To merge or not to merge?

I have a problem:

Should I keep the 3 Perl Maven sites ( Perl 5 Maven, Perl 6 Maven, and Perl Maven) separate, or should I merge them together?

Or maybe I should merge P5M into PM and leave P6M separate.

Background

Until May 2012 I posted a mix of technical content, community related content and personal content on my personal site (szabgab.com). I wanted to have a (brand)name separate from my own (nick)name for the technical content in the hope that people will more likely contribute to such site than to a site in my name. As I was already using the Perl Maven brand name, in May 2012 I started to publish on permaven.com.

Soon afterwards I thought it would be better to split the Perl 5 and Perl 6 sites. So moved the few articles from perlmaven.com to perl5maven.com, and started to build perl6maven.com to contain the Perl 6 related articles. I even went back to the original post and changed the links to point to perl5maven.com. I left perlmaven.com empty for future use.

Why are they separate?

I wanted to separate the Perl 5 and Perl 6 content as I noticed people searching for "perl array" found the article about "Perl 6 arrays". I am sure they were looking for the Perl 5 version. Otherwise they would have included "perl 6" in the search term. So I wanted to have a clear separation and clear marks on the Perl 6 site to direct the people who are looking for information related to Perl 5, to the right place.

Perl Maven screencasts and interviews

After several people suggested me this idea, I decided I'll try to restart my screencasts and try to build a site like the Railscasts site. Having lots of free content and lots of paid content.

Two weeks ago I uploaded the first screencast, and a few days ago I even started to conduct interviews with Perl developers. I have been trying to create such interviews for at least half a year now, but I could not figure out the technology. Finally it started to work. (Or maybe I lowered my expectation regarding the quality of the video and audio.)

I posted both the screencasts and the interviews on the perlmaven.com site, which was otherwise empty. (Oh yes, there was also a short experiment with a competition, but I did not have the energy and time to implement that.)

Anyway, I had several reasons to pick this domain and not the already busy perl5maven.com. (the perl5maven.com domain has now about 11,000 visits a week):

  • I thought the site will be an entity similar to the Railscasts.com where every entry is a video with some text. Actually this also posed a problem. I did not know if I should post text on the perlmaven.com too, or if I should put the video on perlmaven.com and the respective text on perl5maven.com.
  • I know some of the screencasts won't be Perl specific.
    For example, I have plans to add content on Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL, NoSQL, etc. Technologies that are often used together with Perl. In that case there might be no point in having that content separately for Perl 5 and Perl 6.
  • In a nutshell, as I mostly thought about screencasts and not so much searchable text, I thought I'd put both Perl 5 and Perl 6 related screencasts on the perlmaven.com site.
  • With the interviews it is quite clear that I wanted to have a common place. Though many people define themselves as "Perl 5" or "Perl 6" person, there are plenty of those who think about themselves as "Perl developers" regardless of 5 or 6. Even those, who are in one camp, or maybe especially those, have opinion about the other. Which will come out in the interviews. So I wanted a united site for the interviews.

Merge?

Now, 2 weeks after (re)staring the perlmaven.com site I wonder why do I really need this separation? Wouldn't it be better if the content of the 3 Perl Maven site were all on the perlmaven.com domain?

After an initial set-back, it will probably improve the search engine positioning of the site. Having all the link going to a single site. It will be probably less confusing what is on "Perl Maven" and what is on "Perl 5 Maven".

At least the "Perl 5 Maven" could be easily moved over to "Perl Maven", and later I might merge the "Perl 6 Maven" site two. The problem is that some people might interpret having a PM and a P6M site as if I said one of them is the Perl and other one is secondary citizen. (Some people already think that is the case, but I don't.)

If I merge the Perl 6 content, I will still need to make it clear which articles belong to Perl 6 and which to Perl 5. Both in the articles and in the listings. I'd need to separate the search as well, or at least clearly mark which result is for Perl 5 and which is for Perl 6. That will make the site less usable, I think.

Maybe I should merge P5M into PM and post the Perl 6 related screencasts on P6M keeping only the interviews united?

What a mess!

Published on 2013-04-28 by Gabor Szabo

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