Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-07-31

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at

  • Hello, World in Place 2: InteractiveDebugger (
  • Giving ack a little bit extra do-what-I-mean (
  • Reducing documentation’s technical debt (
  • YAPC::NA attendees, please respond to survey (
  • File::UStore, a UUID-based file storage abstractor (
  • Protecting against cross-site scripting attacks with Template::AutoFilter (
  • Screencast: How to contribute to a Perl module using vim and Github (
  • Avoid unwanted bitwise operators with Perl::Critic (
  • Just discovered rjray’s Perl Module Monday feature: (
  • donates $10K to support Perl 5 maintenance (
  • Expect a flurry of Rakudo releases soon (
  • cPanel is also sponsoring Perl 5 Maintenance Fund (
  • YAPC::NA 2012 gets away from RTFM marketing (
  • About the Perl 5 Core Maintenance Fund (
  • Upgrading from Perl 5.8 to a less-than-newest version (
  • Using Acme::CPANAuthors::India to link with other authors (
  • YAPC::Asia 2011 call for papers now open (
  • YAPC::Asia 2011 and the webapps behind it (
  • Going to OSCON next week? Here are six tips for making the most of it with the least amount of hassle (
  • Portuguese Perl Workshop is Sep 22-23, 2011 (
  • Tool to move tickets from RT to Github (
  • Now you need LWP::Protocol::https (
  • Perl program to back up Google contacts/calendar (
  • “What is MetaCPAN” screencast (now with English subtitles)
  • Can’t let #oscon pass without getting the scoop on from (<a href="
  • “Perl isn’t a programming language. It’s a life-support system for CPAN.” Damian at #oscon
  • “Perl 6 is solid enough now. Start thinking about porting modules. Start thinking about reinventing modules.” — Damian at #oscon
  • RT @pghphw @mjdominus will be teaching a course and giving a talk at PPW 2011. Watch for details.
  • Notes on Morphing Graph::Easy into Graph::Easy::Marpa (
  • A new vim plugin to work with ack and iTerm: (
  • Holy cow does a lot get done on MetaCPAN in a week (
  • MetaCPAN::API gets updated (
  • Rakudo Star 2011.07 released (
  • Would you bring your kids to YAPC? (
  • Recollections of YAPC::NA 2011 (
  • Understanding autovivification (

YAPC::NA 2012 gets away from RTFM marketing

Reposted from my main blog.

Too many times I’ve seen a conference announced once, and then never heard about it again. It’s what I call the RTFM method of marketing: Either you happen to know about the event, or you lose out. This year for YAPC::NA, the annual North American grassroots Perl conference, lead organizer JT Smith isn’t going to let that happen.

No sooner had the 2011 conference wrapped up when JT started daily postings about 2012’s event to the YAPC::NA blog. He plans to keep that pace going for the next year, until June 13th, 2012 when 2012’s event start. The goal is to keep people thinking about YAPC::NA in the next eleven months, and to keep everyone’s expectations high. “Everyone at YAPC 2011 laughed at me when I said I was going to do a blog post a day,” JT told me on Sunday, “but I’ve got the next 300 postings planned out.”

It’s not just frequency that’s different this time. JT’s writing about the details of the conference, and why you’d want to attend. His posts give tips about the best way to travel to Madison, and attract potential attendees with views of the conference location on the lake. A “spouse program” for the non-hacker members of the family is also high on his publicity list.

As JT and I ate lunch at the bar where he hopes to have a YAPC beer night, we discussed the mechanics of this ongoing communication campaign. JT has the next thirty postings written and posted to Tumblr with future publication dates, letting him create postings in batches, rather than every day. “I chose Tumblr for the blog because it has the best posting scheduling system,” he told me.

You can follow the YAPC::NA Twitter stream at @yapcna, or the blog itself at

I give “RTFM marketing” that name because it’s an extension of the geek notion of RTFM. “RTFM” comes from the rude geek response of “RTFM”, or “Read the F-ing Manual”. It’s used as a reply to a question that the geek thinks should not have been asked, because the information exists somewhere that the querent could have looked himself. It’s as if the rude geek is saying “The information exists in at least one place that I know of, and therefore you should know that information, too.”

The idea that one should just have known about a given piece of information applies to this sort of undermarketing as well. Project leaders seem to think that when information has been published once, everyone will know about it. The RTFM marketers expect that everyone know what they do, read the blogs they do, travel in the same online circles as they do. This is a recipe for failure.

This mindset can be crippling when it comes to publicizing projects and events. Organizers do their projects a disservice when they market their endeavors with the expectation that everyone will automatically know about something simply because they’re written one blog post about it.

RTFM marketers also don’t spread their messages wide enough. They advertise to the echo chamber of the circles in which they normally run. They’ll post to the standard blogs, post to the mailing lists they read, or discuss it in the IRC channels they frequent. This limits the potential audience for the project to the one with which the project leader is already familiar.

Tips for doing open source project marketing right:

  • Write & post frequently.
  • Write & post in many disparate locations.
  • Explain the benefits. Explicitly tell the reader why they would want to attend your event or use your software.
  • Change your messages. Don’t post the same thing twice.
  • Never assume that someone will have read your previous message. It’s OK to repeat something stated in a previous message.
  • You don’t know your potential audience as well as you think you do. Think big.

I’d love to hear stories and ideas about how you got the word out about your project.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-07-14

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at