Blog Hackathon

Block your calendars! The Content team invites team members from our Engineering, Product, Customer Support, and Customer Engineering orgs to take part in our first Blog Hackathon.

This is a day dedicated to writing for the blog. If you’ve always wanted to contribute to the Sourcegraph blog but weren’t sure where to start/couldn’t make the time, the Blog Hackathon is for you!

Why a hackathon?

Our blog is one of the most important channels for reaching people who don’t know about Sourcegraph, and establishing us as a trusted, respected developer brand.

A third of our new business comes from website traffic, and we see the highest traffic coming from technical, developer-focused blog posts. When we announced why we’re indexing the OSS universe we had a nearly 1,700% increase in traffic to the blog. Views of A 5x reduction in RAM usage with Zoekt memory optimizations, which made the top 5 on Hacker News, account for nearly 60% of that traffic increase (with 4,166 unique views).

Our other top-performing blog post from the past three months is How not to break a search engine or: What I learned about unglamorous engineering (3,800 unique views).

So, we know that the best stories for our blog come from you, and the work you’re doing to build Sourcegraph and make it better. We also know it can be hard to make time to write, or even know what to write about. That’s why we’re hosting a hackathon to make the space to dedicate to writing, and thinking about how to highlight the work you’re doing on our blog. We hope you’ll join us for the day (or even just an hour or two) so we can put our collective efforts into making our blog the best possible representation of the amazing work everyone is doing to bring Sourcegraph to developers everywhere 🎉

How it works

What to expect on the day

Please join #blog-hackathon on Slack, where we will share updates throughout the day.

  • Feel free to brainstorm ideas and ask any questions in the Slack channel
  • We have a working doc with blog post ideas, check it out and add your name to anything you’d like to write about or add your own topic to the list so we know what you’re working on!
  • We will open a Zoom room for people to drop in, hang out, and get advice or feedback on your ideas and drafts
  • We will be awarding spot prizes throughout the day

Getting started

You can take part in the hackathon in a few ways:

  1. Submit a blog post for publishing on the Sourcegraph blog
  2. Contribute to a crowd-sourced blog post (more on this to come!)
  3. Help with peer reviews of other team members’ submissions

What to write about

As with everything we do, be customer driven. When choosing a topic, consider whether our core audience of developers would be interested in it. If you’re a developer, would you click on this post if you saw it on Hacker News?

Check out our ideas doc, which will be the source of truth for what posts everyone is working on.

Our Editorial handbook also has some ideas and inspiration to help you get started.

Submitting

Don’t worry—you don’t need to finish your submission on the day and we won’t publish anything until you’re ready.

  • You will have until the end of the following week () to submit your complete draft.
  • Please have a peer review your draft before you submit it.
  • You can submit in a Google Doc or PR. Please @ mention Rebecca Dodd (@rebeccadee on GitHub) to make sure your submission is counted.

Publishing

  • We will review your submissions as soon as possible and may have feedback for you to address before publishing.
  • Depending on how many submissions we receive, there may be a delay before we publish your post. It’s better for us to stagger publishing so we don’t overwhelm our potential readers with too much at once.
  • If your submission is time sensitive (for example, it relates to a product release or community event) please let us know when you submit.

Incentives and rewards

Snack stipend

Participants can expense up to $15 for the snacks and beverages of your choice to keep you going on the day! Please see Submitting expenses for instructions.

Spot/door prizes

We will be awarding prizes randomly throughout the day. Anyone who has been active in #blog-hackathon, joined a Zoom room, or indicated they’ve started a draft by linking it in the Google doc is eligible to be randomly selected for a prize. Winners will be able to choose their prize (~$100 value) from a selection of travel & tech, wellness & cosmetics, kitchen & dining, and lifestyle gifts.

Grand prize

The team member who submits the blog post that gets the highest number of unique views in the two weeks from its publish date will be able to choose a grand prize (~$250 value) from a selection of travel & tech, wellness & cosmetics, kitchen & dining, and lifestyle gifts.

This is the first iteration of the hackathon! In the future we hope to offer custom Sourcegraph swag as prizes.