Calling all BEAM Bloggers!

This update’s just for you :003:

(If you’re just looking for details on how to get your threads cross-posted, skip to the summary below.)

Writing blog posts can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also a lot of hard work, and, often after the initial bit of exposure bloggers get, their blogs become subject to the whims of search engines.

So while thinking about ways to widen Elixir’s reach beyond our immediate community channels, we also wondered how we could give bloggers (and other content creators) additional exposure too - but also in a way where they can remain visible for significantly longer and on a broader platform too.

Before we outline these new features, let’s first review how we’ve been accommodating blog posts to date. Essentially, there were two ways to post blog posts here:

  1. In one of the official blog post threads (eg, Elixir Blog Posts)
  2. In a single thread for all of your blog posts. Eg, “Julia’s Blog Thread”, or, a single thread for a large series.

We implemented this to make it easy for members to subscribe to or mute threads.

However we found that a fair number of people posted threads for individual blog posts which meant a moderator would need to either rename or merge them - and when they were missed this wasn’t fair on everyone else. Ideally, we’d have a system where people can post a thread for each blog post BUT everyone else can subscribe, or in some cases more importantly for them, mute threads about blogs they may not be interested in (there could be a number of genuine reasons for this, such as the content being at a level or frequency that is too high/low for that particular reader). Our new system makes this possible, while also gives bloggers exposure on multiple platforms and multiple Twitter accounts. How? By posting via the Elixir portal at Devtalk. (Haven’t heard of Devtalk? It’s the new multi-language platform brought to you by the same team behind the Elixir Forum :003:)

How the new system works

Firstly, bloggers will still be able to post in one of the official blog post threads here like they always have (or in an existing thread for their blog if they already have one) however, for those who would like additional exposure, you’ll be able post via Devtalk and the following will happen:

  • When tagged with elixir (or phoenix, erlang, gleam, etc) your blog post thread will show in Elixir’s (or Phoenix’s/Erlang’s/Gleam’s) portal on Devtalk
  • The thread is tweeted via Devtalk’s Twitter account
  • The thread is automatically posted here via the user’s Elixir Forum account if they have one
  • The thread will be prefixed by type (eg: “Elixir Blog Post:”)
  • The thread here will automatically have a user’s blog tag added, eg “blogs-by-username”
  • If the thread was posted by someone who doesn’t have an account here (or their details don’t match), it will be posted here via the @Devtalk account and a special via-devtalk tag will be added (allowing users here to mute all such threads should they wish to)
  • The thread will be tweeted by the @elixirforum Twitter account with the prefix intact, allowing people on Twitter to quickly see what the thread might be about.

We’ll do similar for screencasters and published books.

Apart from the advantages above, of getting exposure on multiple platforms and allowing users to easily watch/mute such threads, by posting via Devtalk you will also help Elixir remain visible on a multi-language platform - both in terms of Elixir related content and Elixir itself remaining high up in the list of ‘top portals’.

A key feature is that you won’t just be posting once, getting some initial exposure and then being forgotten about - if you’ve written a blog post that people like or comment on, it could get continuous exposure all year round via Devtalk’s trending lists on the homepage and/or Elixir’s portal :003: All these additional links could help with your SEO too :023:

We love blogs and we want to support people blogging via their own platforms rather than them have to rely on the now commonplace blogging platforms to get exposure - hopefully we can help self-hosted bloggers get on an equal footing and perhaps even see a resurgence.

For those not interested in specific blogs, or items posted with the via-devtalk tag, you can simply mute the tags that don’t interest you.

How to ensure your accounts are linked

Simply sign up to Devtalk with the same username and primary email that you are using here. If you want to use a different username on Devtalk, simply PM the @Devtalk account here with your Devtalk username and we’ll get them linked for you.

Summary

  • If you’re not interested in this service you can continue to post your blogs here in one of the official blog post threads (or an existing blog thread if you already have one)
  • If you’d like more exposure, skip the above and simply sign-up to Devtalk with the same username and primary email address and post via any of the blog post sections on Devtalk, tag it with any of the BEAM language tags, and we’ll automatically cross-post here on your behalf (only use the Phoenix, Erlang, Gleam or LFE tags if the thread is primarily about those - if they exist in addition to the Elixir tag, they will take precedence and we’ll assume your thread is primarily about them)
  • Screencasters wanting the same: use any of the ‘learning resources’ sections and include the screencast tag and we’ll automatically cross-post to the screencasts section here
  • Those not interested, can simply mute the tags that don’t interest them

Like most things we try, this feature is on trial - we’ll monitor and tweak it as we go, but we hope you’ll agree this is a really nice addition for bloggers and screencasters and something that will also help get Elixir noticed in wider circles too :purple_heart:

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Hi,

What about posts written in other language than English ? Does devtalk or this forum a place for them ?

