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#73 2015-07-12 17:00:52

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

wavesource wrote #292990:

Where are the people you want to convert to TXP users? That’s the question.

If we want to get serious serious, we should back up even further and map it out right:

  1. What is the Textpattern project’s mission? I.e., why does Textpattern exist? What does it want to be when it grows up? What does it care about doing? (A good example. Another one.) Everything is spitting in the wind without this initial perspective.
  2. What are its goals/objectives for achieving that mission?
    • One aspect of goals is the strategy for it’s content and marketing. (What is the content marketing mission, and what are the sub-strategies/tactics for editorial, social media, referencing…?
  3. Who are the top audiences? (This is where the community usually jumps in with “advinions”.)
  4. What are the key messages those audiences should get in relation to those goals? (Alignment between “biz” objectives and audiences.)

Then your question would come: Where do the target audiences hang out?

This is under the rubric of:

1. Full release on TXP owned/branded site, echoed through RSS
2. Accompanying Twitter tweet
3. Secondary rehash to Medium and email broadcast, and …… and …..
4. Next issue: repeat

That’s a feasible process for even Textpattern, with some likely caveats in each case:

  1. The “Txp-owned site” should probably be the .com blog, not the magazine, which has too much overhead as currently designed to keep up right.
  2. Twitter is indeed a good channel, but only in so much that it’s employed well. For that to happen it needs a dedicated user with a bit of enthusiasm for Twitter, and that person should follow the social plan and focus on the key messages, as mentioned earlier. Sure, one use is pumping out links back to blog articles, but that’s not very effective use of Twitter by itself. I think Txp devs use Twitter grudgingly or not at all. Thus, another job opening.
  3. With all that seems to be going on right now, I’d leave Medium out of it for the time being and focus on the newsletter. Maybe when a system release or two is out the door, then revisit the idea of Medium as a possible place to talk about Txp (the specifics of what and how are irrelevant at this point).
  4. Not sure what you mean by “issue” here, so question is: What constitutes enough content to start each cycle? I would say a single blog post is enough to cycle through the distribution process. The newsletter shouldn’t be so frequent, however. Maybe once per month is often enough for that, and it mentions all blog posts that may have happened in that time, whatever interesting community news is worth adding, etc.

And do you need a second strategy to target TXP developers?

Probably. Differences with messages, distribution channels, and/or frequency are usually a factor when considering each target audience. Treat everybody the same and you won’t get as much for the effort.

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#74 2015-07-12 22:53:50

wavesource
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From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Destry wrote #293095:

  1. What is the Textpattern project’s mission? I.e., why does Textpattern exist?

I think that’s very important. I’d love to hear any concepts that filter down: would be great content for the blog/newsletter. However, just by allowing this promotion vehicle to occur, TXP devs would be indicating they are open to the possibility of the promotion activity succeeding and helping to drive change. So I would be happy to just leave it at that and let them worry about their end of things when the time comes. But if you want to push that concept elsewhere, and it was a public venue, I’d be happy to put my bum in a seat and watch.

Twitter – yes, I can assist with that, ie. forming useful stuff. In fact, I hope to drag my business partner in who handles our social media/competition analysis/keyword research so that we can be effective. I agree 100% blanket replication is not what we’re after. Perhaps we need to have a rule or two: no cat memes?

By “issue” I am nodding to the “magazine” concept, so I’ll stop nodding. I guess that date archiving is important, seeing some if not most material would be contingent on specific TXP release, so blog format sounds relevant. Categories could be types of content generally (more below). Tag cloud? Does anyone think they are useful?

Maybe we need to settle the concept authorship, but I was thinking along the idea that there would be no mention of people doing the editorial. We’d pull it together as much as possible as an anonymous single voice, just presenting the content, which may include and feature individuals.

If it can be done, section on TXP.com would be magic.

Re name (I imagine TXP Magazine would be reserved as it has an existence of it’s own and might surely roar again another day): How about something short, functional, and totally unambiguous like TXP News – eg. for emails sent out, that would be the name of the sender. However, each category can have it’s more curly title, this would be the Subject of the emails with a month and year added, so (just flinging ideas to the wind here, get ready to duck) news from TXP development could be “Core Text” – you could have similar title for plugins discussion when something new comes in or gets revisited. We can maybe decide on three general topics to start with, and they would form once per quarter broadcast, cycling through the topics monthly. So that means 12 blog posts a year. Pull out tweet content and keyword it on a weekly basis, plus obviously respond in the moment to anything interesting that arises on ad hoc basis.

