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2015 Roundup - ElixirStatus: It's all about Community

This is the second part in a series discussing the projects that shaped “my” 2015.

In late July I started a site called ElixirStatus, where Alchemists (i.e. Elixir programmers) would have a place to post their new blog posts, projects and version updates.

I won’t lie: it seemed risky, building a site on the premise that other people have to use it to produce any value. Contrary to Inch CI, which has value for any person using it on his or her own projects, ElixirStatus would gain its usefulness from participation. The more, the merrier.

To some, it might have seemed even more adacious to recruit volunteers and waste their precious time on this goal, asking people like Phil Nash and Hans Pagh to improve on my initial idea.

It might have been a losing proposition, but I was convinced right from the first blog post that it had to be this way. This had to be community infrastructure, not my personal link collection.

If I had build yet another linklog as a learning exercise for myself where I was the one person posting the most interesting things of the day, that linklog would have lived and later died with me in case of disaster (or loss of interest, to be less dramatic). The slow death of RubyInside and the recent end of DailyJS are examples of useful resources fading away since one person can’t handle the load of being editor-in-chief as a side project.

Compare that to ElixirStatus: What we have done here, all of us together, is that we have engineered a service that will be able to survive even if disaster struck or some career change kept me away from Elixir most of the week. We created something that does not depend on one person to be useful, vibrant and alive.

Over the last 4 weeks a post on ElixirStatus generated an average of 70 clicks (i.e. click-throughs to the linked blog post, GitHub profile, etc.), the median is at 50 clicks (we had two outliers with over 200 clicks). The Twitter account now has over 800 followers and the site sees 50% returning visitors.

With all that said, of course I don’t plan to go anywhere.

My involvement in the Elixir community gave life to some interesting side projects which I will maintain for the foreseeable future and you can be sure to read about it on elixirstatus.com!