Our newsletter, Carpentry Clippings, appears every two weeks.
- Highlights from the Carpentries Community Calendar: Includes items from The Carpentries calendar, such as upcoming events.
- Community News: A place to report on all kinds of things - events, workshop or conference reports, awards, lesson releases, new reports …
- Committee and Task Force Activity: Includes announcements directly from task force and committee chairs and summaries from meeting notes.
- What you may have missed on the blog and mailing lists: Includes highlights of key conversations on the Discuss email list, other lists or things on the blog that need further highlighting.
- Tweet of the Week: One noteworthy tweet is chosen and a screen captured image is included.
- Papers & manuscripts for and from the community: Includes announcements that were made on the Discuss email list, Twitter, or other media.
- Optional: Offcuts: Includes other unusual news that may be of interest.
- Optional: Joinery: Includes other ways to get involved in the Carpentries community and ways the Carpentries community is involved in other conferences, etc.
- Optional: Toolshed (Posts from our Past): A place to highlight handy posts from the blog or discussion list archives that might still be relevant to postings to lists and other issues.
- Community Job postings: Includes information that has come through on the Discuss email list, Twitter, and other media.
- Other places to connect: This section is standardized for all newsletter issues.
Publishing the newsletter¶
This information is intended for staff or community members who have taken on the responsibility of publishing the newsletter.
Each newsletter is a campaign on MailChimp.
To create a new newsletter, log in to MailChimp and click on Campaigns. Make a copy of the latest newsletter and rename the copy to reflect the current date (e.g.
Carpentry Clippings, 27 March, 2018.).
Check the To field is correctly set as going to x number of newsletter subscribers.
Check the From field is correctly set as coming from The Carpentries.
Make sure the date in the Subject line is changed to the new newsletter date.
Select Edit design to add newsletter content. When the newsletter opens, click the pencil icon in the newsletter on the left to open the newsletter for editing. (Editing is all done within the right pane; the left pane renders the public view as you edit.)
Remove the old content and paste in the new, leaving the headings so that the formatting for them is not disturbed.
Be sure to update the date at the top of the email as well.
Highlight each paragraph and click Clear styles if anything you are copying in appears in bold when you don’t want it to.
Add images by clicking on the Image icon in the edit window. All images must be no more than 550px wide to render properly. These can be resized within MailChimp by working with the image styling and location.
Go to Preview and Test to preview the newsletter before sending it out. This includes a desktop and mobile version preview. Send a test email to yourself to preview it in your email client.
Save and Close and schedule the newsletter to be sent. This should be set for Wednesday at 9 am Eastern time. Be sure it is set for AM, not PM. A confirmation message saying “Rock On! Your campaign has been scheduled” will be displayed, and a link to a published view of the newsletter will be displayed. Paste this link into the staff channel so staff have a chance to review the newsletter before it goes out.
The newsletter will now be locked. If any changes need to be made after ther newsletter has been scheduled, you will need to pause the campaign, make changes, and restart the campaign.
After a campaign has been paused and then restarted, it is important to doublecheck that the date and time for sending out the newsletter is still correctly set as this will often default to the current time, rather than the original scheduled time.
As soon as the newsletter has been sent out, move it to the Carpentry Clippings folder. This adds it to the searchable online archive findable through our website. To move it, check the box next to the newsletter and select the Carpentry Clippings folder when the
Move to option appears.
Tips and Tricks¶
The Mailchimp editor is not entirely user-friendly. Formatting changes may appear in the edit window but not in the preview document. The easiest workaround for this is to:
- Copy and paste text in the Mailchimp editor.
- Select all text in the Mailchimp editor and click Clear Styles.
- Select all text and set font to Arial 12 point.
- Select the title (“Carpentries Clippings,
”) and set font to 18 pt bold.
- Select each subheading one by one (Highlights from the Carpentries Community Calendar, Community News, etc.) and set font to 16 pt bold.
- Select each item heading one by one and set font to 14 point regular.
Mailchimp customer service chat is hard to find on their website but quite responsive to requests for help.