I know what you’re thinking: what took you so long?
Well, I waited for the Noonies 2021 voting polls to close, so you don’t give me that look:
There’s no way you can ignore or admire HackerNoon’s State of the Noonion. It has been indeed “The Year of Profitability and Product Renaissance.” Five years to be precise, since 2017.
The numbers are blurred because this is a “redacted” version, but I couldn’t care less about it. I wish that there’s an extra zero added to the revenue and profit numbers. HackerNoon absolutely deserves it!
Both the Smooke and HackerNoon families are growing and expanding with new members. I don’t even dare to think what they must’ve gone through to stay away from the paywalls. Contributors don’t have to play. Readers can read as many stories as they want. HackerNoon is one of the last publications Mohicans without a paywall.
But the most important thing, we can all agree about, is that the Star-Lord ‘problem’ is fixed. Finally, when you say that you are, or use the HackerNoon Contributor line on your LinkedIn profile or any other social media account, for that matter, you don’t end up like this:
Talking about contributors and their contributions, let’s address the elephant in the publication room. Why? Because without it, my story wouldn’t be complete, and I wouldn’t be who I am.
Just the other day, I had one of those cathing-up conversations with my fellow freelance writer and a friend. You know, sharing is all about caring and surviving. I invited my friend to join me on HackerNoon.
“But you don’t get paid.”
“Yes, but my creative freedom has no limits.”
Then, he returned a “favor” by inviting me to become a contributor to one of those “VIP” publications all businesses drool to be “featured” on. It’s still a big deal to have one of those publications’ logos on your company’s homepage.
“But you don’t get paid too. Right?”
“True, but there’s a catch.”
The “catch” is that every now and then, some company makes you an “indecent proposal” to “conveniently” include their website’s link so that they can be “featured.” You can monetize your contributor’s status handsomely, no question about it.
“Isn’t that a big no-no?”
“Yes, but they (these publications) let you get away with it. They just look the other way.”
“That doesn’t seem right at all. How is that even possible? Is there a catch within your catch?”
It turned out there is. As my fellow contributor explained, you have to write and submit a lot regularly to earn your publication’s “trust.” There are so many contributors who are writing and submitting almost every week. It is easy to slip through the cracks of the giant publications - undetected, with a questionable link or two, from time to time.
“Has anyone ever been caught? You know what I mean. That’s a clear violation of these publications’ rules, isn’t it?”
“Yes, people get caught and banned all the time. But, nobody cares with so many guys waiting in a line to become new contributors, and do exactly the same.”
“But, what happens to the articles after someone gets banned?”
“The articles are gone too.”
“This means that the links are gone too. Do these businesses that paid for them get a refund? Do you let them know that they are no longer “featured?”
While we’re at it, allow me to address another “technicality” of the publishing industry. It’s fair and reasonable that since you don’t get paid for your stories, you’re free to do whatever you want with them. You can delete (withdraw) or republish (resubmit) your articles to another publication at any given moment. Some publications insist on exclusivity. That’s a legit thing to demand.
I feel for my fellow contributors who have every right to “exploit” their stories where and when they can. There are like bees flying from one publication to another, sharing the same stories. What about the publications that are story-import-friendly?
Well, this is a no-brainer. If a publication “exports” more than it “imports” stories, then there’s no reputation “deficit” problem. Plain and simple.
I see that HackerNoon has introduced a smooth “import story” feature. I have no problems with it, but I have a question for my fellow contributors.
No disrespect, and nothing but pure uncut love, but when you’re importing a story, does it mean that you’re treating HackerNoon as your Plan B and a “publication sidekick?”
I see my HackerNoon stories reshared and republished by other people and publications, and I feel proud. If they want more of me, they know where to find me - here.
I’m a verified and proud HackerNoon contributor. It’s my choice to write exclusively for HackerNoon. Some stories were so controversial that other publications had to read them wearing biohazard protective suits. I didn’t take all those rejections personally. Why would I? All the glory to a publication with the guts to publish my eyes-and-heads-rolling story.
Just for fun, I drop by my old Medium neighborhood. When you import your HackerNoon to Medium, not only does it say where it was “originally published” at the bottom, but it also has “Hacker Noon” attached to your story title at the top. Priceless!
Back in the day, HackerNoon 2.0 used to be more than just new designs and features. It was a declaration of independence and an act of defiance.
HackerNoon had me at hello, but don’t tell them that.
So, here we are. HackerNoon is a publication. It can, but it doesn’t have to use “tech” to explain or justify itself. There are other publications with tech categories or sections. With all due respect, they aren’t worth my time. On the other side, on HackerNoon, you can find top stories about startups, gaming, business, management, marketing, and the craziest unpredictable slogging posts. It is such a relief not to be the only one who writes under the influence - occasionally.
Where do we go from here?
The only thing left to do is to make it official. But, what is HackerNoon 3.0? It is what you say, think, or want it to be. For me, it is HackerNoon Universe, but not in the sense of those overhyped meta-beta-giga-mega things. HackerNoon 3.0 is a world of its own. One big never-ending top story.