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#11 2015-07-08 14:12:46

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

maverick wrote #292853:

I read the article. All of it. :)

Thank you. ;)

First up. Destry – thank you for the effort you invested over the last several years into the magazine.

Thank you very much. It was fun and a pleasure. Too bad it didn’t work out. We gave it a good try.

And I’d like to thank all those who shared the vision with me and helped on the mag team. You know who you are.

Why are we segregating the English speaking world from the non-English speaking world?

That’s a good question. For my part, I only took English out because there seems to be a effort to put more writing effort at the blog (where English is the official business language), opening it up to more contributions since history has shown devs are not very good at writing regularly. If so, it doesn’t make sense to have two channels for English content when getting contributions is so frickin’ hard to begin with.

That said, sure, leave English in the magazine and bring the other languages too. Maybe that’s where my longform belongs. ;)


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#12 2015-07-08 14:24:19

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

I actually thought to include a “TL;DR” at the beginning for struggling bi-lingual speakers, but that would have just made it longer. I decided to rely on the bi-lingual members to step up and show if this idea is really what they want by putting some action to words. Looking at you, Sacripant and Melosevic. ;)


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#13 2015-07-08 14:25:52

Dragondz
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From: Algérie
Registered: 2005-06-12
Posts: 1,294
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

Hi

I also goes to maverick proposal, txpmag with all language and keep the txp blog for more techy things ans official things, maybe on the txpblog put time to time an excerpt on what happening in other txp channels!

Cheers

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#14 2015-07-08 14:43:16

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Miami, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,634
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

I read it all also, though I copied the text into a local default 4.6-dev install, so I could read it easier, my vision isn’t what it used to be.

Damn Destry, I didn’t know all the goings on behind the scene at TXP Mag, you ran it like the New York Times.

Thanks for all your tireless work, maybe one day we’ll have Nirvana.

Come as you are, as you were
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend
As an old enemy

Take your time, hurry up
Choice is yours, don't be late
Take a rest as a friend
As an old

Memoria, memoria
Memoria, memoria

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#15 2015-07-08 15:06:44

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,458
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

Destry wrote #292852:

@Bloke: Told ya.

Meh!

Dragondz wrote #292865:

keep the txp blog for more techy things ans official things

Just to be clear (maybe my post needs clarifying a bit, sorry) the weblog — ugh, name — isn’t going to devolve into “tips” and “look at my site” content just because it has guest publications. Tips belong on TxpTips. Look at my site content belongs here or G+ or… somewhere else. We still ensure the content fits within the style guidelines and is broadly acceptable as a piece of work. We’re not likely to turn you away, but if you have an idea for a post and you’re not sure it fits, ask first!

Since .com is potentially our stage to the world, it will only be for serious content directly about Textpattern. Examples:

  • People organising Txp-related things (meetups, calls-to-action, new range of <txp:> spaghetti shapes, etc).
  • When it saved your bacon.
  • Why you keep coming back to it.
  • Some reasons you use it, with examples. Perhaps it’s the way the tags are structured, perhaps it’s the community, perhaps it’s the speed. Just something that evokes a feeling that it’s worth a shot.

The idea behind this is that history shows a handful of programmers / designers are unlikely to supply enough content to make it seem like things are actively moving forward, and worth trying. Yet another post about a release wouldn’t entice me if I was on the outside looking in (EDIT: that goes for search engines too, btw).

I’ve said it before, but back in 2005/6 after being thoroughly disillusioned by virtually every available CMS I tried, I’d given up hope and resigned myself to writing my own templating system when I stumbled upon a Jon Hicks article advocating Textpattern. He said it had its quirks but he kept going back to it and stated why. I gave it a shot, learnt PHP off the back of it and the rest, as they say, is history.

True word of mouth from real people (not just the people with a vested interest in developing it) cannot be underestimated in this era of over-hyped marketing propaganda. Everyone can sell Txp by being honest about what makes it great. We want to capture the enthusiasm people have for this project, bottle it and pimp it put it in a place where it can do good.

