The Crystal Programming Language Forum

Marketing Crystal

Hi all! There wasn’t a channel that quite fits the kind of post I have but it’s technically a contribution so I’ll put it here.

Crystal 1.0 launched recently and the response from the general developer community was underwhelming. Let’s be honest; The general developer community didn’t even notice that crystal 1.0 launched. :frowning:

I want to fix this by doing a strong marketing push for Crystal.

For Crystal to become mainstream we need to get more attention for the project and I am here to do that.

My current idea is this:
Reach out to all big sites and get them to talk about crystal 1.0.
Repeat for big youtubers and twitch streamers.

If we can get enough people talking about crystal at the same time than the hype will feed on itself and Crystal will get the attention it deserves.

I love Crystal and seeing it get ignored like this isn’t something I can live with.

That’s what I think. I sent this here so that i can get some input on it from you guys. I really don’t want Crystal to end up like every other second class language. The Crystal community members have poured their souls into the language so we can’t just let it sit like this and quietly die. :sob:

What do you guys think?

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I am all for this. I searched Google to see if any other tech news websites picked up the story, and didn’t see much. heise.de (German) did however do an excellent job explaining Crystal to their readers. Was kind of surprised that InfoQ or DZone hadn’t pick up the news. So I guess someone has to do the marketing work of reaching out to news outlets with an email script or press release, otherwise Crystal won’t get the attention it deserves.

My only suggestion for reaching out to YouTubers / Twitch streamers, especially those who are not strictly tech news and once the 1.0.0 release hype wears off, is to show them awesome projects using Crystal. That way we don’t come off as too spammy (ex: “Hey you, use Crystal!” vs. “Hey, checkout this awesome project. Oh it happens to be written in Crystal”).

Update: InfoWorld picked up the story.

There was decent bit of love on HN: Crystal 1.0 – What to expect | Hacker News. This also included a really nice summary of previous discussions there too: If curious, here are the significant past threads I found. Others? *An Introduc... | Hacker News.

Other threads on r/programming and Lobsters.

Promo, and the mindshare, new ideas and community this can attract is a good thing (mostly). The core team do an excellent job at curating this today. As long as the time and attention this requires remains sustainable for them as the community grows, +1.

Wow, this is a great idea! I always wanted to do something like this but never had the chance/time. How can I help you? What do you need?

(sorry for the deleted messages i was too dumb to reply properly)

Great to see that your interested in this! When can we get started?

As far as I can tell the only resource that’s required is hard work (but that’s free so its not a problem!)

When your ready to get started shoot me an email/PM and we can start… Can’t wait to get this show going!

Otherwise I’ll start on my own when i finish a few obligations first

We’ve been preparing a press release. It just got delayed for a nice treat. Gonna roll out soon, though.

The active promotion idea sounds great, too. I think we could start with collecting some concrete ideas on what can be done and what we need for that.

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Here are some ideas

  • Crystal content (twitter clone in crystal stuff of this kind) blogs & videos are great… maybe setup a crystal youtube channel and just have community members participate
  • Outreach (Hi website owner check out crystal)

the first option is really simple… just have someone make content around crystal and post it online
the second option is a bit harder but still relatively easy.

If we wanna pull off outreach right we’ll need to make a dream 100 list.

a dream 100 list is a list where list the top 100 influencers who can talk about crystal

so here’s how it works

crystal is a programming language
so it’s in the developer market and in the tools sub market and then in the programming languages sub sub market (?)

so we first make a list of people who talk about programming languages online
then a list of people who talk about developer tools
then a list of people who talk about development in general

the first group will be the easiest the persuade so we can focus on that one first

what we want to do is start “showing up” in their world as in start sharing and tagging those people and commenting on their content

then build a relationship then have them promote our stuff

repeat for the other groups

this strategy might take a while to do but its the best way to get bigger people to talk about crystal

Then our job is to organize those people so that they all post content on crystal on a particular week or day

if we get enough people to post about crystal at about the same time the hype will feed on itself and crystal will be a trend overnight

(of course it isn’t because everyone was working on it for 6 years lol)

that’s the longer term strategy (about 3 months to organize it and land it perfectly)

then in the short term we just post content around crystal

we could just go cold calling people for press right now but the thing is it will take an insane amount of effort to get enough people to talk about crystal at the same time and get enough attention.

so that’s my proposal
right now: content publishing
long term: build relationships with the dream 100 and organize a week where everyone posts about crystal so that it looks like it exploded (which will make the hype feed on itself)

that’s the plan i had in mind do you guys have other ideas of thigns we can do?

2 Likes

Yes, a coordinated effort would be wonderful! Marketing (or lack of) can make or break great (or even not so great) product! I’m not good at marketing, but I’ve seen a big difference it can make. I’m glad to see more effort put in this area. I imagine we’ll want to catalog/collect/coordinate with existing blogs/etc that some have already been putting info out there. I see a bunch already in youtube https://m.youtube.com/results?sp=mAEA&search_query=crystal-lang; I’m sure there are blogs/etc too.

