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Re: what I should do, and the "Emacs News Ezine"


From: Sacha Chua
Subject: Re: what I should do, and the "Emacs News Ezine"
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2019 01:27:46 -0400

Hello, Emanuel, Amin, all!

On Wed., Mar. 27, 2019, 10:40 Amin Bandali, <address@hidden> wrote:

> Now for the question. If code and projects aren't announced on
> listbots/newsgroups, how will people know about them?
> > This is not just a question of my projects, but also the other way
> around - how will *I* know what *other* people do?
> Yeah, that’s a bit of a tough one.  There are a few ad hoc solutions
> like Planet Emacsen [0] and Sacha Chua’s weekly-compiled Emacs News [1],
>

>From what I've seen, it seems like discovery works mostly like this:

- Many people stumble across relevant code/posts by searching, if they
happen to think with the same keywords that the authors did
- Many people ask questions on reddit.com/r/emacs, emacs.stackexchange.com,
irc.freenode.net (#emacs), and mailing lists
- Many people read Planet Emacsen or their own collection of Emacs-related
feeds
- A number of people help "glue" the community together by responding to
people's questions and pointing them to either links or better keywords to
search for, or commenting on people's posts with suggestions or
appreciation.
- Quite a few people stumble across stuff while watching videos or looking
at screenshots focusing on something else. This is where we get questions
like "What's the modeline used in this video?"
- When people find people who think like they do (similar workflow or areas
of interest), they like exploring those people's other contributions. This
is where blogs and public source code repositories like Github help a lot.
- Some people actively look for interesting new things in the firehose
(Twitter, Google searches, lots of blog subscriptions outside Planet
Emacsen) and post links to them to aggregators or wikis (irreal.org,
reddit.com/r/emacs, reddit.com/r/planetemacs, awesome-emacs, EmacsWiki)
- A few automated sources help too (new packages, changes to the NEWS
files, etc).
- General discussions and meetups are great too.

Thanks for posting lots of little code snippets. I wonder if having your
own blog would make it easier for people who like one thing of yours to
discover other things of yours. I also see people respond positively to
posts or links on Reddit that start off describing the problem/motivation
and then share a snippet of code or announce a package. Since people use
different keywords to find things, you might think about how other people
would describe that problem too. Screenshots, animated GIFs, workflow
posts, and videos are handy as well.

Also, people often come across posts years later, so it's good to not
expect immediate appreciation. =) I like sharing my little hacks because
writing helps me understand and remember things better (especially months
or years later), and if anyone actually finds things useful, that's a
pleasant surprise. Other people are more deliberate about sharing, and
invest time in packaging things up and writing about them so that they'll
be more useful to more people. You'll find your sweet spot.

> suited person for such a job because I only know what goes on on my own
> computer and workshop - and sometimes, actually, not even that :))
>

You are already totally qualified to write about the resources you find,
what you think about them, how you've been applying them to your own
workflows, what you're curious about next, and so on. =) We're all building
maps through this huge space of possibilities, and every person's map adds
something useful.

Actually, looking at [2], I just discovered the emacs-tangents list [3],
> available on gmane as gmane.emacs.tangents, which seems like Sacha posts
> her weekly news there too.  Though it’s mostly been only Sacha posting
> there for a while, it seems like anyone from the public can post there?
>

Yup, that's open. It's for anything that's Emacs-related but off-topic on
the other lists. Most people reading it are probably used to just seeing
Emacs News, but it's okay to shift that expectation and have a more vibrant
community. People who want just Emacs News in mail form can get it from my
site, so that's okay.


> As for volunteering for the compilation, Sacha probably wouldn’t mind
> some extra help with her weekly news either :)
>

I'm always happy to have awesome things to link to, so you can help out a
lot by contributing links or even making posts I can then link to. =)
Sometimes people e-mail or tweet me stuff, although I generally like
putting the links on something like reddit.com/r/emacs or /r/planetemacs so
that there's an avenue for discussion (and then I can link to the
discussion as well).

Emacs News is a bit on the long but terse side because I try to include
most things I come across, relying on titles and categories to help people
manage information overload. I think it would be pretty neat if someone
went through, say, emacs-devel and highlighted interesting threads a la
Linux Weekly News, or maybe did a longer-term overview of news in a
particular category - maybe even more specific than the ones I have in the
posts. I just updated my Github repo with the emacs-news Org file:
https://github.com/sachac/emacs-news .  There's
a my/emacs-news-collect-entries in my sachachua.com/dotemacs that might be
able to reorganize links, although the categories are pretty coarse-grained
at the moment.

I'd love to see other people's takes on Emacs News!

Sacha


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