Poll: Where should we go from here?

Hack-A-Day is looking to expand its coverage. We’re hiring fulltime bloggers and freelance how-to contributors. We have an idea of where we should go with the site, but we’d like to know what you, the readers, want to see more of on Hack-A-Day.

Comments

  1. Weirdguy says:

    I would vote for them all if I could…

  2. Juan Cubillo says:

    All except the product review. please don’t do that for any reason

  3. star says:

    This poll is not done right. I want to make more than one choice. I want the option, “Do nothing differently – you’re doing everything right!”

    I voted for hardware hacks, but I love the hacking & security news too..

  4. spyguy99 says:

    How about more of everything?

    I seem to like that idea.

  5. j says:

    voted for hardware, but software features are nice too

  6. chris says:

    The hardware hacks and DIY/instruction-type stories are by far my favorite. The conference coverage is usually pretty interesting too. Please leave random product coverage to Engadget where it belongs!

  7. fuzzy says:

    Doesn’t matter as long as its something I haven’t stumbledupon 10 times (ie: anything steampunk)

  8. Dave says:

    I voted for hardware howtos as well, but the category is too general. What I’d REALLY like to see more of is repurposing. ‘Hey you can get the Aeronix Zipit and hack it to use as a wireless terminal’. The linksys WRT54G falls into the same category (my two run openwrt). The perfect one for me would be ‘Buy a roomba and turn it into a cordless robotic lawnmower’.

    The new ‘Here’s how to build a circuit that does X’ is nice to see on a slow day, especially since you often find techniques you’re not perfectly familiar with even in the simplest analog solutions.

  9. Seth says:

    congrats on expanding to hack(s)-a-day.

    More hardware and software instructionals would be great, and a good expansion to the current content.

  10. kylinki says:

    Should have put a ‘keep doing what were doing’ selection.

  11. The Steven says:

    Hmmm…. The vote looks close, but I think I see a trend… What does MSNBC have to say…

  12. MadManMike says:

    Hardware hacks… for sure

  13. Tim says:

    i kinda wish hackaday would go back to they way it used to be, when vince was still here, i loved lazy day afternoons! not to put any other contributer down, but i definitly had read less and less until will came on board Will rocks!!

  14. cokebottle says:

    well I would rather not see repost from make, I’d rather see make reposting HaD. HaD docent have nearly as much daily content as make and as such its much more important for HaD to not repost content than it is for make. so Had maybe posts twice daily if ones a repost thats half your content that I’m just going to skip, if make repost thats ~20% of their daily content I’m skipping not such a big deal. So basically stop with the #$&@&*! repost.

  15. mike says:

    I vote for more political coverage of the 08 election..hehe NOT. I think you guys should expand more on the archive, and form a very loose wiki page of hardware and software development (viz. programming 101, how to solder, etc) and cross reference each hack into a category.

    So lets say in a year they finally put linux on an xbox 360, then you’d report it, and archive the page and categorize it under both hardware and software hacks. Include a rough idea of the expertise level too.

    I want this so that junior hackers can read the hacks and be able to put them in perspective easily. I remember when I was a kid and first started hearing about cool stuff, it was hard to really conceptualize what skills and resources I’d actually need to do that myself.

    I’d also suggest that for each hack you post, ask each author for permission to post a copy of their site here, so that all these cool hacks can be archived forever. Thanks for a great page.

  16. mike says:

    i also wanted to add that the categories should work in reverse, so if you go to a howto wiki on soldering , say basic soldering references 12 hacks that require *basic* soldering, then when you get to chapter 8 of the soldering howto, you get 5 reference s to hacks that require advanced soldering (like the cell phone jammer or some other complicated SMT device).

    So the page could be used in two ways, new hackers could go to “hacker school” and learn a few chapters, then apply them by reverse looking up hacks based on the skills they’ve learned.

  17. mace says:

    600 votes and almost 80% for hardware howto’s, that’s pretty conclusive.

