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#1 2008-06-05 13:51:59

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,453
Website

Marketing TXP

Textpattern is a content management system. It says so at Textpattern.com, Textpattern Pro and on the cover of Textpattern Solutions. The whole direction of txp is towards making it a better cms. When textpattern.com is relaunched it will be all about the cms called textpattern.

That does not mean, however, that txp is not viewed as a blogware by many people. It is used for its blog capabilities on many sites. A Google search shows Textpattern thus: (thanks Bloke)
  • cms : 180th
  • content management system : 222nd
  • blogging software : 131st
  • blogging tool : 98th
  • blogging platform : 101st
  • web design software : 555th
    This shows it is twice as likely to be viewed as a blog tool than a cms despite it proclaiming itself a cms for a long time now. It also shows that searchers are not likely to find Texpattern via search engines using those common terms.

I’ve written about this, with some more evidence, here and asked how can we make txp more visible and popular. I proposed we use extra official sites, one optimised for blog and one for cms to raise visibility and that these should be operated by a marketing team. The marketing dept. is what Kevin Potts suggested last week here and he knows what he is talking about. There hasn’t been much response but Maniquí commented that it was not a good idea and I have replied with more thoughts. Maniquí suggested this should be continued on the forum so here it is.

How can we make Textpattern more visible and popular?


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#2 2008-06-05 21:50:20

Gocom
Developer Emeritus
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 2006-07-14
Posts: 4,533
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

zero wrote:

A Google search shows Textpattern thus

Where and with what? It depends where you do the search and what is the domain (.fi, .com, .se etc) that you used ;). Therefor TXP can be even lower or higher on the search.

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#3 2008-06-05 22:40:11

keith
Member
From: Blyth, Northumberland, England
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 199
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

This is just an unpolished “brain dump” – apologies for any statements of the obvious or rambling nonsense which follows..!

Txp has something of a reputation for complexity, I think. While that equates to versatility when you’ve become reasonably familiar with it, it does put people off, because a lot of folk like the idea of a “one click and all the work’s done” approach to website creation.

So you might put thought and effort into simplifying Txp – things like a template engine would be a big hit, I’m sure – or pushing those aspects of Txp that are straightforward now.

Or you embrace Txp’s sophistication and “sell” it on its real strength, which (IMHO) is that unlike pretty much any other blog/CMS out there, you can do anything with Txp: pretty much any combination of look, feel and functionality is achievable in Txp with a bit of work and the right tags and plugins, and personally I love it for that.

For example, my two Txp sites are relatively basic and unassuming compared with the wonders I’ve seen elsewhere, but they do precisely what I want. One’s a “basic” blog (but it’s not that basic at all “under the hood”) and the other is my bird photography site, taking much more of a CMS approach. They couldn’t really be more different, and I defy anyone to look at either and go “oh, that’s Textpattern…” like you can with so many others.

That’s a big deal, to my mind – and I have no real php or CSS skills either.

And – especially with the photography site – I’ve been able to set up a range of navigational approaches using various plugins, along with stickies and excerpts, which have resulted in an (I think, and visitors agree) a smart, stylish and intuitive site which really presents my humble photographic efforts and writings very effectively.

Not very “bloggy” at all, and visitors are surprised to see that its thanks to Txp (a fact I bring to their attention all over the site).

Part of the reason Txp is still seen as a blog is that it’s presented in the blogging sections of sites like OpensourceCMS – maybe asking such sites to relocate their references to Txp might widen its appeal?

That said, the user comments about Txp on that site go a long way towards making the same points I’m making here..!

Final thought: I love Textile, and that alone would probably be enough to keep me here if Txp was the only CMS that used it!

Last edited by keith (2008-06-05 22:44:30)


Keith
Blyth, Northumberland, England
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#4 2008-06-05 22:57:27

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,740
Website GitHub

Re: Marketing TXP

Good thoughts so far all; will digest and chew when it’s not nearly midnight.

btw, Gocom: those results were from Google Suggest for those written terms without quotes round them

It wasn’t very scientific; merely a sample of some random words I thought might (or perhaps should) be associated with TXP. I then just used the Firefox trusty CTRL-F / F3 to see if the 1st page contained the word textpattern in any excerpts. If not I went to the next page and so on until the F3 key revealed a hit for the word textpattern. Granted, some earlier hits may have mentioned TXP in the body of the articles somewhere, but I was going for immediacy; like Product Placement to see how well English speaking sites rank us.

