ContentHug: Makers Story

The Why, How, and Next for ContentHug

The Pain Shapes into a Problem

The first time I subscribed to new updates by a blog was in 2008. It was for the content wrangler, closely followed by idratherbewriting, and a few more that are not active anymore. The insightful posts encouraged me to read more and get involved and by 2012, I was following around 28 different blogs. It was enriching though it was a pain in my mailbox, to find if I missed something in the long list.

Come 2015, and the pain had shaped into a problem.

“To see what new content is being published online in ‘content’ community that interests me”, was my problem.

I am using a few content curation services including paper.li and scoop-it and these are great; however I needed something more specific. It was on 05 Feb, Thursday evening that I planned to solve it. Myself.

First for myself and possibly for others in the community. The moment triggered ContentHug.

First Steps, and Validation

My experience as an active contributor at ProductHunt helped me understand how I wanted to structure and shape ContentHug. My readings over the last couple of years advised me to validate my idea in a small select group of influencers, before I should make a shout-out in my team at vhite. Special thanks to Dan Martell and Alex Turnbull for sharing their insights on product validation.

For technology, I thought telescope could fit in but I opted for what I know best — WordPress. I took around 28 hours to get the first version live, and shared the news in the select group. Most of them were excited and it set the ground running for me. I was guilty of following a highly unstructured content modelling practice though the first look was a good starting point.

First look that I used to validate the product
A few early users talked positively about ContentHug.

Joe Pairman: I think the biggest asset you might have for this is the human curation aspect — currently the links look hand-picked and maybe it's best they stay that way.

Larry Kunz: (a) Clean, uncluttered appearance - such a welcome change from paper.li ! (b) Ratings (c) Ability to share on Twitter or Facebook (d) Newest articles rise to the top

Marcia Riefer Johnston: I have subscribed to ContentHug. Nifty idea you have there.

Colum McAndrew: I like this idea. It is a better way of curating content in one place. It provides a quick and easy way for people to see the content without using social media.

Next Steps

I saw some light and broke the news to my team. Shena took over the challenge, we picked Drupal and planned for a structured content model. Shena has this uncanny ability to sense ‘what the users may need in immediate future’; Drupal helped us plan that architecture.

The best thing I like in ContentHug is that it has solved my problem.

The basic model is as below.

  • Users can request for an invite and Contributors are IN now. They are recognized in the takeaways stream too, as their comments are marked differently from the public comments.
  • All Contributors, Authors and Sources have their own dedicated space as a single point of reference for their writings, contributions, engagements.
  • In addition to content updates, we plan a comprehensive reference to relevant events and webinars too. I am following Lanyrd and Conferize for many years and this ContentHug reference will be specific for the community.
Each post has a reference to its source, author, and contributor

Questions

So far, people have asked me different questions such as ‘Why the name ContentHug’, ‘Why manual curation’, ‘How I can submit’. Some directions are available at the FAQs page.


Write your questions or comments at @ContentHug, or write directly to makers — @vingar and @shenagarg. If you think that ContentHug has solved your problem too, or if you like this story, I will appreciate if you can hit Recommend below, and share it in your community.

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