Project progress & tips to attract a wider audience

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Project progress & tips to attract a wider audience

Postby alanazar » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:10 pm

Mod note: Moved to an appropriate forum, also these might be better discussed on the official reddit page - - as PG monitors that for suggestions

Hello everyone,

I've been on\off the forums and on\off folding since the project began in 2000...or maybe 1999. I absolutely love F@H and even though I haven't contributed as much to the forums, I always enjoy reading what's on here.

This topic is about progress and visualization with the implication of attracting a wider-audience:

I believe visualizing the project progress would help us understand the progress made overall as well as on the existing projects. The main demographic of contributors has been computer-enthusiasts and power-users....those that overclock and build dedicated rigs, those that create benchmarks on hardware and PPD and PPW. Although there's been continuous progress, attracting the casual\mainstream folder (the long-tail) could add magnitudes to our current computing power.
The facelift done in v7 and the website 2(?) years ago was great to be more GUI-friendly for the mainstream, but a lot more needs to be done to attract them.

F@H is in its 15th (?) year now and we've all been crunching away with always new projects being launched but with little visibility of what's already been completed and how much time is still required to complete new projects.

The WCG does a great job at this, it shows past projects as well as progress on existing projects. Having something similar will help the contributors visualize better where their contributions are going.
I know F@H is WAY larger than WCG, but (aside for the research articles) we're not doing it justice by not showing the vast # of projects that have been completed.

What would be great:
Past projects
A list of past projects that have been completed.
Details with total computational time\power would be a plus

On the "Currently Running Projects" list:
- A progress bar or % showing its status with the # of WU's total and WU's completed. The server status has this but isn't clear on which projects.
- An ETA in days, weeks, months to complete
- These should also include the Nacl projects which seem to be missing from that list (eg project 2983)
- To be organized, the projects could be categorized, ie Cancer\Diabetes\etc... instead of having 472 (as per the last count) projects listed plainly in order of #
- There are columns that can probably be done without and this can make way for space. eg: # of atoms, server IP, Kfactor .... the user-view of projects can't be the same as the scientists

Other ideas on better visualizations:
- The "Where are the Folding@Home contributors located?" map needs to be automated....there are many tools available these days that help automate this in a beautiful way. This can act as a motivator when people see that there are many other folders in their country and start conversations.
- Leaderboards ideas:
Top contributor of the week
Top country of the week

- Advertising & PR\Social
This needs to be managed by someone. I'm in advertising and have plenty of experience here and in consulting, and I can't stress enough how important this is.
The higher our awareness, the wider our conversion base. The more engaging the content is, the more loyalty we will build form our mainstreamers.

On PR: There’s plenty of great news and milestones that can be prepared in press release form and sent to publications for free PR. Ie: hitting a new petaflop high, a new exciting project that just launched, Australia’s contributors have hit the 5m mark (for the press in Australia), new research paper.

On social: The F@H page has 5,000 likes… an unbelievable amount of engaging work can be done here. There is so much potential but we’re not using it. News, updates, competitions and fun-stuff for folders and shareable content would not only bring the community closer but attract more people that are seeing the activity and things being shared. Imagine we create an “International Folder’s Day” to celebrate. An idea on Facebook would for an automated image to be generated with key stats showing the ranking of the person in total and ranking in their country for them to share it proudly.

I understand that funds may be limited, but we can have a little fundraiser on the forums and worst-case scenario I’d rather use my own money to attract a wider audience to F@H rather than use the money to build a rig. The ROI will be greater even if the points won't rack up under my name :)

Either way, even if nothing will be actioned soon, let’s at least put a vision \ strategic plan on how we will achieve 100pflops in the coming 2 years.

These are off the top of my head and I’m looking forward to hearing your comments.
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Re: Project progress & tips to attract a wider audience

Postby jason403 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:46 am

Great post. Couldn't agree more. Being based out of Stanford, I don't understand how they could not get student volunteers majoring in marketing to help F@H get to the next level.
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Re: Project progress & tips to attract a wider audience

Postby alanazar » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:42 am

Exactly, at the very least a class project or a graduate project
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Re: Project progress & tips to attract a wider audience

Postby 7im » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:23 pm

If you were a grad student today, would you look to be marketing a 15 year old DC project, or the next .COM/smart device idea?
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