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From Noah Slater <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Use Influitive to help with marketing
Date Sat, 05 Oct 2013 17:04:10 GMT
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

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
    * 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


Noah Slater

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