Behind the Scenes of Issue 64
Quick news, donation/sponsorship controversy, the giveaway strikes back, January stats, vendor database update, developments.
Published February 7, 2022
I'm Tamas Dovenyi and this is Issue #64 of my DIY keyboard focused blog dubbed the Keyboard Builders' Digest – with all the interesting posts from last week.
What I do is constantly browsing the keyboard related communities and feature some interesting projects, tips and spottings I find to bring them to your attention.
I try to post each day here and on Twitter, and once in a week, Mondays, I wrap that up in a new issue and send my newsletter to 1,800 subscribers. And I also publish a behind the scenes write-up like this one.
Why this explanation? Seasoned readers know full well what's this all about since the project has been around for more than a year now and I diligently pollute various subreddits and other keyboard communities with my weekly posts.
The cause: I received some critiques last week that the site is confusing and hard to digest for newcomers. They don't really understand the format, the structure, what they are looking at and how to read it. Well, hopefully this explanation helps a bit.
On the other hand, I received some positive feedbacks too:
I am printing the full issue webpage at the moment because I want to have it in print and want to bind it for my friend as well – library-dude.
Haha, omg, I really don't know if this is a good idea with regards to the environment, but thanks library-dude. :D
Some quick news which didn't make it to the digest as a dedicated post:
- Firstly, Keeb.io announces the THICK B-stock Elite-C – with 2 mm PCB due to manufacturing mistake. Later they appear at 1UP Keyboards too. :D
- Kazuhiko Nishi, computer pioneer, who as Microsoft vice-president helped to conceive and market the MSX format to unify home computer architectures of the '80s, liked.. well.. not my tweet on the Sony HitBit but a comment to that tweet. Closing in. :D
- I was rebuked for publishing last week's Glove80 write-up. Honestly, I think the content fits the concept of kbd.news quite well but I marked Stephen, the author, as "supporter" anyway.
- On a similar note: As much as I like this project, I lose thousands of dollars each month by doing kbd.news instead of some freelance software/webdev work. Literally. I refuse job offers and commissions to be able to do kbd.news so I'm asking for your understanding. I can't rule out similar featured articles in the future unless the number of regular monthly supporters reaches a certain threshold.
- I don't want to scatter the site with ads either, especially obtrusive ones, so reader donations remain the main or only compensation for my time. That said, buy me a unicorn!
- Speaking of donations: Thanks Darren and FooStudios for supporting this project this week. Only 100-200 more donations (per month) and I'll be able to do this as my full time job! :D
Do you remember the first anniversary giveaway I organized last November? That's something I'd rather forget now but it has still kept me busy this week... Quite a few winners haven't received their prizes and I reached out to the sponsors. It seems the prizes are resent(?) now – but let's wait until they show up at the winners' doors.
There's one thing that pisses me off though: every now and then I'd like to add a shop to the database but their site lacks even the most basic info. Like the location. I mean even the country...
This week I contacted a few such vendors too, asking for more data before I can include them into the list.
Visitor stats, January
If anyone is interested, I've updated the About page with the January statistics.
There was a considerable 10% increase in the number of unique users.
Looking at the long-term monthly chart, that may be the effect of people returning to work. And the almost daily posts on kbd.news and Twitter contributed to these results too I guess.
In addition, I discovered a discrepancy between Cloudflare and Google Analytics data. That's my fault. I forgot that I use the same GA tracker code for both kbd.news and golem.hu – which makes sense since kbd.news started out as a humble subdirectory of golem.hu – but I use Cloudflare for kbd.news only... So the two numbers can't match.
That means the number of people using ad-blockers is actually much more than the 70% level I calculated earlier (based on the difference between Cloudflare's DNS and GA's cookie based stats).
(I keep that index untouched until I figure out something.)
- Archive issue page revamp, especially the "normal" and "full" views.
- TOC in full view
- Early post overhaul (those were messed up by the simplification of my lead formats).
- And still haunted by lead formats: leads hopefully fixed on archive issue pages and in the search results.
Well, that's it for today.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.
Feel free to ask and comment in this issue's r/mk thread, and as always: keep learning and building.
Published on Mon 7th Feb 2022. Featured in KBD #64.
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