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Launch HN: Rhythmm (YC W18) – Create channels and broadcast them to an audience
28 points by franzwarning on Mar 17, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments
Hi HN,

We’re Zach and George — the creators of Rhythmm (https://getrhythmm.com).

We want to bring back the blog, a page that you can do whatever you want with. A place where you — either by yourself or with a few friends — can broadcast to an audience. With a few friends, it reads like a conversation.

A few months ago, we wanted to create a music blog together. We started to look at our options for creating a music blog, and realized that there weren’t any good ones. We didn’t want to create our own website, because people would have to remember to visit our domain and wouldn’t get notified when we posted. We looked at other music blogs on the internet, but it seemed like most of them were dying or have already died. We wanted a place where we could both share and bounce music off each other, and have our friends subscribe. And we couldn’t find an easy way to do this. We realized that this same issue arises not just in music, but in many other areas.

So we created Rhythmm — a place where you can create a Slack-like channel that people can subscribe to. Do whatever you want with it. Here are some ideas:

- daily tips on Ableton, Sketch or Python

- interviews with interesting people (you'll see a few examples of this below)

- music/art blogs

- movie of the day

We just launched a few weeks ago, but here are a few channels that we think you might like:

(Note: We’re mobile first, so while you can view these channels, you’ll get the full experience on our iOS/Android apps)

Hear a daily interview with a different YC Winter 2018 company and learn what they do: https://getrhythmm.com/channel/yc-company-daily/

Learn about a different Blockchain company every week: https://getrhythmm.com/channel/blockchat/

Get a Netflix streaming recommendation every day: https://getrhythmm.com/channel/watch-this-movie/

We’re super early, and we’re not going to pretend that we know exactly what our end goal is with this product. But we want to get it in people’s hands and see what they can come up with. Excited to hear what you guys think :)


For a few ideas im working on, I could see using a Rythmm channel to communicate to my audience and make announcements to users on updates and latest news. Personally, I'm not very interested in blogging about my product/services, or having a blog serve the need to communicate announcements. Currently, I might feel the need to: 1. Write a post 2. Announce the post on social media. 3. Link to the post in a newsletter 4: repeat over and over...

I could see using Rhythmm to serve all the needs for me to simply 'say stuff', without all the other services and social marketing related work involved.

Note: Im making these observations in relation to an audio based project.

I'm kind of done with new silos. Mastodon showed me another way could work. Will this support ActivityPub and/or OStatus?

Not in the near future, but we'd love to become decentralized and open-source when we have engineering time.

Why do we need this again? Who are your competitors? Twitter, Slack?

I see very little value in this tool, all this is going to become is another place to vault all your data behind proprietary protocol.

Hmm, I don't find Twitter or Slack to be our competitors at all. Twitter uses a newsfeed, we don't. We give you an entire page that is completely yours. If anything, we're more like Snapchat stories then Twitter, except with text.

We're more similar to Slack, but one difference is that we have a few contributors broadcasting to a large audience. Slacks is also made up of closed communities, we focus more on housing all of these channels in one place.

It's a Telegram's channel.

So this is basically Slack but public URLs and not everyone can comment, right?

Also, the site seems to be completely broken with ublock origin and default EasyList.

We'll get this fixed right away -- thanks for letting us know. (should be fixed)

"So this is basically Slack but public URLs and not everyone can comment, right?" -- that's a good way of describing what our website is right now. We are mobile first -- in our app you can subscribe and follow these channels all in one place. We just whipped up a web landing page for each of the channels to give you guys a preview. We hope to have a fully functioning web client soon.

> web client soon

For subscribers, I want to be able to send them directly to a URL in their browser, not have them install anything. I recommend providing this sooner than later. Let users decide if they want to use the platform in a mobile or desktop release based on their needs and frequency of use of the website.

We have landing pages for every channel created on our platform. Check https://getrhythmm.com/channel/yc-company-daily/

We plan on continuing to build better features to make channels more accessible (and a better experience) on web though.

With 'DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials' the site is broken too.

Thank you! Signed up for the app.

As a person hesitating whether to make a mobile app for my own product, may I ask what was the reason for launching mobile first?

It seems to me that a web app is cheaper to develop, easier to test, collect feedback and iterate on (and possibly provides better blog writing experience) and thus would be an ideal first product.

Am I missing any strategic reasons in favour of launching mobile first?

So it's basically Discord's read-only channels with the requirement of pressing spacebar to see new content? I can't say I personally see a huge advantage, but I do like the idea of it all. Really it's the pressing space bit that annoys me, probably. Will a mode be implemented as to where it automatically gives you new messages? Something like a custom reading-speed would be enjoyable.

I'd encourage you to download our mobile app -- and try reading there. We just built this website to mimic the functionality in the app and show the concept, but the implementation is not as good.

When I looked at the blockchat example, I didn't feel I have enough time to read the message. It scrolled quite fast. I rewinded only to have the same thing happen. Felt frustrating.

So I thought I'd ask: is the product the .mov playing on the left side, or is that an example to help understand and ultimately get me to download the app, where the action is?

Yup -- that's just an example. We have landing pages for all of our chats. See our response to plx. Keep in mind that our web experience is lacking :). On the mobile app you can read at your own pace.

So, my impression from your HN post is this is a blogging platform with native support for audio, something other blog platforms seem to lack (for example: blogspot -- you can bruteforce it, but it doesn't inherently support audio files).

Is this accurate?

We don't currently support native audio, but we definitely have plans to. Right now we deep link to the Spotify/SC track. The rest is pretty accurate.

Well, let me just put in my two cents that a blog with native audio support seems to be a niche not currently filled, from what I gather.


It seems that all the example urls get redirected to the same blockchain channel.

Congrats on the launch!

While I like the spin on blogging, could you explain how this product differs from something like https://spectrum.chat for example?

like the idea of using space to scroll through messages. how does one subscribe to channels?

Glad you like it! We're mobile first at this point, so the only way to subscribe is on our iOS/Android app. (They're also a much better experience altogether).

Is there a web or desktop version? These texts seems long for writing them on your phone.

Right now, we just have a viewing experience for web, and it's still lacking in many ways. Our Android/iOS apps allow you to create/post to channels and are much better experiences. But we're currently in the process of building out a full web platform!

How is this different from creating a channel in Telegram?

Glad you asked. Telegram channels definitely provided us inspiration for our product. We loved the idea of them, but thought that there were major holes in their product that have still not been fixed or addressed, and they created "channels" in 2015. Here are the problems we wanted to address:

1. Telegram broadcast channels only allow 1 contributor. We think that there are a lot of interesting use cases that arise when having multiple contributors on one broadcast. 2. Telegram has absolutely no explore feature (other than searching and hoping for the best). 3. Telegram is a chat app first and foremost. It doesn't seem like they're going to spend any time building new features specifically for broadcasts. We have lot of really exciting features that we're currently working on that will continue to make our experience better different times of feedback.

Does that answer your question?

Yes. Thanks.

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