Like I say, not scientific, not conclusive, just a quick way of gauging whether we’re mentioned and how far down the list we are. (interesting to note that in most cases — with the same search criteria — the other bloggy software like Drupal or WP / MT were mentioned by name; often within the 1st 30 hits. Not always, but more often than TXP)


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#5 2008-06-05 23:07:38

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,453
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

Jukka, Bloke got that data so I don’t know, but I just checked google.com for ‘blogging tool’ and textpattern first mention was at #91
In google.co.uk it was outside the top 100, so I think he has probably used google.com. Don’t know if he’s following this thread…

Edit: You must have posted just when I was writing this, Bloke!

Keith, I think the whole point of txp is the way you describe – it’s so flexible you can do most anything with it. I am pretty certain it will not go down the road of Wordpress with its themes. But as you say you’ve one site that’s a simple blog. So have many other people and I’m sure many people came to txp like I did – it was one of 3 main blogging tools at the time that wasn’t hosted like Blogger is. So it’s perfectly right for txp to included in blog comparisons. The problem with opensourcecms (and many other sites including major directories) is that the software or site must only be listed under 1 category, so in this case someone thought it best listed under blogs. People might not look there when looking for a cms so think txp does not exist. In my article I suggest there should be a textpatternblog.com with everything related to blog on it and this could be listed under ‘blog’ in those sites. Textpattern.com could be listed under ‘cms’ as it should be. Because so many people think of it as a blog, withdrawing references to ‘blog’ would lose a lot of visibility, so that’s why I think there should be at least two sites, preferably three. (all using the same software). By the way I love ‘Capture The Moment’. I wish I had a camera handy when I saw a big fat pregnant magpie today and 3 pheasant and a skylark yesterday, things I rarely see!

Last edited by zero (2008-06-05 23:08:45)


Gud One Blog
Wondrous Healing Wondrous ways to a healthy old age

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#6 2008-06-06 21:40:49

els
Moderator
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2004-06-06
Posts: 7,458

Re: Marketing TXP

I was about to join this discussion, when I found that Julián had already worded my exact thoughts in his comment on your article on TXPQ. (Which by the way seems to happen so often that I’m becoming quite lazy: no need to reply, I can trust Julián to tell them what I think ;) )

Sorry Peter, but I totally agree that having more than one site will only add to the confusion, not take it away. You are saying “that there is already confusion on what txp is”, but don’t you think that visually splitting it up into a ‘blog part’ and a ‘cms part’, while in reality we’re talking about one and the same application, would make that even worse?
I don’t like this idea of splitting it up much, because I doubt if TXP can (and should) present itself as being just as suited for those who just want a straightforward blogging tool as the existing pure blogging tools are. Is it really? I don’t think so. So I also think that Keith has said something that is very much worth thinking about:

Or you embrace Txp’s sophistication and “sell” it on its real strength, which (IMHO) is that unlike pretty much any other blog/CMS out there, you can do anything with Txp: pretty much any combination of look, feel and functionality is achievable in Txp with a bit of work and the right tags and plugins, and personally I love it for that.

So sell it as a cms; people who need a blogging tool, but also need to do a little bit more with it than the existing ones can manage, will find it. Those who need nothing more than a straightforward blogging tool don’t need it. What’s wrong with that?

BTW I find it a bit awkward to have one discussion in two places (here and there).

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#7 2008-06-07 13:28:29

thebombsite
Archived Plugin Author
From: Exmouth, England
Registered: 2004-08-24
Posts: 3,251
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

I don’t think we should split the site either. If we want to show TXP’s versatility I think it would be more appropriate to link to example sites, though that would require that someone keep an eye on the sites chosen to ensure that they continue to be good examples.


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#8 2008-06-07 13:34:08

wet
Developer Emeritus
From: Schoerfling, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,274
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

I’ve recently added a few from these suggestions to our Featured section, and I’m planning to add another bunch later, though I’d rather like to keep the list short (9 to 12 sites in total), as we wouldn’t want to compete with welovetxp.com.

The main intent is to show the diversity of possibilities, from podcast to company site.

