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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Outreach techniques -- what works
Date Mon, 08 Oct 2012 17:03:20 GMT
Some quick observations based on recent experience and metrics.  I
think this is important when we consider ways of reaching out for
volunteers.

Facts:

1) Adding something an the www.openoffice.org homepage, as a news
story, gets around 80K hits/day

2) Adding something to the header on all of ooo-site gets 800K hits/day

3) Putting out a blog post on blogs.apache.org gets around 1K hits/day

4) Sending something out by Twitter gets maybe 1K, but it is a one-time thing

5) Sending something out via announcement list reaches 8K users, but
this is also one-time

6) Other mailing lists, like ooo-dev and ooo-users reach a few hundred users


What is effective?  What isn't?  What gets the eyeballs?


Case 1:  Google Moderator

Over we had 1,116 users submit 910 ideas and cast 13,354 votes.  This
was promoted via mailing list, social networking, blog post,
announcement list, but it did not really take off until I linked to it
from the website header (method #2 above).  This massively increased
the number of people participating.


Case 2:  Danish and Polish translators.

I put a brief note on the Danish and Polish homepages, in English,
saying that we would welcome volunteers:
http://www.openoffice.org/da/

This was something so simple, so low tech that I never bothered to do
it before because I was not sure it would be effective.   But then I
noticed that these NL home pages were getting nearly 5K hits/day.
Although this is a much smaller audience, it is a very targeted
audience.

Within 48 hours of putting these notes up we now have multiple
volunteers starting to work on completing the Polish and Danish
translations.  In fact now we need to worry about how we coordinate
multiple volunteers on the same language, a good problem to have.


Case 3: QA volunteers (a negative example)

We've had a lot of good information on helping test AOO, on the wiki,
automation code checked into SVN, test procedures, test reports, etc.
All of this is happening in the open on ooo-dev and ooo-qa.  But I
don't think we have a really attracted any more test volunteers.
Why?

Maybe this is because we have only asked on our lists, which have
relatively few subscribers -- a few hundred -- compared to the how
many we can reach out to via other means.


So based on what I've seen, in this example and others, I'd recommend
thinking like this:


1) Are we looking for a broad or targeted outreach?

2) If narrow, look for targeting specific pages on the website that
will be seen by those users

3) If broad, consider something on the home page or the header on
every page, like we're doing now with ApacheCon.

4) Even though a blog post gets less traffic, it still might make
sense to start there.  It gives you something that you can then think
to from other places, as well as a way to engage with the reader via
comments.

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