Marketing to Bloggers

When we do our launch in June, I want to make sure we get the message out via different blogs and developer forums. I’ve been contemplating what is the best method to convince people to write about Eclipse in their blogs. Microsoft has taken an interesting approach of actually recruiting 20 ‘influential bloggers’ to talk about Longhorn. I’ve been wondering if this approach would work for Eclipse?

However, this past weekend I am pretty convinced that we already have a great network of bloggers. When M7 was released, I counted 4 blog posting announcing the release on Planet Eclipse. There was also a thread started on The ServerSide , a number of blogs on JRoller mentioned M7 (1. 2,) and a thread on JavaLobby (why is it that JavaLobby discussion lead to a SWT vs Swing debate?). To top it off, we have had 22,914 downloads of M7 as of Tuesday morning. Not bad since it was just released on the weekend.

It doesn’t seem that we couldn’t do any better with the blogs or the developer forums? Do people agree? The one area I would like to get more exposure, is on some of the other projects. In June and July, BIRT, TPTP, Web Tools, AspectJ, EMF, GEF and VE are all releasing new versions. It would be nice to get some exposure for these projects.

5 Responses to Marketing to Bloggers

  1. Ryan Lowe says:

    “It doesn’t seem that we couldn’t do any better with the blogs or the developer forums? Do people agree?”

    Four people blogging about Eclipse 3.1M7? It’s a good start but it’s nowhere near where it could be. Other companies and open source projects have much more blogging momentum behind them and much stronger blogging communities.

    How can you encourage Eclipse users to blog about Eclipse? Encourage the Eclipse *committers/developers* to blog about Eclipse. Give them time to write about Eclipse at work and talk to the community, just like they already do with newsgroups and mailing lists.

    Blogging isn’t about broadcasting an opinion. That’s a common misconception. Blogging is a conversation with a community.

    If one side of that community isn’t even present, where’s the motivation for the other side to say something? Microsoft probably found that more customers blogged about Longhorn when more employees blogged about Longhorn. That is hardly a coincidence — blogs are interlinked and breed conversation.

    Eclipse is far from experiencing the full potential of blogging but I’m glad the Eclipse Foundation is starting to investigate it as a credible marketing tool.

    Hopefully blogging can take the Eclipse process to a new level of transparency, enhance Eclipse’s value to everyone and really show people what a great IDE/platform it is. Cheers.

  2. Ed Burnette says:

    I agree with Ryan. I encourage all Eclipse committers, especially PMC members and project leads to blog about Eclipse. If that takes time away from newsgroups I think that’s okay, because it’s another form of interaction with the community. Maybe a better form from the blogger’s point of view because it’s more focused on what they care about and more in their control.

    Installing and maintaining your own blogging software takes too much time though. It’s frustrating to try and keep ahead of the comment spammers. So I encourage everybody just starting out to use a hosted system, for example jroller.com or blogger.com. You can always move to something more complex later if you feel the urge.

  3. Ken Dyck says:

    A technorati search actually puts the number of blog references closer to 13.

    Anyways, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the current numbers. With the creation of Planet Eclipse, and all the new Eclipse-related blogs springing up recently, I’m sure you’ll see the growth you’re hoping for eventually. Give it some time.

  4. Ian Skerrett says:

    Ryan and Ed, I agree that it would be great to see more of the committers blogging. I think overtime we will see more taking up the cause. Mike Milinkovich and I are certainly encouraging all of the projects to start blogs.

    Ed, I agree that using a hosting service is the way to start. Although, there are some minor problems, I’ve been reasonably happy with blogger.com. The cool thing is that it took me 5 minutes to setup my blog.

  5. I agree – get committers on board. what about someone from the rational show this week? an SAP person. a Sybase rep. now ibmers can blog that shd be a valuable resource to pull through.

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