Eternal cake: an interview with Denis Kryuchkov, founder Habrahabr

There are at least two reasons for revision proud of your favorite "IT-Murzilki" has decided to talk with the creator Habrahabr about the history of this unique project. On the one hand, of course, it has no direct analogue pads formed around a huge audience of IT-professionals. And on the other - one of the few successful examples of "publication of a new generation," which everyone is waiting for ever since invented the word "blog". Why did geeks able to create for themselves a media that can not make ordinary people?

< No higher education I have. Like many, after two years of university, I realized that it was "not mine." I was, and is interested in the Internet. I like to do online products, to dig into the site and other such things. So I dropped everything and went to Moscow, where he was to gain experience in this area.

< In 2001, I founded Vebplaneta. in the market were only two editions of the Russian Internet business. "Netoskop" - the most popular and well-known at the time the project. Another was, who was in a strange and incomprehensible condition.

< It was interesting to watch the growth of a Yandex, as falling Rambler, as floundered and tried to survive Then was two disparate companies: NetBridge and, which belonged to the postal service .

< I met famous people from Internet companies, gained experience and began to understand how things work in the Russian Internet business.

< Do you want to be objective and write about everything? Be ready for what will have much to twist out and not everyone will like it. Of course, this is not all like that. Comes to people and say, "Buy my ads" and they reply: "No, we will not buy from you advertise, because you wrote about it here, and you were asked not to do so." So I brought myself to handle and sell the project, not having to get away from it even.

< But Vebplaneta became my school life. This is totally my project, which was made from scratch. I myself did the design, he laid out. Programmers just wrote me the engine, so that I could not publish the texts in the manual mode.

< Classic content project is not scaled. It was strongly tied to the human factor. And I wanted to do things that would work by themselves. You to calmly deal with the product, and within it all the bubbling and boiling. So I thought to try to do a project where a reporter can be any.

< About six months popankoval: braided dreadlocks, a lot of walking, taking pictures, reading, clubs ... In general, rest and refresh after the acquisition of five years experience in online journalism. To rethink everything that has happened to me. And in my head began to emerge first feature project with folk journalism. Scheme future Habrahabr.

< Puzzle Habra formed from different pieces of LJ and Digg. No wording, but there is a large audience of readers, each of which can be a reporter and source of information. In some ways it is similar to LJ. There could have been, in one way or another, set up your tape to read journalists received for yourself some media. But there was not what I had in mind - the possibility of somehow judge people, to influence their karma and position in the community.

< The word "Habrahabr" does not mean anything, it just came into my head. At first, I even came up with the legend, where it came from, and everyone believed in it (see. Approx. Ed.). I have the names of all somehow good at it. "Autokadabra" I also invented - thought to call autos, and the name was born.

< One programmer wrote my first Perl engine. But perlisty slow and we are not going to work. And once at night I wrote Bobuku of Yandex. Asked whether he had in mind a good, fast and capable developer. He said that this is - Sergei Korovkin, which now makes Promo DJ. We met, and I quickly told him what was going on. And just for some two weeks, we wrote a completely new engine in PHP. It was a real marathon, complete madness. We sat round the clock, I painted models, something to typeset and gave him, but he is "revived". So we rewrote fairly quickly in the new language already started projects.
Initially Habr was open. Moreover - about six months after the start, he constantly changed and reworked. As long as I did not feel that we have found the very balance of the required components, you need to this thing counterbalanced itself.

8 million users visit each month Habrahabr blockquote>
< The very first karma-war happened between dorveyschikov yandeksoidami and just six months after launch. On the site it's a lot yandeksoidov that project seemed interesting, and there were dorveyschikov. And they have all minusovat yandeksoidov. Those united and became minusovat back. It was interesting.

< Every time after such karma wars we set up a mechanism to evaluate karma to balance it all. This is similar to how search engines are constantly improving their algorithms. We had a similar, only we, unlike search engines, trying not to rank sites, and people.
This period of his youth Habrahabr was interesting when he was not yet stable and resistant (and endlessly Mota back and forth). The site is constantly hacked, appeared on the main Dark Lord, and so on.

