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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Use Influitive to help with marketing
Date Mon, 07 Oct 2013 15:20:36 GMT
Okay, some answers:

- How to ensure this reward system is optional?

I think we can experiment with the reward system. The default is just to
award points for completing tasks. So you can have leader-boards within
Influitive, and you can see who has the most points, etc.

What we do with those points is how we experiment. I think the first step
should be to offer some sort of public thanks, as I outline in my proposal.
Even a Twitter #FF would go a long way, I think.

Secondly, I think we should experiment with allow people to exchange points
for swag. Perhaps this will be received positively, perhaps some people
will complain. If it causes a problem, we remove it.

- How to ensure that people that not participate do not feel unconsidered
by other members of the community because not rewarded by the Influtive

I think you're right: we should recognise people who help out on JIRA, and
on the mailing lists, and so on. I think that's a worthwhile discussion to
have, but I don't think it blocks this work. In fact, perhaps we can look
at what works for Influitive, and then try to replicate that in other parts
of the project.

So, for example, if the Twitter promotion, or blog mentions, really work,
and people like them, then perhaps in a few months, we have a conversation
about how to do the same sort of thing for people who contribute in other

The same can be said for swag too. Assuming I even find a budget for this
(which I may not be able to do) then presumably we can extend that and say
thank you to other people with a t-shirt too. (Actually, recently, Cloudant
very kindly sent a t-shirt to committers at my suggestion. So that is one
example of this. I assume you got yours, Benoit? I've been wearing mine!)

I think it's important to consider the different types of people we're
talking about here. As a core contributor, I really don't feel like I need
to be rewarded for my contributions. The community is enough of a reward
for me.

But Influtive is targeting people who may only be on the peripheries.
People who have used CouchDB, love it, and will jump at the opportunity to
help out by telling their network about their experiences. And for that,
sending them a pack of CouchDB stickers, or whatever, makes obvious sense.
We're trying to mobilise a volunteer workforce of people who will promote
us! So let's give them the swag to do that!

In fact, we might want to use that as a metric for what we give out. We
could say, okay, we're only gonna give out swag that has some promotional
value to the project. So in a way, it an extension of the initiative
itself. People who are interested in marketing and promoting CouchDB will
be rewarded with shipments of stickers, keyrings, etc, to help them with
that. Perfect!

- What will define the success or failure of the experimentation?  What is
the deadline of the experimentation?

With something like this, I think the success of failure has to be measured

So we could look at a number of things:

* What has the take-up been like? Are many people using it?
* What has been the reaction to the programme within the community? Do
people feel positively about it?
* What has been the reaction to the programme outside of our community? Has
it engaged people or attracted new users? Is it seen favourably by other

Note also that Influtive themselves will be keeping a very close eye on the
experiment, because obviously, it is important to them that the experiment
is a success. So if it's not working out, we may not have a choice in the

I'd say, let's run the experiment for three months, and then review. Then
again in another three months.

Are you happy with that?

On 7 October 2013 09:47, Jan Lehnardt <> wrote:

