介绍：Share beautiful stories with images and GIFs
Catherine Uong: Sydney - this is awesome! It's like GIFs meet professional Strikingly pages... but better :D
Chris Herbert: Looks like a cool idea but I would consider a name change since FiftyThree and Apple both already use the same name, "Pencil". Hard to get brand recognition when you have 2 very well-known companies already using it.
Rick Kats: cool and simple ux i like it :)! - now just make an embed for third party sides with this downward slide show and your winning with views and with spreading pencil further ;)
Lela Perez: I am so excited to see Pencil here finally! I remember asking Sydney about when it would get to PH some months ago, very shortly after I made a couple of stories. I originally called it a great platform to use for tweet-rants instead of Twitter but @sydney_liu_sl's clear vision for storytelling led me to convert a few of my medium articles into Pencil stories and they turned out awesome! Thanks again Sydney for reaching out to me in the early days of this product and letting me be part of the great little community you're building.
David Carr: Congrats on the launch! This has turned into a really polished product over the past weeks/months.
Nakul Kurane: Been checking in on this app periodically and I like the creativity it offers to users while still keeping it simple! Effortless consumption for viewers as well. Excited to see it develop as I think it's a great medium for entrepreneurs to share insights. Awesome Sydney!
Boye Fajinmi: love Pencil, congrats Sydney!
Hey Product Hunt!! Thanks to @nivo0o0 for hunting us :)
**EDIT** WE have renamed to Comma https://commaful.com (formerly known as Pencil/UsePencil)
Really excited to share our beta of Comma.
@rchktk and I want to build a story-telling platform for the next generation. We believe the fun, visual form factor makes posts easy to make and easy to consume. That's where Comma comes in.
Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the Comma product!!
Here are some stories I’d recommend checking some of these out to get started (just CLICK ON THE GIF to view):
An Interview with Polymail Founder, @foolywk!
“200+ Podcasts, 100+ Articles, 20+ Books…. In 11 Bullet Points” by @dakotashane_nun
An Interview with Foursquare Founder, @dens
The 3 Year Job Search and How I Got Into Tech by @nivo0o0
Chat with Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Allen Blue
Look forward to hearing from the PH community!
Jon Sutherland: @sydney_liu_sl Awesome work! I remember talking about entrepreneurship back at USC with you and Kevin Shen, amazing progress you've made!
arjun mehta: congrats on the beta launch @sydney_liu_sl! always cool seeing you do great things on campus and now beyond. it would be sick if there were an auto summarization + relevant image grabbing layer built on top of this so you could just feed in boring long-form text articles/content and instantly pump out beautiful, concise story experiences for mobile
Over the last few days I have been able to help @sydney_liu_sl and @rchktk, co-founders of Pencil get ready for their long anticipated debut on Product Hunt. Sydney was kind enough to write about the journey which has led him to creating Pencil.
Click here to read his story on Medium.
Pencil brings us back to the most basic fundamental way to tell a story. The product sits at the unique intersection of BuzzFeed, Medium, SlideShare, and Snapchat. The entire screen is filled with beautiful imagery and engaging animation. This is truly the first content platform that has put mobile at the forefront of the product experience making this the first content platform aimed at the millennial and mobile first markets.
Zach Tratar: Fantastic app and founders. I'm excited to see where this will go!
Congrats @sydney_liu_sl!! I'm honored to be the first Pencil post showcased on here 💌
It goes without saying that Pencil is THE coolest short-to-medium-form blogging platform out there - say good bye to tweetstorms and hello to beautiful, media-rich posts in easily digestible pieces that are fun to read and write!
