A letter from Jason Calacanis, the owner of Hack a Day

HaD Community,

We’ve heard the feedback, death threats and *sigh*s regarding the more accessible “top X” posts we’ve published recently. we’re going to pause on these while we internally discuss the mission and goals of Hackaday.

For background, I came up with the name Hackaday while brainstorming a site for hacks with [Phillip Torrone], who was then working on a hack every two or three weeks for a new blog called Engadget which [Peter Rojas]  and I had founded. When we sold Weblogs Inc, the parent company of Engadget, Hackaday and 100 other blogs to AOL I pulled Hackaday out of the deal at the last-minute.

Why? Well, let’s just say that this dark overlord realized the dark overlords at the bigger Death Star (known as Time Warner) would not take kindly to having their set-top boxes and DVD players hacked. The head of legal department at said Death Star almost exploded when she read Hackaday.

Hackaday then existed in a shell company before I bought it from my former partners at weblogs inc. I did this, as opposed to selling it or shutting it down, because I know Hackaday is a unique place for a unique group of folks to share what they are working on.

My thinking has been “as long as I don’t lose too much money on this I’m fine with HaD just chugging along.” I’m happy to say that while I’ve lost a little money it’s not a lot (well, not happy, but not devastated. :-)

All that being said, I’d like to see Hackaday grow and expand its mission beyond “one hardware hack a day.” That’s why I asked the Hackaday crew to set up answers.hackaday.com and try out a Q&A forum for folks… which you guys seem to have embraced and used. It’s seems to be getting some traffic and is providing some utility.

What I’d like to see is for “classic hackaday” to expand into a place where a wider audience can learn and be inspired to hack *anything*.

So, if a casual internet users wants to rip their DVR apart and try upgrading the hard drive we should be the place they can learn how to do that. If they have a problem, they can ask a question here too.

If someone wants to jailbreak their iPhone or rip their iPad apart and embed it in the dashboard of their car they should be able to do that here.

… or if they want to learn some life hacks related to their Gmail account, we have a long article with the top 25 lifehacks for that.

So, my proposal to the community is to:

  1. a) Keep doing exactly what we’ve done an RSS feed called “classic”
  2. b) Expand the mission statement to something along the lines of “hack everything” (or maybe “hack anything” sounds more ambitious/fun?). Perhaps best said is: “hack everything, and inspire and help others to do that same.”

Thoughts? Feedback?

-Jason Calacanis

280 thoughts on “A letter from Jason Calacanis, the owner of Hack a Day

  1. @lwatcdr
    “But what is a good enough hack?”

    A ‘good enough’ hack is one where you actually have to try to make it work. I think my original analogy was easy enough to understand: If it was intended to be used that way, it’s not a hack. Clearly, your idea is interesting but there are already TONS of Motorcycle Communication devices out there. They even have specially-designed throat microphones just for bikes.

    I have nothing against software hacks, but again, it has to be unusual or something new. Using an arduino with the built-in functionality and a couple shields does not push the envelope and I can read 300 of those online somewhere(most of them probably here).

  2. I have loved Hack a Day for quite some time. I love that it’s a place for relative n00bs to see how hardcore hacks are done. It’s great source of inspiration. Please don’t dumb it down.

    That said, the cool stuff to crap ratio is still great compared to other sites. I’d hate to have to find another site for inspiration.

  3. Now See, this begs to ponder.
    My hackaday comes up in igoogle. I keep it top center for a reason.
    I’m up to my (receeding) hairline in High Tech
    all day, every day. and none of it is fun. I get almost NO time to read what I want. So HAD has a place in my day.
    I don’t comment often, But I try to be cogent when I do.
    There are 2 ways to read this article.
    The first, is unflattering. It sounds…. wounded. And mayhap, with reason. Commentary here has been getting steadily more spiteful of late. Were that the case, My response would be to buck up. understand your audience, don’t be quite so desperate for content. and stay true to your editorial instincts.
    The second, is to take the question at face value. This unfortunately opens a floodgate of opinion on questions not answered in Human History.
    I’d submit, that there may be a way through this
    “NOT A HACK” conundrum.
    First, Keep opinion out of the content.
    Opinion, and especially inexpert opinion is palpably not hackish in any sense of the word.

