Community Stories are practical stories and community advice about working with data.
Want to write a Community Story? Here are some tips.
What to write about
Just some ideas for topics:
Focus on a problem and how you solved it
Data team war stories, interesting problems, boring problems you solved in an interesting way. Even if you didn’t fully solve the problem, what did you do, and what did you learn?
Strongly held opinions
If you know how to do something the right way, let people know.
Tips for making your job easier
What did you do to save time, or eliminate work altogether?
Have a neat trick? Show people how it’s done.
Words of warning
Did a project go horribly awry? What went wrong, and how can others avoid the same mistakes?
Some things to keep in mind when you’re writing and revising.
Say the most important thing first
Ideally, people read the whole post; but don’t count on it. People are busy.
Use headings to highlight key points
Readers should be able to read the headings and get a good idea of what you’re saying. Take the following example:
Bad heading: Headings
Okay heading: How to write a good heading
Better heading: Use headings to highlight key points
Why it’s better: “How to write a good heading” might be a good title for a post, but you’re not trying to get people to click on headings. If the main thing you want say is that people should use headings to highlight key points, just put that advice right in the heading.
Write like you’re talking to a colleague
Community Stories are meant to be a place where practitioners can help out other practitioners. Don’t try to sound smart; just focus on the subject at hand, and write like how you normally talk about these kinds of things.
Keep the scope of your article narrow
Community Stories are meant to be short, so keep the subjects focused. Avoid tackling topics that don’t neatly fit a brief post, or find a way to summarize the topic succinctly. For example, we could write a book on how to write a helpful Community Story, but we boiled it down to this list of things to keep in mind.
Answer the questions you had when learning about the topic
Especially the dumb questions that you were afraid to ask; those are the most important.
Don’t promote products, or yourself
The post itself is a form of self-promotion (plus you get a bio), so no need to talk up yourself or your experience. If some tech is relevant to the story, go ahead and include it; just don’t endorse it (including Metabase).
Don’t worry about writing a “good” Community Story; these are tips, not rules. Just have fun with the writing, and focus on something you find interesting. If you’re interested in the topic, chances are someone else will be too.