Playbook - How blog posts happen

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 warning This information is outdated and may be replaced or removed soon.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.