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Hi Lud, so long as the post on the forum itself is in English and it includes the language in the title - this should be ok :smiley:

So for example you could post something like:

Title: My first blog about Elixir (in French)
Body: Hello everyone, I’ve blogged about my first look at Elixir - it’s written in French and the link is: URL

:023:

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Honestly, I don’t want to keep track of yet another blogging site. Why don’t we just encourage people to use dev.to and tag their posts with Elixir? They’ve done a great job creating an open community that welcomes everyone, and they have made it super easy to get your blog out to thousands of devs. That’s where the majority of new bloggers are going anyways since Medium started adding a paywall.

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To be honest and direct, when it comes to elixir posts, I prefer to have a list of posts here or the ElixirRadar newsletter rather than dev.to

Most posts there are repetitive, off-topic, overall low quality and often mixed with politics(and the whole toxic and passive-agressive environment that it implies where you can discuss as long as you think like them). My feed gets constantly flooded with “top x things I don’t care” even if I try to fine tune it to show only relevant content. This is kind of a rant, so </rant>.

From what I understand of the initial post, the portal would be an aggregator for people posting on their own platforms or even dev.to and get extra exposure, so I don’t see an overlap either. The forum gets visits from people looking for beam blog posts, and blog posts get visits. I see it more like the way hackernews works rather than another blogging platform.

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I think my issue is more so of boxing in Elixir content to Elixir forums. We want the world to know what’s going on, not just those of us that already follow it.

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This seems pretty good. I really need to get over my apprehension about devtalk. I’m just comfortable here and find the crossposting adds a bit of complexity and confusion. I feel like the intent is in a good place. I just need to break my habits and try it out.

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It’s not a blogging site Jeramy :smiley:

@doorgan has it spot on with:

Devtalk is much more like HN crossed with Reddit - but with a much better discussion platform (Discourse) and our portals not only enable people to easily see content that’s of interest to them (like Reddit, e.g devtalk.com/elixir) but also remove the need to “keep track of yet another <> site” - by means of our trending lists. This means people can pop on whenever they feel like it and not only see the latest topics about that language or framework, but the hottest news, blog posts, learning resources, discussions, over the last week, month and year :003:

Funnily enough - your previous feedback on this was actually one of the things factored when considering whether this would be a good idea :wink:

Ant that’s actually precisely what this announcement was aiming to help with :blush: by encouraging people to post links to their blogs on Devtalk (as it’s a multi-plat site with users of many different languages). However also acknowledge it would be a nuisance to have to post on two sites, hence this announcement that will make it easier - a blogger posts their links once, and we’ll cross post here under their username so they don’t have to post it twice themselves :003:

Thanks Lars, and you should - we’d love to see you becoming one of our founding members :blush:

That’s definitely something we want to work on. It has to be effortless and ‘just work’. This does mean there may be a period where it’s not quite right, but I hope everyone will bear with us until we get it there :blush:

I’m not actually registered there and haven’t really seen many posts - but I’ve seen enough to know that platforms like that are quite different to self-hosted blogs. There is a convenience of-course, in using them. I suppose people prefer different things and while people who blog on those platforms can post their links on Devtalk too, we think self-hosted bloggers will find the most value in us.

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JFYI: dev.to team banned me from the platform with a reason “people around are not welcoming you here.”

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Yikes. That barely even makes sense.


Dev.to is just a Medium clone. Which is fine, but it’s nothing special IMO. There are plenty of blogging sites. This post is referencing a way to share blog posts, not a blogging site to write them on.

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I know and I have zero regret :slight_smile:

I used to share my personal blog posts there (and I even provided some pull requests,) but also I dared to share my humble opinion in comments—nothing insulting, fwiw—but it was too often not in line with others’ opinions.

So yeah, I just reacted to “open community that welcomes everyone” here.

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what was the real reason for banning you? Your politics, whatever it is?

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It wouldn’t surprise me if politics weren’t involved at all Hubert. Why? Because receiving critiques is hard, and people often take things personally even when the person offering the critique is being as sensitive and polite as they can.

I know this from running a platform in the creative space. I actually thought it would be a walk in the park (people sharing and commenting on each other’s work - what could possibly go wrong?) but it ended up being one of the most challenging sites I have ever run. One half just wanted to share their work and receive positive and encouraging comments (understandable) and the other felt what’s the point if you can’t help people get better - ie. via constructive criticism. But it’s not that simple, not only is it difficult to give, it can be difficult to receive too.

I learnt a lot from managing that community.

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Not at all. I don’t have politics (neither do I have policies :))

@AstonJ described pretty much precisely my case. I think that if I have an opinion that is not offensive and not rude, then I am sorta welcome to share it. Apparently, that’s not always the case. Most people want to hear you if and only if your feedback is flattering and you came to admire.

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