Friday, June 26, 2009

Iron Man Blogging Challenge

First I need to confirm that I really like the idea. Perl needs more publicity. Some may say that quality is more important than quantity but there is no better way to improve your writing skills than practice. So yeah - it's a great idea. In general I think we need more competitions - but that is really for another post.

There is just one small nitpick - if the goal is: "to promote the language to the world outside the Perl echo-chamber" then the rule that the all the posts need to be about Perl is misguided. If we want to talk to "the world outside the Perl echo-chamber" then we need to talk about the subjects that they care about. I can understand why we need some focusing - and posts about what you had for dinner are not the best way to promote the language - but it will be much easier to engage the outside audience if we wrote about general programming subjects. Look at advertisings - they don't talk about the advertised brand all the time, the more subtle the link is, the more engaging they are.

Update: I should have added that this post was inspired by Gabor Szabo:


szabgab said...

I wrote a somewhat related post, but that you know as you have commented there too.

At first I did not understand your post but now I think I got it.

Still I think if you give more examples of what do you mean that would help people to think about posts.

zby said...

As an example you can take my post on scaffoldings ( Now it can be not interesting at all, but I believe it has more potential to engage people from outside of the Perl community than a post about some Perl library, or technique or something. It discusses things that are relevant to every programmer, it talks about the metaphor introduced in Rails - this is something that the Rails people could read and relate to (if it was interesting). So in general if you want to engage the outside world then talk about their problems, use their language - the link to Perl will always be obvious to every reader and even if it was not obvious it still has more chances to get through.

Mutant said...

Well, my philosophy is, if I think it's interesting to the Perl community, or people on Iron Man, then I'll just tag it Perl, and have it show up on the Planet, even if it's not directly Perl related.

If I was blogging about my cat, then tagging it Perl would be an abuse, but if I'm blogging about testing (as I have just done) then I don't see a problem tagging it Perl.

Maybe they need to have another tag that the planet picks up (e.g. Iron Man) so you can force those posts to show up without polluting your Perl tag space.

Matt said...

What mutant said. I'll get the planet updated to handle an 'ironman' tag.

But half my posts are "things I think perl people will be interested in", and I think that's correct.

If you think every post has to be specifically about perl, UR COMPREHENDING IT COMPLETELY WRONG - so hop onto #epo-ironman and tell us what we need to change to make it more clear.

zby said...

Matt I think you need to adjust the wording at the rules page then: "The rules are very simple: you blog, about Perl."