  18. kinda new here
    tho i have dug through everything in the archive
    how about sum scriptkiddy stuff
    all this stuff is cool but only 1 out of 4 are actualy doable.
    Ps. hardware wins. fatality. flawless victory.

  19. tjhow says:

    Original hardware how-tos & Hacking, security, and other technology news PLZZ!!!

  20. Joe says:

    I’ve come here everyday since the first post. I deeply love this site.

    If you change the format a lot toward product reviews, news, etc, you will dilute your greatest power- you are an original site for true HARD HACKS, and some amazing soft hacks, and even better, when they come together (anyone remember the sentry guns? the laser tracking panner scanners? 3D Scanners using nothing but MILK??).

    MAKE started a lot like Hackaday, but look at the *mostly* pile of shit it has become. It’s now a site for product reviews, but also unconnected news that has nothing to do with the spirit of MAKE or the hacking community, and a lot of it is a shitstorm of happyy blog linking. (Boing Boing & Make). That can be a powerly great thing sometimes, but often it fails where it started as an amazing thing.

    Hackaday’s greatest strength has always been the simple HOW-TO interface that is the last of it’s kind. MAKE was a lot like here, but quickly went to shit. There may be a hundred ARS, CNET, etc. clones that all link to each other, but there is only ONE Hackaday.

    You mean you haven’t noticed that everyone else comes here FIRST with the real article? Everyone else links to YOU. That hasn’t been a huge hint that Hackaday alone is getting hacking right?

    TAKE THE HINT, add more hard hacks. How to mod your espresso machine to run as a rube-goldberg machine that does everything. How-to remote control your lawnmover. How-to, well, damn near anyting.

    And I SECOND the site copying/archive idea. Many good sites have been lost forever without it.

    & Remove that damn “BETA” sign under the logo when you fix er up, ok? You aren’t gmail, you’re far more efficient.

  21. F00 f00 says:

    i think mike has the best suggestions. it would be a shame to move away from the original format.

    how toos are great but theres a danger of dumbing down. i’ve always thought of hackaday as a place for real engineers and hackers to get recognition.

    please dont turn into another engadget. if you guys are really going to have product reviews lets have them on on products that are related to hacking, pic programmers, etching kits, solder stations etc. stuff that isnt getting reviewed by every other blog under the sun.

  22. chacha says:

    Great idea to expand. Will there be a site redesign as well? It’s served well for a long time, but just seems like time for some modernization (and some capital letters :-P )

  23. J. Peterson says:

    One of the things I like about this site is it is “hack a -day-” not “hack every 10 minutes”. One of the hazards of increasing your staff is increasing your volume to the point where those of us busy with other things can’t keep up and tune out. The Make blog (20+ posts a day) is pushing it, I gave up on Wired News some time ago.

    Keep it special.

  24. Jay says:

    Here’s another vote for what Mike suggested. Having some sort of wiki to all the hacks that you could then cross reference to some kind of basic skills tutorial would be awesome. Most of my favorite posts have been the ones with a parts breakdown including price of the items needed for the project. That and the one about “What’s the core equipment list for you workshop” post. It’s cool to read about the hacks and all but it’s even better when someone puts in the extra effort to get the info into the hands of someone who might not otherwise be able to figure it out.

    The worst idea is probably product reviews although I can understand how something like that would be advantageous to the site. But as it is now there’s an over abundance of sites doing that and most of them already have Gadget or Gizmo in their name. If someone is checking out a site called Hack-A-Day I would imagine they want to see content related to hacking something with some new stuff put up once ever 24 hours or so. If the reviews would be related somehow like a post on some new Mindstorm thing than yeah, if it turns into a BS product placement for some crap cellphones than hell no.

  25. strider_mt2k says:

    hackaday

    don’t change a hair for me

    not if you care for me

  26. John Laur says:

    I’d like to see more UPPERCASE LETTERS and more COLOR PHOTOS.

