Jul 10

Nat Torkington

Nat Torkington

Rails Movie Launched

OSCON keynoter David Heinemeier Hansson just launched The New Rails Movie. It's a walk-through of building a blog engine with Rails. Whether or not you think Rails is the bee's knees and the wasp's nipples, you have to admit that the 37 Signals crew are master marketers. In many ways, more amazing than the technology of Rails is the way these guys have created buzz and build a community by lowering barriers to entry. They have lots of documentation, a happy vibe on the community forums, and quickly created an active and passionate user community.

tags: affordances  | comments: 7   | Sphere It

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Comments: 7

  Anonymous [07.11.05 07:54 AM]

Seems like O'Reilly Radar is a large part of creating that buzz.

There's 15 posts on this blog that contain "ruby rails" in the last three months. You have another 6 posts on "backpack" and 11 on "37 signals".

As much as I have been impressed by the work from 37 Signals, it is a little nauseating how hard you folks are pushing them.

  Tim O'Reilly [07.11.05 09:46 AM]

Hey, anonymous, we call it like we see it. If we'd been doing O'Reilly Radar in 1991, we'd have been raving about Perl, even though it was only the buzz in sysadmin newsgroups; in 1992, we would have been raving about the WWW, even though there were only 200 web sites; in 1998, when we started trumpeting the fact that all our bestselling books had something in common ("open source"), most of the market research firms were scratching their heads about whether or not this could really be significant, because *their* customers weren't asking about it yet.

So yes, we have been sharing news about 37signals and Rails, because we like their ideas. Meanwhile, we posted 29 items (not counting links) on mapping-related topics, 25 that mention Ajax, 22 that mention flickr, 12 that mention Firefox, 9 on

Feel free to send us items on other technologies that you think should be on our radar. If you think that something shouldn't be on our radar, tell us why it's uninteresting, not just that you find it "nauseating" that we're covering it so much.

  Perrin Harkins [07.12.05 09:41 AM]

Tim, in fairness, I think Anonymous was pretty clear about why he didn't like this post. Saying that Rails is amazing because it has buzz, when you yourselves are responsible for generating much of that buzz, does sound a bit odd. It's almost a back-handed compliment.

  Rob Harwood [07.12.05 04:53 PM]

Perrin, in fairness to David Heinemeier Hansson and the Rails community, most of the buzz was generated directly by those involved with Rails. The original movie, the blogs by people who tried Rails, and David's blog are all good examples of how they generated buzz. The O'Reilly Radar is a drop in the bucket.

In fairness to Tim and Nat, they are fairly reporting the buzz around Rails, why it exists, and linking directly to materials so you can verify and judge for yourself.

  Tim O'Reilly [07.12.05 10:31 PM]

Perrin --

I second what Rob Harwood said. The O'Reilly Network article Rolling with Ruby on Rails is the only O'Reilly piece that shows up in the first page of google results for RoR. All the Radar mentions that Anonymous cited are somewhere down the long tail. Even the fact that we have a Ruby on Rails tutorial and a David Hennemeier Hanson keynote at OSCON doesn't show up on the first page of google results! (I think I'll add a link back into that previous section to see if I can help move that fact up the visibility tree...) In fact, there are only three O'Reilly-generated links in the first five pages of google results. I think it's hardly the case that we're the generator of all the buzz!

  Perrin Harkins [07.13.05 10:18 AM]


Why would a developer who hasn't heard of Rails be Googling for it? ran three major articles about Rails. All of them were featured on Slashdot. Those are two of the most widely read sites among the techies I know and it's where most of them heard about Rails.

  Rob Harwood [07.14.05 06:59 AM]

Perrin: "All of them were featured on Slashdot."

I rest my case.

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