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Given that our little corner of the "interwebs" was recently promoted to a full StackExchange network site, I thought we might commemorate the occasion by launching a community-drive Blog Overflow for Magento StackExchange. If you're only recently discovering this SE feature you can quickly checkout the other current community driven blogs hosted on the SE platform and learn more about the original vision behind adding this feature to the core SE Experience in this blog post. There's also a SE Chat dedicated to Community SE Blogs.

Technically, no new community driven blogs are going to be opened given the lackluster effort originally spent integrating them into the SE experience.

To this I say "Pish! Posh! And Likewise Phooey!" The #RealMagento community NEVER shies away from a challenge!

All kidding aside, we have a unique user base - we develop some of the most complex software deployed in the world on a daily basis powering nearly 1/4 of all e-commerce transactions. Our ranks are overflowing with some of the most innovative and hard-working people in ANY online community. Not so sure? Take a minute to check this out. And then compare it to the grandaddy of them all. There's a tremendous amount of overlap for a SE community that just exited beta a few weeks ago.

I'm officially volunteering to start the effort off and will maintain whatever role you feel appropriate and will happily accept any and all offers of assistance in any capacity whatsoever. But I'll commit to owning getting this effort off the ground and enlisting a core team of co-conspirators.

I have no doubt we can address the concerns raised not only for our own community blog but also assist the SE team on translating our soon-to-be success into a broader set of guidelines to drive the deeper integration of this feature across other SE communities.

So, the challenge, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Vote on this question to show your endorsement / rejection of the core concept of a Community Magento SE Blog.

  2. Next provide your input on the following items based on the original announcement post...

    1. Raise the idea on the child meta. A community blog needs the involvement of community members. These blogs don’t exist to be the personal blog of a community member. They are both for and run by the community. It needs to be something the community collectively wants and will cultivate.

    2. Define the scope and purpose of the blog. Is the blog about the site? Is it about the site’s topic? Is it about the industry the topic? Keep in mind the audience of your community and their around interests. Another generic blog about may not be all that. interesting. A community blog should be interesting to both current members and potential new members.

    3. Recruit contributors. Who will write entries for the blog? Starting a blog is a bit like going through the buffet line. Be realistic – don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Think seriously about if and how often you will be able to contribute a blog post, including research/prep time. The more contributors there are, the less frequently each contributor needs to post. One post a month is a much easier to stomach than a couple posts every week.

    4. Plan a schedule. Given the results of steps #2 and #3, think about a week, posted Mondays? Will there be posts on Tuesdays and posts on Fridays? You don’t need to be pushing out posts daily, but you should post at least once a week.a rough idea of a schedule for the blog. Will there be one post

  3. We need to engage GraceNote and share our discussion with the SE team to see if our initial efforts are worthy of a temporary lift of the new-blog embargo.

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    "Take a minute to check this out" and "compare it to the grandaddy of them all" both link to the Magento leaderboard. What exactly do you want us to compare? :) – Fabian Schmengler Aug 24 '15 at 10:23
  • Thanks for catching that Fabian - was supposed to link to StackOverflow's leaderboard. – Bryan 'BJ' Hoffpauir Jr. Aug 24 '15 at 10:27
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    Nice idea! Love the community aspect of the blog as it's easy for people to jump in and contribute without owning and setting up a seperate blog. Hope we'll find some people interested to join :) – Anna Völkl Aug 24 '15 at 19:24
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I'd like to point you to a similar thread on meta.Worldbuilding - specifically, my response:

If per-site blogs are ever coming back, it won't be for a long time. We love the enthusiasm, and we still think new ongoing blogs would be super cool, but site blogs are just not anywhere near the front of the line for resources right now. It'll be 6-8 something... but it definitely isn't "weeks".

I've suggested Medium publications as a solution to this problem before on other sites because I personally think they are a good fit and I'd love to see a community take them for a test drive. A Medium publication wouldn't be in the SE ecosystem, but then again, Blog Overflow barely is anyway. But publications work pretty well as a conceptual replacement: anyone can write a post, and a publication editor can invite them to contribute it to the "collection".

This isn't an Official Recommendation. It's just my personal opinion that Medium publications are an excellent replacement for what per-site blogs were intended to be (and which they rarely actually succeed at becoming).

Even if Blog Overflow were an option (which it isn't), there are almost no benefits to using it. It doesn't sync with the site in any way, so there's no consistency across user names or profiles, and it's a black box of terrible Wordpress-ness that communities have no control over, and it's the redheaded stepchild of SE development so there'd be few enhancements (or probably even software patches, let's be real)...

...whereas the Medium publication solution is lightweight, administered by you (the community), actively worked on by a dedicated dev team, and part of a larger ecosystem that will help drive traffic (if that's the goal).

All other steps in the process you outlined still apply - you can just axe step 3. Like I said to the Worldbuilding folks:

You could set this up today if you felt like it. If you want the SE name on it, just make sure it's credited to "the [Magento] Stack Exchange community" - I think that's the verbiage we ask for to specify that it's community-owned and keep it from looking like it's run by SE Inc.

I'd love to see other blog-minded communities take something like this for a test drive.

  • Thanks for the candor and genuine support of the idea. And thanks for the medium suggestion. That's actually a great idea and probably better for #realmagento and medium. Is there any way that we might be able to hook into any level of SE functionality / integration? I lea is there anything even available? I ask because one benefit of SE is the cohesion and sense of joint ownership of values and the duty to support & nurture the community. If I can convince enough people to participate it would be great we could at least get beta access to some functionality and try and hack something up – Bryan 'BJ' Hoffpauir Jr. Aug 26 '15 at 16:23
  • I think that it might be a really interesting way to leverage a great blog platform, a bunch of really talented and motivated OSS developers and the existing community and value of the SE ecosystem. Have no idea if there has been any discussions even of something like this internally but the more i think about the idea of figuring out a way of extending SE at any level deeper and offering some way for the community to create something new but still integrally part of SE the more I get excited about it. – Bryan 'BJ' Hoffpauir Jr. Aug 26 '15 at 16:24

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