In addition, Sydney has done an incredible job of curating some amazing content from and about high profile people on Pencil - for example, check out my interview with Genius/Everipedia co-founder Mahbod Moghadam:
12 Questions With Mahbod Moghadam
Yury Lifshits: Pencil is Medium for Snapchat generation :-)
Michael Ahdoot: So awesome!! This makes reading articles really easy and genuinely awesome. It's like Instagram and Medium had a baby. Way to go @sydney_liu_sl
Kiki Schirr / 史秀玉:
I have a testimonial for this app: I had an idea for a silly article about octopi that I wanted to write and thought it would be perfect for Buzzfeed---at first! When I got to their posting area, it was a shit-show. I remembered Sydney's new platform, Pencil, and how easy it was to use, and posted there instead--in 10 minutes, a 1/3 of the time I'd just wasted trying to get Buzzfeed to work.
You can see the final result here: https://usepencil.com/play/kiki/...
So yeah, I love Pencil, good luck Sydney!
Dennis Crowley: Oh hi! I really dig the interview format. Looking forward to seeing more in the future. Nice work Sydney!
David Kong: Great work, Sydney! Pencil articles are much more engaging than Buzzfeed for me.
@Sydney_liu_sl Happy to see that Pencil has grown so much since day 1!
Your interview with Allen Blue (@allenb), Co-Founder of LinkedIn
Who are you interviewing next? We can't wait!
Tim Yu: The content is high quality, addicting and beautiful - such a powerful platform. Always looking forward to new posts there, amazing work @sydney_liu_sl @rchktk! Where do you guys see Pencil a couple years from now?
Vinay Hiremath: Congrats @sydney_liu_sl! I've had the pleasure of watching Pencil evolve over time and have done a couple of usability tests for Sydney via Opentest (shameless plug: https://opentest.co). Sydney was always very open-minded to the feedback he received and iterated very quickly, and it shows in the product. Pencil is looking better than it ever has, and I'm looking forward to seeing some awesome posts on it!
Kina De Santis: Sometimes I go on Pencil, then find myself 3 hours later starving because I forgot about eating dinner.
What made y'all decide on the scrolling-short-page form factor?
It almost feels like a combo of Buzzfeed-style articles (text + gifs) and Tinder (swiping). Are you seeing higher retention rates by using swiping instead of normal scrolling?
Kevin Shin: Pencil makes it easy to create and consume simple ideas. And @sydney_liu_sl had been great at curating the conversations that take place on Pencil! Sydney, in today's world of so many choices of content, what role do you see Pencil filling?
Harry Stebbings: Absolutely love this such beautiful visual way of story depiction. It is a daily must for me now. Awesome job Sydney, you should be very proud! Always here to help in anyway.
Rick Kats: @sydney_liu_sl cool :)
Akshay Bharwani: @sydney_liu_sl You bet! :)
Sydney Liu: @akshaybharwani Let me know if you have any more feedback! Hope to see a post from you soon :) :)
Akshay Bharwani: @sydney_liu_sl Thank you for taking the time to share this. This is super cool. I will surely take a look! :)
Sydney Liu: @akshaybharwani Hey Akshay :) We have added page numbers!
@rchktk Well you have to think that UsePencil can be the pioneer that lead the change, it would be awesome to see an improvement on the animation quality loading faster :)
As feedback, the transition between last frame when you say: Sign up for more stories! and the comment section with the white background is very hard to the eye, I dont know what you could do, but to me is a big Todo in Ux
Sydney Liu: @cpuricelli can you shoot me an email? sydney [@] usepencil.com
Christian Puricelli: @sydney_liu_sl not really as I didn't really started it much. If we want we can have a chat on skype or meet the next time I'm in SF.
Sydney Liu: @akki0421 Thanks a bunch!!! looking forward to see what you make!
Christian Puricelli: @sydney_liu_sl Congrats, it's amazing! I started working on something almost the same a while ago, but only as a side project, and I never really found the time to finish it :( Luckily you came around, as the world really needed something like this!
Sydney Liu: @danr_4 Would actually love to chat with you more about this!! Would love to understand more deeply how you see the product and how you currently read! Would you be up for a quick email or call exchange? my email is sydney [at] usepencil.com
Sydney Liu: @mikeyahdoot Instagram + Medium is a great way to put it!