    There are a few thousand erstwile journaists and bloggers around that post these “TOPXXX” rants as naught more than click bait. NONE of them ever reach the top of my reading queue.
    A saying as old as bipedal anthropoids is that
    “Smoke will find the fool”. You don’t need fools to draw smoke here.

    Second, Seek innovation. Something new, at least to the author. Beginners are always forgiven ignorance if heavily laced with humility. In it’s broadest sense, “Hacking’ bespeaks innovation if nothing else.

    A large part of the allure of this site, is your talent for and diligence in finding prior art, and setting context and themes. Hold that close. it’s what we(I) value.

    That, is the single most potent ingredient
    encouraging constructive participation. Even in the midst of these thousands of active readers each convinced that they have a piquant sense of humor.

    Nobody expects (or wants) you to lose money.
    You, like everybody else, will have to go where the click rates tell you. I don’t know if you have the time, or tools to recruit good ads from relevant partners. It’s a business decision to chase clicks, with expanded readership, or to chase revenue, by courting a focused demographic to focused ads. ‘Super qualified’ leads are tough to get, and tougher to keep.
    Personally, I’d like you to keep doing what your good at, and hope the planet takes notice.

    A closing caution to both you and my fellow readers. Fanbois are poisonous organisms. Much like Botulinus Bacillus. The way to kill them is to not feed them.

  4. HaD doesn’t need to be filled up constantly with review crap to keep it interesting, this is one of a very few sites I visit at least once a day and am VERY disappointed in the stuff like “Top 10 features we’d like to see in Android 3.0” and “Top 5 Twitter Clients For Android” appearing on this site :(

    Even if only a couple of new ‘proper’ hack entries were posted a day I would still prefer that to having to wade through numerous review posts to get to the stuff that makes HaD interesting and want to regularly come back for more.

  5. definitely appreciate Q&A section. i run across dozens of things of day i would like to see “hacked.” For instance, I have alzheimers when it comes to locking my door at home, how do i check it from mobile on the cheap? Is there a special button sequence on the elevator at work so that i don’t have to stop at floors to pick up people? How do i put a copy of my badge on my side mirror so i can get in the gate without rolling down the window? Need a place to ask crazy questions and actually get answers!!!

  6. Knowledge is power. Pure and simple. The more knowledge you have on this site, and the more information I can get, the happier I am. I would rather not see a “How to hack your cat into flushing a toilet” article, but I think y’all are smart enough to know what people want on this site, and what they don’t.

  7. I’ve been a long time reader of HAD (though, certainly not as long as some here). I love the site and have never been one of the “not a hack”/”no more Arduino” trolls. With that said, you yourselves have acknowledged that these newest changes represent a new direction for the site. Now that you’ve added three new writers, you can’t help but dilute the original style content.

    I see no real problem with this as long as you are willing to implement the bare minimum of features that other, more general, news blogs have implemented. By this, I mean a basic “tags” and filter system using cookies. Without providing your existing viewers with a way to filter out the new articles, many of whom have made it quite clear that they aren’t interested in tutorials and/or reviews, you WILL be alienating a significant portion of the people that have been your faithful viewership since the beginnings of this site. An added bonus of such a system is that, if you properly tag your articles, it should allow people with strongly averse feelings for a topic (ex. Arduinos) to avoid seeing those posts all-together. Ideally, this will simultaneously solve most of the issues of older members being unhappy with the newer article styles as well as the problem of negative troll posts in the discussion threads for hacks involving hot topics (such as Arduino).

  8. I like both ideas. Hack everything with categories. Hardware hacks, software hacks, brain hacks, solve global warming hacks lets have a discussion about everything.

    I read hack-a-day every-a-day. I stared hacking when I was eight (like most) and I havn’t stopped once in fourth six years.

    I like to see what others are doing and sometimes I get inspired to do the same.

