Saturday, August 17, 2013 for promoting Perl

I got the opportunity to be present at YAPC::EU 2013 in Kiev and it was great. I even had a lightning talk in which I talked briefly about PRForge and presented a way in which it can help the perl ecosystem to increase its overall reach and audience.

Although I prepared my talk thoroughly beforehand (by repeating it more than 10 times in front of my computer's camera), when I reached the stage my voice started shaking and I got so nervous that I wanted to run off the stage, thus I didn't manage to get into much detail regarding prforge. I hope this post will clarify the details I left out of the presentation and bring in some more.

What is PRForge

PRForge is a web platform, where users can create groups based on shared, common interests. Whenever a member of a group posts something in that group, the posted URL will get promoted automatically on each other's member social profile through a set of social network actions: 
  • facebook share
  • facebook like
  • retweeted
  • favorited on twitter
The above are the social actions that we've implemented for now. In the near future we might integrate actions on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.

PRForge is made with Perl, Mojolicious, DBIx::Class, Bootstrap and a healthy dose of love and passion.

Popularize Perl through PRForge

Use PRForge to promote Perl and get in a win-win-win situation, whichever of the below categories you find yourself in:

Perl supporters, fans and enthusiasts

You will get to be seen by your friends as hard core perl users and perl evangelists, because you'll have several perl related articles on your social network profiles with no effort.

Perl bloggers and content creators

You will increase your overall audience because of the contstant and extended sharing that takes place through PRForge.

Perl community

The overall increase in perl awareness can be nothing but beneficial to all programmers, because they will be exposed to an efficient and highly productive language - Perl.

Get up and running with PRForge and promote Perl

In order to use PRForge to promote perl, you have to satisfy several conditions:
  • you must have an account on PRForge
  • you must be a member of the Perl group on PRForge
  • you must have PRForge's Firefox plugin installed
  • you must have Facebook and Twitter accounts logged in with that Firefox instance
If you want to be able to promote Perl related links through the group, you must have the role of influencer in the group. Right now, I am the only person who can promote you to influencer, because the UI is not implemented yet in PRForge. So, please hit me an email after you join and ask me to make you one at tudorconstantin at gmail, or write in the comments section of this blog post (although, I think I'll find out more through the email)

  1. Sign-up PRForge and join the Perl Group
  2. Download (from the "Go get it champ" URL in the left menu bar) and install (by drag&dropping the prforge.xpi file downloaded earlier over your ff browser) the Firefox plugin
  3. Log into FB and Twitter on that FF instance
  4. Drop me an email and let me know if you want to be an influencer (if you want to be able to submit perl stuff to be promoted through the group)
That should be it - let the Firefox browser instance running with your FB and Twitter accounts logged in, and it should get jobs to to from PRForge whenever an influencer posts something to the group.

Promote Links

For now, only individual Facebook and Twitter posts can be promoted. So, below are the steps you need to make once you are an influencer in the Perl group.

For Facebook: 
  • the one who promotes the URL, will share it on facebook publicly
  • go to the individual link of the post (by clicking on the timestamp near the world globe icon of the post)
  • paste that link into PRForge

For Twitter:
  • go to the individual URL of the tweet (click on the tweet, then click on details)
  • paste that link into PRForge

Privacy Concerns

You have to install the PRForge Firefox plugin, which, as any other plugin, can do a lot of stuff - the only thing PRForge does, is making requests to the social networks that you enabled for each group you are a member of and to to ask for jobs, in the context the browser has (ie: in the name of the logged in account).

Regarding what other users will do (what links they'll share), we can not know that beforehand, but we start with the assumption that all the members of the group and especially the influencers are well intended. I will do my best to find out the relationship each influencer has with Perl and deny the advancement to influencer to people that have absolutely no whatsoever with Perl.
Will any influencer be able to submit links that promote the manly blue pill and fake brand watches? Sure they will, but just once, because they'll get banned right afterward.

I want to let you know that PRForge is in close, private beta, and the only group that got access until know, is the Perl group. This is because I feel that programmers can relate better to potential bugs that might appear in early stage products (like PRForge).

If my YAPC lightning talk didn't convince you to join PRForge, I hope this post did, so please sign up, join the perl group and start making noise about Perl. It's a whole world out there who doesn't know what is losing for not using Perl - let's help them!

That's it. If you need further help, please don't hesitate to contact me - in the comments or at the email I specified earlier in the post.


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