Wed, 07 Jan 2015
How to think about marketing, when marketing to developers
- Sales is getting rejected one by one. Marketing is "getting rejected at scale."
- Much of the time, "You're trying to write to about 200 people" (at a time).
- "Every single one of those tweets [referencing other people's content] is a missed opportunity to link to your own content."
- "You'll never be able to think like a noob again" -- "your content will basically suffer from the curse of knowledge."
- "Your blog is, like, the cheapest banner ad in the world."
- "It has to be OK to ship something crappy, incrementally improve it, and then never ever ever stop doing it."
- "People _love_ the process of how the sausage is getting made." My remark -- the great thing is you can show them just the parts you want to.
- "Anything you do is news in your community. It doesn't matter that it's not news in the rest of the world."
- "Troll slayers have to be above reproach."
- "The good thing is, when you make people angry, it means they're thinking about you."
- "The value of different channels is you need multiple opportunities to connect with the same people."
- "Write Google Voice in 50 lines of code." The idea here is, say clearly how people can use your tools as technical leverage. People aren't as good as you at connecting the dots of why your thing is so cool.
- "Sometimes it's good to just power the toys, and let the hobbyists decide what's exciting to them."
- "You want to get your community helping each other."
- "In the early days, you want to talk to everyone."
- "The company voice becomes an amalgamation of personal voices," except when something bad happens (unless the CEO is visible and willing to communicate).
- "To write good content, you need to read a lot."
- On topics that you can get other people to write: "You have to convince them they picked [the topic] for themselves, or you have to let them pick them."
- "Read the people your community trusts and respects."
- "Surround people, so they can find you in the channels they like."
- "Go do all the things people would do to try to find you."
Types of content:
- Email newsletter
- Email drip campaign; these two are enough for the first year. Care about open rates.
- Ranked #3: Make a blog. Possible content: (1) anything at all. (2) Contests. (3) Write glorious beautiful documentation as blog posts.
- "How it works" diagram.
- Write about customers. "Didn't you actually change the world?"
Interesting things they found:
- "Trailing open rates of months on the first email" -- that is to say, the first email newsletter was pure gold, so people kept re-opening it.
- Developer Marketing is a thing Microsofties figured out in the '90s; google for it.
- "Get good at comments, because you're gonna have to fix things."
- Good self-introduction posts answer the question, "What are you bringing to the table?" (The audience should care that you're part of $COMPANY.) How can your presence in the company make customers more successful?
- If you want every engineer to be able to present what the product is, then ask everyone to build something using the product plus present it to the company, and now they won't be afraid of presenting things to other people.
- "Have developers write the documentation themselves."
- Write short blog posts.
- "The content that makes the most money is case studies."
- "The best piece of content is something that makes people think of your company more highly than before."
- "The under-appreciated thing where you can be best at it is the content that rocks."
- (No video. Too much work.)
- "Tweet the same thing -- once at 10am, once at 4pm. . . . No one is looking at stuff at the same time."
- "You know better than anyone the businesses that can be built on your platform, so write the recipes for them."
- For emails: "Automatically opt people in, then make sure to build good segemented lists. Keep your lists for your campaigns separate from your newsletter."
- "If the production quality of the email is high, people will assume it's high quality."
- "Make sure you have a clear conversation internally about what you do and don't want to share."
- On Sandstorm, how many people use which pages? Blog vs. app vs. app store list.
Things I need to revisit:
- Repurposing content.
More content ideas:
- Publish internal emails.
- Blog your FAQ. (Also make sure the content appears everywhere else it needs to -- Stack Overflow, etc.)
- Any time we go and give a talk.
- Take photos at Meetups.
Questions for me:
- Perhaps Sandstorm should use Stack Overflow as our main Q&A plan.
- Perhaps I should publish my first all at corp.sandstorm.io mail?
- Does Sandstorm have enough blog posts by non-Kenton people? ("No one sells it like a first ten engineering team.")
- Are we set up for our website to communicate effectively? Does the product communicate effectively?
What to measure, early on:
- Look at web traffic.
- How many times you got mentioned on Twitter.