    GO AHEAD, CHANGE. I like changes. Just don’t stop hacking.


  9. “growing and expanding” sounds good. But if that means, that we get one “[android/iphone/whatever] software [review/top x] a day”, then please don’t!

    Don’t get me wrong: The articles might be worth reading. But they just don’t fit in. And in addition to this, there are millions of blogs where I can already read similar articles. Hackaday should stay something unique, which you don’t find at any corner in the web.

    When I read the article “Top 10 features we’d like to see in Android 3.0” using google reader, I thought I clicked the wrong newsfeed. I thought I would read an article from androidguys.com. You see what I mean? (In addition to this it was really bad researched. I thought the author didn’t even own an android phone)

    I really would like to see hackaday growing. But please stay in your business.
    What I would like to see, is more background stories to the “bigger” hacks.

    The idea with beginner tutorials is very good I think. Everyone starts small, and we should welcome those who start small, because a few years later these people will reward us with a really juicy and delicious hack!

  10. We need a poll.

    I’d prefer Software HACKS as well as hardware as long as they are not Software REVIEWS.

    I’d also welcome extreme PC casemods and innovative cooling / mobility solutions.

  11. Apparently someone never learned that just because you solely own (in the most legal sense of the term) a web site, you’ll probably not make many friends by behaving that way.

  12. keep doing what your doing! change it if you like, but remember what we, your audience like… and that’s learning how to hack things.
    Whether it be hardware or software, just make sure you highlight it to us: we’re geeks, we’re low level so we like details.

    I’m not fussed if it’s how to integrate an iPad into my car; how to program an AVR or arduino or how to hack windows 7 to do something useful. a hack is a hack and I’m here to pick up tips and ticks about hacking. If I don’t like it, I ignore it. just don’t have too many that I ignore…

    do you have a donate button somewhere?

  13. As an avid HAD reader who is more likely to do one of the relatively low risk howto’s – reflash your device with custom firmware – than author one of the more in depth hardware hacks based on my own reasearch, I am all for an expanded HAD.

    When the announcement about the expanded article offerings came, I was all for it.

    But the first posts in this genre sound just like re-prints from lifehacker.com. I like lifehacker and read it religiously too. I don’t like the idea of HAD mindlessly mimicking lifehacker.

    Lifehacker is great at what they do and HAD is great at what you do.

    Now that said, I still think that expanding your site is a good idea. I just think that you need to spend a little more time honing down what exactly the mission is and what it is that you are trying to do. I would love to see HAD expand to include more casual users, but at the same time keep it to the same themes and principals of the classic HAD focus.

    Thank you guys for creating and maintaining HAD over all these years. You’ll always have my support and thank you for this oportunity for feedback.

  14. I only have a single problem with the direction that the site has been taking these last few years. I can live with the changes to the lowercase only rules for posting, as the readers of this site tend to be smart enough to at least make thing legible. The change to colour photo’s on the front page, sure. The tag system, the answers system, all good stuff.

    But the thing all those things have in common is they are extraneous fluff. They are not the reason I come to read the site. The core of what hackaday is about is hacking, right. Thats what I come here for. I don’t need help setting my settings in firefox. I can use google for that if I do.

    So long as you stick to hacks. Like guys who build their own foundry to cast a part for a 2 stroke engine that is no longer produced.

    Or people who add pet stalker functions to a roomba.

    Or software hacks, real actual software hacks with source code and an explanation on how they work. Not sploits or whatever it is the cool kids are colling them now adays. But maybe highlight good free tutorials on stack smashing or buffer over flows.

    And last but not least, here is my only problem with the direction the site has taken.

    Years ago I used to love comming to this site, I would actually get excited about it because I knew I was going to learn something cool. I knew it.

    Now I’m just as often dissapointed as I am reminded of what the site used to be. Don’t get me wrong a lot of good stuff gets posted here, but lots of other stuff does now to.

  15. Been visiting nearly every day since you guys started this awesome site back in 2004. It’s one of only 3 sites I visit daily in all that time.

