Reaching More People

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Profile johnniec

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Joined: 4 Jul 15
Posts: 5
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Message 62908 - Posted: 4 Jul 2015, 13:42:07 UTC

With the new community-based model for BOINC (and NSF funding gone), it is more important than ever for you to get the word out about volunteer computing & BOINC. There are billions of computers and devices out there that BOINC could be running on, but it is only actively running on a few hundred thousand. How can we boost awareness of BOINC and get more people signed up?

Let's share ideas and discuss what we've tried and what worked.
Have you told your friends and family about it? Tweeted about it? Posted about it on Facebook? Written a letter to the editor or your favorite magazine or newspaper?

https://twitter.com/VolunteerComp


Here are some things I have tried:

1. Pitching a story about Volunteer Computing to a non-tech, non-science website/magazine. So far this hasn't yielded any successes, but I will keep trying.

2. Tweeted about it. I can't yet tell if this is doing much in terms of reaching people unfamiliar with BOINC or volunteer computing, but you can help by tweeting your self or retweeting stuff from https://twitter.com/VolunteerComp

3. Posting on Reddit. Some of these attempts appear to have reached new people. A link about the WCG Clean Energy Project made it to the top of two subreddits for a bit.
http://redd.it/3asd8k
http://redd.it/3au8ya
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Variable

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Message 62957 - Posted: 9 Jul 2015, 15:15:12 UTC

Personally I have told friends & family, Facebooked it, posted on forums, pushed the idea to organizations I have contacts in like my company and the local school district (which control large numbers of machines).. and gotten pretty much nowhere as far as I can tell.

Post something about a new cancer treatment made possible by Boinc research and you might get a lonely 'like' or two. Someone posts about the hairball their cat just threw up and they'll get a couple dozen comments & shares.

It's frustrating. Most people don't seem to give a rat's ass.
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Profile johnniec

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Message 62958 - Posted: 9 Jul 2015, 16:52:18 UTC - in response to Message 62957.  
Last modified: 9 Jul 2015, 16:52:35 UTC

Post something about a new cancer treatment made possible by Boinc research and you might get a lonely 'like' or two. Someone posts about the hairball their cat just threw up and they'll get a couple dozen comments & shares.

It's frustrating. Most people don't seem to give a rat's ass.


That is what I feel like I'm running into too. I am having a hard time believing people don't care about this stuff, but the evidence is hard to argue. I know individual projects get some press when they have success, but I wish people cared more about the potential of the concept of volunteer computing in general. The press covered its use for Ebola during the outbreak and I think that generated some new volunteers. More recent news relating to solar panel and clean water research doesn't seem to have hit the big time yet.
I'll keep trying different things and post here if anything works.
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noderaser
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Message 62959 - Posted: 9 Jul 2015, 17:17:49 UTC

I've only gotten a few friends to sign up, but they only stay for a few months before losing interest and uninstalling the BOINC client. My family members have stayed onboard, but only because I install the software and manage it for them, it's part of my "fee" for doing their IT work.

My impression is that most of the population will find that it takes too much work to install the software and manage the projects--even though it's really not that much work, and in fact many of us (BOINC aficionados) make a hobby out of it. Thus, I've wondered if people would be more interested in a pool-like system, where a group of individuals would come up with a project mix and provide an all-in-one installer for casual users. To minimize the impact on their computers, I would use a lower processor share (like WCG's default of 60%) and not enable GPU computing while in use. I think the existing architecture for project managers could be used to accomplish this, so all they would have to do is pick a "pool", download the client and provide their login info.

Promotion through media is also a big thing, I'm sure there are a lot of computer-savvy users who simply aren't aware of BOINC or don't know what benefits it provides to the projects. Advertising the science that the projects support and showing the need for the computational power might also appeal to some people. So far, I've only seen one mention of a BOINC project in a news article, that didn't come from a BOINC/WCG/project news feed, and that was buried way at the bottom of the article. I was drawn to it, because it was in the news feed of a local science museum with a note about contributing to CPDN: Is 'The Blob' Causing The Northwest Heatwave?

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Message boards : Promotion : Reaching More People

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