> +1, love this initiative Noah! I am really curious about what comes
> out of this.
> Thanks for the lively discussion around this, everyone. I’m seeing
> all my concerns addressed, so I can just thumb up :D
> Best
> Jan
> --
> On Oct 5, 2013, at 19:04 , Noah Slater <> wrote:
> > Hi devs,
> >
> > I would like to propose that we use Influitive to help us improve our
> > marketing efforts.
> >
> > I fully intend to execute this proposal myself. If you want to volunteer,
> > that is great. But if you are not interested in this, that is fine also.
> > Nobody has to participate if they do not want to. I am quite happy to run
> > it as an experiment myself. If it works we can continue, and if it
> doesn't,
> > we can stop.
> >
> > Unless anybody objects, I will assume lazy consensus after three days,
> and
> > let Influitive that we have the green light to move forward.
> >
> > = Introduction =
> >
> > Influitive AdvocateHub is an advocacy marketing platform.
> >
> > Think of it like Kickstarter, for marketing. You post a description of
> what
> > you want to accomplish, and then your community members pitch in and help
> > to make it happen.
> >
> > As an open source project, we struggle to market ourselves because we
> have
> > no budget. Where a typical company might take out ads, or pay people to
> > write technical content, we rely on volunteer time and word of mouth. But
> > this is typically disorganised.
> >
> > AdvocateHub is a tool that that will allow us to coordinate that
> volunteer
> > time and word of mouth. We can create a steady stream of challenges or
> > requests for help and people who are committed to the project can
> organise
> > around these, and help us spread the word of CouchDB.
> >
> > In return for doing these things, we reward them with prestige and swag.
> > And maybe a few other exclusive items, like conference tickets, or a
> round
> > of drinks on me.
> >
> > You should watch these two intro videos:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > = Donation =
> >
> > AdvocateHub is usually premium service. However, Influitive has very
> > generously offered to donate an account to the project. This is the first
> > open source project that Influitive has supported like this, so I am very
> > grateful for the opportunity!
> >
> > AdvocateHub is designed for commercial companies, but I think we can make
> > it work for an open source project. Influitive will be monitoring our
> > progress, and if things are not working out, we’ll end the experiment. As
> > part of this agreement, I will be the account owner and will be
> responsible
> > for its operation. But if you are a committer and you want to help out, I
> > can add you as an admin. This is similar to how we run our social media
> > accounts.
> >
> > In return for the support, I am proposing to:
> >
> >    * Promote the use of our AdvocateHub within our community
> >    * Thank them from our website, wiki, and social media accounts
> >    * Document our progress with the occasional blog or tweet
> >
> > Promoting the use of our AdvocateHub will probably take the form of
> > mentioning new challenges on the mailing list, blog, Twitter, Google+,
> etc.
> > Obviously, we will want to encourage as many people as possible to get
> > involved in the AdvocateHub as possible.
> >
> > As for documenting our progress, I am thinking that the occasional post
> > covering how we’re using the tool, and what sorts of results we’re seeing
> > would be appropriate.
> >
> > I have spoken with the ASF fundraising team already, and there are no
> > concerns with these plans at the foundation level.
> >
> > = Challenges =
> >
> > AdvocateHub is built around the concept of a challenge, or request for
> > help. We can design these however we want, and I will be looking for
> input
> > from the community.
> >
> > Ideas for easy challenges:
> >
> >    * Retweet an official @CouchDB tweet
> >    * Upvote a CouchDB story on Hacker News, Reddit, Google+ etc
> >    * Publicly mention CouchDB on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, your blog,
> etc
> >    * Share an official project blog post somewhere
> >
> > Ideas for medium challenges:
> >
> >    * Watch a featured video
> >    * Read a featured blog post, or section of the docs
> >    * Help someone out on the mailing list
> >    * Answer a CouchDB question on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, etc
> >    * Talk about CouchDB in response to a Quora question
> >    * Talk about CouchDB in response to a submission on Hacker News,
> > Reddit, etc
> >    * Comment on an official blog post, or a blog post about CouchDB
> >    * Post a review on alternativeTo, or other review sites, blog posts,
> etc
> >    * Provide an official endorsement or quote from your company about
> > CouchDB
> >    * Complete a survey (I plan to actually make some surveys)
> >
> > Ideas for hard challenges:
> >
> >    * Create a CouchDB client, library, or tool
> >    * Produce early/mid/late stage technical content
> >    * Produce a CouchDB white paper
> >    * Give a talk or screencast about CouchDB
> >    * Share a CouchDB success story, testimonial, or case-study
> >    * Organise a CouchDB meet-up
> >    * Organise a CouchDB conference
> >
> > And then, challenges for actually contributing back to CouchDB itself:
> >
> >    * Triage X many JIRA tickets
> >    * Fix up outstanding issues on a CouchDB pull request
> >    * Contribute a fix for a JIRA ticket
> >
> > (This might be a little outside of the scope of AdvocateHub, as this
> would
> > request contribution back to the project itself. Still, it would be
> > interesting to see if this would work. As a volunteer organisation,
> > volunteer time and attracting contributions is our top priority.)
> >
> > = Rewards =
> >
> > Completing challenges gives you points, levels, and badges. I know that
> > many people love this kind of system, and are happy to compete with each
> > other for points alone. However, we also have the option of allowing
> > advocates to exchange points for prizes.
> >
> > AdvocateHub has an integration with a swag drop-ship merchant.
> Hopefully, I
> > can attract a third-party to help with the bill for this. It would mean
> > that by completing challenges, we can reward advocates with t-shirts,
> > hoodies, mugs, pins, stickers, and so on!
> >
> > In addition to swag, we could also offer:
> >
> >    * Individual promotion for you
> >    * Priority or free tickets to the regular CouchDB Confs
> >    * Email support or advice from the committers (depends on who
> > volunteers time)
> >    * Private call with one the committers (depends on who volunteers
> time)
> >    * Drinks on Noah (though, you’ll have to come find me!)
> >
> > Promotion could be quite a draw. Imagine a weekly Tweet along the lines
> of
> > “Thanks to @ARandomPerson for supporting CouchDB this week. You should
> > follow her on Twitter!” We could also include a mention in our weekly
> > CouchDB news. (A blog idea that I have not executed on yet.) As far as I
> > can tell, we’d only be able to promote individual accounts, not
> businesses.
> > The ASF has very strict vendor neutrality rules that we must adhere to.
> >
> > Some other ideas of how we could provide return promotion:
> >
> >    * Mention on our homepage that week
> >    * Get on our weekly @CouchDB #FollowFriday
> >    * Entered into a “hall of fame”
> >    * Get mentioned in our Git commits, issues, or pull requests
> >
> > The @CouchDB account has close to 10k followers. And our homepage
> receives
> > around 8,500 page views per month at the moment. Those numbers are not to
> > be sniffed at!
> >
> > (This is heavily inspired by Hoodie, who allow people to sponsor the
> > project in return for promotion via different channels. I think we can
> > borrow some of this.)
> >
> > The specifics of the reward programme is unimportant at this stage. Like
> > the details of the challenges themselves, we can figure this out as we
> move
> > forward.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > --
> > Noah Slater
> >

Noah Slater

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