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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Publicity (was Native support of the SVG graphic format in Apache
Date Wed, 07 Dec 2011 14:53:49 GMT
On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 5:41 AM, Terry <> wrote:


> I am heartened to learn that creating a news page would be easy.  Presumably the only
reason it doesn't exist is that no one is authorised and able to create it.

There are several ways to do it, depending on how fancy you want to do it.

One way would just be to have a static webpage which any committer can
edit.  We add new stories to the top of the page.  When the page gets
too long we delete the oldest news stories.  This would be a manual
process, but could work fine for centralized control with a low
activity level, e.g., a couple of stories a day, but not a couple of
stories an hour.

Another way would be to put these updates into a structured form. such
as Atom or RSS feed items.  By putting them in this form, it is easier
for other applications, such as news readers, planet aggregators,
etc., to work with them.  We could also automate things like posting
the most recent X stories on the project's home page.

The "problem" with both of these approaches is that they lack social
interaction.  They don't like the equivalent of Facebook's "like" or
Google+'s +1 or Twitters RT.  They don't have the ability for readers
to comment, share or promote the stories.  It is a very 2001 way of
doing things.

That is our challenge, I think.  Creating a new web "destination" for
users to come to is very difficult.  Even if we have a central place
to author and publish stories, and can do that very efficiently, the
information is only valuable if we can get users to come to our news
site.  And that is very difficult.

In some ways there are only four real sources of news on the internet
today:  Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email.  If we're not connecting
with users via one or more of those mechanisms then we're probably not

This doesn't mean that have a project blog or news site is bad thing.
It could be a very good thing.  But it is only half of the story.  We
also need an efficient way to cross-promote these stories via
Facebook, Twitter, etc.  This includes through "official" brand
accounts on those services, as well as via our personal accounts.

> If "getting users to visit that news source is nearly impossible," why should a blog
fare any better, especially when there is no content there.  A news page can pull in articles
and other items from many sources.  The blog is limited to those rare occasions when some
authorised person has time to write and something to report.

To reiterate:  there are two questions:  How do we author and publish
"official" content from the project?  And how do we drive users to
that content?  We probably want a simple solution for the first
question, one that everyone on the project can use.  But for the 2nd
question we might need a variety of techniques if we want to maximize
our reach.


> Regards, Terry

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