< At some point around the project emerged fairly large HYIP. There began to seep into people who were not connected to the Internet industry. They just heard that there is a website where all hang out, and there occurs dvizhuha. As soon as these people became much, we decided it was time to close the registration. It was the only way to somehow regulate them. Since the site became closed.

< At first we just closed the register and gave each for an invite. then introduced other mechanisms - for example, we collect a certain amount of karma and you are given another invite. Wrote the topic, collect a certain rating - another invite. Then came the sandpit and the ability to get to the Habr without an invite. We invited all to write something in the sandbox and show that you have the necessary knowledge to be in the community. Who is the main mechanism of penetration of people to the site.

< There was a time when I was tired of Habra and even for some time completely estranged from him. But on my return I found a completely different site, not what I wanted to see him. And I had a year and a half to bring it into order.

< The site appeared a lot of strangers. began some stupid trolling. Someone is generally used as a means of Habr to get traffic to your site. The project has become unstable. We often ask "do not rock the boat", so Habr was just one of the rocking boat. Someone kept waving paddles, and someone fell - in short, was a mess.

< I thought Habr will regulate itself and everything will be fine. But no. This does not work. Still has to be a person who looks for the system and keeps it in the desired state when you need Gadget twisting and levers.

< I've always wanted to Habr was a hardcore site, interesting for programmers. Do not like to see on the site telling people how to paint the walls in the office (there were such positions), or how to cook soup. But such things are still began to appear, and I was very upset.
Year and a half I sat and cleaned out the whole mess, transfers to read only the people who were engaged in some kind of garbage, put things in order.

< Then I wrote a letter, threatened, tried to break my mail, wrote all sorts of funny garbage on lurke about Habr. In general, I disagree trying to troll, break-mail, spamming ... guys were funny, and it was hard to stop them . But not for long.

< DDoS-attacks were too. At some point, we are tired of fighting and just went under the protection of Highload Lab. Since we have no more DDoS'yat. Sometimes, of course, try and see that we have an umbrella.
After all these attacks we completely rebuilt the infrastructure, and is now closed to us from DDoS - it's just to enter one line in the config file. But there were times when we DDoS'ili for two or three days, because of this, a lot of people fall into the black list, and we are two to three weeks came to himself.

< Habr I brought to the state when he felt that the order is pointed and then you need only to maintain the chosen course, keep it in a stable form. Then I invited Bumburuma, and that he was engaged.

< This is a really cool story. Because I took a man who grew up within the community, there was the leader. He knew all the inside, he did not have to explain anything - he knew how and what you need very quickly involved in the work. At one point I even relaxed a little and began to pursue other projects.

< Who Habr requires no hard, daily work We have almost do not apply any sanctions, nobody banim because everyone already knew what the rules are. It is only necessary to maintain a sandbox - a key component, the entry point through which the new people. And if the current Habr Only those people who understand what it is, there are no problems with it can not be at all.

< In this case, we have the desire to remake the Habr, but we do not yet know how to approach this. The fact that the site has a number of "sores" that upset us. For instance, a large and high hat. When you come to the Habr, the text begins almost in the middle of the page. This is a problem. This is a beautiful and interesting design, but the space is used inefficiently.

Trying to scale number 1
< The original plan was that investors - we tried to clone the Habr other destinations. For athletes, clubbers, motorists. But it does not matter. Largely because we made a mistake. And largely because of the crisis broke out and we were not able to bring all this to the end.

< Geeks - people predisposed to sharing knowledge with each other. Neither athletes nor motorists or party-goers are not interested. Motorists still more or less fit, but ... they are interested in the other, such as: "I drive a Volkswagen Golf and want to talk to the dude who also ride on the golf course. And here we will have a get-together, and we'll hang out. " Making disparate people come together and make sure that they (as geeks) communicate with each other, just did not work.