And thank you for your time and commitment to this subject, Destry.

Last edited by wavesource (2015-07-12 22:55:57)

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#75 2015-07-13 01:49:27

hcgtv
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From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

Destry wrote #293095:

What is the Textpattern project’s mission? I.e., why does Textpattern exist?

Let’s start with Why does Textpattern exist?

  • Well like anything that’s created, Dean had a need and he filled that need with Textpattern. Eventually he licensed it under a GPL license and people started to flock to it, users and developers alike. Along the way the enthusiasm was extinguished when the WordPress juggernaut took us all by surprise. Textpattern was not unique, every Blog or CMS coded in PHP had the wind taken out of their sales, many perished in the open water, only a handful survived, I should know, I track them.

Now What is the Textpattern project’s mission?

  • Where would we be today if Linus would of said, screw it, Windows runs everywhere, what chance does my Linux operating system have? We’d all be running IIS and serving ASP pages, the horror! Like I said, most every project I was involved with lost their momentum when WordPress blanketed the web. It was like, screw it, why am I going to code for free, for what?

or what it should be?

  • Textpattern’s mission at this point is for the core developers to get together, look each other in the eyes, and decide how far they want to take this. Lead, Follow, or get out of the way.

You know where I stand, next to Linus ;)

Linus & Snoopy

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#76 2015-07-13 11:18:04

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

We know Txp’s history. That’s not the same thing as answering why does Txp exist now? (And I don’t mean because people use it and will scream bloody murder if it goes away. That’s just code maintenance.) That’s why I tried to nudge the idea with What does project want to be when it grows up?

As you suggest, Bert, I’m talking about leadership bellying up to the table and deciding if there’s any ambition for this project beyond being a weekend hobby to practice PHP coding.

Textpattern’s mission at this point is for the core developers to get together, look each other in the eyes, and decide how far they want to take this. Lead, Follow, or get out of the way.

Right. It has to be addressed that way, by fact they are current leaders of the project. And even if they decide Textpattern is nothing but a weekend hobby, then that’s what should go in writing for the public to see and evaluate whether or not they want to get involved. And the mission/vision statement needs to be sincere!

Not to make waves, but let’s point out the elephant in the room…

Depending on a given project’s mission, Txp or otherwise, leadership requires certain skills and ambitions, and a developer may or may not have them. If not, they might still make great dev/code leads (keeping core dev clean and true), but not helping the project in terms of growth and prosperity, in which case you may have a situation like what Bert implied: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

But that just depends on what the mission/vision of the project is, and how the community feels about. If the project is just a php hobby, then a “code maintainer” is a satisfactory leader. We all know Textpattern doesn’t have any mission to speak of, currently, which is why things currently work as they do (if an inconsequential CMS project is what you call working).

So, yeah, current leaders really need to have that retreat by the Austrian lake and decide what this project is really about. Put that in writing and the community goes from there. Because unless that project mission — no matter what it is — is actually stated for the public to see, people in the community that are fired up to help in some way can’t really do so with purpose or value back; they don’t have a goal to work against. Especially when it comes to content, message, and brand; its just spitting in the wind without a goal.

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#77 2015-07-13 12:28:22

zero
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,470
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

Textpattern is much more organic and flexible than any imaginary hierarchical leader/follower system imposed by someone’s mind. Textpattern is the software, the code, the core, the plugins, the developers, the designers, the users, this forum and everyone at all interested in Textpattern. When I write here, I lead for those few moments. When you write, you lead.

I keep seeing people putting pressure on the very people who are already doing so much. They’ve all heard it many times before, they don’t need someone keep nagging them. I find the “php hobby” insinuation very disrespectful to developers who are obviously very passionate about making Textpattern into the very best CMS software.

Let it be, oh let it be. Let it be, oh let it be. ALL IS WELL!


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#78 2015-07-13 14:55:02

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

The point of this conversation, as I’m sure developers understand, is to take some of the pressure off of developers by helping them with tasks that they don’t have time to do, or don’t have skills to do, or simply don’t want to do. But to be able to help there, a point of reference is needed, and with respect to content and message, that reference would ideally be a goal that the project wants to achieve.