    I am a rabid, frothing fan of this site because of one simple, fundamental thing- there is/was substance here. An actual hack, a day, it was. People actually did something amazing, and posted it for all to see, and possibly copy. It was raw inspiration for me. Stuff over the years like the fireworks launching POV RC plane, the servo-controlled safe-crackers, introducing me to BlackBag and TOOOL, the laser lighter, controlling door locks with gsm phones and rfid chips, I could go on and on.

    Stuff like that has kept me coming here. Actual things people have done, and documented. Highly technical stuff that’s very interesting, even if you can’t fully grasp it. Even more when you had great documentation for total recreation for those of us who still don’t know how to code anything.

    Hardware hacks- awesome. I can hack something if I can build it. When it involves coding chips, I lose interest. But it’s still cool.

    HAD just hit bottom this week though- the “Top 5 Twitter Clients for Android” thing? That really was the worst thing I’ve seen here. Get rid of that nebulously useless lifehacker type crap!

    This is HAD! I kind of expect a hack, a day. Of any kind. They can’t always be amazing, but don’t put stuff like that on here! The help forums were and are a fantastic idea.

    I’m with others here like mowcious- do like boing boing did by segragating Hack A Day into separate sub-sites- one just for the classic namesake “classic hacks” that actually make up the day’s one hack. Add separate areas or filters for software/electrical hacks and one for hardware hacks- you could theme the logo with a circuit board pattern for the software site and something like bolted rusty metal for the hardware site.

    I’m agreed with a plethora of other longtime readers here- emphasize with a separate RSS feed/site area the “classic” hacks that make up the daily hack, and KEEP THE TECHNICAL EMPHASIS INTACT! We don’t need weak articles that glaze over something- people come here, I think, for the formerly detailed level of the article and the deep coverage of the hack, how it was done, step by step.

    The tool reviews? Good- use them as filler/promo ad stuff. The mass “top 10” “25 reasons why”, “(number) subject ” articles- get rid of them. Leave them to the numerous crap tech sites that masquerade around.

    Hack a Day is an amazing site for the simple things and ideas it started as, and developed into with stuff like the question forums. I have some deep respect for people like Jason who have kept a site this cool running this long, even at a loss of profit, especially since I know he refused to sell it into oblivion to people like Time Warner that would have erased it immediately.
    You get some serious thanks and respect for that, and posting several times now asking how we can help the site.

    Good luck, and thanks for this wonderful site.

  16. Been coming here for the longest time and I like the format — it’s simple. I like the content — it is mostly interesting (the stuff not interesting, I don’t read it). I like the information (it is useful and keeps the brain greased up and working). Try not to change it to radically, that’s all.

  17. I have only found this site in the last few months, and I love the content. This is one of the few sites I now visit daily. I love seeing interesting, amazing things, some of which I have never heard of before. Not light fluffy stuff, but pointers to in depth technical knowledge. Thanks for all the work.

  18. Is it really important to post in quantities? What happens if on a day when there are no news worth posting, you don’t post news? Many people say “just ignore it if you don’t like it”, but HaD is not the only site I’m reading. HaD used to be a (if not the) priority feed that I’d check out carefully every day. Then, after some stages of “expansion” it shifted into the second category: sometimes I see 10 posts/day, who has time to carefully read that many different things daily? Now, with degrading quality and general watering-down and shifting into gizmodesque category, it risks being pushed out down to the junk section in my RSS reader, until it’s gradually forgotten. That would be really sad, because I love Hackaday.

    Irrelevance kills this blog. Less is more. Post wisely.

  19. Thank you Jason, you have provided me with a good news feed for a long time.

    My 2cents would be to expand the sight as you described while trying to keep the news feed of the classic section to the good stuff, less than one per day is ok. Less is more; one of the things i dislike about lifehacker.com is the number of articles I have to sift through to find something interesting. I would go so far as to recommend splitting up the classic section into builds and hacks because a lot of the content is not so much hacking as using microcontrollers for there intended purposes.
    feel free to put a donate or relavent text adds that evade add blocking plugins…


    and you could give us a cookie you can use to filter the news to our personal preferences.

