The Changelog’s roots go back to November 2009. It was a happy accident turned obsession. We started out with a few episodes of the podcast, and then we started the blog. It was a Tumblr blog back then. GitHub was young then too (just 2.5 years old). Our aim was to shine a spotlight on the fresh and new of open source, and that’s where things began for us. It was about more than code and tech, it was about the people behind it all, and how it all ticked.
For the next two years Wynn and I, as well as other Changeloggers, poured labor and love into the podcast and blog, covering OSS as weekly as we could maintain. Guess what? Everyone loved it. We got tons of support from the community, and even worked with GitHub to become their unofficial podcast and was syndicated on github.com/explore.
In October of 2012, Wynn resigned from his role at The Changelog to focus on his work at GitHub, I obliged. But I was at a crossroads with what to do with The Changelog. I knew I needed to do something. Operating solo wasn’t ideal, and I knew I couldn’t just let The Changelog die.
I began to rethink the business model, or lack there of. The Changelog hadn’t made more than $8,000 in all its years. Hardly minimum wage for the amount of time any of us had put in. No excuses, but we didn’t really try to make money. It was a side project, and we were just digging covering OSS.
It became clear to me that the only way for The Changelog to be successful long-term was to generate revenue and become sustainable. So I became completely focused on that goal. I started looking at membership models, sponsored options, taking on partners, you name it, I was considering.
It was the “how” that was the hard part. Isn’t it always?
In late January 2013 a new version of The Changelog was launched.
We moved from Tumblr to WordPress for greater editorial control and the extensibility WordPress offers.
We launched the blog and membership first. At this point, the podcast had been on hiatus since August 2012, so I knew any start towards consistency was going to be good for us. We needed to have a solid website, and clear editorial guidelines for the content we would produce. Jerod Santo joined the team as a writer, and stepped in as Managing Editor by the end of the year.
On April 22, 2013 we relaunched the podcast. It felt good to be back. Andrew Thorp joined as the co-host and we began to quickly build a backlog of guests and shows.
We were back.
Fast forward to today – it’s the month of February 2015, just over two full years after our relaunch, we’ve added 1200+ posts to the blog, started a weekly email, released 58 new podcast episodes, added $3000+ dollars of offers and discounts for our members, moved to 5by5…
…and I’m now coming on as the first official full-time employee at The Changelog.
I stepped away from a great comfortable job at Pure Charity, a Nonprofit I deeply love.
This once fledgling passion project that barely paid minimum wage is now sustainable to the point where I can step out into the unknown.
I must be crazy.
How Can You Help?
The best way to help us is to become a supporting member for $20 a year.
That’s like buying us a $1.67 cup of coffee every month.
Our membership is our version of Patreon, but directly integrated into everything we do here at The Changelog. Your money will go directly to support myself and and team here at The Changelog in the mission of supporting OSS, and its phenomenal community.
Our supporting members will be first in line to get access to new features and a behind the scenes look at how we make The Changelog work every day.
Our membership has its benefits too. You get access to our members-only Slack room, specially negotiated offers and discounts from trusted partners like DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Codeship, MaxCDN, TravisCI, MotionInMotion screencasts, and many more.
We’re adding new partners and discounts every month too.
You can also share projects, news, feedback, or help us by suggesting a show idea at our Ping repo on GitHub.
What Can You Expect by Me Going Full-Time?
In the audio at the top of this post, Jerod and I share some of the deeper details of what’s to come, but a quick summary here is fitting as well.
- We’re starting a new email newsletter called Changelog Nightly (more on that in the very near future, but you can subscribe now)
- Changelog Weekly will continue to get better and better, plus we’ll be inheriting some design updates from Nightly
- The future of The Changelog is investing in our loyal member base, and we’re inviting our Partners do the same with us
- Members’ Slack Room is open for members
- More focus on new benefits for members
- Sustainability and consistency in all we do
- Deeper relationships with our partners
- Better ads on the show - we’ve been experimenting with more produced spots that are entertaining to listen to and valuable for the sponsor — win, win!
- We’re producing a new mini series called Beyond Code! Video is a bigger play for us this year and we’ll be at more conferences to meet all of you
If you’d like to have a say in which conferences we attend this year, chime in on this GitHub issue at the Ping repo.
Last, but not least, there are so many people to thank for getting us to this moment.
- My wife. She’s awesome! The best. Without her support, this would not be possible.
- Jerod Santo, Managing Editor and Partner here at The Changelog – he’s so awesome.
- Even though he has moved on, I’m thankful for Wynn Netherland for starting The Changelog with me.
- Andrew Thorp, he is missed on the podcast. Great co-host and friend.
- Dan Benjamin and team at 5by5.
- Aaron Dowd, aka The Podcast Dude, our awesome audio editor
- Our members! To have the trust and financial support of so many is awesome. Thank you!
- Our Partners and Sponsors…Codeship, Toptal, DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Pluralsight, MaxCDN, Ninefold, StatusPage.io, Honeybadger, ThoughtWorks & Snap CI, Travis CI, Balanced, Code Climate, Ruby Off Rails, Elixir Sips, MotionInMotion, Git Tower, Nodejitsu, PagerDuty, Runscope, Scout, RubyTapas & Avdi Grimm, Stunning, VersionEye…and many more – your partnership and support means the world to me. Thank you!