Last edited by Bloke (2015-07-08 15:10:25)


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Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#16 2015-07-08 15:15:22

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
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Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

I’ve just written a longform piece about the most focused case study this community has ever experienced regarding the challenges of content development, and I fear the significance of it is already being lost on people. It’s not the tech, platform, or channel that’s the problem. It’s a people problem! A contributions problem! A content problem!

You all want this and that and the other ideal thing and be informed about it, but you keep forgetting: Who’s going to write all the needed content?

The open blog idea is a direct action on the fact devs don’t write (no offense, devs), excepting Bloke. Just look at the blog’s history and weigh up the copy density there over time. Meager! To say nothing of the terribly outdated copy in the website itself. Which is the other side of the coin… you need an editor to maintain that stuff. It does’t do it by itself. Letting it go is disastrous for the project’s image. There’s also the need for more interesting content that does more than appeal to developer interests, unless this community is happy being a clan of twenty.

So consolidate content contribution and editing workflow effort to fewer channels for the best shot at success.

Sure, people can sprout up their own Txp websites and pet projects on their own domains, and they do. But it would be better to make it possible for those people to put that content effort to the official brand. Much better!

The blog can easily adopt categories for different contribution types and you follow the RSS you prefer. Much easier than maintaining two domains for a single language. If, and only if the community grows to WordPress community size, then you have the luxury of having many content farms, but Textpattern doesn’t have that luxury.

Don’t forget there’s an email list in the future too, that could be leveraged strategically against content types.

It remains to be seen that txpmag.com will even be used by non-English members to an extent that it’s worthwhile to re-architect the platform. And if they don’t, likely not, the domain should probably be taken offline so it’s not distracting from the real issue.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#17 2015-07-08 15:19:39

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

Already working on my next longform piece: Textpattern property management: The dramatic, dichotomous dilemma. Likely to be published at wion.com due to frank and sensitive subject matter.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#18 2015-07-08 16:18:32

maverick
Member
From: Southeastern Michigan, USA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 959
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

Bloke wrote #292872:

. . . the weblog — ugh, name — isn’t going to devolve into “tips” and “look at my site” content just because it has guest publications.

My apologies. I misunderstood. I thought it was going to be curated, but like the international version of Txp Magazine, open to a much broader scope of content that might duplicate or be similar to the other websites.

Since .com is potentially our stage to the world, it will only be for serious content directly about Textpattern.

Good :)

  • People organising Txp-related things (meetups, calls-to-action, new range of <txp:> spaghetti shapes, etc).

That makes perfect sense to me.

  • When it saved your bacon.
  • Why you keep coming back to it.
  • Some reasons you use it, with examples. Perhaps it’s the way the tags are structured, perhaps it’s the community, perhaps it’s the speed. Just something that evokes a feeling that it’s worth a shot.

This is the type of content that I meant. It’s good & great stuff. But on the former dev blog – I’m not so enthusiastic. Your story about Jon’s influence is a valid and worthy observation. I remember reading that as well. However, it was far more credible because he put it on his website. Had it been on the official website, I’d have viewed it more as a corporate promo piece and dismissed it. Meanwhile, for those of us sold on Textpattern, those types of articles are of interest, but not essential. I’d rather not have to weed through them to get to the “good” stuff – ie the stuff I find to be a higher priority read. I realize I’m being self serving in that statement, and can happily defer to the needs of others.

Yet another post about a release wouldn’t entice me if I was on the outside looking in (EDIT: that goes for search engines too, btw).

I can see that.

Destry wrote #292875:

You all want this and that and the other ideal thing and be informed about it, but you keep forgetting: Who’s going to write all the needed content?

For what it is worth, I’m not forgetting. I understand the strategy of consolidating the channels for English. I understand that even with that, it may not yield enough ongoing, fresh content. I understand that it’s a long way from the proposed international Txp Magazine and a vibrant community site.

That was why I mentioned recruitment of one or two scribes who sit in on the Dev meetings and/or otherwise monitor what’s happening and then adds updates to the blog. I would also see a role for such volunteers in linking to personal and corporate sites elsewhere discussing Txp. A modern Jon Hicks article if you would. It’s highlighted here, with our appreciation, but retains credibility because it is published by them at their site.