Sydney Liu: @mrvincentong Fight On!!
Sydney Liu: @arjunkmehta yeah!! we really want to be able to do that (also for content creators to be able to ship tldrs to people who won't read it)! The tech behind it will take a bit to build. super awesome suggestion. We need to catc up. I wanna hear all about Trakfire!! Fight on!
Sydney Liu: @scheplick Really like it!! StockTwits used to be my go to site!
Sydney Liu: @victed Woohoooo!!!! PEACH friend!!
Sydney Liu: @blakeruddock Thanks Blake!!
Sydney Liu: @jacobrogelberg This was a super well done post!! Thanks for sharing :) Hopefully we can get some interesting discussion going in it!
Sydney Liu: @stephenemo ahhh gotcha. I think the design of it will be tricky, but super neat idea. I like the way ideas can really be discussed. Almost like an encyclopedia
Stephen: @sydney_liu_sl Yes, only with the authors approval...unlike Rap Genius
JB: @sydney_liu_sl Exactly.. Thanks for crunching the numbers! ;)
Sydney Liu: @jay_bee12345 huh very interesting. So the idea is instead of me sending to just my network, there could be 5 people sharing 5 companies across 5 whole networks?
@sydney_liu_sl @nivo0o0 @rchktk @foolywk @dakotashane_nun @dens Possible new usage for pencil!: Combination/Cross-Promotional Product Advertising.. So basically anyone on PH could post a gif related to their product and a link to their product (along with description) as a page of the Pencil Story in combination with other product creators.. to cross market all of their products to each of their relevant social media audiences.. Creating new user marketing opportunities, content, and partnerships amongst creators.. I suggest partnering in groups of 6 products for the perfect short story of product references.. Best regards to everyone's success!
@fitztepper Yea! You can see most of our top stories here: https://usepencil.com/play-public
Most of the stories end up being about startups/business/marketing or personal growth/life learning at the moment.
We've seen all sorts of creations though! From pitch decks to lesson plans to poems to even short stories!
Sydney Liu: @stephenemo Kind of like a Rap Genius comment? very interesting!
Sydney Liu: @gonz_ponz Most definitely have plans for one! We need to start web first, but the plan is definitely to go mobile!! Thanks man!!
Sydney Liu: @varadhjain <3 <3 Niko's was the BOMB!
Sydney Liu: @jay_bee12345 Nice!!! Always getting those backlinks!
@ashokgelal Hahaha @rchktk, perhaps we have a name finally for our pencil stories ;)
Would love to hear your feedback! What caused you to dismiss it at first and what did you see that got you hooked :)
Ryan Choi: @leonfhl And a definite yes to keeping an eye out for BPG!! I've been looking at BPG long and hard now, really hoping that it becomes more standardized and supported on browsers soon, especially for mobile browsers and spotty data situations.
Sydney Liu: @harrystebbings Yes! I"m here!!! Let's do it!
@sydney_liu_sl awesome work! I've seen this in action for a while now and great to see it finally out there.
Founders need to tell a great story, tools like Pencil can give someone a little spin and creativity to stand out.
I wonder if we will see this used in Investor Updates 😏
@sydney_liu_sl @rchktk congrats on getting featured... I remember using it quite a while ago and have been following some of the pencil posts...
They are cool...
Good to see *interview with xyz* pencils:+1:
Sydney Liu: @porlando Thanks Paul!! Means a lot!
JB: @sydney_liu_sl @leonelmore @rchktk Have you considered creating Sports Gif Highlight Recaps.. Presenting the players individual stats and marketing this.. I would love to see this every morning in my Twitter feed! Would require a lot of work and possible participation from Major Sports Leagues to provide the daily gifs and stats! Thanks again for the great service/product!
Sydney Liu: @dens Thanks a bunch Dennis!! Your interview was killer!!!