    Very often both of these are make-or-break points you are forgiving in the name of style but you are obviously breaking them both behind the scenes in some way anyway:

    1) Your RSS feed shows that you don’t hammer out your posts behind the scenes into lowercase

    2) You happily post videos in color

    These are simply readability issues. Without them you cannot, for example tell the difference between a post saying 10Mb/s vs 10MB/s. You cannot tell the difference in wire color or LED colors without color photos. It’s kind of dumb, guys.

  27. seph says:

    I’ve enjoyed hackaday. The content has been very high level, the posts of good quality. I admire your desire to grow, but when I’ve seen other blogs add more people, the result has been a net decrease in quality. There are more posts, but they devolve from good hacking stuff to lameness. I fear what might happen.

  28. happypinguin says:

    I vote NO for product review.
    — ————–

    I hate all product review website since most of them are “influenced” by their financial and product sample supporters.

    What are you going to say if Intel offers you 10 cpus for review in trade of higher Intel processors score?

    Please keep neutral, you are way in the top of my favorites. Don’t fall down please.

  29. Wolf says:

    I’d like to second Dave’s comments. I prefer hardware hacks in general, but I’d like to see more tip’s and tricks, and repurposes, ie those nifty things you see on instructables alot, like how you can use a ti-83 to take pictures at set intervals with some digital slr or turn old wifi routers into repeaters, that sort of thing…

    A few side notes:

    I’d rather not see product reviews, unless their of something really interesting, like that fan/subwoofer thing a while back

    As for linking instructables, engaget, and the like, I don’t check them regularly, so if theres something noteworthy on them, I’d like to hear about it

  30. GenKreton says:

    Definitely don’t confine yourself to computers or purely electronics. Some of your best articles have been on things like the aerocivic back in December. We like it all! Well, except for promoting products… let’s skip the product review part.

  31. Blind says:

    Hardware hacks, reverse engineering, and I would be cool with software hacks too.

    Conventions I don’t care about, but I skim them when interesting projects are posted.

    Industry news, product news, etc…. meh. I’ve got Gizmodo and Engadet and such that covers it well enough.

    There better not be a sight redesign though. I’ll miss this look :(

  32. adam says:

    what joe (post 17) said.

  33. Nicholas Savage says:

    I agree. Don’t become another engadget. I don’t need to see product reviews (too many sites focus to heavily on that and have no real content). I enjoy the not-dumbed-down nature of the site; I don’t want the only news of the day to be reviews for products I will never buy.

    Hacks! Hacks! more hacks! More talking about hacks!

  34. callidus says:

    Hardware gets my vote, but software and security are also interesting areas.

  35. Michael Lashinsky says:

    I would like to see more DYI home energy projects.

    We are going into a very dark period in US history. Energy is going to be a total rip off from now on. I am trying to build a wind powered electric generator, without any real knowledge or qualification. I would also like to convert a car to electric.

    Everything online is for people with major skills, not a boob like me. And the step by step instructions are usually non-existant. (There are some, particularly for windmills, but not for a windmill on a city row home.) I would love to see more like that.

    Another one that would be excellent is how to make my own LCD lights to replace those lousy compact florescent bulbs. I cannot even find LCD bulbs for sale anywhere. The joule thief and the throwies are cool, but you cannot light a home with them.

    There are people out there with the electronic knowledge to to these things. Please, get busy and share the results. Life is going to get a lot harder before it gets any better again. You can help everyone.

