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How do you promote your open source projects?

rtivital profile image Vitaly Rtishchev ・1 min read

What promotion tools give you most feedback? Have you tried to promote with Hacker News or Reddit and what was the result? What tools gave you the most starts and contributors?

Discussion

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In the beginning of the year, I added streaming support with for await loop to my xml parser txml. since then, until summer in grow slowly to 1000 weekly downloads.

the package I first published almost 5 years ago, but never had real download numbers, maybe someone try it, but most downloads are from npm mirror services.

Then I wrote an article on dev, I added the parser as a good option to a few questions on stack overflow, and link it here on dev in some comments (txml). and now I am very happy with 13000 weekly downloads. and with some feedback I work on version 4. That is likely to be more strict.

 

Great work. I think the most successful libraries are ones which are very clearly defined to do one thing.

 

Could not agree more! In our work, we use exactly such ones!

 

The tools I've tried to use:

  • dev.to – middle output
  • frontendfront.com – middle output
  • reddit – small output

Checkout my projects 😉 as we are here anyway:

  • Omatsuri – evergrowing set of browser tools
  • xooks – general purpose react hooks collection
  • react-pages-boillerplate – starter for react + browser router with prerendering for gh-pages or netlify deployments
 

I think dev.to brought me a good number of stars for my project Bookmarks.dev and some posts on Reddit some time ago - the thing is you need to bring value to the users and don't self promote... I am also preparing to launch on ProductHunt and tell you what the feedback was from there in a week or two...

 

Recently I released an OpenStreetMap Block for WordPress' Gutenberg Editor and tried the following ways to promote it:

  • First, I took the time to write an article on my website, which would be used as a reference point for anyone seeking more info about the project.
  • Then, I posted on two popular Facebook pages about WordPress (Advanced WordPress and the WordPress Greek Community).
  • I tried Reddit as well
  • I posted it on Hacker News
  • and, of course, I wrote a post on dev.to

Of the above, Facebook was by far the most successful of all, offering great and valuable feedback. The rest passed rather unnoticed.

 
 

What got you the most effect?

 
 

lobste.rs got me lot of traffic for my bloatless static site generator mkws.sh but in was once or twice as I posted. Now I just promote it whereever I see an oportunity. I have to write a dev.to article at some point.

 

I'm posting on some dedicated subreddits like

  • r/github
  • r/coolgithubprojects
  • r/programming languages (I'm making one)
  • r/cpp (it's in C++) Sometimes on hacker news when I've made a big release, and I tried posting on dev.to/Twitter but got less engagement.

What worked the best was reddit and HN (I made a Show HN and got featured for a day), and people from programming discord servers
Thanks to those topics I got new contributors for things I would never have been able to do alone on ArkScript like docker support, a REPL...

 

Most packages 'fail'. Even more so than businesses. Any advice you'll get from successful packages is going to have some degree of survival bias.

I'd be curious to hear from people that have given marketing an honest shot and failed.

 

What are you considering to be a failure?