Development and design are related but different conversations…

To the former, I have nothing but respect for the devs and their dedication to keeping the software clean, flexible, and secure. That’s why I still use it. Robert, in particular, single-handedly saved this project years ago when all the former developers abandoned ship. We probably wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for him. That’s not lost on me. Saying that php might be a developers hobby is not disrespectful in the least. It might in fact be true.

To the latter, the appearance of Phil in the team as the first designer says a lot of about Txp’s concern with the project’s outward appearances. And I could even say, thanks to Robert giving Stef and I a thumb up with the magazine once upon a time, that the associated marketing is appreciated too. So there’s obviously a desire for this project to be something more than it currently is, even if that desire is not put in writing and there are limits to what it can be.

Going back to the drawing board to find what can be done under the constraints is smart, and that’s where this is all coming from. Sometimes it demands shaking the tree with poignant questions, but the devs are all big boys (sadly no girls) and should expect such things once in a while if they’re going to be in the position they are.

What I’ve been getting at in these last couple of posts, however uncomfortable, is that for others in the community to help more effectively — if that help is wanted at all — and particularly with communication where devs typically don’t like to dwell, those people need a point of reference from which to gauge how to do it. Again, for communication reasons, that reference usually comes from a goal — even short term — that messages should try to support. Nothing wrong with giving some thought to what that goal is.

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#79 2015-07-13 16:16:17

zero
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,470
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

OK, you’ve stated that in a clear fair manner, Destry, no insinuations there. But perhaps the point of reference already exists quite clearly on textpattern.com? A few years ago it was decided that the main message was, and you were quite heavily involved if I remember correctly, that txp was for publishers, designers and developers. I don’t see that this has changed in any way.

Perhaps you are looking for an underlying goal or more tangible objectives such as ‘to be the 3rd most popular CMS by 2020’ or something? I think maybe you could possibly sum up the goal yourself or give a choice of goals that you feel may fit the bill because you should have as good a grasp as anyone else as to what is needed goals-wise. People will agree or disagree with you accordingly. You may then get what you are looking for?


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#80 2015-07-13 16:20:18

hcgtv
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From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

zero wrote #293123:

When I write here, I lead for those few moments. When you write, you lead.

Let me lead by saying it’s been 8 years since Wet got SVN access, eventually he became the head coder after Zem left for Automattic. I appreciate what Wet has done over the years, TXP might well be dead if it wasn’t for him, it’s just I have no idea what Wet intends on doing, and he holds the keys to the front door.

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#81 2015-07-13 21:17:35

wavesource
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From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

zero wrote #293123:

Textpattern is much more organic and flexible than any imaginary hierarchical leader/follower system imposed by someone’s mind.

+1 for organic and flexible

There are so many other issues that can be stitched into this discussion – focus is required just on the task at hand.

My original pitch was, I would like to help with promoting TXP and building user base.

We have discussed a rough structure. It is possible to start looking at content and delivery.

But I agree, respect to the TXP dev team. So let me ask them directly: is this something that the dev team really want to have happen?

What do the dev team need done that I can help with? Maybe that’s the question I should have asked originally!

Thank you.

Last edited by wavesource (2015-07-13 21:20:08)

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#82 2015-07-14 08:59:54

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 4,121
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Re: Magazine to newsletter

wavesource wrote #293144:

What do the dev team need done that I can help with? Maybe that’s the question I should have asked originally!

Docs, support triage, translations, marketing, evangelism, QA, code that Makes Things Better, pick an issue and solve it.

I grabbed Textpacks as a thing and I’ve started to beat it into shape. I can’t code (yet), but I can write words and cajole people into helping write in their own language that helps everyone who uses Textpattern. That’s important in the same way code is important. If you have time and a computer, you could take a look at the bunch of projects that exist on the Textpattern GitHub page, poke around in the issues and see what you can fix. If you can’t fix anything that’s an issue, can you help with porting some docs from the wiki to the flat file system that Phil’s spearheading. This has the extra benefit of learning about the specifics of tags, which is always helpful, and helps you support/triage people who have problems.

