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Today's post is a quick writeup on Kiwi News as part of my web3 tired/wired series.
In the most basic sense, Kiwi is a protocol that is serving as the "hacker news of web3".
If you are tired of doom scrolling on Twitter to find the latest news in the web3 space, I recommend bookmarking Kiwi News. The founders, Mac & Tim are just getting started. New clients, ecosystem apps, etc. are already on the way.
Paul Graham's Experiment: the start of Hacker News
The group chat is too big: tech community divergence
Protocol > Platform: Kiwi capabilities as a protocol
Let's dive in 🚀
Paul Graham's Experiment
On October 9th, 2006 Paul Graham launched "Startup News" - an experiment to test the Arc programming language in a functional application. After a year of development, the product & code found some stability and by August 2007 was rebranded as "Hacker News" (HN).
Primarily, the goal of HN was to create a home for the builders who were early users of Reddit back in 2005 (i.e. YC community). As Reddit grew outside of the SF founder niche, the site diverged from a home for hackers to a forum for the general public.
In fact, PG and the YC team were insistent on maintaining a high standard for the quality of content on Hacker News. Paul's biggest fear was the dilution of the community and platform. There were strict policies in place for the kind of links that could be shared.
Hacker News sustained growth momentum & established itself as the de facto hub for the tech community to share cutting edge links. HN "managed to accumulate a history of what tech talks about, what tech cares about, and the progress tech has made" - @debarghya_das
The impact and inspiration HN has served for the tech community in the last 15 years is mind-blowing. A simple post/comment UI has facilitated some of the most interesting discussions in the tech scene. Props to PG & YC for creating and maintaining such a strong community.
The group chat is too big
So what's the problem? Why is HN "tired"?
Well at the end of the day, the community has deep rooted standards and expectations of what "good content" is. If it doesn't vibe, then it's a no-go. Furthermore, all the data, user activity, and history is under YC's control.
For example, as we discussed in the Launchcaster post last week, crypto/web3 content is typically ridiculed on Hacker News. The core user base doesn't find crypto topics engaging and believes most of it is a scam. This dismisses an entire vertical of tech that is looking to engage with others and share their work.
Enter Kiwi News!
Kiwi is looking to build a home for hackers building a decentralized future. At a basic level, the site is looking to curate top web3 related links from trusted folks in the community. Hence "hacker news for web3".
Protocol > Platform
However, that's just the start. To me, the most interesting part about Kiwi is the way Mac & Tim are developing it. Kiwi is not another website to share news but rather a protocol that anyone can build on top of!
Why is that important?
Because it allows for flexibility on how people can use the underlying content on Kiwi.
If you want to build a new UI to view the links, you can.
Or if you want to curate a subset of links, you can.
Want to build a mobile app? Go for it.
Here's an example of another client a Kiwi community member built.
Just for fun, imagine the world in 2035.
Web3 is the default internet the world is using. And now there's a new group of hackers looking to build web4. However they are ridiculed by OG Kiwi members. They can simply build a new client for web4 and have their own discourse.
The point is that the underlying data is on the protocol level and can be used how the community wishes to. Additionally, you can build apps on top of Kiwi - an ecosystem for new tools. No different than how Farcaster & Lens have their own ecosystems.
So if communities in the web3 space (i.e. Doodles) want to have their own versions of a news app, they can simply build on top of Kiwi protocol. They don't need to interact with the current client. Heck, the current client that Mac & Tim built doesn't even need to exist.
To participate in the Kiwi Network today, simply mint this Kiwi NFT on Zora! You'll be added to the Telegram chat where you can engage in fun conversation and help pick the links that get posted in the early days.
I highly recommend going through Mac's thread as well to understand how he's thinking about the vision of Kiwi News. The team is super open to feedback and is constantly iterating, don't hesitate to message.
That's all for today's post - if you enjoyed, I'd love for you to share with your friends :)
In case you missed out, check out my last newsletter in which I cover Launchcaster and the early days of the iOS App Store!
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