  20. Jason,

    Thank you for the background on the site I love. I think the meaning of hack is evolving. Makers are merging with Hackers and Recyclers. All of this is pointed to a future of recyclable fabrication.

    Hacking is the reuse and repurposing of stuff we already have. So I think it is evolutionarily between Recyclers (the melt it down crowd) and the Makers (the lets get started building crowd). It may very well be the most pragmatic, artistic and fun way to create stuff.

    Soooooooooooooo I think you should expand the blog to cover hacking in all categories. Electronics, software, toys, clothes, furniture, housing, automobiles, bicycles, aircraft, appliances and anything else one might care to hack on.


  21. Hey, thanks for HaD! I appreciate the time, effort, thought, and monetary loss for the benefit of this loose community.

    I guess I have to say I don’t think its a great idea to expand HaD’s focus for a few reasons. First, HaD is the leader in its niche market. There are other sites like what you are proposing, and HaD may become overshadowed by these sites. Next, HaD does have competing sites in its niche, which often have many of the same articles. I’m afraid making users wade through things they are not interested in may drive them toward these sites. I know they can just not click on these articles, and that you will offer a “classic” feed, but these small hurdles seem to matter more than would be expected to a fickle internet audience.
    I just worry about the risk of damaging the HaD brand. It’s a lot less risky to have some links and ad’s promoting this new site “from the people behind HaD [or something more clever].” My point is, even if HaD currently loses money, it is a brand with intrinsic value that can be leveraged. Changing what the brand means is risky to this value.

    I love HaD, and thanks again to everyone involved. I hope whatever decision is reached is beneficial to the writers, staff, owner, and, of course, the readers.

  22. Hello hackaday,

    I have loved this site for years – I read it every day and have learned so much from the community that supports, tips, hacks and edits the content. Now in my final EE BEng. degree, I feel you have a lot to answer for (well, you and Lego) regarding my academic persuit.

    Heh, and here it comes ;)

    I can accept some of the content change, but some is either too much too soon (it took a huge chunk of the reader base about 18 months to accept that the Arduino wasn’t going to leave – and even now, an enclave still exists) or it just doesn’t ‘fit’ into hackaday. ‘Top X’ posts don’t fit into my idea of hackaday. Reviews don’t fit into my idea of hackaday. Software tutorials do. Firmware hacks do.

    My favorite hacks make me think a few things: that the original hacker was skilled or ingenious, that I could carry out the hack (and I do like a cheap hack) and that I could identify with the goal of the hack. Yes I’d like to cool my beer, yes I’d like to make the world a cleaner place to live, yes I’d like a pair of plasma tweeters.

    I have found the content in the last year or so to be far less appealing than in the previous years and something tells me I’m not alone on this one. However, I think it’s most certainly down to my interpretation and expectation from a hack. As stated previously by myself and others, I love a good hardware hack! That’s just my personal taste – any good EE must have at least a rudimentary appreciation and understanding of software. It’s found it’s way into the toolbox, along with the soldering iron and oscilloscope.

    However, even if the reader base has shifted slightly (!), I don’t think the content should change so much as to alienate the majority of readers who know that hackaday is one of the strongest bastions, a beautiful trading harbor of grass-roots ingenuity.

    Please, please, please hackaday – don’t try to find a new readership. The shotgun approach will not make a good website great, it will make a great website good.

  23. I agree with the article. The site is evolving and needs to allow this; the people need to allow this. Although, I wouldn’t like to see Hack a Day turn into another Instructables where all sorts to silly things are sprawled out online for step by step showings. On the other side of the coin, I wouldn’t like to keep seeing complicated circuitry showcased unless it’s well described/broken down – I’m no electrical engineer but do enjoy reading about these things people had made.

  24. Hi Jason,
    For me, HaD should remain as it is. It’s the second site I go to every day, right after my e-mail. I think that a hack everything site would end up looking like instructables, with lots of sub sets. That’s not necessarilly bad. How about calling it Hack-It-All (as in f@#k it all)?

