CoTech Newsletter / Blog-o-sphere


#1

Hi folks,

I just stumbled on https://github.com/cotech/website/issues/18, which is an issue raised on the issue tracker for the CoTech website repository about including a link to a news/blog feed and the possibility of including a newsletter, if they are made.

As far as I know, there is no existing newsletter. Does anyone want to join in to make this? I’m keen.

Also, I know a bunch of people are blogging and maybe they are blogging about CoTech, so instead of trying to make a bunch of new content, we could aggregate coop blogs, or coop member blogs (if they are cool with that) and just let people have an overview of all the different opinions from there.

Thoughts?


#2

Like this as a thought/possible approach to amplifying the Cotech ‘voice’.


#3

I thought about this a bit during the week too. I’d like the idea of collaborating on a monthly newsletter as a document that we then send out to all coops / post on a blog.


#4

Great! Here’s one out the door from another thread:

I’ll start to comb through the cooperatives and bring together a list of blogs.

@chrislowis, any preferences on a platform to get this done? There is probably loads.


#5

I think start simple to begin with - I suggest a markdown document under the CoTech organisation on github somewhere, and one of us mailing it out to all member co-ops? I’d be happy to set something up if you like?


#6

Sure, create that and I’ll join in! If you wanna add me the organisation
with some permissions on that, feel free :slight_smile: Github handle is @lwm.


#7

I’ve been thinking about this a bit more. I think a markdown file wouldn’t cut it since that basically leaves out people who don’t know what a Github is.

From my research, managing to send newsletters is quite difficult and seems to be only possible by signing up with the usual proprietary feudal lords (mailgun, mailchimp, sendgrid) or running some monolithic DIY postfix et al. setup or, as you mentioned, just blasting out emails from the personal account. All feel like they will result in lots of work.

On another approach, to skip the entire email thing altogether. I was thinking to just setup a static page and use a feed parser to pull in feeds from blogs in the network. That would be at least useful to have a central place to browse posts from the many different blogs. There seems to be a lot of people missing feeds but I might be able to cajole them into adding one :slight_smile:


#8

@lwm - we talked about this a bit today on the Community Call. There’s some suggestions on content. What are the next steps? I’d be happy to work with you to try and get the first newsletter out, and maybe we can try to put together a volunteer team.


#9

Great! Thanks for following the lead that I left on the pad :slight_smile:

I have a newsletter listing accepted and configured with riseup.net, a
really solid privacy first email provider, so, we just need to figure out
what we want in it, when to send it, how to collaborate on it. I have a
git.coop repository also setup too. I was hoping we could arrange it all
through plain text :slight_smile:

Let’s arrange a time and chat on the cotech slack? Could do any time
tomorrow. Or just let me know. All welcome to join as well!


CoTech Community Call: January 25th, 3:00pm
#10

Can we automate this somehow?

I think there is an open CoTech mailing list already no? Why not just that?
https://www.email-lists.org/mailman/listinfo/tech-coops


#11

@kawaiipunk - my sense (and correct me if I’m wrong @lwm) is that we’re looking to have something published on a schedule with a fairly clear and strong editorial voice. Something that says “if you only have time to read one CoTech thing this month, read this”. I think more tech-savvy/time-rich folks can already automate the news by following blogs, twitter, discourse etc. The newsletter is something for everyone (else).


#12

@lwm great stuff. Plain text in a git repo sounds good to me. I’m @chrislowis on git.coop if you can add me to the project. I’ll find you on slack to discuss!


#13

Sounds good to me. Also I believe my colleague @RichardE is in the process of setting up a Twitter bot to make https://twitter.com/cotechuk retweet everything that the CoTech co-ops tweet.


#14

I posted the following on another thread but it clearly makes more sense here:

We have discussed having a blog / news section on www.coops.tech in the past — could we set that up and use a WordPress plugin to send the newsletter out? I have installed Email Subscribers & Newsletters for a couple of clients and it does the job well enough.


#15

Yep, exactly what I was thinking.

The newsletter would just be a bunch of links out to blogs of other coops. I am not sure having a bunch of blog posts that are basically cross-posts (potentially diverting traffic away) or link outs to other coops (just empty pages really) would make sense? Also, there may be many things that coops post, that are specific for them but not worthy of a full coops.tech post.

I think the blog section should happen though but I think that it should be just for major trumpet blowing and fanfare of what co-tech is doing at large - as opposed to monthly grind inside the network on building the movement and the little wins that we make along the way.

@Richard, please let us know when this happens (or if someone can help!).


I’ve already combed a lot of cooperative websites and found that they are lacking RSS feeds so that basically shattered the dream of fully automated luxury newsletter. I imagine we’ll need to hand curate from the list of blogs and decide what should go out. I’m happy to do this and have done similarly for other stuff in the past.


#16

I’ve created #newsletter on tech-coops.slack.com for getting this going once we’re clear what that will look like :slight_smile:


#17

You’ve already done the work to set up with riseup and configure the newsletter so lets go with that. I don’t think the way we send the newsletter is the interesting part of this project.

Cross-posting to a future blog on coops.tech sounds like an excellent idea though @chris - we should look into that for the future.

I’m very much in favour of writing something fairly simple but with a clear voice for the first newsletter - if we can find some scope to automate things once we’ve got a couple under our belts lets do that then.

Anyone who’s interested in joining in - come and find us on Slack. We’ll work on a way to involve everyone as the first priority!


#18

Following some discussion on #newsletter and in https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter/issues/7 we’re possibly leaning towards the possibility of adding a /newsletter to the coops.tech site which would show the archive of the newsletter. And using the https://wordpress.org/plugins/email-subscribers/ plugin (tested at webarchs) and using coops.tech to send the newsletter (as described in https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter/issues/7#note_4183).

@harry, what do you reckon about these kind of changes on the WP site?