« back to discussion

Encourage more community involvement

How can we encourage some more community involvement here? More discussions etc. It seems like we have some great folk here and I would love to be more "involved" with them all. What can we do?

about 4 years ago, by wsg

32 Replies

pineapple

That is a good point WSG. To me, it is tricky -- I feel like 'community building' is one of the harder initiatives one can do related to online ventures. Believe it or not, I see a lot more involvement than I was expecting :) Given that Pineapple is only.. 2 months(?) old, I think it has come a lot farther than I was expecting so soon.

Also -- according to my traffic stats there is a large percentage of return visitors (10+ times returning), than any of my other sites, by a large margin. That's a good sign.

Really, I think people are just waiting for a reason to reply.. everyone is kind of a 'browser' at heart, so if there's not much to browse they aren't going to really feel the need to contribute (to discussion anyway, people are readily contributing to the actual resources which is awesome).

I think it just comes with time.. with two or three really solid discussions that people feel they can contribute to which would kind of jump start it. This is something I haven't felt the need to 'force' and kind of let it happen organically. I have no doubt in my mind this day will come (sooner, than later). My traffic is growing linearly almost every single week.. it's up about 200% from even 2 weeks ago.

I was actually thinking of implementing 'polls', just for fun.. it would go in the sidebar and have a discussion area related to it. For major updates like that I was planning on waiting for rails 4 so I can just do all those major revisions in one go.

In the meantime, any time you come across anything you'd like to discuss I think people might join in :)

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush

Yeah I agree with the above points in regards to letting it develop organically as a community. It's good that you are checking the submissions to maintain the quality, to avoid "gupta spam" like other digg/reddit clones suffered.

Also it would be awesome if you should share real traffic stats with us, as for my curiosity and for other submitters etc. Even if its like 100-200 uniques daily, that's a good start, most of it would be high quality traffic. Also noticed google is giving it some good SERP ranking, for instance, I was searching for "pjax tutorial" and pineapple was on the first page for the relevant tag, even though there is no submissions for that tag. Which means google is biting nicely for a fresh new domain and site especially when a majority of it is outgoing links, as this can be considered as a link farm to a bot.

Also, would be awesome to have some kind of incentives for regular submitters, to encourage posting. For instance, the ability for a submitter to have a bac klink on their profile page if their submission points are in excess of a certain number. So if a user has over a 100 points, they can have a back link to their own website etc.

Polls would be a nice addition definitely.

Love seeing this site evolve, knowing that it is running on Rails and how seamless the scaling and feature additions seem to be, makes me want to learn Ruby and Rails even more!

Also, I've been sharing this site in the #reddit-webdesign channel on freenode multiple times, it has some mixed reviews, I know one guy checks it every morning, another guy was shown it the other day and was impressed and shocked about it. And another guy said lobste.rs is better? (Getdafuckouttahere). But more often than not, I have been accused of being a karma-whore because every other post is a submission by me. I don't care, this is a more efficient way to storing useful resources rather than the Chrome bookmarking system.

Thanks again pineapple, you are a maestro!

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple

ROFL! We need some pjax tutorials pronto :) If you know of any good ones you should submit it.

And yes, google is biting quite hard. I've watched rankings go up quite a bit on a lot of keywords.

Thanks for promoting my site Lush, pineapple loves you :D

Very good point about the backlink....... that definitely is good incentive. Let me mull that over, I could see that happening though.

Comparing this site to lobster doesn't even make sense, that's like comparing stack overflow to hacker news.. lobster is great but it does something completely different than pineapple.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

pineapple

PS... if you need help with rails, that might be a great starter discussion. I could answer your questions there if you have any.

