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This is true, but still there is a crypto community there. I wonder if is it bigger or lower community than Staker.news...?!
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I wouldn't care. Crypto is scammy nonsense. It's basically ignoring Bitcoin and lots of egos.
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I think it is a very good idea if a method is followed in which good quality and poor quality articles or books can be separated from each other.
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Regarding the competition, some people praise Hive! And some praise BCH, which is PoW, not PoS. I never joined any of these communities, but what do you think, are they SH coins (second hand coins:))?! They are quite big, anyway...
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Yes. They are all shitcoins. I know that is a crude expression. I will refer to them as feces coins from now on.
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Both expressions are poor... You have a very nice project, if you're the creator of Staker.news, as I guess. But, if you're a lawyer, I'd expect from you a more elevate language, not a poor one with just few dirty words, that are fit to illiterates but not to people with a certain level of education.
You can be proud of what you've achieved, but disregarding others doesn't help you at all. I wouldn't tell you this if I didn't like your project! Please take as a friendly advice, not a criticism. Thank you
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I wish I could say I am a creator of SN, but I'm not. We can agree to disagree with regard to your other points. Feces is a medical term. Doctors go to school for many years to learn about it. The word also describes those coins accurately.
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stackers have outlawed this. turn on wild west mode in your settings to see outlawed content.
stackers have outlawed this. turn on wild west mode in your settings to see outlawed content.