Project #1: Learning Story - community of people who learn in public

10.12.2020

My first project in the 12xstartup.com challenge is “Learning Story” and I’ve recently launched it.

You can check it out here: https://app.getlearningstory.com/.

Idea

I came up with this idea about 6 months ago. I love learning and it strikes me that there is no centralized community for learning new things. Most of the communities I know attached to specific courses. There are great ones like FreeCodeCamp or Coursera. But they focused on the course materials.

Another thing I love is learning in public. It’s an amazing way to expand your network, teach others, and also soak up the material better by reviewing things. Learning in public in the tech world is usually happening on people’s blogs and Twitter. There are popular Twitter challenges like #100DaysOfCode or #javascript30. These challenges helped me and other people to learn to code. And there are amazing blogs out there but it doesn’t count as community.

So the idea was to create the website in social media style. You can post your daily learning reviews and discuss them with others. In contrast to Twitter, I can add any features for encouraging people to learn. Like gamification, leaderboards, etc. And all the posts will be focused on learning. Whereas on Twitter it’s usually buried down and hashtags are not helping.

Apart from the tech community, I also wanted to allow people to learn other things. I’ve never heard about good learning communities in Sport, Business, Foreign languages, etc.

Implementation

So I’ve focused on the main features to make MVP as quickly as possible. But even that I was cutting the features I’ve still spent too much time on MVP without showing it to the public.

I’ve spent too much on CSS and UX/UI. I could have published it without “Goal” and “Leaderboard” features. But that’s great discoveries, that’s why I’m doing this challenge.

In the end, I got the product with features:

  • Ability to journal and post your daily learning review.
  • Leaderboard and scoring system. I calculate the scores based on the user’s activity on the website: active days and streaks.
  • Discuss section so the user can post the comments.
  • Categories for learning topics. I can add filtration based on them later.
  • And the last feature is the goals. Which is your personal to-do list.

Launch

So far I launched “Learning Story” on Twitter, IndieHackers, and Makerlog. I’ve also sent the email to 38 people who dropped their email on my landing page. I got 479 visitors during the week after launch and 209 of them were on the website on the first day. Besides, I’ve posted a small post on my “BuyMeACoffee” page to announce the product there.

I am planning to share the website on the ProductHunt, Reddit, and HackerNews in the next week.

So far the most frustrating part was the lack of feedback and I can’t say I learned how to collect it better.

I’ve asked for feedback on the website and any launching posts. Also, I’ve added a small chat on the website for easy communication.

I got some feedback but not so much. I wish I can learn somehow what people didn’t like or liked on the platform. Perhaps they were expecting something different, maybe they are not interested in general. I still have to learn how to do it.

Another launch mistake was to hide the community feed under “Sign up”/“Sign in”. It was like I’m forcing everyone to sign up without peeking into the community itself. I’ve already fixed this and make most of the pages public.

So far I have not so many users but they are slowly joining and I hope I can grow the community over time.

What’s next?

Currently, I’m working on the mobile view and improving the general user experience. I’m also going to add notifications so people can see when someone’s posted a comment. After I started using the platform I felt that this feature is missing.

In December I’m switching to the new product but I’ll continue working on “Learning Story” to make it better.

If you want to share and learn with us, sign up on getlearningstory.com!