- Whether or not people comment at all (on external discussion areas like Hacker News).
- Broadly the levels of how many people hang out in your IRC room. "Just monitor the level of people helping each other."
- In the first six months, don't focus on revenue, because the opportunity is all the customers you haven't reached yet.
Very interesting phrases:
- "they are in charge"
- "power law"
- "invest in leadership, not participation"
- "don't be afraid to give people real power"
- "what if you look for community organizers in your community?"
- "poured fuel on the fire"
Very interesting concepts:
- Devshop London.
Remaining questions for Jade:
- What were some of the Devshop failure modes that were continually tweaked? How will they get tweaked in London?
Questions/thoughts it brings up for me:
- Meteor & co. have a "Chapters" list. I'm borderline surprised that they are using mailing lists. Moreover, how do they get activity on the list? (Do they?)
- Who are the leaders we could massively empower for OSCTC? Probably Davis.
- Does this mean we should rethink the idea of Chapters?
- For Railsbridge, where are their leaders that they empower? Luckily the chapters process structurally encourages local leadership. I've seen it at least in Boston.
- What would we say for BPW? Chicago? Almost. Philly? Probably/possibly.
- Was the real failure of BPW that we didn't try to identify local leaders for regional chapters? If so, how did I miss that?
- I guess we tried to, but we didn't structurally encourage it. Amazing.
- What do we say about Debian, then?
- For Ubuntu+Debian, and presumably meteor, The leadership needed is not so much technical as community/marketing. Jade tries not to call it marketing, but I don't know if she realizes how it's not technical leadership she's after.
- Debian always wanted technical leaders to show up, and the package maintainer based process encourages that structurally. But it does nothing structurally to encourage community/marketing leadership.
- Jade looks back and forth at the computer a lot. Maybe not given a lot of talks yet?
- Very few "um"s, but some.
- Infrequent smiles at the audience -- interesting.
- A great talk, regardless of some trivial style quibbles.
- 62 meetup groups, 1-5 captains apiece.
- First meetup, reimburse for food and snacks. Generally cover the Meetup.com dues.
- Initially, found people doing interesting things with Meteor -- publicized their work, but also got in touch.
- The day of the monthly Meteor DevShops, they invite people to show up IRL, which fosters peer to peer communication.
It's not every day I watch a talk from someone who works in my space who has an idea that makes me rethink a lot of what I've done.
Welcome to Sandstorm.
Sat, 19 Oct 2013
I've noticed that there are some tasks that seem important, and for which I am happy to invest sporadic effort, but that don't seem to repeatedly attract my attention. The obvious one here is my nice external disk array for doing backups.
By contrast, I've been energized this morning to work on OpenHatch and the Open Source Comes to Campus program. Right now I'm a volunteer with OpenHatch, not a paid staffer.
It feels much more interesting to work on OpenHatch things while Shauna is running an event in NYC (and where I can see on IRC and by email the activity going on there) than it seems interesting to fix my personal storage array. I suspect this relates to my sense of personal meaning being intertwined with feeling like I'm part of some activity that other people are part of, synchronously.
Mon, 30 Sep 2013
At this time, the latest Linux kernel that has been specially prepared for use with Ubuntu 12.04 is based on Linux 3.8. The rest of this answer is about how to get Linux 3.8 within Ubuntu 12.04.
(Before I get into that, first an aside: you've linked to the "mainline kernel" PPA, a collection of Linux kernel packages that have not been specially tested and prepared by the Ubuntu kernel team. You can read more about mainline kernels here. The mainline kernels are not suggested for installation, except if you are doing tests or you experience a major problem that it can be resolved with a specific mainline kernel.)
The recommended way to get the latest kernel on Ubuntu 12.04 is to stay within Ubuntu 12.04, rather than enabling separate package archives like the PPA you linked to. The latest Ubuntu 12.04 provides special package names to install the more up-to-date packages.
To install them, open a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and issue the following commands.
sudo apt-get install linux-image-generic-lts-raring sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic-lts-raring
When the installation completes, you can reboot your system to boot from 3.8 kernel. (The above commands won't uninstall anything (unless your APT is somehow misconfigured), and definitely won't auto-reboot, so you can run the commands and then do the reboot at some later time.)
