The Blog?

It is now exactly one year since the last time anything was written on the blog. I realize that you are all probably very busy answering questions in here and so forth, but it gives a weird impression, as if you are loosing interest. And a developer that is loosing interest makes me worried about the future of the software…

Although the blog hasn’t seen as much love lately, we do put out regular newsletters (you can subscribe in the Help menu), as well as posts to this forum and social media sites. A lack of interest in (or time given to) blogging shouldn’t be confused with a lack of interest in development. :slight_smile: There is plenty of that going on, across three different platforms these days.

My concern is more about the impression this makes on people that come here for the first time. Why not post some of the info from “Announcements” on the Blog? Or remove the link to the blog from the homepage?

I might be doing something along those lines in the future, I already had that on my list: basically tying in the homepage “current events” with the blog. I should think, however, that a cursory examination of our total content output in various social media channels, this forum, software release change logs, and responsiveness to support should allay any such concerns. It just seems kind of odd to make a determination on one single low-frequency and often off-topic area of the site, when the overall content accumulation in the rest of the site and through announcement mediums is substantial in content, and going on nearly 24/7/365.

But here’s a tip for you, forget social media and blogging and all that (it’s fun to read, and good to have around, don’t get me wrong, it’s a big part of my day!), but that’s not a good way to figure out if a company is doing quality software development. All that tells you is that they talk a lot—which again, is fine, but if you’re worried about the future of the software, you’re looking in the wrong place. Whenever I’m researching a program and I like what I see with the demo (no demo and I just move on to the next program in the list), the first thing to check is the change log. Is there even one? Big red flag if there is not. How many items are in each point release, what type of items are in the change log, and how far apart are those items in time (keeping in mind that some things do not need to be constantly updated if they are sufficiently mature or concise; the main thing to look for is major OS update calibration releases)? That’s the main thing that really matters. Checking to see if support (which may be entirely third-party, such as the Python development community) exists and is responsive and helpful can also be important, depending on the software.

Take what you will from that, but it is a formula that has served me well over the years, for commercial, shareware and open source software and systems.

Thanks for the tip about checking the change log! I’ll keep that in mind.

Still, I can’t help quoting yourself from the About us-page:

“Keep Updated
For news and announcements, please be sure to check out the forums. For the occasional snippet of information on the development of Scrivener, check out the Literature & Latte blog, which features an infrequent developer diary along with irregular irrelevant rambling. You can also sign up to the L&L newsletter.” (my underlining)

Your software is awsome, and most of your website is really great, except for the Blog. And, I might be wrong, but in my experience Forums on websites are usually run mainly by users, not by the developers. Having been here a while, I know that you in the L&L team do answer a lot of questions, but it actually took some time for me to realize that you actually use the Forum also for official announcements.

Keep up the good work, but kill or update the blog. :slight_smile:

/Lars

Thanks again for the feedback. We’ll think about what to do with it in the next major redesign (I don’t even want to think about dropping a tab off right now, ha).

What if you had a video blog shot in black and white with no audio. You could do it “Silent Movie Style” and maybe get an artistic award for creativity and style.

Set up a webcam in Keith’s Man-Cave-O-Programming in Cornwall, and stream it 24/7: the ever-updating video blog/Skins party.

Might even raise some product-placement wonga from the Cheesy Wotsits strewn about therein.

I see what you’re saying, but I think you overstate the case. A development house that has a healthy social media presence combined with the changelogs and other things you focused on tell me that the company is engaging with their user community and using those media to bring them back into the forums, the feature requests, etc. and be active, happy users.

I agree with the “healthy social media” concept.
No blogs for over one year = unhealthy.
I thought you guys were writers. We should be begging you to shut up.

It’s a software company.

Wonder why L&L doesn’t publish posts from Scrivener etc users on the blog. Space for L&L news and more general contributions from users as well, I would have thought. Even some of the forum Q&As could be formatted as useful “How To…” articles. Expect time is an issue, even finding time to curate external submissions.

The irony of discussing the “social health” (setting aside for the moment that this is a euphemism for advertising) on a public forum that is relentlessly tended to. :mrgreen:

The blog would get hijacked :slight_smile:

Comments would be about cats, beer, microwave ovens, pirate ships and space travel from living room couches.

Better yet we should do the Blog as a continuous 3 word story…

:slight_smile:

That might work better on Twitter. :smiling_imp:

… or Titter :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :blush: sorry :frowning: it just slipped out.

So is “Sorry, it just slipped out” the opening of the story? Or the surprise ending?

More important, will we need to be … sensitive … or some such directive … to L&L? We could have the best three word on the planet as long as KB is OK being publicly associated with the +3+ drivel.

Many a truth unmasked by jest. I think that new/casual users often feel like interlopers at a private event.

I imagine that the forum community must be a bit of a double-edged sword for L&L: good to have a community, but, perhaps, also a little frustrating to see some useful threads obfuscated by off-topic banter.

I think Lars (the OP, aka Lunk), Devinganger, and Sageimac made well-intentioned and interesting points in this thread, and that Ioa came back with some equally interesting points about things such as checking change logs to see if companies are making frequent updates. I find I am in agreement with all three of them, though think that average users are more likely to look for blog updates long before they think of checking change logs…I expect that a lot of people don’t even know that change logs exist. When reading the forum, it is clear that a lot of people can’t even find/use the user manuals. Could such people find/use/understand change logs?

Moderating blog comments would be a waste of L&L time, and yet given that blogs disseminate information differently to forums and perhaps attract a wider readership (especially of potential customers), I still think that more regular blog updates would be beneficial to L&L. A lot of users produce write-ups and reviews of Scrivener/Scapple…a two-line post to highlight such write-ups and reviews (or even a re-blog of the entire post with the author’s permission) would help to keep the blog ticking over.

Ioa is right to say that the “forum is relentlessly tended to”, and I applaud L&L staff for their engagement with users in the forums. But as a new user looking at the software, I would certainly look at the blog and wonder about the infrequency of posts.

Perhaps a sticky post advising passers-by to visit the forum for ongoing updates might be worth considering.