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Author Topic: New DonationCoder, New Ideas  (Read 1475 times)

mouser

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New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« on: January 20, 2018, 10:29 AM »
So now that we've moved the entire content of the DonationCoder website to a proper CMS, and moved servers, and are finishing up the move of the dcmembers accounts, perhaps it's time to think about the idea of adding some more useful, regular content to the site.

I'd like to get back to coding and doing some overdue updates for my apps, but I was thinking it might be nice if we could revive the old idea of DC "columnists" who would each write a weekly blog/article about some are of the tech/computer scene.

Ideally I'd like us to come up with 7 areas, one for each day of the week, and find a columnist willing to commit to writing a long-post/short-article each week, posting on a specific day, on their subject.  To be featured prominently on the website.

Here are some specialty areas I was thinking about:
  • Security, Windows software, Open source software, Mobile apps, Technology, Kickstarter, Websites, Entertainment, Programming, Humor.
  •   Those are just some topic area ideas off the top of my head.

Requirements: Someone dependable who is willing to put in some time every week without exception, and not miss a week.  We could team up people for a given day if they want to split the load.  A real interest in the subject.  We need to find the right person for each area, and you really have to be willing to make a year-long commitment to writing something interesting every week, with some images, etc.   I'm looking for a year-long weekly commitment to the project.

Rewards: Official title, fame, love, and some small guaranteed funding.  [We will have to raise the money to pay for this.. I think what we'd do, if there is some interest in this idea, is have a fundraiser this year to pay for the year's hosting costs and some extra money to pay for this compensation.]  But if we can increase the following we can get donations directly to fund continuing columnists.

So the question is, can we find 7 people who are interested in embarking on this experiment/job?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 01:27 PM by mouser »

rgdot

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 12:50 PM »
Since my own site has moved off freeware reviews (or something close to that any way) I can try to commit to this...and to be as regular as required.

mouser

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 12:53 PM »
Rgdot I think you would make a great weekly columnist and from reading your previous writing you are already well qualified.
What topic area appeals to you the most?  Within reason the specialization you choose is up to you -- it's mostly a matter of wanting to have different columnists with different specialties so that you columnists are easier for people to recognize.
And what day of the week would you like to claim?

rgdot

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 01:01 PM »
Windows software and midweek, let's say Tuesdays

mouser

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 01:02 PM »
Perfect.  Awesome!

Now we just have to figure out the best/easiest way to let you guys write your column blogs that will get them best exposure and fit in best.

mouser

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 01:03 PM »
1 down 6 more columnists to find!

MON TUE WED THUR FRI SAT SUN

terribleterryc

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 08:34 PM »
"... be nice if we could revive the old idea of DC "columnists" who would each write...".
Monthly would even be welcome.
I really need to check in more often.
Started in 2007.
My loss.

Stephen66515

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 11:13 PM »
"... be nice if we could revive the old idea of DC "columnists" who would each write...".
Monthly would even be welcome.
I really need to check in more often.
Started in 2007.
My loss.
-terribleterryc (January 20, 2018, 08:34 PM)

Well it's nice to see you back now!  We will soon have plenty of new content to give you an excuse to keep coming back!

Make sure you sign-up to our Newsletter so you can be reminded we exist if you forget :D

~Stephen

tomos

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 07:31 AM »
"... be nice if we could revive the old idea of DC "columnists" who would each write...".
Monthly would even be welcome.
-terribleterryc (January 20, 2018, 08:34 PM)

mouser, I think asking for once a week, you might not get many takers (that's a very big commitment). Have you considered other options? I know you suggested people sharing one slot, that might work.
Tom

mouser

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 07:56 AM »
It's true, it's a serious commitment, writing something like 52 blog posts/essays over the course of a year.

We could double-up writers cutting that in half, but then the team has to coordinate and I foresee issues of continuity, coordination, and slacking off, etc.

And I think there is some real value as a reader from the clarity of having the same recognizable voice posting on a regular basis on a topic, and the simplicity and comfort of everyone knowing who will be writing on a given day of the week.


wraith808

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 08:24 AM »
I know that's the reason that I haven't chimed in... I can't reliably commit to once a week.  I could commit to a guest spot or a backup spot, but not once a week.

Tuxman

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 11:08 AM »
Is there a difference between "entertainment" and "humor"?