  25. I’ve liked the majority of the hacks listed, and the ones I don’t I just skip.
    What I would recommend is a tag for the elitists, so if you’re a stuck up prick and don’t want to see anything that is not a hardcore hack, you can just bookmark hackaday.com/category/elitist or whatever and surf away.

    Another thing that might be interesting to boost the community-driven nature of HaD would be a wiki for hacks.

    Just sayin’

  26. @Squirrel

    While I’m not sure of your branding ‘stuck up prick’, I do love your idea of a wiki – THAT would be very, very good.

    The hack re-visits by other users would hone the pages perfectly and keep them current as new components or SDK tools change the method or scope.

  27. Sounds Great to ME!:) I have wanted to learn how to Hack Electronics Ever Since I was a Kid, Way Way Back in the 60’s! I even considered going to Electronics School to learn Electronics for a Career. But it turned out that you had to be good at Math!:O And I was and am still terrible at Math:( I did learn to solder, find bad tracks in a circuit board, remove and replace by experimentation. And to do simple things like add an Ear Phone Plug to a Transistor Radio, TV or later on Jam Boxes. But for all those years, my learning went into things that I cold do with my hands and common sense. Mechanics, Cars, Car Washes (I was a maintenance mechanic in the mid 70’s). I was a Cabined Maker and did some Remodeling Work on Houses and Commercial Buildings. HVAC work etc. I met a guy from a computer school at an expo in 1975 who tried to talk me into going there for Computers (“The wave of the future”). But, that DOS stuff and all those commands really threw me!:O I didn’t even learn one command in DOS until 1992 on a Windows 3.1 machine. But I still didn’t get into Computers until 1998, when I finally got on the Internet!:) Since then I have been Hooked!:) I learned allot about Windows Operating Systems. Learned how to Build Computers. And for the last 5 years I have been learning and running Linux as my main OS. So… with somewhere to go for help… I’m thinking that now I could learn and achieve some of those Childhood Dreams of Hacking Everything Electronic that I can get my Hands On!:)


  28. Keep the presentation separate from the content.

    I am a little unclear about the proposal –
    1. a) sounded like you are proposing presenting the classic version just as an RSS feed.

    If split the site into multiple areas (which seems reasonable if going to expand coverage), then those areas should be accessible in various forms. (As RSS, as a web page, …)

    Keep the current uncluttered web format – maybe add filters for topics (e.g. check boxes so can get just hardware, just software, no arduino, etc. or whatever submix one wants (e.g. give me everything but arduino))

    What should the sub-areas be?

    ” 2. b) Expand the mission statement to something along the lines of “hack everything” (or maybe “hack anything” sounds more ambitious/fun?). Perhaps best said is: “hack everything, and inspire and help others to do that same.” ”

    How would this be different from lifehacker?
    (Or is it same thing – just different editorial model.)

  29. I am a long time reader of Hackaday and a long time TWIT listener — its cool to see an open letter from Jason.

    I think HaD needs some unique content of its own. I have done quite a few projects (see my website) and would be interested in posting some project logs here at HaD if the venue was available.

  30. I’ve been coming here for the better part of 5-6 years, I LOVE HaD and I love Engadget( yet to win a prize there tho). I have been avidly reading the site every day. I wish the weekends wouldn’t slow down as much as they do but everyone needs time off sometimes. Thank you for the two most interesting sites to grace the interwebs. Now for a request. Can someone out there help me Hack my LG BLiss? PUHLEASE!?! no apps on a touchphone sucks.

  31. I like the sound of HackADay classic but appreciate that sometimes things need to expand, Engadget did a wonderful where you could use an exclusion filter to dump any stuff you didn’t want to see so it never soiled your eyes/brain. Some options like that would be mighty useful.

    For instance:

    gives you an apple free tour of engadget, you could do a similar type of tagging so that for instances you use:



    to give yourself the hackaday purist stuff + pc mods or hackaday sans arduino.

