A recent StackOverflow blog post announced the lauch of blogoverflow: stackexchange community blogs. Do we think the TeX community wants one?

I know several members already have their own blogs (Joseph Wright, Stefan Kottwitz, myself and frabjous contribute to one...) but would a community one be a good idea?

There are four steps to getting one started. Raising the idea on meta is step one.

If people think it's a good idea the next step is to define the scope of the blog: what would it be about? I guess highlighting neat hacks from the site is a good idea. It would be a place to put those bits of code you write up inspired by a question that don't make it into an answer...

Next we'd need to recruit contributors. I guess the best way to do this would be a CW answer where people can add their name as potential contributors.

Finally, we'd need a schedule. I'd suggest we start with a post a week. If we develop a backlog then we could up it to twice weekly or something...

So what does everyone think? My concern is that perhaps there are already enough TeX blogs that anyone who might potentially contribute to this one already runs their own...

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jumps ahead y'all have your From Answers To Packages community project, right? That could be potential blog material? –  Rebecca Chernoff Jun 24 '11 at 14:56
    
@rebecca can you cite the meta post? I can only find meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1181/… –  Jeff Atwood Jun 25 '11 at 20:39
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@JeffAtwood, initial post, follow-up post and chat room. –  Rebecca Chernoff Jun 25 '11 at 21:10
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4 Answers

Potential contributors

This CW post is the place to register your interest in contributing to the blog, and to suggest what sort of things you might contribute.

Seamus

  • Using TeX to write a thesis
  • Using emacs/aucTeX to write LaTeX
  • Thoughts on projects to learn more about (La)TeX

Andrew Stacey

  • Reports on the From Answers to Packages package
  • "What I've learnt about TikZ"
  • More generally, I feel that (partly due to this site) I'm learning a lot about LaTeX/TeX right at the moment - stuff which power users all probably think of as obvious stuff - and I'd happily share that.

Stefan Kottwitz

Paulo Cereda

  • LaTeX integration with software development
  • Non-technical LaTeX case studies

Joseph Wright

  • Insight into TeX macro programming details
  • Ideas on helping new users, based on experience running training courses
  • General 'TeX world' news

egreg

  • Low level (La)TeX programming
  • Xe(La)Tex
  • General typography

Martin Scharrer

  • LaTeX package programming and installing
  • Standalone diagrams
  • Use of version control with (La)TeX
  • Some tricky and/or interesting things to know about (La)TeX

Raphink

  • LaTeX and French typography rules
  • Typesetting Bible references in LaTeX
  • Using Drop-caps letters
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The "how about..." question is very general ... would it be ok for you if I would post a separate question asking for potential contributors, finding volunteers like you? –  Stefan Kottwitz Jun 27 '11 at 21:12
    
I was already planning to write some stuff about package creation and DTX-ifing it. Also some article about the different ways to read in content (macro argument, verbatim, box, environ, collectcell, etc.). I was planning to publish that on my website but it could also be published as blog entries. –  Martin Scharrer Jul 19 '11 at 11:00
    
@Martin: Do you already know Joseph's dtx series? –  Stefan Kottwitz Jul 22 '11 at 19:35
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The TeX.SX blog in now online, in beta phase.

tex.blogoverflow.com

The design will be done by Jin, similar to the main site design. After first post(s), it will be added to blogoverflow.com, as Rebecca said in the chat. Like the main site, it will take some time to go through a beta phase.

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I was going to say, "Sounds great, but count me out" as I have enough to do as it is. But Rebecca's comment and something I read on the Photography "Shall we have a blog?" thread made me think that this would be a beneficial addition to our site and I might be able to contribute from time to time.

In more detail, some of the things that I've put on "my" chat rooms (the "Answers to Packages" and the "\advance\understanding") could have worked as blog posts. There are times when I've learnt something when answering a question that wasn't directly relevant but which I thought worth sharing, so a blog would be a natural place to put that.

What I read on the photography site was that a blog would be a good place to highlight answers that might otherwise go overlooked.

(It would be useful to know a bit more about how it worked ...)

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It would be great if a TeX.SX blog would benefit from StackExchange features, such as

  • Voting for blog posts for finding and highlighting excellent posts

  • Suggested edits for correcting mistakes and improving posts

  • Tag sharing with the main site and automatic links from tag wikis and tag mouseover links to blog posts, if existing for a tag

  • Flagging for attention, at least for comments if not also for posts

  • Closing by votes, for blog posts which are off topic or which might attract a lot of unobjective comments

  • Supporting reputation and badge system for encouraging fellow users to write

I guess even if there were no such features at the beginnig, they might evolve. So why not start a blog.

A TeX.SX blog can become a good companion to the site. Content ideas:

  • Announcements of new site features, of elections, moderator changes

  • Reviews of the development of the site

  • Essays resp. follow-ups which developed from answers to questions on the main site

  • Extensive answers to questions nobody asked this way yet

  • Thoughts contributing to TeX or to the site, which don't fit to the Q&A system

  • Especially interesting news from the TeX world

There are indeed already TeX blogs, also of site members. However

  • By occasionally posting on the TeX.SX site a blogger can attract readers to his personal blog.

  • Fellow users who don't have a blog yet, for example because of not having much time to fill a site themselves, would get a platform.

Do contributors need to be approved? Also here, main site features can help: posting in the blog can be allowed for users with a certain reputation, or let's have a "suggested post" feature (like with edits on the main site) which high rep users or mods can approve.

Last but not least, a blog can be one additional point to the answer to Things to do on a slow day at TeX-SE. ;-)

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Regarding the part about features, we are using WordPress. –  Rebecca Chernoff Jun 27 '11 at 21:31
    
@Rebecca: as WordPress is OSS, it could be customized to support SE features, in the long run. –  Stefan Kottwitz Jun 27 '11 at 21:45
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