Pete Cooper is one of the candidates for scribe. Destry, you too would be a great candidate – if you can pull back from long-form (no criticism – obviously I have a similar inclination for long-form). I’m sure a couple more volunteers could be recruited and we would be off to the races.

Truth be told, my response to Txp Magazine is the same as my response to the WeLoveTxp.com thread. I’d be inclined to put it into hibernation for right now. In order to fan the flame of development and critical mass, we may need to temporarily pull back and focus. Momentum tends to lead to critical mass, which then allows for resources to be put to expansion.

While I recognize that English is the official language of business for Textpattern, and that does result in certain outcomes, my comment was driven primarily by a desire to better integrate the whole of the Textpattern community in some way.

Again, whatever is decided, I’m will cheer the strategy on. I want us to succeed, and will support how I can as I can.

Last edited by maverick (2015-07-08 17:18:39)

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#19 2015-07-08 16:49:55

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

Following your and Bloke’s exchange, Maverick, it sounds like everything is gelling the right way. And that wasn’t really directed at you, specifically. Having watched enough conversations in this community over the years, I guess I sensed what was eventually coming and tried to head it off at the pass. ;)

I tend to agree the magazine is an unnecessary distraction right now and should be put dormant. Saying as much wouldn’t have made for a very supportive exit plan though, nor be a good reading exercise.

Though I don’t think it should just be left as is. There needs to be some communication there that it’s time is over. I can at least do that much from the admin-side of the site once it’s clear how this proposal plays out.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#20 2015-07-08 20:24:10

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,458
Website

Re: A new direction for TXP Magazine?

maverick wrote #292888:

However, [Jon Hicks’ article] was far more credible because he put it on his website. Had it been on the official website, I’d have viewed it more as a corporate promo piece and dismissed it.

That’s a valid point I hadn’t considered, thanks. We do need to be careful to make it clear that the content is not necessarily “the Word of Textpattern” but of its community members. Doing that without going all Hollywood is important: “the views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the studio…” Bleurgh!

I’m hoping that the gravitas of community-driven posts can be elevated above the “yeah, yeah, three bags full” reaction through honesty. I’m not advocating that all news in the blog be positive. Destry’s piece is testament to that. It’s partly about failures, partly success and achievement, partly about direction, and partly, for want of a better category Hope for the future.

As you say, an all-glowing praise machine is like a company rejecting product comments that don’t give four or five stars. People aren’t daft and can smell the fish a mile off. But clearly labelled, honest opinion and notifications about what’s going on not only in core development, but in the wider community, seems like a positive step. I hope I’m right, but it’ll depend on the execution and packaging and what we can do with the .com site. If it turns out I’m wrong, you can write a blog post hurling digital stones at me, as long as you pledge to make things better at the same time.

The advantage of being small and nimble (like the very CMS we’re all part of) is that we can get away with opening up our blog to the community. How many other CMSs give their user base a place on the corporate site to not just craft a soundbite or one-line testimonial, but actually Just Write? From the heart. With passion. That sort of thing comes across to readers, whether the piece is broadly positive or bundles constructive criticism.

An example — and sorry this is veering OT — is someone writing an article about how it’s frustrating that there’s no image picker (yet) directly in the Write panel, but the beauty of Textpattern’s plugin architecture and platform is that there are a series of seriously viable plugins a few clicks away. The writer’s favourite is abc_super_uploader because it has automatic category assignment, but there’s also def_upload and ghi_drop_image which bring these strengths and weaknesses to the table. A few hundred words and kaboooom, we have an article. Honest and opinionated. Search engines would lap it up. It might just sway people sitting on the fence to give Textpattern a try. And that’s what I call a result.

You do make another great point about content, which reminds me we do need to widen the categories for the blog now and make per-cat feeds available. We’re still pretty much using the stock three that come with a default Txp install for all blog posts and I’m not sure Meaningful labor carries the right appeal. With better categorisation, if you prefer articles on a certain topic, you can subscribe to that feed and skip the stuff you don’t. Winner.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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