It does scale nicely.. I handled 250 simultaneous users during peak times flawlessly, although that was pushing the limits (sidenote, I realize in the big picture 250 isn't a lot, but for this site at this time, I think that's pretty good). I have plans to implement russian doll caching (currently theres no 'real' caching, however you want to call it. Only default rails caching).. that will help improvement as well. My goal is ~100-200ms response times

I'd love to migrate to nginx at some point but that requires a lot of additional work on my existing sites, or migrating Pineapple to it's own server.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

wsg

I'll try to post some nice thought provoking threads in here to get people's juices flowing :) I like the idea of a rails discussion, I'd be really interested in learning rails myself - coming from a php background it's a little daunting for me with all the raking and shaking lol

wsg, about 4 years ago

pineapple
posted by wsg on Fri, Oct 26 at 07:23AM

I'll try to post some nice thought provoking threads in here to get people's juices flowing :) I like the idea of a rails discussion, I'd be really interested in learning rails myself - coming from a php background it's a little daunting for me with all the raking and shaking lol

Do it! I'd love that. Plus I'm still learning too so there is something for everyone.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush
posted by pineapple on Thu, Oct 25 at 08:42PM

PS... if you need help with rails, that might be a great starter discussion. I could answer your questions there if you have any.

Just a quick question, how did you learn Ruby/Rails yourself? Did you already have a programming MVC mindset coming from another language?

I'm still trying to figure things out but some things go over my head.

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple
posted by lush on Fri, Nov 30 at 02:52AM
posted by pineapple on Thu, Oct 25 at 08:42PM

PS... if you need help with rails, that might be a great starter discussion. I could answer your questions there if you have any.

Just a quick question, how did you learn Ruby/Rails yourself? Did you already have a programming MVC mindset coming from another language?

I'm still trying to figure things out but some things go over my head.

I think about 3 years ago, I went to a friends house and saw him building an app with ruby. His app does really well and has a massive code base, so I just watched over his shoulder as he did a lot of work on it (ironically enough, I am now redoing that same app's entire front end and tying it in with their existing backend). At that point I would have never considered myself a "developer", as the most I had done was miscellaneous php crap, and lots of html/css/js. In fact I distinctly remember thinking I am too 'dumb' to be a 'real' developer. It was always something that I wanted to do but knew I never could. I also definitely didn't even have MVC experience at that point.

He talked about how amazing ruby syntax is, and how pretty it is etc etc. He recommended I read Why's poignant guide to ruby. I held off for quite some time... with that comfort zone barrier on my shoulders. Then randomly I decided to read it. I distinctly remember lying in bed going over the first few pages thinking "what am I doing...??". It was like leaping off a really high ledge, as I was basically telling myself now I have to commit to learning something I am very scared of.

The first app I built was for my own company, an internal tool (that actually worked really well and brought a lot of business). I built that in sinatra, and my code was more procedural than anything.

My next app was... well, this app :) I learned rails just to build this app.

By the way, I have been doing some computer thing or another for 15 years (I am 27) so that probably helps. I have been doing html and css since I was a wee lad, and I took 4 years of programming in high school (visual basic, c, c++)... add that to the misc php crap I did and that got rid of the large intro-to-programming hump (wrapping your mind around loops, return values, variables, references, etc).

As for what I actually did/used to learn...

Aside from Why's guide, I found michael hartl's rails tutorial to be extremely useful for learning rails. Worth the money many times over.

Also, I picked up the ruby "pickaxe" book (google it). I didn't read through the entire thing but I use that for reference sometimes.

I think the rest of what I learned from rails was following along with Hartl's tutorial and lots and lots of Google/stack overflow. Also, 1 read through RailsGuide is critical, even though I haven't read through the thing in entirety. I love reading programming stuff but for whatever reason that one resource is so dense I always feel like I want to go to sleep.

Hartl's guide also was the first taste of MVC I had. Took me awhile to get used to but now it's just second nature like a language I suppose.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

pineapple

One thing that definitely helps... I don't own a TV. Seems weird, but some amount of years ago after I realized I could make money being self-employed, I moved to the middle of nowhere (literally... miles and miles of desert in every direction). I purposely didn't have a car, tv, friends, bars, anything within 100 miles, JUST to force myself to get to the next level without distraction. I simultaneously succeeded beyond expectation and lost my mind in the process, but one thing that was good (besides brutal learning experiences), was removing the distraction of a TV.