The bootloader that Ubuntu uses (Grub) lists the newer kernel first, so it will boot from 3.8 automatically (except if you have installed a newer than 3.8) (and except if you know you've customized Grub somehow).
A note about why 3.8: Because of the Long Term Support status of Ubuntu 12.04, many different kernels will be backported (aka specially prepared) from newer versions of Ubuntu. (Additionally, a backported graphics stack (X and related packages) is available.) The 12.04.3 version (that has been released on 22 August 2013) contains the latest kernel and graphics (X) packages from Ubuntu 13.04 (raring). Ubuntu raring has 3.8, so therefore the "backported" version of Linux from raring to precise is also 3.8.
A note about the best way to get an even fresher version, like 3.11: Wait for Ubuntu Saucy (13.10) to come out, and then wait (not very long) for the Ubuntu Long Term Support process to backport that to Precise (12.04). Per the release schedule, Saucy should be out on October 17. Then you will be able to install linux-image-generic-lts-saucy!
Mon, 29 Apr 2013
First I set up GPG Agent. To do that I followed the Gentoo documentation, with particular attention paid to section 4 and configuration files.
Within ~/Maildir/cur/ I just ran:
for thing in `grep -l -i 'Subject: .*signed'` do gpg --decrypt < $thing | gpg --import done
As it happens, I synchronized all my email using Dovecot dsync, so I could do this on my laptop.
Then I just ran:
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --send-keys 37E1C17570096AD1 gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --send-keys EC4B033C70096AD1
to upload those to the keyservers.
Now I can delete all those three month old caff emails. Sorry everyone.
Mon, 13 Aug 2012
geofft / supost.q / geofft 19:56 (Wobbuffet!) "the cuttest girls on campus" geofft / supost.q / christy 20:13 (Christy Swartz) The cute ones are always the deadliest. -> geofft / supost.q / ageng 20:19 (Homomorphosis: when a caterpillar turns into another caterpillar.) a cut above the rest.
Fri, 03 Aug 2012
About a day ago, there was a problem with the Wikimedia Foundation websites.
Leslie Carr provided this explanation:
[22:26:13] <LeslieCarr> in reality, looks like a bad squid config was pushed, then when it was rolled back, the site came back up
Apparently, the BBC asked why the sites were down.
George Herbert suggests:
They probably wanted to make sure it was accidental and not some denial of service attack (i.e., newsworthy). Were say Anonymous to jump on us for some unforseeable reason, it would be newsworthy, and I am sure the newsies would come running to everyone ever publicly identified as knowing anything about ops at the site...
Conclusion: Anonymous should start submitting (broken) patches to the Wikimedia operations team, in the hopes one of them lands and causes the site to go down, so it can get more press.
Mon, 30 Jul 2012
I only just figured out that AisleRiot is supposed to be a pronounceable pun.
...in addition, I wrote AisleRiot (pronounced I'll Riot), the GNOME solitaire program.
The source of that quote has a plausible Last-Modified header of Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:07:12 GMT.
Sat, 07 Apr 2012
advocacy-free My writing used to be heavily philosophical, with lots of advocacy and questioning. I still consider the why of things much more meaningful than the how, but it's time to focus on the how rather than the why. I'm making this little writing place a "no trolling zone." I will try to avoid preaching, and the obvious corollary is that I will also avoid worrying about whether people agree or disagree. Instead, I will try to simply share little pieces of code as it comes to me. There is no advocacy on here. I frequent a few scuba diving forums. One annoying part of scuba culture is that it can be very polarizing. A bunch of people over here say there is only One True Way to dive, right down to using the exact same equipment as each other. Another bunch of people over there disregard the conventional wisdom and choose to dive solo, attracting criticism from young and old. The forums discovered a long time ago that running flame wars simply drove members away, so they have instituted "no trolling" zones within their boards, places where people can discuss the how of solo diving, or sidemounting, or DIR, without getting into a battle of whether such a thing is a good idea or not.
-- Reg Braithwaite.