Weekly News Blog Post Outline

The purpose of this page is to provide an outline/template for a weekly news blog post to be published on the OSI Blog. Our media jockey intern, Shreyas Kutty, will produce the blog post each week with help from Leslie Hawthorn & Patrick Masson.


I. Introductory Welcome Paragraph

  • For an excellent sample boilerplate opening paragraph, see This Week in Elasticsearch. The introductory paragraph tells the reader that the post is a regular occurrence (good for building readership) and what they can expect to find in the blog post. 
  • The introductory paragraph works best if there is at least once sentence that is a "hook" for the reader. This basically means adding context as to why the news can be valuable to the audience, e.g. "We've got some great code and community news to share from DebConf 14, the annual Debian developers conference. Debian has been an affiliate member of the OSI for 2 years."  

II. News from the Open Source World

Include 3-5 stories gleaned from social media, Google Alerts, etc. that are potentially interesting to readers. They do not need to be focused on affiliate or individual members. These can be links with introductory text, embedded Tweets or videos that people would enjoy. As best practice, try to vary types of entries, e.g. 1 embedded Tweet + 1 video/embedded slide deck + 1 text only description of a news item. Different people like consuming content in different ways, and mixed media blog entries mean better reader engagement (i.e. people spend more time reading the material).

  • If you've got many stories to share, consider holding them for slow news weeks. It is great to share content within 7 days of it being produced, but it is not essential.
  • Sample links and write up of news stories in this category
    • Looking for an exciting open source project to join? Want to make sure that people know about your project? The fine folks at opensource.com are curating a list of active open source projects. Suggest a project for inclusion or find your new tribe on their Open Source Projects & Applications page.
      • Alternative approach: embed this Tweet: https://twitter.com/opensourceway/status/494228875421822976
      • Key tie in to OSI mission & goals: promoting open source projects
    • If you've got some spare cycles and want to experiment with DIY food production, check out this open source guide to building a home aquaponics system.
      • Key tie in to OSI mission and goals: spreading the open source way via free sharing knowledge
    • For those of you who are lovers of both nature and the commons, check out this presentation on open source beehives, an experiment to prevent bee colony collapse disorder. (Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ3dM_lIi10)
      • Key tie in to OSI mission & goals: promoting the open source way and value system through community principles discussed by the speakers

III. News from Affiliates and Individual Members

Include 3-5 stories from Affiliate and Individual Members as short links so folks can read more about each affiliate or individual members' activities. This could include photos of individual members at an open source conference, congratulations to an affiliate member for a recent source code release or a mention of an affiliate member's upcoming user conference.

  • Sample links / news stories
    • OSI Affiliate Member The Drupal Association recently announced that Cory Doctorow will be signing books following his keynote at DrupalCon EU. Join Cory, OSI Board Member Leslie Hawthorn and the whole Drupalista crowd in Amsterdam, The Netherlands Sept. 30th - Oct. 3rd for a week of talks, meet ups, education and community bonding!
    • There's still time to submit a paper for Korea Linux Forum! Proposals are due by Sept. 2nd. You can learn more about the conference and how to submit from OSI Affiliate Member The Linux Foundation.
      • Alternate strategy: embed this Tweet https://twitter.com/linuxfoundation/status/505144052803571712
    • OpenHatch, our newest OSI Affiliate Member, has several upcoming Open Source Comes to Campus Workshops! To find out more about the workshop series, including how to attend or how to organize your own event, check out their workshops page.

Additional Ideas / Open Questions

  • Showcasing news from individual members is much more difficult than for affiliate members since our Individual Member names are not public. How can we recruit more individual member news?
    • LH suggests a good first approach would be to introduce Shreyas' work in our next newsletter, with a call to action to submit stories.
      • If we use this approach, need to determine the mechanism for submission. Suggest adding ideas to a wiki page. Where would this page live? Other suggestions?
  • We currently have an member spotlight section of the newsletter. Do we feel like this weekly blog post would invigorate reader interest in seeing themselves featured in our newsletter? Cannibalize readership for the newsletter? Need to test with Google Analytics and CiviCRM statistics.
  • Are we willing to do an open call for submissions to our news blog post from our Twitter handle and in other social streams?
    • LH thinks very much yes, though we will need to do at least two news blog posts before making this call. We want to show momentum in our news sharing and show people that we are committed to regular communications from the OSI. Once we've shown that, people will be more willing to invest their time to share their stories.


Created by Leslie Hawthorn on 2014.08.29 at 03:59:41 PDT

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