If I want to watch something, I'll watch hulu or get movies and watch them on my computer. But as for just leaving the TV on or randomly watching it because I'm bored -- I read programming stuff instead, pretty much from when I wake up to when I sleep.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush

Excellent story. I'm disappointed at the fact that I heard about Ruby/Rails about 4/5 years ago when looking for a CMS solution but was too frightened to learn it, due to lack of time etc.

But yeah I've sort of been in the same boat as you, but most of my real friends are wasters so they have never influenced me in anything. I've always been a nerd back when I was around 7 years old (I'm 25), getting books from the library on BASIC and learning to program on our Amstrad that we had at the time but never really took it seriously because I didn't know what I could achieve out of it. I actually went to college to do a general I.T course and they started teaching Java but I dropped out because I was bored, I wanted to design graphics, not code up lines of gibberish (my thoughts at the time, when I was 16).

Most of my work has been in visual design rather than programming tasks, but I've been using WordPress as it was the easiest to grasp and pick up knowledge about PHP and programming in general. This is coming from a background of building websites the old skool way of using SSI (Server side includes e.g header.shtml / footer.shtml). And now I am even more interested because it seems to be a way to make a greater wage rather than just front end design on its own.

But yeah I can definitely see how Hartl's tutorial has influenced you for this site, heh! I guess you put a real world example like Pineapple to use and that's how to figured out the extra stuff needed to be more fluent in the framework.

I find reverse engineering other people's code helpful too. That's pretty much how I learnt HTML/CSS.

I've started reading several books like the Poignant Guide, Agile Rails etc but my self diagnosed ADHD gets the better of me.

Thanks for the insight sire!

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple

I'd definitely say you should take a deeper look, try to fend off the 'adhd'. What do you actually see yourself doing? Building apps? doing front end design? What is your main end-goal

Btw this site wasn't influenced by Hartl's tutorial. I actually had the idea randomly in the shower (cliche, yet true). I ran it by my friend who agreed it was a good idea. From there I got a pen and paper and wrote out all the features I would want my site to have, then got those resources, including rails tutorial, to teach me how to do those things. I had a very strong idea of what I wanted before I even watched that, or read anything.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush
posted by pineapple on Fri, Nov 30 at 10:50AM

I'd definitely say you should take a deeper look, try to fend off the 'adhd'. What do you actually see yourself doing? Building apps? doing front end design? What is your main end-goal

I'd love to be able to do everything! But yeah, I'm gonna learn Ruby itself more in depth.

The structure seemed similar to how Hartl's tutorial app works. But yeah I have plans for a similar app (non web dev related, don't worry you won't have competition) but I'd rather build it in Ruby rather than PHP, so I'm trying to figure out certain functions piece by piece.

I like to learn stuff outside in and vice versa, so I know exactly how everything works, and not based on assumption, if that makes sense. I have had plans to make other stuff (I own a ton of domains), but gaining the knowledge is the hard part. I have my own share of web properties, but maintaining updates is a pain due to how they are built (WordPress) so figuring out ways to streamline the functionality always plays around in my head.

Also with Ruby, compared to PHP, it's not a case of throwing up a few php files and the server is automatically configured to handle most simple shit, you have to configure stuff specifically for it. But I am slowly but surely learning. I have a cheap VPS box I rent out, just to build and destroy whilst learning more about the UNIX environment.

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple

You definitely should learn it! After becoming experienced in other languages, I hate writing php with a passion. Not hate it as in it doesn't work well for its purposes, I just personally hate using it, I dislike it's syntax, whatever.

I think if you really want to learn ruby + rails or other framework, just get a fully-managed host which will take care of all the security/mail/accounts/tedious unix tasks that you have to write scripts for usually. From there, you can actually focus on what's important at the beginning stages (learning ruby, learning rails/other). Have some fun and practice deploying your apps. From there, I assure you you will start to learn a lot about servers just naturally by fixing problems that come up. If one app does particularly well you could migrate it to a self-managed server and fine grain it from there.