I have my own blog where I irregularly write about Windows and BSD software (and Linux security problems because I find it funny to poke them). I agree with wraith808 though: I could not promise to find something interesting at least once a week. Monthly would be doable though.
(Then again, my sarcasm is not for everyone's taste.)

Stephen66515

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 11:14 AM »
It might be an idea for as many of us as possible to write a "pool" of articles (that wouldn't really matter if they were released a few weeks later), submit them, and they would get posted in an order that makes sense - that way we might be able to have a backlog of maybe 2 weeks worth of articles/reviews and such so if somebody suddenly cannot commit, we have backups. 

I know I personally wouldn't be able to commit to a specific day (gotta love uni life eh) but I could likely dedicate the occasional random day to writing a couple up, and adding them to the pool.

anandcoral

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2018, 12:10 PM »
I myself have least time to write anything meaningful other than coding for my clients. But as a "reader" I feel we can have once a month update for different topics, say on 5th of month we have humor (let us begin with some laugh), then on 15th or so we have "technical tips" and so on.

You see, I myself may not find enough time every week to go through each topics but can get time in a month.

So I feel we can have it spread over a month, if all agree.

Regards,

Anand

Deozaan

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 01:19 PM »
In 2016 I set a goal for myself to post at least 1 blog entry on my site per month. And though I have more than 12 blog entries total for that year, I still accidentally missed a couple of months.

My point being that weekly is a huge commitment. If you can get enough people to commit to writing weekly, more power to you. But even only monthly is still a fairly significant commitment, IMO, yet much more achievable.

I also like the idea of maybe just having a bunch of people submit whatever they want whenever they want (it would need more structure than what I'm saying sounds like) and then an editor decides when it gets published. I'm also not sure that, if I were to be a contributor, I would want to be restricted to a single category of writing. While I may be mostly interested in writing about tech (for example), I may occasionally want to write about entertainment, or humor, or a Kickstarter I came across, or whatever.

TucknDar

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2018, 12:04 PM »
I'd be willing to provide the occasional post or a few posts to a pool for publishing whenever, but couldn't possibly commit to something regular. I'm not sure my posts would be very interesting, however :p

I like the idea of blog posts from multiple users! There are so many interesting and helpful posts in this forum from a number of users, so I'm sure there would be plenty of great blog articles.

Shades

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2018, 07:52 PM »
That is always the problem...finding the topic you want to write about. even on a weekly basis that can give you a lot of stress already.

Many, many moons ago, I got a job as writer of daily articles for an internet portal. Got that because the people in charge liked the game reviews I wrote for them (when not working my day job in the Army). When my contract was up, they asked if could start immediately at their company. Writing at your own pace about things you like, that isn't difficult or a burden.

Dailies about things you like and don't like, that is whole different ballgame, though. Wasn't fun for me...and I ended up going back to game reviews and articles about computer-related subjects & news. Won't do dailies again, even if there was a salary in it for me.

A suggestion that might be fun to work on and read about: What if DC would copy the concept of xlcd's 'What if..." column? A person asks a question and the creator of xlcd will go through lengths to answer it in a fun/technical/entertaining way.

Having a pool of writers to choose from, that might result in interesting reads and the writer tasked with a specific question can have or take the time he/she needs to dig in and produce a nice article. Mouser then can place whichever articles he wants whenever it pleases him. Less stress on the writers and Mouser. Just a thought.

IainB

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 04:34 AM »
It's all very well setting a goal/target for oneself or committing to a target number of posts per day/week/month, or something, but one has to ask How? and Why?, because:
  • Goals/targets/MBOs (Management By Objectives) are, by definition imaginary and irrational constructs, and, as statements, usually neatly sidestep the question as to how one will indubitably be able to deliver/perform (Deming).
  • Having no basis in statistical veracity, they thus become a rod for one's own back.
  • What tends to happen is that the individual, having made some kind of a commitment to (say) make so many blog posts per week, for a fee, finds that there are occasions when actually there simply is not much of any interest to write about.
  • However, the writing must go on (or the fees will stop). So, in a sort of "Never mind the quality, feel the width"  approach, what the writer produces is something - anything - to fill the void, and mediocrity and dilution of quality of content is the result - e.g., "10 things you absolutely must do before committing suicide", or "The 5 things  every CIO needs to know about Cloud computing", or similar.
  • So, the readers - most of whom are likely to be relatively sophisticated if they are reading stuff online - might read the vapid drivel once, but next time they see one of these supposedly attention-grabbing headlines, they will go "Uh-uh. I'm not going to fall for that again and waste time reading that sort of drivel.", and are gone in a mouseclick.