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#9 2008-06-07 14:46:45

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,453
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

Els, Stuart, I don’t think we should split the site either. That’s the main reason I was against xPattern – it felt like it was splitting the energy. I’ve been suggesting a second site to add to textpattern.com rather than split it. It’s Julián’s idea to market blog and cms within the one existing site. However, I can see how my idea comes across as splitting, and might be perceived by many to be splitting, so point taken.

There’s currently an improvement on the idea floating between Kevin, the devs and me that would not be seen as splitting imho, so watch this space (I hope. It’s my take on something Kevin said so it might not be such a great idea after all, but I am optimistic :)


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#10 2008-06-07 16:54:18

iblastoff
Plugin Author
From: Toronto
Registered: 2006-06-11
Posts: 1,197
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

keith wrote:

Or you embrace Txp’s sophistication and “sell” it on its real strength, which (IMHO) is that unlike pretty much any other blog/CMS out there, you can do anything with Txp: pretty much any combination of look, feel and functionality is achievable in Txp with a bit of work and the right tags and plugins, and personally I love it for that.

ehh i dunno. that argument might have held some weight several years ago, but with the influx of modern updated cms’s these days, it seems highly unlikely that theres something in TXP that i could not do using EE, modx, or even wordpress now. meanwhile other cms’s generally have much better designed sites and documentation that isn’t spread so thin.

the first things i generally look for on a cms site :

1) see whether its active
2) screenshots
3) easy-to-follow tutorials like on how to convert a regular xhtml/css site to its cms counterpart for that particular system. i’m not even sure if i’ver ever seen one for textpattern. basically had to figure it out for myself when i first came here.

my impressions on the above points:

1) activity: although recently theres been a steady flow of work coming from the last two devs (i’m assuming mary hasn’t rejoined the team), overall txp just felt like a dying project to me. i’m definitely glad now that theres been a sudden rush of work as well as a more updated dev weblog finally! thanks devs. too bad the main site doesn’t tell you any of this!

2) lets face it, txp’s default admin interface is ugly as sin. i’m sure some people don’t mind it but compared to other systems, i can easily see why some people would avoid txp just for this reason. plus i’m sure new users are completely unaware that there are even admin themes available since all of textpatterns relevant, updated information is generally lost within these forums (of which you have to first sign up for to read all the posts). i know at some point there was a focus on making textpattern the ‘designers cms’ and yet the cms itself looks like it most definitely was not made by a designer?

3) tutorials? textbook. don’t even get me started. theres absolutely no real reason why i should see these as the main navigation links:

Navigation
    I18n Portal
    User Login
    New Accounts
    Language Support
    Plugin Archives
<Wiki Utilities>
    Recent Changes
    New Pages
    File Gallery
    Admin Docs
    en/Change Log
Toolbox
    What links here
    Related changes
    Upload file
    Special pages
    Printable version
Personal tools
    Wiki Log In

i didn’t even know what the hell i was looking at when i first tried to peruse textbook. none of that is relevant at all to a new user looking for help.

oh and textpattern.org…not to put down community efforts but its also ugly!

Last edited by iblastoff (2008-06-07 16:56:34)

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#11 2008-06-07 17:24:06

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,453
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

keith wrote:

Or you embrace Txp’s sophistication and “sell” it on its real strength, which (IMHO) is that unlike pretty much any other blog/CMS out there, you can do anything with Txp: pretty much any combination of look, feel and functionality is achievable in Txp with a bit of work and the right tags and plugins, and personally I love it for that.

iblastoff wrote:

ehh i dunno. that argument might have held some weight several years ago, but with the influx of modern updated cms’s these days, it seems highly unlikely that theres something in TXP that i could not do using EE, modx, or even wordpress now.

I doubt the last sentence but, for the sake of argument, let’s say maybe. Whatever you say though about other systems, Keith’s points about TxP’s strengths are true and are a big plus that can be embraced and “sold”.

As for the negatives, the relevant people know about those and they are being addressed one way or another. I hadn’t heard of ‘tutorials like on how to convert a regular xhtml/css site to its cms counterpart’ being mentioned before but it’s a good idea, although pro web designers probably can figure it out quite easily which is perhaps why it hasn’t been done.


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#12 2008-06-07 17:24:56

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Miami, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,721
Website

Re: Marketing TXP

zero wrote:

That’s the main reason I was against xPattern – it felt like it was splitting the energy.

We’ve had a change of heart, so give back SVN access to Manfre and I’ll become the admin of the forum and wiki again ;)

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