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linkUpdate #3 - September 2020

Since our previous update, we have progressed with our alpha program by opening up more blogs from our prospective creator's list. We've made small updates and improvements to our publishing toolchain, have worked on some restructuring of the publish pipeline and on our Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make it more cost-effective. This will be a work in progress over the next months as well. We have also published the second public issue, and have started working on some new ideas and features for the platform elaborated on in this update.

linkPublic Issue #2

We have published our second Public Issue #2. As mentioned before, our main monetisation plan is to charge users for personalized monthly issues, and public issues showcase the publicly available, free and non-personalized version of those customsied issues. During the compiling process, we have observed that there are generic topics that might not be suitable for personalized private issues (as they might not be targeting an individual reader's specific interests directly), so we suspect that kind of content will find its long-term home in our public issues.

With public issue #2, we also included pieces talking about online harassments programmers face, ethical dilemmas in our line of work that we might inadvarently overlook, and the broader issue of diversity in IT. We believe solely sharing technical experiences in isolation and without the context of personal perspective of people is not as worthwhile, as learning through the experiences of diverse programmers. We think to read and get to know more from a case of someone being harassed on some open-source PR or someone being marginalized in a tech lead job opportunity will be more conducive to progress in our industry. Getting to know and exploring new frameworks and tools from this perspective, will help us grow, as individuals and as a community.

Read Public Issue #2

linkCuration of External Blogs / Articles

Within our public issues, we have incorporated interesting articles that were not published on our platform Since we have received questions on whether we plan to do the same for private issues and what is our long term policy towards inclusion of external blogs and articles in our curation system: we think this is a good opportunity to elaborate on what we envision on that front.

Our aim with the publishing platform is to provide a free, convenient and optimized-for-programming-content toolchain allowing authors to publish their work and share their experiences while retaining full ownership of their content.

Regarding our curation, for both public and private issues; we aim to spread the word about insightful articles regardless of whether they are published using our publishing tools or not as long as they would be impactful for our individual readers on their own. We believe that these curation services will be valuable enough to sustain this whole venture financially. However, more importantly we believe this will reduce the costs of promotion for authors. This in turn will allow them to focus on pieces that will solely focus on sharing experiences and new frameworks, as opposed to trying to cater to the costs of publishing and visibility through some form of content-marketing.

That said, the impact of any article we curate (or promote), for any individual reader, can be approximated by the product of the probability of the reader not knowing about the article, and the impact that reading this article for the first time will have on the reader.

Itelling R about A=PR not knowing about AIR reading AI_{\text{telling} ~ R ~ \text{about}~ A} = P_{R ~ {\text{not knowing about}} ~ A} * I_{R ~ \text{reading} ~ A}1

This means the value of our curation would be typically much higher for articles that people aren't likely to have heard about. As of now, this would mean that through our curation we can add most value by promoting articles that are on, since articles from external sources typically have been circulated to some degree when we hear about them and can add them to our curation list.

To mitigate that effect, we are contemplating on ways we could integrate external personal blogs, so that an author who has already setup their own nice publishing toolchain (and perhaps on their own domain) but could still benefit from our curation services would still be able to do so. When the process is established, we will post about it so that we can start integrating such external blogs into our curation system as well.

linkCode Casts

Another area we are working on are Code Casts. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it is basically like a video of a code-snippet being written, but you can pause and inspect (and ideally copy or link) the code at any timestamp. These kind of snippets typically accompany some audio track of the coder explaining what is happening, alongside maybe some other video tracks (or similar data) displaying the output of the code (to some degree).

The reason we feel Code Casts are important is that we have observed a lot of nice programming articles sharing the same structure: a code snippet that evolves throughout the article with text explaining such evolutions and occasional video / screenshots showing some form of output of said code.

The challenge here, is to capture the process properly (i.e. with the cursor and allowing highlighting and marking specific parts while casting), while maintaining scalability and readability of the format across different devices, for example, on mobile phones. This combined with keeping the format open so that people are not dependent on a particular cloud service for storage / serving of their casts, and keeping the format as lightweight as possible to ensure high readability in various situations is what we aim to resolve.

All of these constraints means that we will most probably be rolling out Code Casts in multiple phases. For example, we might initially only roll out evolving code snippets with an attached audio track and roll out the output feature a bit later, etc.

In either case, we have started internal iteration on the concept, and will keep you informed on its progress in our future updates. For now, we can provide a sneak-peek into how our latest iteration looks like:

Code Cast Sneak Peek

Code Cast Sneak Peek

linkFuture Updates

We will keep you updated as we progress forward on this path. is heavily reliant on the community to work-out, so we think extreme transparency in whatever we are doing is essential to its success.

You can follow us on twitter for more frequent updates and a regular dose of new articles published on the platform, or simply stay tuned for the next update!



Update #3 - September 2020Public Issue #2Curation of External Blogs / ArticlesCode CastsFuture Updates

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