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Hackaday, the DIY/hacker site which has been publishing since 2004, is up for sale, according to  owner Jason Calacanis, who said he would rather focus on rebranding his struggling Mahalo site.

Calacanis is hoping to sell Hackaday for around $500,000. After the sale announcement, Hackaday’s writers and editors created an Indiegogo campaign to buy the site. There were briefly two competing Indiegogo campaigns, but the reader who sponsored a similar campaign threw his support behind the publication’s writers and editors.

The Indiegogo campaign is hoping to raise $540,000. On the campaign page, Hackaday writer Brian Benchoff, said that a newly crowdfunded Hackaday would put more emphasis on the site’s readers and community. More hacks would be posted, much more than the current half dozen a day. The publication would also try to write more profiles and visit more hackerspaces.

Benchoff said the current site has not being doing these things because owner Jason Calacanis has been “too busy with his startups to focus on Hackaday.” The site would also have more money because its ad revenue would be used entirely by the publication, instead of being spread around Calacanis’ various properties.

With less than a month to go, the Indiegogo campaign has raised around $12,000 toward the $540,000 goal. In his sales pitch for the site, Calacanis said that Hackaday brings in around $14,000 a month in advertising, without a sales force (Google AdSense powers most of the advertising). The site gets 6 million pageviews a month; has 5,674 email subscribers, and 31,000 subscribers to its YouTube video channel. On Twitter, @hackaday has 29,000 followers.

In the comment section following Calacanis’ sale announcement, users — and Calacanis — floated many possible buyers, including Gawker Networks (Calacanis said they passed), and MakerMedia, publishers of
MAKE (which has also formally declined to make a bid). Mashable and Slashdot were also mentioned. At the moment neither has responded to a request for a comment.
On Indiegogo, Hackaday editor Benchoff said that the biggest challenge facing the group is the fundraising. He said he’s “pessimistic” about the possibility of raising $540,000, but is hoping to be proved wrong.

Otherwise, Benchoff said, the site is well-positioned to continue.

“The only thing that’s missing is our independence,” he wrote, “and with enough funding, we’ll have that as well.”

What do you think of the news? How would you remake Hackaday? Please share your comments.

DC Denison

DC Denison

DC Denison is the editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

The former technology editor of The Boston Globe, DC is also interested in ebook experimentation and content management systems.

One of the places where DC can be found online is Google+ (which I’m adding here only because I want to see if by adding “rel=author” and “rel=me” to those two links I can get Google to display my picture in its search results.)

Hey, it works!


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Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Here’s an idea that should save them about $539,900: Register the domain “TheNewHackADay.com” and start a new site.

    1. There you go… it’s an bunch of ideas, not a product. So the domain is not so important and the software used to organize the bananas and grapefruit. Also, listerine.

  2. asciimation says:

    I gave up posting my projects on Hack-a-day. I found the comments there were too unhelpful. I mentioned this to the editors and never got a response so I gave up. I have my blog, I write up my projects,and if no one looks at them I don’t really care. The Internet these days seems far to interested in aggregating ‘content’ for the sake of it (and profits). Even this Make Blog doesn’t seem to have as many reader projects as it used to? Are all the cool kids hanging out somewhere else now? Perhaps I need to start shooing people off my lawn!

    Simon

    1. Len says:

      I can’t blame you regarding Hackaday, Simon … there are far too many comments where people are either trying to be nasty, or just haven’t bothered to read the article (or the original project website if there’s a link). There also seem to be far too many articles posted where the poster really didn’t understand the project – not in a heavy technical sense, but even so far as “what is this”?

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