This is a really good explanation of marketing strategy for us non-marketing folk!

One problem I haven’t been able to crack is how do we “break into” the market when the market is already saturated or “captured” by Go and now Rust. Certain people, outlets, and organizations, are currently (but not forever) “captured” by the Go or Rust hype machine. This seems to be due to a trickle down process. First, early adopters build up hype, then startups add to it, then hiring managers at late adopter companies take notice and finally jump on the bandwagon. How do we make the case for Crystal, when some people have already bet their chips on another language?

We show that Crystal is like Go but way more fun! :smiley:

3 Likes

Easy make a bigger hype machine :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s how I see it:
Those people already showed their willingness to adopt new tech so they might be willing to adopt crystal (we need to test this hypothesis though)
and IMO the market isn’t saturated… That phrase just means you need better marketing to stand out :stuck_out_tongue:

At this point crystal is so awesome it just needs to get in front of the right eyeballs to blow peoples minds

To the go guys we can say: “hey I got your cool concurrency but without making you feel stupid!” (no don’t say that that would be a very bad idea but you get the point)

To the rust guys we can say that were not as fast as rust / c but our code looks great

Saturation is a problem when you are not unique and crystal is redicilously unique

Would love to hear your thoughts on my perspective though. In the end we’re humans and do make mistakes :slight_smile:

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Let’s be sure to mix in a bunch of short how-to videos? One thing that I think Rails did right early on was the “How to build ABC in X minutes” type of videos. I think that was in http://railscasts.com/, which looks a lot more expanded and organized now compared with how it was back in the days of Rails 1.x.

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Great idea! You basically summed up how i wanted to do crystal tutorial videos in a simpler manner :)

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Each ‘short’ video should have some ‘for more info’/‘to dig deeper’ links to applicable API/reference doc links. Also links to some longer tutorials would be great, but that could come later.

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+1 for RailsCasts like content for Crystal. I believe this kind of content will give a huge push to Crystal adoption if the use cases are explained in simpler video format.

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We have this site for Lucky. It focuses more on Lucky snippets, but at least gives some glimpse in to what Crystal looks like.

Lucky Casts

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:wave: LuckyCasts guy here! Yes, Chris Oliver and Ryan Bates were huge influences on me when I started programming with Rails.

I struggle with the time to crank out as much content as they do/did, but I’m around for the long haul and will definitely be doing some general Crystal videos that aren’t Lucky-specific. I’ve got a full list of show ideas here: https://go.luckycasts.com/shows

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If we create a standard|best practice way of creating content, we can help people turn their ideas into content. The more people we can help be content producers, the more content will be created, and the load will be spread among not only more people, but in different niche areas where people have particular expertise.

It would also be good to create a list of topics we know we should address, to maybe prioritize what to create first, e.g. the following.

Topics
Basic tutorials (installing, compiling, numbers, strings, loops, conditionals, etc, etc)
Structures|Classes: similarity|differences, when|how to use them, etc, etc
Math|Arithmetic: order of operations between types, optimizing, prevent overflow, etc,
Networking: IPv4|IPv6, path names, frameworks uses, etc, etc,
Multi-threading: concurrency vs parallelism, threads|fibers, etc, etc.
ETC:

I am a big proponent of using Open Source apps, here are some to use.

I personally have zero experience in creating videos, but have written many articles. I would love to be able to work with a video person to turn my content knowledge into good videos. So, I would write the screenplay (story of the content) and someone else could make the movie about it. :blush:

Also, I think branding official Crystal content would be helpful.
I like Crystal Jewels Videos to mimic Ruby Gems, but I guess that’s too confusing with Crystal shards (not my first choice for them, btw).

So, I would like to contribute content (have many things already), and if there is some standard process I|others can follow to do it, it’s more likely people will take the time to create it.

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I am totally down for a process for creating content but I want people to be creative too! and it looks like those two are at odds a bit.

As far as needing a video person that’s not really necessary since most of the content the community will make is gonna be tutoriallike (it’s a programming language what can you do?)

Maybe have some community content and then have some official crystal content with bigger projects in it

Some ideas include:
“Redesigning Twitter with Crystal and Mint” - this can be done for every popular site out there
“Creating an online 2D platformer game with crystal using SFML” - this can be done for every popular 2d game out there

Not only will big tutorials like this show people that crystal is legit useable for large projects it will also show what crystal is good at so we can flex it and what its not so good at so we can improve it.

(Compile times will start to really sting when you try to redesign twitter with crysal backend and a mint front end :P)

As always glad to see more people are interested in this idea :)

To say that your work is amazing would be an understatement.

THIS IS GROUND BREAKING!

1 Like