Playbook - How blog posts happen
!!! warning This information is outdated and may be replaced or removed soon.
- Someone has an idea to write a post
- Often comes from: internal docs, external talk, shipped project, open source tooling (built by Meltwater), hackathons, office events (charity and other)
- Rough guess: 70% of the ideas are pulled by Sebastian, while 30% are pushed from authors towards me. This is a ratio that we want to change.
- Writer (who is anybody in Product & Engineering) writes a draft
- writers: mostly developers, some posts from Support, Agile Coaches. Almost none from Product, or Engineering Managers.
- Provide Feedback to the Writer
- mostly Sebastian (maintainer of the blog). Sometimes Sebastian helps to find another reviewer, from a different team than the writer is from.
- The Writers often get feedback from their own team, even before submitting a draft.
- the feedback process can take anywhere from 2 days to 2-3 weeks. depends mostly on the speed in which the writer is working in the feedback, as the feedback is provided very quickly.
- Publish and Promote the blog post
- Sebastian is the gatekeeper to the publishing (Side note: We have never said no to any blog posts idea but we have helped the writers to reword things such that they are applicable for an external audience)
- once the blog post is published we share it in #engineering. First 50-100 readers are often from within Meltwater Engineering
- promote the blog post further on twitter, LinkedIn, sometimes hackernews
- the authors can keep track of the analytics (views) of their blog posts on their own
How to make our blog compelling?
We don’t have a game plan for “making our blog compelling” but of course that’s what we want, right? :)
Somebody wrote about How (some) good corporate engineering blogs are written. They concluded that the compelling engineering blogs had processes that shared the following properties:
- Easy approval process, not many approvals necessary
- Few or no non-engineering approvals required
- Implicit or explicit fast SLO on approvals
- Approval/editing process mainly makes posts more compelling to engineers
- Direct, high-level (co-founder, C-level, or VP-level) support for keeping blog process lightweight
It would be interesting to compare our process to these properties.