What is Maker Bites?

Maker Bites is an aggregator-based community site that helps surface the experiences, lessons, and thoughts of members of the maker community.

Submissions to Maker Bites generally include blog posts, interviews, stories, lessons, experiences, and tips.

Since submissions on Maker Bites are aimed at spreading knowledge and fostering discussions, most content is timeless in nature. In fact, outside of "Show MB" style posts, announcements and news submissions are discouraged.

In most contexts, a "maker" is someone who's involved in a technology-based project, generally as startup founders or bootstrapped developers building businesses.

Maker Bites is heavily inspired by communities like Hacker News and Reddit, but with a deeper focus on the "maker subculture".

Is Maker Bites an independent project?

Maker Bites was initially going to be built as an independent website. But since creating, managing, and sustaining a new community needs a lot of resources and a huge time commitment, I decided to launch the website as part of Postmake, a directory of tools and resources aimed at helping founders and makers choose the appropriate tools for their projects.

Maker Bites helps spread the word about Postmake, and Postmake in turn offers the financial backing to help sustain the project in the long term.

Joining and participating in Maker Bites will always be free.

Most community-based websites similar to Maker Bites fail for two big reasons:

  • Project abandonment by its maintainers
  • A lack of new content

Being backed up by Postmake, we should have a solid incentive to maintain the project for the long term. What's left is seeding the actual content on the community, which is where anonymous users come in.

What are anonymous users?

A new community website needs enough content to take off. Since a new community has a very small userbase, there's always a shortage of fresh content, which drives users away, which in turn leads to less content — a classic chicken or egg problem.

To help solve this problem, Maker Bites uses "anonymous" users.

During the early days of Reddit, the site's moderators used a huge amount of fake users to "seed" the website. This fact was only acknowledged by the company later on.

Maker Bites does something slightly similar, but instead of hiding it, it's openly acknowledged. Anonymous users appear with a red color, and two asterisks (**) follow their usernames.

Anonymous users are run by the website's administrators, and are used to push initial content to the website. Posts submitted by anonymous users might be given a couple of upvotes to help surface and direct traffic to the front page.