You are right about marketing, that it is much larger. In my thoughts I can only picture it like a organized marketing team, which would depend on and if a funded community foundation would exist. That type of structure don’t seem possible until launch or post launch.
Before everybody starts marketing this all, it would be nice to know the latest status of the name ‘Safecoin’
Apologies if I’ve given the wrong impression, I didn’t mean it to seem like I was saying “here you go guys, ya’ll are the marketing team now!”.
Rather, that MaidSafe will be scaling back their resources for marketing, to keep laser-like on product development, and should anyone one have the time and inclination to pitch in, it should be focused on repping the SAFE Network, rather than MaidSafe.
Honestly, the community is a real jewel in the crown of this project, hope it didn’t come across as me taking all your valuable time and skills for granted!
No Jim, not at all. I think it would be great to decentralised the marketing and other project responsibilities, as has been suggested in a few posts. So I was responding to the general idea, and wondering if it is feasible, and how to get there.
I can only speak for myself, but I don’t feel my input has every been taken for granted by anyone in Maidsafe or the community.
So please feel free to keep chipping in, all at Maidsafe are part of this community IMO. I can see value in Maidsafe’s role differentiating in some ways eventually, but I don’t think it will ever not be an important part of this whole.
IMO, we need Fleming or at least test nets to get fired up again. Over the years I have explained SAFENetwork to many people and some have invested in MAID. However, without something to see and play with, the excitement ebbs away.
In short, people need something tangible to market.
Agree, though that is about the when (and it is not far away), rather than the what and the who (main focus of this topic).
Totally agree here. Its much easier to sell something with a product in hand. Right now its like you convince someone the SAFE network is great, so what can they do now? They can join these forums and wish Fleming would come out ASAP with the rest of us lol. Some might, but I think most will be like “that’s cool, send me a memo when it’s actually out.”
That said, I would hope when Fleming is out that marketing efforts would at least somewhat focus on that goal: Get people to actually try the network for real. Being all ideological and stuff is great and the conclusion of that might be: try the SAFE network. But I think we should really focus on selling tickets to this ride and let the peripheral philosophical ideas follow from that rather then trying to lead with them too much. Hope this paragraph makes any sense at all to people other then myself lol.
What does this actually look like? Well what it doesn’t look like is bombarding potential customers with various problems the SAFE network will solve. When the personal computer came out it wasn’t sold on the basis of specifics like that. It was just a cool technology that obviously had lots of different potentials, and maybe worth getting one THEN seeing what it does for me in my life. So instead of debating big topics like privacy we focus on a more “just try it and see how it helps you personally” approach.
To get very specific I hope to see a webpage that gets right to the point of “download steam” and if I want to explore deeper what games are available I can do that, but if I am already sold enough on the idea to try it, it’s right there at the top of the page. Steam has plenty of money and motivation to make the best webpage possible, but they don’t make a big flashy commercial for all the features. It’s just a persistent effort to get you to hit download as soon as you are ready to do so. We really need to redefine production from meaning “fully educate people on every nook and cranny of this” to “just sell them the plane ticket and they can explore when they get there”
I know not everyone will agree with this. There are a lot of very ideological people around here IMO. I guess I am suggesting give being pragmatic a chance. Not everyone is a master philosopher like you and might bite easier if we were just direct about the final goal.
I agree that large scale marketing prior to a product launch is not worth wasting resources. All we need till then is to maintain existing awareness of the network even pre and post Fleming till the bugs are flattened out. Finding great Ambassadors and expanding the city meetups will provide organic growth. I don’t know what You Tube social influencers cost but post Flemming it could be worth seeing what it takes to get a few key ones to promote Flemming.
Once we are 100 days to Product launch a “countdown clock” on a few social media sites could “pique interest”
“…close to vaults and real vaults from home.”
You know how to tease Mr Irvine. I’m on the edge of my seat.
Some cool ideas @Dimitar - love the plant a tree game. It has got me ticking over on what I can do to help.
What has been said that Maidsafe has kicked off marketing of the SAFE network is important to factor in. It is now in the hands of this passionate and capable community. Ultimately what is needed is:
- Clarity of direction via a simple strategy
- Some low friction collaboration
- High levels coordination
- A high trust self organising team
I want to help but don’t want to over commit. But can support in some light touch ways. Many here are in the same boat.
