For those of you that still don't know...
Programmers.SE has an official community blog. The content there is pretty awesome, and some posts have gotten crazy amounts of traffic. It's really nice to see the community come together and write for the blog.
The problem is, the blog has really died down in terms of activity. We haven't had a new post since November. We haven't had a strict posting schedule (besides November, our last post was in July). A lot of the people that participated in the blog at its inception are no longer active. The decline of the community blog is due to a lot of different things. We want to fix them.
The first thing a community blog needs is active contributors.
From asking in The Whiteboard, it seems that there is still active interest in the blog, but things need to change. There needs to be much more organization behind the scenes in order to have any success in running this project. To do this, we need two things:
- Writing Process. When we first started the blog, you really could do anything. One person would write the post, edit the post, proofread the post, etc.. There really was no organization as far as who did what. In the new system (we'll call it Blog 2.0), one person will not be doing everything. Everybody will still be able to write posts, but it won't be a personal endeavor. There might be several people contributing to writing one post. There will be designated editors/proofreaders who will fix grammar and formatting and give feedback. All posts will go through an outlined process and meet a certain criteria (which will be specified based on community ideas) in order to get published. We tried doing this with the blog before. We had editors, including me, who would attempt to go through and edit posts. Unfortunately, I was a terrible editor. Not only am I not the best writer, but it is difficult to fix things that you know little about. Blog 2.0 will implement a new writing process, in order to streamline our approach to publishing.
- Activity. Participating in the community blog should not be an extra job. You shouldn't feel stressed out to finish a post or to get something published on time. Life already has enough deadlines. That said, we still need people to be consistently active with their participation. If you're on board to finish a post by a certain date, we need it done by that date. Basically, set your own deadlines, but stick to them
Again, blog participation is supposed to be just as enjoyable as using the main site. It's another way to create content, without being restricted by the typical Q&A format. If you're interested in contributing to the blog, just leave a comment or contact me on The Whiteboard. We need as many contributors as possible.
Now, on to the meat of the blog.
The actual content getting published by the blog has been pretty good, but it is not reaching its full potential. The blog should consist of a few things things:
- Announcements. The blog should be a place where we can voice what is going on with Programmers.SE. We've done posts like this before, but the platform hasn't been used to its full potential.
- Posts About Programming. That's what most of the posts have been so far, and we still want more of these.
- Posts that were "Not Constructive". This is a gold mine. The last time this was done, it became our most popular post. Basically, good questions that didn't fit the Stack Exchange format, and turn them into blog posts.
- Meta Posts. There has been a bit of interest in this lately. Basically, create explanations of frequently asked questions or common close reasons and post them to the blog, in order to link to them whenever the issue arises.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to content. Those were just ideas that have come up, but if you have more, feel free to tell us!
Wanna Contribute? Have Ideas?
If you'd like to contribute to the blog, or have any ideas regarding the blog, feel free to leave a comment, answer, or ping me in chat. The Programmers Community Blog is an awesome platform, so don't let it go to waste.
Remember that this entire post is just a conjunction of fluid ideas. They can be completely changed if the community has better ideas. We are happily welcoming any feedback, criticism, and ideas that you have or would like to develop.