GOLEM keyboard project
Home / Keyboard building blog

Behind the scenes of issue 14

Exploding newsletter subscriptions, some new developments, featured content.

Wow. Newsletter subscriptions increased by 160%. It's slowly time to consider alternatives to Mailchimp's free plan.

This increase is especially strange after Issue 12, full of great projects, went totally unnoticed without much feedback.

The next one, however, Issue 13 made it quickly to the front page of r/mk's Hot list and generated ten times the upvotes with various awards and lots of newsletter subscribers. But this was only the warm-up.

A few days later, after I referenced the magazine in an early comment on Degenerating of Community, another swarm of enthusiasts felt they should subscribe.

That post stayed at the 3rd place of the Hot list for hours (quite uncommon from a text-only post) and generated lots of visits. I just stared at my Google Analytics real-time statistics for a while, which just exploded.

On the increase of subscribers.

The evolution of this magazine (bookmarks -> reddit posts -> present state) starts to get out of hand. I've started this projects as plain text-only reddit posts and later in mid-January I decided to put it in a more accessible form here on my site (short background story).

The newsletter came even later as it was a user request. Based on the first week's data - one subscriber per day on average - I thought an audience of 300-400 subscribers were realistic by the end of the year.

Well, the magazine is on the right track to well exceed that very conservative annual goal.


Anyway, I've managed finishing some improvements behind the scenes:

  • archive cover image clickable
  • rearranging code structure for better clarity
  • paging (tags, columns, archive)
  • RSS
  • video embedding "framework"
  • about page
  • newsletter welcome message updated
  • suggestions after the entries now based on most important keyword (rather than the shared column)

And about the content?

I just found out there are yet more areas of keyboard building to discover: sound features. I'm far from being an omnipotent QMK wizzard, but as a long time user I've browsed through its documentation enough times to think there's not much new to find there.

Well, (generated) keyboard sound deserves one of the top places on my imaginary list of hard to justify features, but who am I to question other people's preferences?

It turns out, QMK's sound features would worth a separate story in themselves with drama and intrigue. I mean, I always admired open source and thought the system of patents and trademarks is fucked up, but copyrighting a two-note tune?

I'm not into switch sound tests either, but felt some of you may appreciate them. So I've compiled the first weekly sound test collection cramming them into one megapack.

Anyway, lots of great projects again. Check Issue 14 if you haven't done it yet.

Previous post
About the KBD magazine

Next post
Behind the scenes of issue 15