One thing I’ve learned from the last 6 months is that no permission is needed to work on this stuff. Just grab it by the proverbials and make it better. Want to write words for Textpattern? Grab TXP Mag by the haunches and steer it. If you’re not ready for that yet, write some words for textpattern.com and form it into a blog post.

Last edited by gaekwad (2015-07-14 09:08:21)

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#83 2015-07-14 12:22:48

wavesource
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Hats off to Destry and contributors., this is not about TXPmag v2.

This is about a newsletter – a shorter, less intensive, more engaging format via email, posted to blog-like section with RSS on TXP.com, with Twitter riding shotgun. No author. Just a single anonymous voice. Simple stuff. Short and sweet.

I have offered license for mail script, sending via Amazon SES which I will pay but TXP devs own lock stock and barrel. I would also cover sending costs, all 9 cents a month to start with, though I hope it would become more expensive :-). Sendy is just my personal choice of platform for email marketing, but if you want to use Mail Chimp or Constant Contact or Aweber or whatever, I don’t care. I just know Sendy costs much much less over the free account limits and as I have put my hand up to pay for this, that’s how I’d do it.

TXP would have zero risk. It would own the list script. It would own the subscribers that would aggregate. If TXP decided to migrate to another system or methodology, just export current list members as CSV, nuke the list subdirectory, and move on.

You have the TXP.com site.and I trust would put a section up that content can be made live in when/if approved. Just need that section and list sign up forms that I have predigested code that uses Sendy API and some txp;php tags. If that’s too loose, Sendy has standard HTML signup form, and that works fine for single list deployment, which is all TXP needs currently.

The other component was guerilla stub content based from newsletter posted to Twitter with keywords etc. So that requires twitter access. That’s entirely optional, but I just think that helps with the immediacy of posting = buzz

Content emailed out would be with responsive designed template.

We would need an approved branding and consistent appearance, suitable for modern audience. Just need to knock up TXP approved template with TXP dev approvals etc. using TXP approved graphics etc. Or some other contributor could do that.

Re content, I would imagine basing one third on how to use TXP, ie. unpacking tags, so it’s just a friendly rewrite of the stuff that’s already up on TXP.com

I would probably try to use another third to put forward plugins that are current that usefully extend TXP.

Comments about the future for TXP are still interesting for a certain audience, but I would keep dev fairy dust light and make a big deal about it when official announcements come up so that retains impact.

And the other third, I’d probably make up as I came along. Fudge factor, organics. It’s in the mix.

But it’s the tone that is all important. Light. Engaging. In and out. See you next time. And I would personally scout for new angles and material, in forums, poring over stuff, talking to people with their hands in GitHub etc. and I’d pull in SWAT analysis from my partner re keywords and what strategies to use to grow audience share. All subject to TXP approval, I would be exposing methodology and asking for feedback all along the way from the TXP family.

and from there, you just respond organically.

Last edited by wavesource (2015-07-14 12:29:03)

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#84 2015-07-14 18:31:23

zero
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,470
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Wavesource, you sound like you know what you’re doing and have a solid plan. And you’re keeping it simple. Great!

You know reasons why TxpMag stopped and I’d just like to say that TXPQ stopped also because of lack of enthusiasm for a magazine from the community. But also lack of enthusiasm from me in the end. I enjoyed the writing and especially the interviews but when the readers almost dried up and the last dozen or so people I asked to do interviews declined, it became clear that I would either have to put a lot more energy into my own writing and thinking of good article ideas or pass it on to someone else. Because of various time commitments, I tried advertising for someone else but there were no takers. I resurfaced for a few months. But when TxpMag was relaunched I decided to stop and leave TXPQ as a kind of archive of some good Textpattern stuff.

I’m telling you this so you don’t expect too much to come from a newsletter. Sure it will be different and you are a pro whereas I am an amateur. But I think the bottom line will be that you’ll do a lot of work for very little reward. I don’t suppose that’s news to you and you’re probably prepared for it, so call it a confirmation to expect the worse and hope for the best. I wish you good luck and will be very interested in how the newsletter pans out. I’d love to see you make it a success.

But perhaps I’m being presumptive, perhaps the devs have enough on their plates and would rather not have to cope with a whole wave of enthusiasm that would mean they have even more coding to do! I hope you get an answer soon. All the best.


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