    Thanks for letting me ask.
    Michael Lashinsky
    mlashinsky@gmail.com

  36. Jonathan says:

    A lot of people have already mentioned the wiki, and I am a big fan of the idea. To elaborate on how it would be useful from my perspective: Imagine a hardware noob visiting your site for the first time. There are two things that can draw them in – the “ooh lookie” factor of the awesome hacks that are far beyond such noobs like myself. And then there’s the “oh, I could totally do this!” factor that draws them into the hacking scene itself. Some more permanent and organized representation of all the information in these posts is much more accessible to a noob, and you can have basic walkthroughs for people who are totally unfamiliar with everything. The howtos are great, but we don’t see them unless we read regularly or click on the how-to tag on the right. If you make a wiki (or wiki-like) database, think about it from the perspectives of various users, and try to walk a mile in their shoes. Imagine what a noob is looking for, a hardcore hacker, etc., and what will draw them in and keep them coming back.

  37. motorcoder says:

    Please remove the John McCain ad from your website. It is annoying to many of us. A third term of Bush?

  38. awdark says:

    I pretty much like everything but the convention news. Although those often reflect the newest hacks and vulnerabilities, usually they just link to a long paper or a video recording that isn’t all that interesting.
    Its rarely like this proof of concept hack will be revolutionary for the _____ and here are the diagrams and software behind it. I guess its the fault of the presenters to just talk.

  39. Carl Trimble says:

    Don’t change anything. Stay this way. I love not being bombarded with garbage. Just keep up the good work.

  40. Ptr says:

    Congrats on the upgrading *I chose Hardware, but would like the mixture of software and security as well*. But the big question I have is, why does the logo still state beta when this site has been running since 2004?

  41. Varun D says:

    read Joe’s Comment over and over again. Number 17 down the page. He read my mind plus more.

  42. F00 f00 says:

    It would be pretty cool to have a hackaday forum. I could imagine some great hacks being developed with hackaday as a base. yes theres plenty of hacking forums around but i I doubt that theres any hardware hackers around that wouldnt want to sign up to the hackaday forum.

  43. Gabriel says:

    Something not mentioned, and that i’d like to see is a section where I can liberate all the junk from my workshop. Everyone has billions of x and y. How about a place where I can give it away to someone who will make use of it, instead of it sitting cluttering up my desk.

  44. Dotan Cohen says:

    I seem to be in the minority, but I really enjoy product teardowns. As a mechanical engineer and not an electrical engineer, I like to see the insides of things.

  45. phnx says:

    I voted for hardware hacks… i’d like to see more coverage of home automation, robotics and the like.

    Posts for the DiY type person… not so much solder everything yourself, but more like a series of Home Automation focusing on each set of variables. Comparing operating programs- MisterHouse vs. ??? vs. ???… X10 vs. Insteon vs. ???… Comparing different methods of gathering environmental data etc…

    Overtime you’d build an archive of learning opportunities… Maybe get TeamHaD forums in on it for user input and direction…

    And don’t even get me started on the robotics possibilities…

  46. So will a new “full time” blogger cost money?

    Hackaday is already overrun with annoying ads. Will an increase in content just cover my screen with more screaming adverts?

    Keep things the way that they are. Better yet, find ways to cut costs so the site is a bit more coherent.

  47. ryan says:

    i like the articles that cover the cool things people have built or hacked. detailed writeups with enough information to recreate or expand on the project are a must, but i personally don’t like the step-by-step how-to articles. articles should be an interesting read and a good project idea, but not an idiot-proof guide, because most of those end up being mundane projects every experienced hacker has already done before. all in all though, except for the recent how-to trend, i’d just like to keep seeing more of what hackaday has been posting every day. keep it up.

  48. chowdaz says:

    do not change! I can get all the options offered from many different sites. I keep coming back to this one because it usually offers me cool hacks that I would usually never find on my own.

  49. pstretz says:

    voted for hardware, though more software stuff would be great too. i agree with most of the other posters to leave teardowns and product reviews to other sites. there is no reason to waste resources competing with those sites. i really like hack-a-day content now, and if i was in the area, i’d apply for a job in a heartbeat.

  50. the daniel says:

    pretty much keep doing what you’re doing – and keep it hxc, i like arduino and easy IDEs and recasings and whatnot as much as anyone, but there are plenty of other places (see many comments re MAKE above) to get that info.

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