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HacksHackers with Bobbie Johnson

The October HacksHackers event at Farset Labs played host to Bobbie Johnson of Matter fame, who also regularly contributes to the popular GigaOM site and is proprietor of the brilliant @ifyouonly. Bobbie flew over from Brighton specifically for the two-hour event, and landed mid-morning in the George Best Belfast City Airport. After some breakfast, he and those at Farset settled into setting up for the event.

The talk kicked off at 4pm with an interested crowd engaging in the two-hour-long interactive talk, with many asking questions, particularly on Bobbie’s challenges he had faced. Specifically, Mr Johnson spoke about his Kickstarter success with Matter and the process that shaped it, particularly the viral nature of the fundraising campaign. He spoke of how the majority of the money was raised in under 36 hours, leaving much more time to work on the final product.

Matter is a soon-to-be-released online publication for long-form journalism and in-depth reporting. Hopefully pumping four stories out per month eventually, it aims to replicate the investigative meat of a print magazine but with a more granular purchasing mechanism allowing readers to buy what they want to read and no more; signal-to-noise improvement, as it were. It is set to launch soon with one long story, with more being added regularly to produce a regular stream of content.

The talk continued with more questions probing the need for such a service, to which Bobbie answered that he and his team had decided to do it just because no-one else had, and to test the model. Questions continued for around an hour afterwards and the group broke up shortly afterwards, after several one-on-one discussions and some networking.

Bobbie will be talking at several venues in the near future about Matter to promote its upcoming launch, and the Belfast chapter of HacksHackers will likely be returning in the near future to Farset for more events.