    That way people get to craft the content they want to see, you’d squash all the whiny ‘Not another Arduino post’ comments, the only reason for that kind of thing with something like this in place is pure trolling.

  32. Well Jason I assume you’ll get around to reading all these responses; I’m skipping to the end to add my two cents.

    Thank you for creating this site. I am not as picky as some of your readers and I’ve found almost everything posted here interesting. It’s through HaD that I learned of the Parallax Propeller (in turn via the YBOX2 post) and this has actually changed the direction of my company’s business strategy and my career.

    As long as you continue showing me new and interesting things, I will keep coming back. I’ll trust the details to you.

  33. My opinion -which may or may not match yours-:
    A. The ‘top twitter clients’ posts is not a hack nor is it remotely related to hacking. had it been top duct-tape hacks, then I’d be in a much better mood.
    B. Expand your horizon as long as posts are about hacking.
    C. I don’t mind tutorials as long as they’re as frequent as a full moon.

    All i really want is my daily dosage of hacks; be it hardware, software, bio, or even psychological hacks. as long as it’s a hack. Is that too much to ask?

    To those of you who suggest “ignoring” posts that don’t interest me: please keep in mind that this site is concerned with hacking. as soon as this flips into a generic gezmendo type, you’ll probably never see me here again.

    “Irrelevance kills this blog. Less is more. Post wisely.”

  34. I’ve enjoyed everything that HaD has brought to the table. Not a day has gone by where I don’t feel somehow inspired or wowed by one post or another. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to watching the evolution of HaD.

  35. as a longtime reader, what I strongly think would be good for the site and community:

    1. split posts into three categories: well-documented hacks, well-written learning material, and neat stuff that doesn’t quite make the cut to either of the previous, but is still worth posting. any more than three categories is too many. anything that isn’t learning material or a hack doesn’t belong here :P

    2. write up a paragraph-long mission statement, and do your work based on it. geez, having a clear goal makes everything easier! :P

    lesser opinions: some of the ‘throw some logos together’ images are kinda rough, maybe do occasional contests again (a good way of generating neat posts and getting the community involved), I miss Ian Lesnet (he had a nice, professional approach that was pleasant to read), be careful in expanding to stuff beyond the blog

    I plan on reading HaD until the end of time regardless of how it goes, so don’t rush, think things out :P

  36. To me, hacks are when you modify hardware or software to do something it was not designed to do.

    That’s it.

    “Best Of” lists and gadget reviews should not be here. Development tips are fine, but watch out for the line between hacks and just writing a program.

    As for the expansion, I’m 100% in favor. Just leave me an easy way to view hacks all by themselves.

    Thanks for the great site!

  37. I love HaD, been coming here since it was part of Engadget.

    I hate the ass-hat commentors, the ones that flame the posted hack.

    I will always read this site, but I have not submitted a hack since the first one I submitted got flamed for being crap – not the build quality or the work involved, but flamed for the content.

    My hack isn’t the only one, every hack that gets posted is almost guaranteed that some poster is calling someone a loser for creating something.

    I love reading the articles, but I rarely read the comments.

    almost everything I do with my soldering iron is to add or improve the functionality of my electronics.

    I don’t mind positive or negative feedback, but don’t call me an idiot just for the device I decided to hack.

  38. I would like to see HaD focus more on hacks. For example the “16-pixel handheld gaming” post is not, IMO, a hack. It is an interesting project but was made with off the shelf multi-purpose parts. If that’s a hack then so is buying some 2x4s and plywood and making a dog house.

    I would rather see three posts a week about people who got some crazy parts, bent them to their will, and hacked together something unusual than fifteen posts about how someone made a flash light out of… a flash light.

    Just my 2¢. I like the site a lot but I skip over a lot of the content.

  39. My suggestion is that you drop the use of the ‘editorial we’ and give the writers their own personal voice. I hate reading about some cool, cheap, hack, then to be told – “of course, we use…” – insert a $1000 tool.

    I know it’s not intended to sound elitist, but it inevitably does.

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