Having this sorted is important but not urgent. And because this is a community of free and voluntary individuals super majority type consensus is hard to get. But I’ll make a suggestion to kick start what I think is needed.
We spend some time answering 5 key strategic questions.
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be in the future?
- What will we do to get there?
- How will we do it?
- How will we know if we’re making progress?
This is a strategy framework I’ve used for years. For my own businesses, and in commercial client and vocational settings, teaching people how to use it and take action on it. There are many frameworks for this type of stuff, this is the one that I’ve found the most useful.
I’ve set up a mural board (virtual whiteboard) that we could use to kick this off.
Here is the link to the mural board priv.sh
And a quick video talking though it priv.sh
How this could play out
We coordinate a community call and run a remote work shop (as much as I don’t like google, meets is pretty effective, please suggest alternatives, I’m open to zoom, whereby, what ever works). I’m happy to facilitate this session provided.
We time box it for an hour, and get through whatever we get through. I can then do a short summary video explaining what went down and where we got to. Along with an export of the board it self. This is shared on this forum.
This is basically a proposal to the community on a simple strategy. I’ve developed an approach called the 3Ds to work through it. A proposal is presented to a group. Time constraints are put on Discussing the proposal itself, this should be open and less critical, it’s about building context to the proposal so every one involved understands and a common language (namespace) emerges. We then Debate, pros, cons, flaws and all. We then Decide, making sure everything from the previous stages are factored in, the aim is to get a decision on priorities, what’s in, out, when and why. This whole process should have some duration, we could even do this in another mural board. Open to whatever works at this stage.
We can then move to execution on this strategy. Working through people, commitments, roles and tools for collaboration and coordination. We have some pretty talented non technical people in this community that can be harnessed given the right context and constraints.
Most of the near term focus is on developer awareness. But that is not to say we cannot define something that goes further than the technical and developer audience. As others have mentioned we need the tangible (Fleming+) before we take it further, so no urgency here.
This proposed approach from my view serves a few purposes.
- It helps provide directional focus
- It is tangible and actionable
- It could support us in self organising as a community
Look forward to chatting through this with everyone.
Fee free to add to the mural board as it stand now, I’ll check in again tomorrow night Sydney time.
(Edit: this is not just about a community driven marketing strategy but also about how we self organise)
Yeah, I think this is key. Much of what has been discussed are marketing tactics. That’s great, and we need good tactical chops, but you won’t be able to decide which tactics to deploy, when to deploy them, or understand whether they have been effective, without first developing a strategy.
Especially important when resources are limited; we need to be as efficient and effective as possible with folks precious and generously donated time.
I like your idea and I don’t like it!
I don’t like central planning. I believe that the things that work will be copied and amplified by those who wish. What doesn’t work will die.
So the more people try different things the faster we will come to successful strategies. Of course, when there are successful strategies, we can focus hard on them as a community.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t get involved in your idea of course I added a note to the mural board:
Both approaches have merit, and they can coexist.
One thing that helps both is to have some goals, and some metrics based on those to determine how well different activities are working.
They don’t have to be there same goals of course, but I’d expect their will be overlap.
good questions to ask. I contributed via the orange sticky note. And if anyone else takes orange I will hunt you down. JK lol but anyways maybe orange could be about Fleming release.
I don’t like central planning either but also know that tactics without strategy is inefficient. Also if there is no consistent way of measuring what works and what does not we will not be effective. Maybe over a long enough time horizon a scattered approach may tend towards unified activities, but thats a hypothesis I wouldn’t devote time to testing.
Also I think there is a general misconception about marketing where it is confused with the activities of promotion. From my experience marketing is much more about observing the market environment in which you are operating, understanding the trends driving behaviour, developing hypothesis about what you assume is going to motivate people to act (engage with a product or service) and testing activities to achieve this outcome. It is a learning process. It’s behavioural in focus.
Of course I cannot dictate what must be done, people will go off and do whatever they want. This is fine but I think if the community is to be taking on marketing efforts for the network there does need to be directional focus and clarity to what needs to be done, why and how.
