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How I Maintained Colorado Tech Weekly For 350 Straight Weeks

I recently decided to stop posting Colorado Tech Weekly blog posts since they’ve served their purpose for me and, after 350 weeks (that’s over 5 YEARS!), I’d like to do something different. I think it’s a cool resource and I’d love to see it continue but I don’t want to be the person doing it.

I was asked during a CodeNewbie Twitter chat if there was such a thing as a Florida Tech Weekly by someone’s who name I assume is Erin.

I don’t know if such a resource exists but if Erin wanted to be that resource I think that would be pretty cool and, if I do say so myself, it’s a great way to get your name known in a community without uncomfortable self promotion. With Colorado Tech Weekly I got to promote myself by promoting the people, companies and organizations that I admired which feels like a win for everyone involved.

Here’s my guide for creating your own series to aggregate news on a subject that you care for:

First you will need these things

  • A place for your content. I used my website but I suppose you could use social media or email as a newsletter if you want. The format isn’t as important as the content.
  • A way to get news. I use Feedly (I originally used Google Reader but those were simpler times) and subscribe to every RSS feed I can find related to Colorado Tech. I subscribe to news sources, personal blogs, company blogs, and any and all resource that has an RSS feed. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed by all these sources. I currently subscribe to 991 RSS feeds. Over half of those feeds are either inactive or inaccessible and very few of them post regularly.
  • A way to save news. Feedly has a good integration with EverNote so I used that for a while but I also pay for Microsoft Office so I switched to using OneNote. I save links to articles in OneNote using an IFTTT applet and Feedly’s board functionality so that every time I save an article to my Colorado Tech Weekly board in Feedly, it creates a page in OneNote. Both EverNote and OneNote both have browser extensions too which turn out to be very important.
  • A way to find events. I primarily used Meetup.com and signed up for every tech-related group I could find in Colorado. I’d spend about an hour or so every Sunday saving every interesting meetup that had more than 10 people signed up to attend. Other event resource I found were BuiltInColorado, Colorado Technology Association and anyone who reached out about events. My EverNote and OneNote browser extensions made it very easy for me to save links to events.
  • A time frame and a limit. I got my idea for Colorado Tech Weekly from listening to the Daily Tech News Show where they take all the tech news that ever exists every day and choose only 10 headlines to discuss. By limiting my posts to 10 stories and 10 events every week, I could avoid feeling bad about leaving some headlines out of my blog. If I just yeeted every headline into a big list it wouldn’t add much value anyway. However…
  • Extra Bonus: Another way to share news. My Twitter account is more than just Colorado tech so I created a Twitter account just for my Colorado Tech Weekly articles. This is populated using the same Colorado Tech Weekly board in Feedly. Using another IFTTT applet, whenever I save an article to that board, it adds Tweet content to a Buffer account that then sends a tweet using the COTechWeekly Twitter account.
  • Promote your series and your community. When you share your series on social media, tag the people and organizations that you mention in your posts. This gets their attention which can lead to great connections!

My Process

  • During the week I would take a little bit of time each day to look through Feedly on my phone and save interesting articles to my Colorado Tech Weekly board and my IFTTT applets would take care of the rest. News curation was that easy.
  • Every Sunday I would sit down and look at all the articles I’d saved during the week to figure out which 10 articles I would share in my Colorado Tech Weekly blog. I would also visit the sites I trusted to have relevant events, save those events then figure out which 10 events I would share. Then I’d write… something at the beginning of the post and schedule it for 2:00am Monday morning so that it was available before most people woke up for the week.
  • Every Monday morning I would share my blog post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I would share my post on Twitter 4 times with 30-60 minutes between each tweet using HootSuite with this structure:
    1. At 8am: A good ol’ tweet with the blog title and a link.
    2. At 9am: A tweet saying “CTW #<whatever> with top stories from (a list of the Twitter accounts for news sources I used) #coloradotech”
    3. At 10am: A tweet saying “CTW #<whatever> with top stories about (a list of the Twitter accounts for the people and organizations mentioned) #coloradotech “
    4. At 11am: A tweet saying “CTW #<whatever> with top events from (a list of the Twitter accounts of the organizations hosting events) #coloradotech “

Some other things to consider

  • I only posted headlines with links to the news articles. Do not copy the article content. That’s just a jerk move and if you don’t care about being a jerk, copying content can lead to legal issues and will cause your news sources to find ways to shut you out.
  • Your time frame can differ. I chose to do my series weekly cuz I knew I couldn’t do it daily but depending on your level of interest and amount of content, your series can occur however often you want.
  • Remember that by promoting others by using your resources that all involved should feel supported.

Now that you have all my secrets, ignore the tips you don’t like and go create your own thing! Then let me know about it please.

Good luck!

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