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From Lena Reinhard <>
Subject Re: CouchDB referrals?
Date Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:19:23 GMT
Marketing hat: keeping barriers for rewards low (e.g. already rewarding contributions of non-elected
ppl) sounds good, also adding more points if the person is elected. From this point of view,
I can also agree to seeing time and attention as a sort of currency. 

Community Management hat: although I agree that inviting people personally to speak at confs
helps, I think that the analogy of speaker invitations for increasing diversity is only applicable
in parts here. 
In this case, marginalized people may still be only able to be advocates (as it's less effort
than the actual "contribution"). So even if this referral option may lead to a more diverse
group being able to make referrals, the people referred still have to be people with enough
time and attention span etc. to contribute freely, especially for then being elected (->
and bringing the referring person more points). Thus, from this perspective, it's a good idea
for increasing the number of referrals. But it may be hard or not that effective in terms
of increasing diversity.
Still, I think that it would be worth a trial to see how this goes - and perhaps also to think
about how this can be an opportunity to build a reward system for less privileged people (as
there are few to none in OSS structures at the moment). I know that this is a hard one, but
when we're talking about openness and aiming for diversity, I see this as one of the core
problems (to which I don't know a solution yet myself, but which doesn't mean that there is

On 09.06.2014, at 15:58, Noah Slater <> wrote:

> I have another idea to float:
> Advocates have the opportunity to refer a designer, author, marketing
> person, dev, etc. We personally reach out to them with a tailored
> email invitation. (We'd pre-write a few of these, one for each area of
> the project.) The email would outline what we do, and then go into a
> few details about the a certain area of contribution, with pointers to
> resources for getting started, etc.
> If the person starts contributing, the person who referred them is
> awarded with points. If we eventually elect that person, the person
> who referred them gets more points. (I believe this is directly
> analogous to how client referrals typically work on the platform.)
> Contributions are the capital of OSS. People's time and attention is
> our most important resource.
> So here's the analogy:
> Traditional referrals program:
> - Advocates refer individuals who "convert" by paying (contributing) money.
> OSS referrals program:
> - Advocates refer individuals who "convert" by paying (contributing) time.
> I don't think many people explicitly think about OSS in these terms.
> But when you do, a lot of things become clear. For example:
> recruitment should be your number one priority! Recruitment is your
> sales channel, effectively.
> "Sales channel" makes sense if you see time and attention as a sort of currency.
> Most people think that the measure of health for an OSS project is how
> many downloads you have, or how many users you have. That's because in
> a business, these things translate to revenue. And revenue is your
> lifeblood
> But if time and attention are the capital of OSS, then contributions
> are your lifeblood. And it seems likely that traditional business
> practices used to maximise revenue might be applicable to maximising
> contribution.
> If we did something like this, would we be the first OSS project to
> actively reach out to people to invite them to contribute?
> Inviting speakers (usually from pools) is a very effective way of
> increasing speaker diversity at a conference. (Citations available
> upon request.) Perhaps invitation is one of the ways we can increase
> our project diversity?
> On 6 June 2014 18:47, Jan Lehnardt <> wrote:
>> just to note that I’d be equally happy with disabling it.
>> On 06 Jun 2014, at 17:49 , Joan Touzet <> wrote:
>>> Sounds like an impedance mismatch. Disable the functionality.
>>> It'd be nice to know how people get to our community, and it's good
>>> to have a consultancy network, but this really sounds more like a
>>> support function for channel partnerships and revenue recognition --
>>> "virtual finders fees" as it were. Not sure if we need that.
>>> -Joan
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Noah Slater" <>
>>> To: "Noah Slater" <>
>>> Cc:, "Benoit Chesneau" <>,
"Dave Cottlehuber" <>, "Jan L" <>
>>> Sent: Friday, June 6, 2014 8:11:00 AM
>>> Subject: Re: CouchDB referrals?
>>> I am particularly interested in the opinions of:
>>> - PMC members (from a governance perspective)
>>> - Marketing people (from a recruitment/community perspective)
>>> - People who offer CouchDB consulting (Jan, Dave, Benoit, etc.)
>>> On 4 June 2014 15:57, Noah Slater <> wrote:
>>>> Hello folks,
>>>> The Influitive AdvocateHub has a primary concept of a referral. In the
>>>> context of a business, a referral is when an advocate refers a contact
>>>> to the business. Obviously, this is very valuable for B2B business
>>>> that are looking for clients.
>>>> CouchDB is not a B2B business, and so I'm not sure this particular
>>>> part of the AdvocateHub fits our use case.
>>>> We can turn it off. But before we do, I wanted to explore some other
>>>> options. What could referrals mean for us, as a community?
>>>> Some ideas:
>>>> - A referral is just an advocate recommending CouchDB to a friend or
>>>> colleague. In this scenario, who does the referral contact? Do we put
>>>> them in touch with a mailing list (seems a little odd), a particular
>>>> person, or particular persons?
>>>> - A referral is more about contributors than it is about users. So the
>>>> advocate would be referring a contributor to the CouchDB project.
>>>> Perhaps a designer, a marketing person, a video blogger, a technical
>>>> author, or whatever. People we find hard to recruit normally.
>>>> (Remember that recruitment is our #1 biggest challenge.)
>>>> - A referral is a business referral. We set up a list for people who
>>>> offer CouchDB services. A referral puts the a person in contact with
>>>> this list of people. So tenders can be made individually by whomever
>>>> is interested in the business.
>>>> Thoughts?
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> --
>>>> Noah Slater
>>> --
>>> Noah Slater
> -- 
> Noah Slater

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