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What ideas do people have for promoting the site to a larger community?

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  • $\begingroup$ We're currently talking to the StackExchange team and they have marketing resources to allocate! $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 19 '10 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @shane Could the money be used to do market research for the site name? Given the contentious nature of the site name thread and the ill-defined community we have it may make sense to actually commission a small market research study in our target audience to choose a site name. Just a thought. $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 19 '10 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ I think a market research on such a website name is very difficult to create - how do you think of organizing it (Assuming you have some dollars) ?? $\endgroup$ – Tal Galili Aug 21 '10 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ There are several ways to do this depending on what we want to accomplish. 1. Identify our target audience (e.g., statistics, data mining, ml professionals which would include academics, grad students and industry) 2. survey a sample of them about several aspects of site names such as (a) what comes to their mind when they hear a site name, (b) would they use such a site (c) would they use a site that has 'x' word and so on... The dollar amount will depend on the scope and scale of the study we want to conduct. $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 23 '10 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Srikant: Are there organizations that can help with this, or would be try to run it through some of the statistics departments for people using the site? $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 26 '10 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Shane Sure there are. They typically offer various forms of market research services such as obtaining a mailing list, designing a survey, analysis etc. As far as we are concerned the main issue we would have is getting a mailing list of potential users. I believe we have the 'internal' expertise as regards as other aspects are concerned such as survey design, analysis etc. Perhaps, there is where associations can potentially help? $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 27 '10 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @srikant: happy to support the effort if you want to take lead because I know nothing about this. Let me know what you want to do. $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 27 '10 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ @shane This may require more bandwidth (in terms of time) than I have at the moment but I will think about the best way to proceed and post a meta thread soon. $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 30 '10 at 16:25

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Maybe we should promote a "Stat flashmob week"

There was something similar done about a year ago for stackoverflow (I wrote about it here: http://www.r-statistics.com/2009/09/r-flashmob/ but for one day only)

It can give an excuse for bloggers to write about an actual call for action from their readers (go join the Q&A party!)

And also have a limited one week where they all aggressively advertise the site (banners on their sidebars, hangup signs in their University, and so on).

An event like this should be known in advance by people, and promoted in many venues simultaneously.

It can be coupled by approaching a leading figure(s) of some topic(s), who is currently outside the community (for example "multiple comparisons", "bootstrapping", and so on) And this way to attract even more people. Who to choose can be voted previously on the meta site.

We might want to make such an event a yearly (or half yearly) event. And only do it after the official website will be up (with a formal URL and logo).

Also, for something like this it would make sense to prepare a press release for the bloggers to use as a basis for their post. And also have fliers/banner graphics prepared upfront.

I would also be glad to help through my blog ( http://www.r-statistics.com ) and through http://www.r-bloggers.com .

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you be open to organizing one of these through your blog and twitter connections? $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 31 '10 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ Count me in, ready to mob! $\endgroup$ – Joris Meys Sep 2 '10 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Hello Shane. Sure. I would be glad to support/publicize this. I would appreciate help from the other people in both writing the posts and asking for other people to join in the fun. (Do you wish to continue this via e-mail? tal.galili@gmail.com) $\endgroup$ – Tal Galili Sep 4 '10 at 6:37
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Statistical software user groups seem a natural place to bring it up - perhaps during a presentation on how to find resources for [insert statistical software], or on a randomly interjected "commercial break" slide during an unrelated presentation.

Or if there's money for it, sponsor a meeting with pizza, beer, and a prominent Exchange member as presenter. Might not be cost-effective for my nascent R user group, but what about the SF/NY/Chicago RUGs?

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I think that we should consider hosting a predictive data analysis contest. We should come up with some kind of contemporary problem that has available data. Here are examples of what I mean:

http://www.kdnuggets.com/datasets/competitions.html

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  • $\begingroup$ One million upvotes. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Aug 26 '10 at 14:56
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How about selling/giving away t-shirts with our logo/site url at conferences? See the following links for how mathoverflow does it:

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    $\begingroup$ Part of the reason for my recent barrage of conference questions. :) $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 19 '10 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ Your questions are the inspiration for my answer. :-) $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 19 '10 at 13:57
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We can promote the site via various associations (graduate, academic and industry) as most 'experts'/'would be experts' will be members of these associations.

I am a bit unsure at the moment what exactly we can achieve via this route but something to think of.

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Many of these sites have "best of" lists for books in their subject area. We could create a small "library" (e.g. 5 books) including the top rated books, and package them with the site logo. These could be either sold or offered as prizes/give-aways for different things.

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We can request prominent bloggers to post on their blog discussing our website.

I had requested Andrew Gelman to write about this site on his blog. He replied to me a few days back and agreed to my request! The post is not yet up. I am hoping that it will be up soon.

If we make any such requests we should also actively monitor the blog post for comments so that we can address any issues raised by anyone appropriately.

Update

Andrew has posted about the site on his blog. See this post.

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  • $\begingroup$ Saw his post. Nice work! Now we just need to get him to actually use the site. :) $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 21 '10 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that would be nice. But, even if the post generates a few of his readers to start using the site that would be great. I will monitor the post for any comments that need to be addressed. $\endgroup$ – svadali Aug 21 '10 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, nicely done! $\endgroup$ – ars Aug 22 '10 at 1:47
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I don't know anything about advertising, marketing, etc. but i do know a fair amount about web metrics, and for the past few years i've been using Google Analytics as my web metrics platform, which is what the Stack Exchange Sites use (at least the ones i've checked out, including this one).

If we could get access to the relevant GA account (it's simple to partition access so that you can grant access to a single 'profile', which in this case would just the this Site) then i would bet that we could quickly come up with some very good (and usually free) suggesting regarding how to 'promote' the Site (just by looking at e.g., referral sources segmented by number of new registrants and segmented by total traffic volume, etc.)

In any event, i am happy to help with this effort.

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I noticed the other day that when I did google scholar searches my citeulike bibliography came up as a result. If you guys are able to implement a site wide bibliography for when people cite articles related to their forum post (and then presumably have google index them) it would seem to me to drive up web traffic for an advanced academic crowd. This would be particularly good if the bibliography linked to forum posts in which the work was cited.

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Advertising via email listservs that each of us have access to. (e.g., R help list perhaps or would that be spam over there?). The following meta link is relevant for this answer: Email Blurb for Public Beta

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For the last 3 years, ICML participants (Mark Reid?) have set up a site to discuss papers: 2010, 2009 & 2008.

Now, we're not a discussion site, but it seems a lot of the actual "discussion" is quite amenable to a Q&A format. I wonder if we could create tags before any upcoming conferences or workshops and encourage organizers/attendees to spread the word and ask questions about papers/concepts, etc that were presented on this site.

Two upcoming workshops I'm aware of are:

(Not sure how well those fit in with our mission statement, but there are also several conferences to consider in the threads started by Shane.)

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I've been thinking a little more about how to give things away while getting a benefit from it (rather than just raffling stuff). One thought:

At smaller events, we can give books away to the person who posts the most questions during the event. That way we're getting some site traffic as part of the give-away.

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