Focus for October
I wrote last month:
This month we will finish the Advertise page on the website and then move on to producing some review embed badges. Our reviews are fully independent and we only feature the tools we think are the best. Some vendors have asked to feature those reviews and our endorsement on their own website and materials, so we're going to produce some assets to help them do that! We're also planning season 2 of our podcast, which will be a different format: 30 minute interviews with guests on a specific devtools topic. We hope to start recording ready to release towards the end of the year.
So how did we do?
The advertising page of our website is now live. This explains how we work with vendors who want to reach our audience of experienced developers.
This always starts with someone contacting us with details of a tool, which we then evaluate against our standard selection criteria. If we wouldn't independently include it in the newsletter then we won't work with them on an commercial basis.
Once we're happy that a tool is of sufficient quality, most of the commercial agreements so far involve choosing a specific date for the review so that it can be synched with a release announcement. We have a long backlog of tools we're reviewing so this is one of the biggest benefits of partnering with us.
One of the few metrics we track is newsletter clicks to ensure that we're maintaining a high quality bar. Everything in the newsletter comes with our personal recommendation, especially where we're working with partners, so it's important that our readers find the tools interesting.
A recent example of this was with CodeSee who partnered with us to schedule a review on the same day as the launch of their new CodeSee Maps product. This ended up being one of the best performing tools to-date, and received the most clicks of all the tools in that weekly newsletter, even as a "sponsored" product.
You will often seen badges on product websites featuring third-party endorsement and user reviews, especially with consumer goods. Although it's just a graphic, having that seal of approval from a trusted, independent authority can really help encourage people to try your product.
Although we didn't quite finish it in October, our Console Badges page is now live. Anyone with a review is free to pick the badge design and colors that work best for their own website and marketing materials. I'm looking forward to seeing these around the web!
Podcast Season 2
We're well into recording for season 2 of the Console DevTools Podcast. This season will be a new interview format with each episode focused on a specific devtools related topic.
We've lined up 10 episodes inteviewing people from across the industry in a 30 minute discussion about their specialist area. Topics include observability, the terminal, cryptography, decentralization, security and developer experience.
8 of the episodes have been recorded so far and we expect to release the first one in January, then weekly after that.
Focus for November
We've slowly been building out more in-depth reviews on our website. This involves exploring a whole category and testing out every tool in each one. So far we have written up detailed reviews of the best tools in 5 categories:
Our weekly newsletter is designed to help with discovering things you didn't know you needed. The category reviews are about helping you choose the best tools when you know what problems you want to solve. In November we will continue working on these categories to go even deeper.