My Thoughts on The Launch of We Are Hunted

by Nick on May 13, 2009

Almost a month since my last post.

The absence has been entirely due to the launch of We Are Hunted.

The site concept came about from a discussion Ben and I had early in 2008 and became a reality when we met Stephen Phillips from Wotnews.

Ben and I fleshed out the concept, came up with a name and designed the front end while Stephen and the Wotnews team took over with the development of the site and the customisation of their semantic search platform.

When finally on April 17 we officially sent the site live - I went straight to Wired, Mashable and TechCrunch.  To my amazement, all three sites covered the site’s launch and with that, we were off.  More than 100,000 people came to the site in that first week.

Traffic spike.

The flood of traffic was exciting, but it was the genuine affection people had for the site that has us most pleased.

<3UWAH

We’ve been in contact with record labels, VCs and a bunch of smart digital people from around the world.  We’ve spoken to Idolator, AFR, the Economist, NME, AdAge, MusicAlly and Billboard about the site and every day new interest and new offers come in.

There have been different highlights along the way for all of us.

My personal highlight was this Tumblr post from Fred Wilson.  I’ve admired Fred for a while now and it was very humbling to hear he was enjoying something I helped create.  I had a similar feeling after the 37 Signals guys covered what we did.  Having been a huge 37 Signals fan (and Highrise user) for a while now, it was a massive thrill to get their stamp of approval.

Traffic spike.

The plan now, of course, is to make a sustainable business from the site.  Monetising the site’s traffic is a priority of course, but if we are to make it truly successful, that success will come from us being a data business.  We are seeing some amazing stuff come through the system each day, things that surprise and intrigue us so we’re confident there’ll be a market for people wanting to know what is really being discussed, shared and recommended online.

This chart guarantees us business success.

Working with Wotnews has been incredible.  They have one of the world’s smartest, fastest webdev teams.  I learnt very quickly to stand back and let them work their magic.  The more I left them to be creative, the better the site got.  My original concept has come a long way since it was a scribble in my notebook and it’s in large part to the work of the Wotnews team.

Credit also to the team at Josephmark.  The extraordinary design brain of Jess Huddart and Ben’s creative direction combined to come up with an amazing brand and feel for the site which was at the core of why people like We Are Hunted.

And of course, we should acknowledge some of the inspirations for the site: Bill Tikos at The Cool HunterTaylor, Anthony, Hype Machine, TsuRadio, Monocle, Kottke, Fimoculous and Kanye.

T.hanks

The whole process has given us a lot of belief in the things we say and do in the online space.

It feels like the start of something big.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare Lancaster 05.13.09 at 3:12 pm

What a great story, congrats on taking an idea and making it into a (really successful) reality.

Eddie 05.13.09 at 3:14 pm

Congrats Mr Crocker.

You are a serious inspiration in my life. Full Stop.

I feel lucky to have you as a mate.

Well done - Crocker/Native domination baby!

Scott Esdaile 05.13.09 at 3:41 pm

Great story - have been watching this take off with much interest! Fantastic example of taking an idea and running with it.

Andrew McMillen 05.13.09 at 4:14 pm

T.hanks? You’re ridiculous!

Congratulations, Nick and team. It’s a great site, and it’s been fascinating to watch the concept unfold.

Mark Pollard 05.13.09 at 4:44 pm

Well done, guys. Great site, great idea.

Neil Ackland 05.13.09 at 5:15 pm

Well done Nick and the team. It’s awesome to see digital success stories coming out of Australia and sparking serious interest at a global level.

Good luck with next phase of development. Good to see your ‘Phase 2′ plan is slightly more developed than South Park’s infamous profit gnomes…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe6kGJDGctU

Nick 05.13.09 at 6:09 pm

@Clare Lancaster: Thanks so much - we’ll have to catch up next time I’m in Bris.
@Eddie: You are an inspiration to me Ed.
@Scott Esdaile: Thanks Scott.
@Andrew McMillen: Make sure you’re on board for the next time we launch something k?
@Mark Pollard: Thanks mate, let us know if you want to polish off that interview we started?
@Neil Ackland: Thanks Neil. Means a lot coming from you.

Lot’s of Brisbane support in the comments! Very pleasing to see.

Mike Boyd 05.13.09 at 7:24 pm

Fantastic work Nick, Ben, JM and Wot News.

I feel humbled to know you guys and am truly inspired by the amazing things you produce such as We Are Hunted.

Looking forward to monitoring your progress and seeing you reach new heights!

Catch up soon boys. GO GET ‘EM! =)

Ross Hill 05.13.09 at 9:57 pm

That’s awesome - can’t wait to see where you take it next :)

Mark Lobo 05.14.09 at 2:16 am

Nick, Ben, Wotnews guys, seriously nice work with the site. I’m a big fan. Watching the site evolve has been awesome and can’t wait to see where you guys take it over the next few months!

Alex Naghavi 05.14.09 at 10:15 am

Kanye! ha!

Congrats again Nick.

Liam Casey 05.14.09 at 11:50 am

Congrats guys, has been great watching it unfold. Looking forward to more.

Brent Wallace 05.14.09 at 3:01 pm

Wow, great site and pretty clever stuff. Beats the hell out of http://www.whostalkin.com getting a reading on an artist.

Matt Hickey 05.14.09 at 5:38 pm

I agree with the nice things already posted, Nick. Rad site. Have turned many people onto it.

Tsuru 05.15.09 at 5:24 am

Wow, thank you so much for inspiration holler, it’s extraordinarily flattering! We Are Hunted is looking fantastic and we wish you the best of luck!!!

Cheers,
Tsuru
http://www.tsururadio.com

Paul Gildea 05.15.09 at 11:03 am

Hi Nick - I’m a new ‘commentor’ probably with the most obvious of questions but how do you monitor all these movements? Particularly P2P?

Thanks …PG

Louisa Dahl 05.15.09 at 2:08 pm

Congrats Nick! It’s a great site that I watch with lots of interest.
Really glad that we could play a small part in bringing the relevant parties together :)

Louisa.

EJ 05.17.09 at 11:33 am

NC & Ben -
Great concept, wicked website. Nice work lads, can’t wait to see what else evolves from this…
EJ

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