Sydney Liu: @lisamsilvia Thanks so much Silvia :) Lots of cool people lined up!! You'll have to sign up to find out ;)
Sydney Liu: @interncass Thanks so much Cassandra :) Have really enjoyed your posts! Links is for sure coming. Videos as well, but we'll have to figure out the best way to play it. Haven't had a ton of success cross browser. Learning from some other sites to see how to do it best!! Really appreciate the feedback. Can't wait to see your next creation!
Sydney Liu: @catuongg Very interesting way to think about it!! Thanks for the perspective :)
@leonfhl I actually just read an article on BPGs!! Will be thinking about it more.
And no, we will be bringing it back. The old implementation had a lot of bugs. Trying to figure out how to best implement it. Thanks for the feedback!
Kevin Moore: @nivo0o0 I might consider adding Tackk as a similar product, Niv.
Sydney Liu: @kevrmoore @kstalzer Thanks Kevin!! Will check out Tackk! Really appreciate all the mentorship you've given us over the last year!! Looking forward to hearing your feedback after you get a chance to play with it more :)
Sydney Liu: @dcarr622 definitely lots of changes! really excited to continue improving the product!!
Sydney Liu: @danr_4 Thanks for the feedback Dan!! We're trying to improve the experience on web so that there isn't scroll jacking. The feel of it is easy to digest on mobile in particular. We find that people who really really enjoy long form content tend to stay away from Pencil, but people in the younger demographic, 18-27 being the range of our most active users, are people who like to consume things on the go. Being able to digest the key tidbits of an interview or an idea. I think you bring up a great point. We want to balance the speed of going through content with the ease of understanding/digesting
Sydney Liu: @boye_fajinmi Thanks Boye!! Thanks for all of your advice!
Sydney Liu: @theashbhat Thanks man!! Let's catch up soon. Would love to hear your feedback
Sydney Liu: @elainedtruong Thanks Elaine :) Can't wait to see you posts!!
Sydney Liu: @nathan_lee thanks Nathan!! Really enjoyed your story about being in class :)
Akshay Bharwani: @sydney_liu_sl That sounds great. :)
Sydney Liu: @akshaybharwani thanks so much for the feedback!!!
Sydney Liu: @akshaybharwani Yes! Slide counts as well as total slides are coming soon!
Sydney Liu: @hoovyx Thanks Hoovy ;) hope to see some of your stories about drones on there!
Sydney Liu: @dakotashane_nun Thanks for the kind words Dakota!! Can't wait to catch up soon!
Sydney Liu: @yvettemc18 Thanks Yvette!! Really awesome to hear!!
Sydney Liu: @camwiese Thanks Cam!!
Sydney Liu: @yuvalhaimovits Thanks a bunch Yuval!!!
Sydney Liu: @yurylifshits Great way to describe it :D
Sydney Liu: @jmsuth Haha yesssss back in the day.......man that was like....2 years ago??
Sydney Liu: @kinadesantis Dawwww <3 <3 That's me every day!
Sydney Liu: @erica_engle Thanks for supporting us through the whole thing Erica :) Can't wait to see your stories on there!!
@alirtariq @rchktk Thanks for the comment Ali!
The goal is to make this the millennial blogging site. We think it's a simple and fun way to tell stories. Easier to make than blogs and its' really fun to digest! It's hard to say when it will be successful because we always want to be improving it. The big power behind this is the way it allows people to tell stories. And we'll be happy when everybody is able to share their ideas quickly and easily!
Sydney Liu: @inlovewith01 Thanks a bunch Everlyn!! really really appreciate it!! thanks for your feedback on the early product too!
Sydney Liu: @foolywk Yeeee that was another really popular one!!! Mahbod's interview was awesome!!!
Sydney Liu: @leonelmore @rchktk People often use the second to last slide for that purpose right now. Any link pasted turns into a url. We will definitely build more customizability down the line. Esp when we start working with brands
Kaan Soral: @kikischirr indeed nice post :)
Sydney Liu: @lelper Aww thanks Lela!! you're awesome!! your feedback really shaped where the platform went and what we built!!! learned so much from your early thoughts!
