[maemo-community] Maemo Weekly News: a proposal

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Sat Nov 21 22:22:47 EET 2009

I've been discussing this idea with a few key contributors over the
past few days to make sure it's realistic and feasible. We've polished
it and would like to ask for volunteers for a new Maemo Weekly News

    Workload: little to some.
    Benefits: glory.

Read on for more info...

There are a lot of facets to the Maemo community, whether it's
Bugzilla, maemo-developers, #maemo, Planet, Talk or Brainstorm. With
the N900 and Maemo 5, there's been a noticeable increase in traffic in
all these areas.

There have been suggestions of Maemo magazines before, but they've
fallen over because:
 a) The people involved haven't been integrated into the community.
 b) They've been a lot of work to create.
 c) They tried to move away from http://maemo.org/news/

Similarly, there are blogs (like Reggie's Maemo Talk) which highlight
key important things; but some of them also suffer from the same
problems above.

With the increase in volume, and limits on my own time, I'm finding it
harder to be aware of all the things going on. In particular, little
asides and so on on talk which are key to the community, but buried in
a thread. The old complaint of "too much happening outside of
talk.maemo.org" is now reversed, IMHO, but the SNR is too low to
follow "New Posts" religiously *and* develop software at the same

A weekly news digest of key useful/informative/interesting/insightful
news from all Maemo news sources. Similar in style and approach to
Linux Weekly News:


This is, in many ways, a continuation of Ryan's "Community Highlights"
but doing less work, being more encompassing and more repeatable:


This is NOT an attempt to aggregate ALL Maemo-related news, but
provide a selection of highlights during the week; of interest to
those who are involved in the platform and the community, but without
the time to follow enough of the conversations in all the places to
find the ones interesting to them. By acting as a filter, more people
will be able to be involved in the things which interest them,
resulting in an increase of higher quality submissions for members of
the community who might not be heard from as much.

The key to its success is to produce something which is useful,
integrated and deterministic; but without being a massive resource

Produced weekly, every week, with a series of sections - probably
similar to those on tmo. Something like:

  * Front page
  * Applications
  * Development
  * Community
  * Devices
  * Maemo in the Wild
  * ...

To gather the news, a series of sub-editors/contributors would have
access to a Twitter account (@maemoweeklynews, say). The posts to this
feed would consist of the section, a few keywords and a link to the
content (thread, post, email message, blog) which triggered it. For
example, recently this may include:

   Applications - wazd helping qwerty12 on Transmission:
   Devices - Release firmware available to download:

Suggestions on content could be directed at it from people's own
Twitter accounts. The sub-editors would then be able to pick and
choose from these if it's something they'd missed.

As each issue is being pulled together, one or more sub-editors would
then review the posts to that Twitter feed for their sections and
flesh it out with a longer paragraph/quote. Full-blown stories would
also be possible, but I imagine that being a rarity (if ever). There
would then be an overall editor(s) making sure there's no duplication
and also including things from maemo.org/downloads/ (top 10 apps, and
new apps this week) and the bug jars (top 10 activity, probably).

The completed digest would then be posted to a site and syndicated to Planet.

Hopefully this shouldn't be too much work; and
sub-editors/contributors would be able to post to the feed during
their daily review of their slice of the community.

To collect the sub-editors, I'd suggest a recruitment & screening
process of the form "what 3 would you have done for last week?" See
more details below.

I'm now looking for:

  1) CONTRIBUTORS: long-standing members of the community to volunteer
     to highlight content they see during their Maemo day. This could
     be whilst sat on IRC, reading the mailing lists, watching
     maemo.org/news/, contributing on Brainstorm or reading Talk.


     Approx. number of positions: 20-30

  2) SUB-EDITORS: contributors who are also willing to flesh out
     the links each week by selecting a representative quote. I will
     be ensuring we have the tools in place to make this as easy as

     Approx. number of positions: 5-10

  3) EDITORS: the people with ultimately responsibility. The sub-editors
     who make sure the whole thing is consistent.

     Approx. number of positions: 2-4

As I want to start it small (it can always grow once we work out the
details a bit better and see how it goes), anyone who'd like to be
involved can reply to this (it'll be on maemo-community, my blog and
talk.maemo.org) with:

   * maemo.org username
   * Position wanted (contributor/sub-editor/editor)
   * Preferred section(s) if sub-editor (feel free to make up a new one)
   * One/two sentence bio.

This is an opportunity to help collaborate and facilitate spreading
Maemo news; if you're a long-time contributor to the platform, your
insights will be invaluable. If you're a relative newcomer, looking
for a way to contribute, this is your chance!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks in advance,


Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
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