It's so exciting to see all the momentum around better communication and engagement with the community! I've had a chance to review all the discussions and I wanted to offer my perspective.
I think it's already really hard for community members to figure out authoritative sources of information about ODK and I think adding a newsletter while so many other changes are ongoing will make that problem worse. Additionally, there are always lots and lots of things going on with ODK and so it's very easy to overwhelm the community if we aren't careful. And then there are the real challenges of getting people to subscribe to the newsletter, making sure we have a solid publishing schedule, coordinating content with the release team, etc.
The draft of the newsletter @iamnarendrasingh shared is trying to solve four issues and I wonder if we can take a step back, try to understand the root problems, and come up with solutions that harness the enthusiasm on this topic to solve those problems in the best ways possible.
We have https://forum.opendatakit.org/c/releases that we encourage users to subscribe to. We also put release highlights (including contributors!) on the GitHub page and for Collect, in the Play Store. We also try to send releases out on social media and put highlights of highlights in the Community Update we try to send out every quarter. And the revamped website will likely also have release information. Is there a reason why our current approach is inadequate? What could we do on our existing platforms to make the situation better?
Interviews with community members
We don't do interviews and I think we should. It's content that builds community, it's relatively easy for community members to find people to interview and post those interviews. The biggest lift here would be generating a quick template that community members can fill in and post. If @A.N.M_AL-IMRAN and @iamnarendrasingh can commit to finding community members and encouraging them to do the interview, then it’s a sustainable effort that can keep providing value. It seems reasonable to post it under
Showcase > Interviews as @LN suggests. Before we launched, we could see if we could get 4-5 interviews lined up so we have a nice buffer and post them monthly.
In-depth feature narratives
Unlike highlights or docs, these are narratives that are a bit more in-depth. I think of them as marketing for a feature. It's the kind of thing that can be really helpful for both new and old features. We had these on the blog previously because we didn't really have a good docs platform. I think this is important, but as an author of a number of those blog posts, it's a lot of work. I think it's an important problem to solve, but I'd wait until after the website revamp. And in the meanwhile, we should try some smaller ideas first that aren't on a critical path. Some ideas...
- Make small animated GIFs of features that we share on the forum or on social media.
- Add this as a question in the interviews (e.g., What's your favorite ODK feature that people don't know about?)