Reaching Perl People with Perl news

On Monday morning I sent out the 10th issue of the Perl Weekly Newsletter. In less than 5 hours it generated more than 600 clicks but there were only 3 new subscribers.

Probably it isn't really a reasonable expectation to see the number of subscribers grow just after sending out a new issue. After all, the people who receive the newsletter are already subscribed.

Yet in the first few weeks of the Perl Weekly that's exactly what has happened. During the first 48 hours immediately after sending out an issue, the number of subscribers jumped ahead. In my understanding the reason was that after sending out the newsletter I posted it on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn.

Some people re-tweeted or re-shared the links.

Others posted a link on Reddit or blogged about it.

These actions brought most of the news subscribers. In other words it is word of mouth. Your mouth.

Two weeks ago I spent a whole day agonizing why are there no new subscribers.

The next day I asked people to send a copy of the Perl Weekly or a recommendation about it to their own Perl Monger groups.

This was fantastic.

In 2 weeks 300 new people subscribed, while the earlier average was 100 people per week.

So Issue #10 went out to 1165 addresses and there were 259 people subscribed to the RSS feed.

Don't get me wrong. I think this is very nice, but I wonder: how could we reach even more people with Perl-related news?

Just to compare, there are about 13,000 people registered to the various Perl Monger lists and there are lot more people using Perl, working in companies, who are not subscribed to any Perl Monger list.

How can we, the authors of the Perl-related blogs, reach those people?

That's where you can help. If you have co-workers using Perl, recommend them to subscribe to Perl Weekly News. Send them a copy of the newsletter or just send them the link to the web site and tell them why it is important to follow the news.

Even if they don't have time to read the Perl blogs, the Iron Man or the Perl Sphere blog aggregator, they might be OK skimming a newsletter once a week.

If you are subscribed to a Perl Monger group and you have not seen the Perl Weekly mentioned yet, please do so. There are many people subscribed to those mailing lists who don't read other news sources.

Finally, Dean Hamstead (aka Perl Dean) suggested trying to get a post on Slashdot. So if any of you think the Perl Weekly might be worth mentioning it there, please, post it there too.

Published on 2011-10-04 by Gabor Szabo