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Some time ago Mark Trapp asked what a P.SE web site would be about and I posted an answer that received a moderate number of upvotes and a few comments. I've revised it a few times and there hasn't been any commentary in quite awhile so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that its a solid answer for "what our blog is about". Either way, I haven't seen any other movement on the topic so I'm moving it forward myself.

Based upon an S.E. blog post about getting a community blog started, our next step is to recruit contributors.

Recruit contributors. Who will write entries for the blog? Starting a blog is a bit like going through the buffet line. Be realistic – don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Think seriously about if and how often you will be able to contribute a blog post, including research/prep time. The more contributors there are, the less frequently each contributor needs to post. One post a month is a much easier to stomach than a couple posts every week.

This is a pretty sound assessment, in my opinion.

P.SE doesn't appear to get quite the volume of traffic that Stack Overflow or other sites receive but we do have several quality, experienced programmers who are also excellent writers that could contribute quality content.

Personally, I'm in favor of a post once a week, appearing every Monday. If we could attract just six people willing to write, that would mean just one submission from each individual every six weeks. This may seem like quite awhile between posts but I think that this would fit with the vision of a P.SE blog.

It would favor:

  • Long, not short posts.
  • Well written, thoughtful material.
  • A relaxed time frame so nobody gets burned out.
  • Time for an editorial process.

Allow me to clarify the last point. While most people who write blogs just write write write post! and then call it a day, we should be aspiring for the best. A P.SE blog post should not only represent the intellectual musings of one of the smartest programmers on the planet, it should also represent the highest quality of written English. There are some programmers out there who are truly, truly brilliant but can't write to save their lives. Rather than exclude such people I propose that every submission go through an editorial forge for grammar, punctuation, and formatting consistency.

Here's what I'd like to see:

  1. At least six people respond with something to the effect that you're at least interested in helping write - either let your your S.O./P.SE rep speak for itself, or post a few links to previous works (not necessarily written!)
  2. At least two people who'd be willing to act as proofreaders.
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Thank you for bringing this up.

One of the concerns I have with the blog is that it can be used as a soapbox. I want to make sure the posts we put up are solid, well-researched, not just someone spouting off their opinions. The latter is what personal blogs are for. Controversial stances are fine, but in my opinion we cannot allow outright ranting.

With that in mind, I'm up for writing and editing. My rep can speak for itself, though I'm sure my writing style can use some work. :)

Thomas Owens just brought up the idea of getting the blog rolling in light of my upcoming trip to SCNA. I agree that it's a great idea, so I'm keen on getting this going soon.

  • Thanks Anna, I didn't see that post from earlier. I agree that we need some sort of moderation/guiding force on content but I was unsure how to approach it - my plan was to post another question on meta dealing with that topic after we had decent interest from writers/proofreaders at this stage of the game. – Jarrod Nettles Sep 28 '11 at 19:44
  • @JarrodNettles A meta post sounds like a good way to go about it. It might take me a few days (busy week here), but I'll ping people involved with blogs on other sites and see if they have any specific advice to offer as well. – Adam Lear Sep 28 '11 at 19:46
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    I'm really concerned about the difficulty anyone would face in finding novel things to say that are not too contentious or preachy. I really think we should focus on things that are already well known to many experts in the community - the pressure to find something "new" to say is what leads to the hyperbole and rabble-rousing that passes for most subjective software blogs. I'd like to see articles that read more like a chapter from Code Complete rather than an evaluation of the latest Methodology Trend. Editors need to be brutal and ready to entirely discard material that doesn't fit. – Jeremy Oct 3 '11 at 19:10
6

I'll volunteer my time as proofreader and very occasional poster.

I think having an editorial team to do the proofreading and suggest topics is a good idea.

6

I'd volunteer as a proofreader and/or a writer. I'm not sure exactly what I'd write about or the frequency, but my interests are listed in my profile. I'd also be more than happy to proofread about any topic at all.

5

I would like to contribute as a Writer, and will commit to one article every 6 weeks.

Though besides having someone proof my work I would like the Subject matter of the articles be a group consensus. So if we have a rotating 6 writers, we need to work together to decide who is writing what for when. So that is some consistency from week to week.

PS: I may be willing to change my handle is that is a requirement.

3

Count me in, for both proofreading and (occasional) writing.

Examples of my writing style, use of language, obsessive compulsive approach to fact checking and (on topic) interests are all my questions and answers on Programmers.

2

I can commit to an occasional post (every 2-3 months) and will assist in the editorial process.

To see an example of my writing when I put in some effort, skip to page 12 of this mag: Spectrum Nov/Dec 2011

1

I'd like to put myself forward as a proofreader. My standard of written English can be evaluated on my personal blog http://mattdavey.me/. You'll notice that it's a programming blog which is thus far more about natural languages than programming languages!

1

I volunteer for writing and anything else that needs doing.

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