As for a first-deploy yes, it can be a lot to take in. I think the first site I ever deployed took me 8-10 hours to bumble my way through it and get it running online with no errors. After that it becomes relatively painless and quite fast. The good news is once you go through the initial troubles, you can deploy entire site updates with one well-placed terminal command.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush

Yeah that is what attracts me to learn Ruby, the syntax is beautiful. And also chaining methods similar to jQuery is what makes it even more sultry.

If I was to run a small app I could use a cloud service like Heroku, but I am quite happy in learning my own server deployment environments. Specifically if I am targeting UK traffic and having a UK ip address for SEO purposes.

Also there are a lot of great guides on the web now that assists in this process. Especially on Linode. You can use their advice on any other server environment.

Just gotta make my startup ideas a reality now. Will keep you guys posted!

lush, about 4 years ago

metastew

Hi, allow me to say what a great website! I keep coming back daily to check for new content.

Anyways, I'm not sure if it's within the scope of your idea of community involvement, but I suggest starting an IRC channel for this website. For some reason, I'm a huge lurker when it comes to website communities (reddit, HN, pineapple.io, etc...), however it's not the case on IRC. I'm usually active on irc.freenode.org and few other servers, but I would happily join this site's channel on any irc servers.

Just my $0.02.

metastew, about 4 years ago

lush

Already been on the case for 2 months now. I am trying to secure #pineapple on freenode.

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple
posted by lush on Mon, Dec 3 at 11:43AM

Already been on the case for 2 months now. I am trying to secure #pineapple on freenode.

dude thats awesome... anything i can do to help?

pineapple, about 4 years ago

metastew

lush and pineapple, how about #pineapple.io instead? It is available on freenode right now.

metastew, about 4 years ago

pineapple
posted by metastew on Mon, Dec 3 at 02:29PM

lush and pineapple, how about #pineapple.io instead? It is available on freenode right now.

ideally I would like #pineapple, I am in here now it seems no one is in here, I think that chances of getting it are good?

pineapple, about 4 years ago

pineapple

I'm currently not informed on how to go about reclaiming an IRC channel

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush

I'm trying to sort it out now, will keep you posted.

lush, about 4 years ago

pineapple
posted by lush on Mon, Dec 3 at 03:07PM

I'm trying to sort it out now, will keep you posted.

Youre awesome :) Can I understand how you are doing it though? I like to be in on dis knowledge up in here..

pineapple, about 4 years ago

pineapple

By the way, I just fixed it automatically going to the different pages on discussion when you click a new post, I'll see about getting that up today.

pineapple, about 4 years ago

lush
posted by pineapple on Mon, Dec 3 at 03:27PM
posted by lush on Mon, Dec 3 at 03:07PM

I'm trying to sort it out now, will keep you posted.

Youre awesome :) Can I understand how you are doing it though? I like to be in on dis knowledge up in here..

In #freenode you have to ask politely. Already asked, had a mixed response, I shall ask again shortly.

lush, about 4 years ago

lush

Ok the story is that we can't have #pineapple because someone inactive owns it. It has been dormant for 3 years. We have to set up a group registration, but that is temporarily suspended as they have a backlog of requests. The solution at the moment is to have at temporary channel:- ##pineapple then when group registration is back up, we can claim it (hopefully).

Btw, I think Zesty is already a registered username, that's why you were killed. See you guys in IRC!

lush, about 4 years ago


Login or to comment.

« back to discussion

Tutorials are any resources you learn from.

Examples: an intro to html5 screencast, a pdf about git, photoshop effects tutorials, meta-programming in ruby, lambda calculus, higher-order fixed-point combinators.

Tools are websites, apps or services used -on- your project (indirectly), to aid the process.

Examples: A color scheme generator, email marketing software, usability heat maps, css3 code generators, a downloadable png compressor.

Assets are downloadable files used -in- your projects, usually as code, textures, or images.

Examples: a jquery sticky menu, photoshop brushes, background textures, mvc frameworks, twitter bootstrap, 960 grid system.