[Jaffa Software]

Saturday 21 November 2009

Maemo Weekly News: a proposal

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 digest.

    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:

  1. The people involved haven't been integrated into the community.
  2. They've been a lot of work to create.
  3. They tried to move away from 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 and none yet go into the level of detail I'd like to see.

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 time.


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 hog.

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:

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.

Getting Involved

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. The only extra work you'd have to do was use your favourite Twitter client to post links you thought should be in the digest.

    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 possible.

    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)
  • Channels you follow
  • Preferred section(s) if sub-editor (feel free to make up a new one)
  • One/two sentence bio.
  • Two or three links you'd've posted in the last 2 weeks.

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!