As mentioned by Jim most of what people suggest or end up doing is tactical in nature, those small chunks of effort. It’s a scatter gun approach and like loading a cannon with ball bearings and trying to shoot down a B52 in the dark. A strategy is more a guiding path, it supports the rationale for why something is done, how activities are prioritised and measured, what they are meant to achieve and the sequence and structure in which tactical activities are executed.
This is true. We don’t need to have everyone taking the same approach, but having the same goals/objectives and measure is about creating efficiency in effort. A strategy can be reasonably simple and evolve, it should not be rigid and inflexible.
Let’s say we decided to use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), a framework for setting ambitious and aspirational goals and defining the metrics used to measure the progress in achieving them. They have a duration, 3, 6months etc…we could just work with this. That may be enough to bootstrap community efforts. We could divide and conquer. Division could be geographical/language based, and also role/functional. Just thinking out loud here.
Let’s say we put a focus on the more immediate need which is dev product team engagement
We need a aspirational stretch goal, qualitative in form. Then some quantitative metrics we think we need to focus on that support achieving this lofty goal.
Metrics (KRs) sometimes need to be adapted and the data to measure them may not be at hand. It is ideally automated but sometimes has to be manually monitored. These are always the trickier part because it becomes about what can be measured, if there is infrastructure to do it, can it be automated, do we have existing benchmarks etc. I’ll leave the KRs aside for now and put forth an objective I think is relevant to marketing efforts in the immediate term.
Have a thriving community of app building teams developing in the network by end of March 2020
Currently we have 4 non Maidsafe apps listed here and in no way can we say it is thriving. There have been many apps and teams pop up over the years and fade. We can learn from this. Maybe people here can shed some perspective on why this has happened? Maybe a community retro is warranted so we can mitigate the risks of this happening again moving forward? There is obvious reasons around longer than expected launch, the side-project commitment dilemmas etc. But surely there are other factors that can be controlled for?
Back to the objective…how might we measure progress to achieving this loft goal?
The dev experience is pretty crucial to this so we could focus all efforts on sharpening this up without burdening the core product team. It might be about measuring time to get an app up and running, tested and promoted by the community externally. Do we have a benchmark for this? So a metric could be like
new app time to market of (x days).
It could also be about getting more mentions, shares and retweets by decent p2p community influencers on twitter. This is not that difficult to monitor but I’m not sure if it is a good measure of progress towards the objective.
We could also use existing tutorial content engagement as a measure here. Assumption being that more people watching videos, engaging in content that is practical in focus is a signal technical people are wanting to get started. Metric for this could be
x% increase engagement in DX learning content - measure over the Jan-Mar 2020 period. We’d need to benchmark so we know what we are increasing from.
Any other thoughts on measures of progress towards this hypothetical but relevant objective?
I personally think a coherent and simple strategy that is documented and that has buy-in/support from the community is the most critical thing to nail right now. Other things fall into place much easier post having this. The core product team is myopic, ruthlessly focused on launch. They need to be. I’d propose we aim for a strategy by the end of the year. This would involve getting promise of some small time commitment from people wanting to be involved. Let’s say we put together a cross functional A team to execute. Put the emphasis on content creation and distribution to get awareness and elicit action. Who would it involve?
We need community members with:
- copywriting skills and technical knowledge of the network
- graphic/visual design skills
- social media management
- basic video production or animation
- ideally some web design/dev skills
- marketing experience and knowledge
- data analysis skills
- soft skills in communication for reach-out and chats
I could list more but I’m sure you all get the point. From my knowledge these people exist within the community. Key is getting commitment to collaborate and then coordinating efforts towards achieving mutually agreed outcomes.
@Sotros25 I am sure you would have some thoughts on all this?
An additional tactical idea as I have been going through this. Creating content snippets and posting on twitter for instance is super easy. We have a plethora of content to repurpose. Let’s say someone creates a visual template to visually communicate the FAQs - this image is scheduled for sharing on twitter using buffer or some other scheduling tool. The speed in which this can be done increases each time. There are 34 FAQ slots with 5 sections, that particular campaign could last 2 months at a low frequency with 2 posts per week…What does this achieve? Market awareness through consistency in message and frequency of exposure. As a result, increased propensity for audiences to take action.