< For us, "Autokadabra" still a hobby. We have many used vehicles, and many are passionate about their cars, for example, know all about all the valves and the like. And although we have repeatedly offered to buy back her, it is our hobby, we decided to leave it. For us it is a kind of testing ground. Certain things that were Habré, we first ran in there. The audience there is less and the cost of failure is not so high.

< One of these chips has become personalization. Before Habr consisted of the main page, which all fall down. It does not matter were you need it or not. One of the problems, because of which we have storms here and there, was the fact that the project has increased the audience. There were different groups of people - one interesting programming, others would read about startups, third all need everything.

< First, they began to encounter each other and sort things out. Type "zadolbali startups, Habr not a cake." And someone enraged posts about programming.

< Then each wrote to me: "Deniskin you killed Habrahabr!» I asked why, and I was sent a link to parsing algorithm and said, "What is this nonsense, I can not read it, I'm nothing I do not understand, used to be better! "And this was happening regularly.

< Finally from happening, I finally lost the ability to sleep and awake. I consulted with colleagues, and we took a Solomonic solution. We decided to decentralize the Habr, who had been tied to the main page.

Now in the office employs 20 people. And about ten work remotely blockquote>
< The new system allows you to customize your tape and read what you want. If you do not like something, please take away and read.

< This is, of course, was also perceived a hostile reception. There was a lot of posts, where they buried the Habr. That is only after these changes, the audience doubled site.

Geeks - all our
< Soon the idea to build a "geek ecosystem" in which it would be interesting and easy to rotate. To do this it was necessary to surround Habrahabr useful projects-satellites.
The first was the "Toaster" - our attempt to hold conferences. We would like to geeks love us even more and use the full range of services and products that we offer. An end in itself to make this was not. Conference - not the business that will bring a lot of money and at the same time to work on his own. There is strong daily routine - the organization of visa negotiations, food and so on. But in the end we realized that the normal sites in Russia is not there. Decided not to mess with the conferences, rather we help others to hold them.
Soon we reanimate "Toaster" and based on it will launch its Q & A service for developers. We want to do something like Russian Stack Overflow. Of course, in their understanding and in their interpretation. We are now actively testing this product.

< Another project was the "Hunt». It was absolutely the natural development of the section "Work", which at some point was very trapped inside a large Habra and does not develop. Many would like to publish a job offer, but you need to be registered, Invites.

< The moment to start the "freelance" was chosen by chance. happened to be in the center of a scandal when they decided to mediate in any transaction, and read the correspondence of users. Just in the past month we have made from scratch "freelance". In his style made a global Hackathon - everyone was doing something, analyzing, programming, writing. Done well, but now realize that could have been better. Nevertheless about 30 million active users, we have - 15. That is, half of the audience we have already otelsya.

< With the launch of "freelancing" and began the story Brainstorage. We have learned that there is a big demand for it, so that man could conveniently imagine what he can and has accumulated. But not in some LinkedIn-style. That despite the fact that you paint a picture, and I write code, we could show and tell about what we can do. On the career site you can not show your beautiful repository in GitHub or show what you write texts. But we made it in Brainstorage.

< Now there are already 50 thousand people, mostly developers. We ourselves have recently shut down a couple of jobs, just finding people in this chaos, to analyze what they are currently presented. Of course, then you need to meet, conduct interviews, but it allowed us to search there to find the candidates that we needed.

< Additional services Habra we gradually carried into the individual projects. Most likely, the same way we will proceed to the section "Events", where people publish information about all sorts of conferences and other get-togethers. Not everyone can do it, many promoters and organizers again need a "visa" Habré.

15,000 freelancers visit every day blockquote>
< A dedicated team of developers on the Ruby on Rails provides a rapid development of the new service projects. Although the Habr, where huge loads, written in PHP.

< After all the perturbations, we came to the conclusion: we do not have anywhere else to climb. We are better entrenched themselves in the place where the already entrenched. Our goal now - to dominate your niche, create and support services for geeks, make them happy. Well, myself, of course.

Originally published in the magazine "Hacker" by 10/2013. I>

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