Sydney Liu: @rometty_ Thanks a bunch Jack :) :) means a HUGE amount. You really saw the first hacked out version haha. Thanks for sticking around and really really appreciate all of your support!!!
Sydney Liu: @boerge30 Please let me know what you find :) Would love to hear your feedback!!
Sydney Liu: @davidxkong Thanks a bunch David!!!
Sydney Liu: @hrbrt Agreed. Will think about a new name :) Names are hard!!
Chris Herbert: @sydney_liu_sl Would be nearly impossible TBH.
Sydney Liu: @hrbrt Great point!! Googling Pencil would be hard haha
Sydney Liu: @hallojona Thanks so much hallojona!! Really appreciate all of your feedback :) Been learning!!
Sydney Liu: @edrex_ Gonna be checking out judeck.com :) look super cool!!! thanks for the note!!
Ben Tossell: @sydney_liu_sl awesome I cant wait to see the use-cases come out :)
Sydney Liu: @bentossell Thanks a bunch Ben!! we've had pitch decks made on this before haha, so investor updates will be interesting!! Internally, I think we'll be using it for everything :D
Brandon Lipman: @danstepanov That is a really interesting use case that I had not thought of. A Dev tutorial/ step-by-step would be delightful.
Sydney Liu: @cpuricelli Thanks a bunch!! Did you learn anything interesting while building the side project? :)
Sydney Liu: @purisid Thanks Sid!! keep it up on your businesss!!
Sydney Liu: @cdohertyk Thanks a bunch Cole :) What we love is the community aspect of it so always awesome chatting with people!
Sydney Liu: @rickats Yes! embedding is coming soon!! thanks for the feedback! thanks!!
Sydney Liu: @cruzheres Thanks :) let me know if you have any feedback!
Harry Stebbings: @sydney_liu_sl 100% cannot wait for the day of collab! Are you based in SF? Would be great to meet when I am there in Feb! Shoot some ideas around. Very kind of you to say about the podcast.
Sydney Liu: @harrystebbings Means a lot Harry <3 LOVE LOVE LOVE your podcast :) keep crushing it!! collab soon :D
Sydney Liu: @nivo0o0 Says the guy who's still up ;)
Sydney Liu: @misbahspeaks Thanks Misbah :) Means a lot!
Sydney Liu: @kikischirr You're amazing Kiki <3 <3 that was a hilarious post btw
@clay_to_n So far yes! But it's not super reflective since the numbers are relatively smaller, and our audience is more engaged.
We honestly didn't decide on it at first, the first version was a horizontal slide show. People didn't realize it was story and tried to scroll down....so a day later...voila!
Niv Dror: @sydney_liu_sl go to sleeeeep
Sydney Liu: @sanemavcil Means a lot Sanem :) You've been an awesome part of the community!! Been loving your stories!
Sydney Liu: @mrcalexandre Thanks a bunch Alexandre!!! Really appreciate the feedback!! You tried it out literally in its first few weeks of creation!! Was still just a hack!! thanks a bunch for the kind words and support!!
Sydney Liu: @danstepanov Thanks a bunch Dan!
Sydney Liu: @vhmth Aww thanks a bunch Vinay!! Opentest was super awesome!! And definitely was a huge help for our decisions as we moved forward!! Thanks a bunch!
@ovinegrean Thanks a bunch Ovi!! LOVE @getnuggetapp! Been a fan since you launched here.
We've been really fortunate that people have been so open and generous with their time. Many of them started with a cold email (or met briefly at a conference and built up a relationship from there). Can't thank them enough! Learned a lot from them!
Sydney Liu: @zachtratar Thanks for the kind words Zach :)
Sydney Liu: @kevnshin We think the unique form factor plays a huge role in where Pencil fits in. Most people will NEVER blog. I for one, did not blog often before we created Pencil. The simplicity of creating allows me to make posts in a more frequent and enjoyable manner.
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