General by Leon Hitchens on April 21, 2016
Here at Ninjality, we strive to build social experiences for small close knit communities. We, of course, apply this thinking to our clients when we’re building them websites, apps, or working to brand their newly minted company. We’re also working towards building our community around developers and designers. CodeBee.io is one of the handfuls of apps and services we’re working on to solve our problems, but also to refine our skill sets and test new ideas and development plans.
CodeBee is a social help site for developers, designers, and dev enthusiasts.
We launched the project a little over a year ago, and now have 300 users beta testing the service. We iterated through a lot of versions of the site and shifted focus multiple times over the year. In this feature, we’re going to describe the problem we’re solving, how we are planning to make money, and other crucial questions.
The problem was simple for us: we’re disrupted developers who would read dozens of tutorials and other developer articles. We realized there weren’t any meaningful conversations around these articles, and we weren’t able to ask questions or make comments if we encounter a problem. CodeBee solves those feedback issues through a social network style website. The user-made tutorials, questions, and *projects *can be shared with followers and at any point you’re able to comment or ask a question.
Users on the site can create tutorials on programming languages and design topics. Then users are immediately able to read, comment, and vet the tutorial on the site. We also know how important it is to ask questions because tutorials may not always exist for the API or programming language you’re working with. Asking for help on CodeBee means you’ll get answers from fellow developers who might have run into the same problem in the course of their project. And as we mention plans, you’re able to share projects big or small with the CodeBee community. You can get feedback immediately and even get potential users who could help you out along the way.
Unlike most sites we don’t place ads all over CodeBee, instead, we’ve opted for a premium model. We’re working on premium accounts which will give users access to unique features, a Slack private chat, and many more unreleased features. These accounts will let users show their pride in CodeBee, and take full advantage of the developer and designer community.
The revenue towards this will allow us to keep annoying ads out of CodeBee’s timeline. We will feature some ads within CodeBee, but they’re going to be featured post or trending tutorials. They’ll promote content from creators within the community. They’re also be sponsored or promoted projects that you can bring more attention to a new project you’re working on where you can then get feedback or have a conversation around it on CodeBee.
The feedback from users has been positive, and we’ve also received a lot of feedback.
The community is the most important part of CodeBee and the main reason we built the social network. We are a team of remote developers and designers, and not having someone to ask questions or share projects with is hard, which is now solved with the community we’ve built. The growing number of tutorials is allowing users to learn new languages and create complete projects.
While we wouldn’t call these cons, more like areas for improvement, we’ve taken steps to alleviate the problems. We understand how the community can influence the service, much like how users create hashtags, at replies, and much more for Twitter. We’ve started working on tutorials being created by our teams and friends of ours, and we’re asking users to create more content. It’s a slow and hard march, but we’re getting more submissions from projects to tutorials. Lastly, keeping the community engaged and thrilled to contribute is hard and sometimes frustrating. We understand the value of the product we’re building, but getting others to provide extensive knowledge takes a little more effort. We’re slowly getting the beta users engaged, and we’re using a private Slack chat for all the bees.
We’d like to believe users will come if we build a great product. However, there is a lot more that goes into it.
The greatest tool on the internet is still email marketing, even if two out ten subscribers are listening they’re the most loyal and engaged customers. We’re going to round up weekly, and top monthly post on the site, and as the site grows with content we’ll resurface older high performing articles for everyone’s enjoyment.
We’re also using email to send notifications to users. They’re able to opt out of these reminders, but the emails sent out have high open rates with high click throughs, which is a rarity on the internet.
Content marketing is a fancy word for blogging. We’re creating unique and informative articles on CodeBee and this blog to help you with Twitter, Facebook Instant Articles, or React.js. We want to offer you unique and productive content that’ll help you with running a business daily. If along the way you need help from us we can step in and further expand on our knowledge, we can’t give everything we know away.
All in all, you’ll see a lot more posting from me, and the team. If you have article ideas or something you want broken down, shoot us a tweet or email the team so I can hop on those article ideas.
Using services like Product Hunt is key to our success. A lot of developers and designers are using Product Hunt to share their new apps, podcast, or books with other liked minded influencers. I’ve been active on the site submitted amazing products, commenting, and of course encouraging folks to venture over to this blog or CodeBee.
CodeBee is still an unfinished product. It’s the least viable product that’s useful, powerful, and something that people enjoy enough. We understand software is never done; it’s in a constant state of refreshes or updates. At the same time, the beta users have a product they enjoy and want to contribute to, and they’re excited to see new features or users join the service.
If you want to request an invite to CodeBee check out the site and tell us what you think. We’re working on adding new features every day, and we even have a public roadmap where users are suggesting new features and pointing out bugs that need to be squashed.