A Year of PGSQL Phriday Blogging Events

Not quite two years ago I had the privilege to give one of the sponsor keynotes at PGConf.NYC 2021. At the time I was a Timescale employee. But rather than focus solely on how Timescale could solve the problems of people in the room, the leadership gave me freedom to share a vision for increasing community involvement and acceptance within PostgreSQL.

What was particularly important to me at the time was the experience of wading into PostgreSQL after years of working with another database – SQL Server in my case. As it turns out, I was finding that many of my fellow SQL Server users were making the same journey with similar challenges.

However, as someone that had very little credibility within the PostgreSQL community, I stood on stage and tried to explain some of the challenges I and others had faced, along with some ideas of how we could reach the growing community more.

One of the initiatives I proposed was a monthly blogging event that anyone could participate in. The rules are few and straightforward, with the goals of increasing community driven content and building new relationships around PostgreSQL. In short, PGSQL Phriday is an easy way for folks to contribute relevant content that is amplified with the collective participation. Authors get to share their experience and the community gets to join the overall conversation.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of officially starting PGSQL Phriday, I wanted to give a brief reflection on how it’s gone so far and encourage new participation in the months ahead.

11 Months of Topics

Unsurprisingly, there is a consistent group of folks that have been kind enough to walk alongside me in this little experiment by hosting a topic and adding content most months. I never expected a grand venture with 100+ blog entries in a month, but I did hope that the monthly topics would spur discussion and draw in some new community voices.

On that front, I’d call PGSQL Phriday a success in year one.

We’ve had 11 topics with 21 distinct people contributing blog entries along the way. Each month averages out to ~5-6 blog contributions. In some cases, like PGSQL Phriday 007, people were definitely triggered by the topic, causing lots of additional discussion on Twitter. 😉

It’s the People, Silly!

The biggest highlight for me, thus far, has been meeting new people virtually. Some of them have been in the PostgreSQL space longer than I have, but have been eager supporters of the idea. In many cases, the experiences that they have written about resonate with my experience with databases and PostgreSQL, so I feel a connection and enjoy learning from them. I look forward to each new month to see if they’ll contribute again.

Likewise, the PostgreSQL Slack channel for #pgsqlphriday has grown to 35 people (as of the day I wrote this post). I’m pleasantly surprised each month when a new face drops in and asks if there will be a topic this month because they’d like to contribute.

This initiative started with community in mind, and even with our humble beginnings, I’m pleased with the connections that are being made. Sure, I’d love to see PGSQL Phriday grow with more people participating each month, but total numbers aren’t the main purpose.

What’s In It for the Community?

I’m a bit biased, but I think the PostgreSQL community benefits in two ways.

First, we get to talk about a diverse set of topics month after month that spur conversation and creates helpful content for the future… or at least to help ChatGPT. 😊

Second, it encourages wide participation by community members across the globe. There are no hurdles or boundaries that prevent someone from creating a post and contributing. You don’t have to belong to a specific meetup or live in a specific region.

As I mentioned earlier, almost every month this past year, at least one new person joined the conversation and posted content.

What Does the Future Hold?

After a lot of talk, we finally got the ball rolling in 2022. One year later, I feel like it’s been a success. The only challenge I see moving forward is getting enough interest and help to keep topics coming in the months ahead. And to keep things fresh and engaging, we need people to participate.

Do you see a topic that interests you? Write a blog post!!!

Do you have a topic that you’d like to have people talk about? Offer to host a coming month!!!

Do you know someone that has a great blog and loves to talk about PostgreSQL? Pester them to become a host or to start contributing blogs each month!!!

Start Today

Be on the watch for an announcement for the 12th edition of PGSQL Phriday, focused on the upcoming release of PostgreSQL 16. If you’ve been itching to join the conversation, this might just be the month for you to get started. 😉

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