This could be a sketch template, done in canva whatever. We need scalable workflows to execute, this one would make sure the brand messaging is still going out via the social channels.
If everyone who has a social account knows it is being published on a certain set of days, they amplify reach through sharing, commenting, retweeting etc. Hell make it easy and give a canned response template for each so that message consistency is there and it is easier to do. Build some habits in the community member base to do a small part in helping amplify the message. B=MAP.
If we have a post, or a resource store of tweetable content, advert wording, we could all occasionally tweet, status update, Instagram this content. We would have to overkill it, with the number of people reading this forum, we would cover a lot of ground.
If we have advert content written, and ready to go, be it text, images, poster … even a massive billboard, if community members have the resources or extra funds, maybe I would through some cash at an advert.
We could have a suggested list of places to donate adverts.
I think the BAT network was a good choice.
Start gearing up, ready for Fleming release.
I agree with what you say and your approach @m3data and hope the community has enough people willing to commit in the way that will be needed.
So my first thought is: let’s establish what community resources we have and adapt any plan to something that’s achievable with those resources. We’d need ways of measuring that as well as the effectiveness of the activities themselves.
Next, I think those goals are suitable, but maybe premature. There are currently high barriers for a new Dev turning up, before they will get to the point of learning how to develop an app, and starting to do so. The biggest right now is that the API is not available (some useful stuff is, but nowhere enough yet). That may change quite quickly, or it may take a while. Maidsafe might be able to give some indication.
The next barrier is that in general Devs have shown themselves unwilling to commit time and effort in the run up to a very uncertain launch date. Obviously we here tend to believe that this is much less uncertain, but to a new Dev I don’t think that’s convincing. So I think we need Fleming test network in operation and ideally a target launch date from Maidsafe to tackle that barrier. So will Maidsafe be willing to announce that once we have Fleming? Or at some other milestone?
Another thing Devs will need is documentation for the APIs. That will come after the APIs are exposed in a more complete form, but we need to see that on the roadmap so we can plan around it, otherwise it will be up to the community to provide. Maybe that would be a good way to help Maidsafe anyway, but returning to the first point - will we have the resources?
I think if we have Fleming, APIs and API documentation it helps ease new Devs joining a lot, but I think a launch date will be needed to give a chance of account the goals you have set because it will be needed to make the opportunities more concrete and provide Devs with the necessary motivation.
The demos myself and others have built are currently paused waiting on the APIs, but should be easy to get going again quickly once those are available. I expect we’ll see some sick stuff emerging from Maidsafe in the same time period. The demos will be very helpful in attracting Devs (along with other materials and activity), but I think if Devs arrive to find there is no API documentation, or no tutorials in their favourite framework, they will leave just as quickly. We’ll need other Dev oriented resources, but I think all of them depend in the APIs being documented.
- what community resources do we have and what is feasible based on them?
- I suggest we can’t start marketing to Devs before Fleming + APIs + API doc + tutorials, and ideally a launch date (announced by Maidsafe).
- we’ll need supporting demos from community and/or Maidsafe (no problem there)
- we’ll need supporting tutorials in multiple frameworks: for web at least React, Vue, Gatsby and AngularJS, maybe Python, Sveltejs, ReactStatic. Desktop I hope Python, Nodejs, and for mobile C#, and/or Java. That’s my guess, so happy to have others views on priorities there!
It would also be good to start building something like the sveltejs online, editable, cloneable REPL examples as that is becoming an expectation these days, but it doesn’t have to be there at the start.
Let me be the bad guy to say that we don’t need programmers at first.
Yes the SAFE apps will be super cool stuff. But in my opinion, the main function of the network - the eternal storage of information - is massively underestimated.
If we have users to use this basic feature, the developers will come alone without anyone searching for them.
So let the lord of chaos rule in those early days. Let’s scream the name of the network from the rooftops. One by one they will come and that is enough for the moment
The problem with marketing to users is that timewise that’s even further away.
I don’t see the point in getting an ordinary person interested until the product is launched. Happy to be corrected!
I will only mention that even with Fleming the network will gain huge popularity because it will immediately take away some of the torrent market…