Community is Now Open to Everyone + A Giveaway: Part I

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Back in February, we launched the Litmus Community—a place for email marketers and designers to connect, ask questions, get feedback, and learn from one another. The new Community has seen plenty of connections made, questions answered and feedback delivered—however, something was missing. See, initially, access to Community was limited to active Litmus customers—which naturally excluded a portion of, well, the community. That’s no longer the case.

Today, we are opening up the Litmus Community to everyone. That’s right, now the entire email design community can participate in Community.

Now, anyone can catch up on Discussions, Code Questions, and articles in the Learning Center. More importantly, everyone can contribute new articles and edit existing ones in the Learning Center.

Litmus is built on a culture of sharing information and educating email marketers. The new, open Community brings that sharing to a whole new level.

The Origin of Community

This past summer, I received an email from Justine Jordan, Marketing Director here at Litmus, with an invitation to chat via Skype. I knew of Justine, as most everyone in email marketing does, but had never spoken with her beyond a few quick emails. She mentioned something about working with Litmus on a new project that had been floating around for a while. Naturally, my interest was piqued and I quickly accepted the invitation. Even if the project seemed like a bust, I would at least have the opportunity to chat with Justine.

After the first five minutes, I knew that this was no ordinary conversation. Justine shared with me her vision of bringing together email marketers and designers, allowing them to talk and share their knowledge, experiences, and frustrations in a way that was never before possible. In short, she imagined:

An online community for email designers and developers. A place where they can find other email geeks and celebrate their love of email in a supportive place with people that understand the magical union of data and design.

We quickly realized that we had a similar passion for email design and education, and went on to brainstorm a slew of ideas about what an open community for email designers would look like. We finished the call with a lot of ideas but no hard plans to bring anything tangible into the world.

Some of the original ideas we had for Community.
Some of the original ideas we had for Community.

Fast forward to September when I received an email from Paul, the Litmus CEO, about actually joining the Litmus team. Apparently, the Litmus team was secretly at work building the first version of the community—and it was set to be announced at The Email Design Conference in Boston at the end of November.

A lot has happened since then. I joined Litmus and helped welcome in the first beta version of the Litmus Community, which was put through its paces this past winter. Finally, in February, we announced the official release of the Litmus Community—opening it up to all active Litmus users.

We’ve made great progress, but there is still a long way to go before realizing our original vision. Fortunately, with today’s update, we are taking one of the biggest steps towards making that vision a reality.

An Open Community

While releasing the Community to every Litmus user was a milestone for us, it was just the first step towards a larger goal—opening the Community up to anyone who wants access, regardless of whether or not they are a paying Litmus customer.

We’ve talked a lot about how sharing knowledge is vital to growing and evolving the email design community. From that initial Skype call with Justine, having the Community accessible by everyone was one of our major goals. It just took some time to get there.

Since the Community was integrated with the Litmus suite of tools, it took a fair amount of work from our amazing development team to put it in the hands of the masses. All of the content in the Community will now be accessible without the need for a Litmus login. Users will still need to register for a Litmus ID if they want to contribute to the Community, but you no longer have maintain a paid account to continue participating in the Community.

Now, all of the discussions, code questions, and Learning Center articles are available to everyone with an internet connection. The entire community can learn more about email design and marketing and, more importantly, anyone can contribute.

Learning Center Contributions

Another goal of the Community is to have a library of articles on nearly every topic close to email marketers’ hearts. The Learning Center is a growing collection of articles and tutorials about all things email. While the first version of the Learning Center was restricted to content generated exclusively by Litmus, we knew that the only way to build the most comprehensive resource for email practitioners was to allow the Community to contribute their collective knowledge.

With today’s update, any Community member can contribute new articles to the Learning Center and contribute to existing articles.

Use the New Article button to easily contribute to the Learning Center.
Use the New Article button to easily contribute to the Learning Center.

Our ultimate goal for the Learning Center is to have it become a community-driven wiki for all things email. Just like Wikipedia acts as an archive of most human knowledge, we want the Learning Center to be an archive for all email knowledge. Whether it’s information on the newest (or oldest) email client, how to implement bulletproof buttons, or strategies for testing emails, we want that information to be available in one place to anyone that needs that knowledge.

Community members—if you’re reading this, that’s you!—are encouraged to write new articles and tutorials on nearly any topic of interest to email marketers and designers. We also encourage you to fact check and edit existing articles for clarity. We’ve also implemented comments on Learning Center articles for when you want to express an opinion or augment an existing article without making edits to the main content of that article. While we want to keep the Learning Center as factual as possible, we understand that there are varying opinions about certain techniques and strategies. Comments seemed the best way to handle both situations.

You can now edit and comment on Learning Center articles.
You can now edit and comment on Learning Center articles.

We want the Learning Center to be the ultimate resource for email designers, new or old, and the only way to get there is to work together. To help things out, we’ve also enlisted the help of some of the best email designers in the world to act as Community moderators.

That’s not all

Along with opening up the Community and Learning Center, we’ve made a lot of other improvements. Check back tomorrow to learn about how we’ve improved comments, made finding discussions, code questions, and articles quicker, and made posting to the Community easier than ever!

Let’s Celebrate

To help spread the word about opening up the Community, we’ve decided to give away some amazing stuff. All you need to do is start participating! Here’s how:

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for a free Community account.
  2. Fill out your profile.
  3. Start answering questions, asking new ones, commenting, adding articles and voting!

You’ll be automatically entered to win a 1-Year Premium Litmus subscription every time you start a discussion, ask a code question, or contribute to a Learning Center article.

We’ll also throw your name in the hat for a 1-Year Basic Litmus subscription each time you tweet about the Community. Just be sure to mention @litmusapp and include the hashtag #LitmusCommunity in your tweet.

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Finally, we’re giving away a trip to The Email Design Conference to one of the top contributors to the Litmus Community. By joining in discussions and sharing your knowledge with other email practitioners, you’re in the running to win:

  • 1 Ticket to The Email Design Conference, including your choice of workshops
  • Economy-class airfare from anywhere in the world
  • Hotel accommodations for the duration of the conference

The winner will be based on both quantity and, more importantly, quality of contributions within the Community.

The winners of each giveaway will be contacted and announced on our blog within the next few weeks.

How do you like the Community?

We want to make the Litmus Community one of the most valuable resources for email professionals. While we have a ton of ideas for new features, we would love to hear from you about what you want to see in the Litmus Community. My (virtual) door is always open, so feel free to email me with any questions or recommendations for the Community. You can also leave a comment below.

We’re thrilled to open up the Community to everyone and usher in a new era of sharing for email professionals. I look forward to learning from all of you and working together to build something together. Now, go get started!

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  • http://twitter.com/digideth digideth

    at least you admitted your mistake.

    Now you will have a real community….

    • Jason Rodriguez

      We certainly hope so! We’re thrilled to have you join in the discussion and look forward to seeing you in the Community.

  • Jeff Richards

    Awesome, can’t wait to start learning new tricks and having a community to look to for advice!!