Some classic examples of this can arguably be found, typically, in Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and arsTechnica, to name but three. They were very good once, but seem to have gradually gone to the dogs, with AT seemingly having gone all religio-political ideological and sometimes ramming their PC POV down the readers'  throats. However, apart from that difference, what they all seem to share in common is that they are become what are called "t#rd-eaters". For example, they may often pick up the same piece of current "hot" news from a news source, and they then seem to regurgitate it almost verbatim, with no particularly original input or added value - e.g., cogent, critical or investigative journalism - though they may sometimes imply that they are giving you the full beeswax, though, sadlement, this is more often than not likely to be self-aggrandizement BS rather than BW.

This (above) is really the other side of the coin to I what mentioned in another thread:
@Stephen66515: Well, if you are putting it like that in marketing terms, then I would generally look for a clear communications strategy, including, for example:
  • What/who is defined as being the target market(s), and why ("everybody" or "anybody" would generally not seem to be a useful answer to that).
  • What would be seen as the most desirable (for DCF) response/behaviour, required from the defined target market, and why.
  • What specific and consistently articulated communications (from DCF, or third parties on DCF's behalf) ) would be necessary to be communicated to the target(s) that could be most likely to elicit those desirable responses/behaviours, and why.
  • What communications media/channels would be most likely to enable the communication to effectively reach said target market(s), and why.
  • When those messages would need to be sent via the media/channel(s) selected (co-ordinated message communications plan) for max effect, and why.
  • Feedback + analysis: What the outcome of the communications plan was (measurement/statistics).
  • Update/document the plan to include what needs to be done to improve the quality of the marketing plan for next time around.

This would be a deliberative method essentially following the Deming/Shewhart cycle for improvement of the marketing planning process.

(See image below)

Failure to take a methodical approach (i.e., no method) would generally tend to mean that the strategy was likely to be no more successful than the typical dog-eat-dog approach of most mediocre marketing efforts - refer book: Competing for the Future, by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad (21 Mar 1996).

15_343x410_3BB336E0.png

However, if this is all too hard/analytical or makes one's brain hurt just simply thinking about it, then one can always fall back on gut instinct, I suppose ... that would be Mr. Gumby's preferred approach, so I'm all for it.    :o
A quick search of eBay might throw up some good digitised Tyrolean text rendering guns - of the sort apparently used by Lifehacker - that might be able to do the job of automating posting to the DC forum/blog. Real "productivity" tools.    :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 04:43 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2018, 04:51 PM »
Coincidentally, re posting frequency/discipline:
In the 12 years I've been blogging, I don't think I've ever gone two weeks without posting something new, but today's post is the first in almost a month, the first this year. The break wasn't intentional... I just haven't felt like writing, I guess. But today I visited a cafe with coffee so unique — I'd never had anything like it — that it deserved to roust me from my blogging lethargy.

 - Copied from: Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Kafe Kosen: Quite the Unique (and Delicious) Coffee Experience in Kyoto - <http://regex.info/blog/2018-01-22/2845>

mouser

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2018, 10:06 PM »
I think we also have to figure out the best place to host the blog posts/articles, and using what technology.

For example, we could use the joomla article system and host the items on the HOME PAGE of donationcoder.com, and/or try to merge it into the donationcoder "blog" page (http://www.donationc....com/editorials/blog).
I think it doesn't make sense having multiple pages on the main website with different "kinds" of blogs, so I think it would make sense to merge them all into a single "blog" page, maybe even eliminating the separate blog page and merging the blog with the homepage.

Another alternative would be to put the blogs on the front of dcmembers.com website instead of the donationcoder website, and use wordpress.  This would have the disadvantage of not helping increase exposure of donationcoder, but have the advantage of having a new separate site where there were less things pulling in different directions, and more like starting a new website..

IainB

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Re: New DonationCoder, New Ideas
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 04:02 AM »
@mouser: Well, after defining the target audience, I guess a methodical approach might be to figure out what specific things or presentation methods you probably need to use to encourage their engagement (in whatever activity you want them to engage). Then implement those things or presentation methods and test whether that achieves what was expected. If not, then redefine target audience, or change method a bit, or something, and repeat. Sort of suck-it-and-see by trial-and-error.

An interesting challenge.