What are the volunteer issues?

  • user motivation
    • interested in science
    • VC as a game: stats, etc
    • general altrusim
  • retention levels for various groups/motivations?
    • esp in context of multi-project services
  • treat each user category separately?
    • different services/types of services for each group
      • science types: need forums, techie
    • or: can they be combined synergistically?
      • trickle down summaries of science
      • tech support
  • stats: mark's market research
    • % of people who would take action in support of charity much larger than % of people who would take action in support of science?
  • relative merits of single-app projects vs multi-app aggregators like WCG, ibercivis, etc.
    • absence of science discussions in multi-app projects
    • do people know what they are doing?
      • retention?

  • it's not all free
    • volunteers are not working for free: they get paid in "results" -- scientific results, stats, social factors.
    • everything is financed: distribution of financing in volunteer computing
    • outreach: think of it as a grant application, submitted to tens of thousands of reviewers

what is the value to project scientists of the user community

  • additional labor (distributed thinking)
  • value of outreach: public education (ex malaria awareness)

what to do

  • science
    • more news
    • more involvement, more to do (distributed thinking)
    • more science info (BG info)
    • scientific "translation" service
  • altrusim
    • get grant to do good popsci writing about projects
    • proper PR
      • when getting a grant, should be required to get funding to allocate resources to writing PR
      • this should be a requirement of funding agencies
    • poss. adt'l involvement, depending on details
    • social status (badges) rather than credits (ie, different incentive system)
  • stats/gaming crowd
    • self organized: teams, etc.
      • push info into those groups (news, etc)
      • just feed them credits
    • good model: communities of shared interests
      • what are the causes sufficient to motivate action?
      • organize communities around these

  • bundle PR/outreach plan w. BOINC software
    • best practices

but: insufficient resources to implement, so:

community of communicators
-- social middleware -- every BOINC project is a distributed thinking project designed to produce new users --

  • writing, PR
    • just ask -- there are people to do this.
    • seek professionals in misc domains

social middleware

  • credit for new recruitment of volunteers (rather than new credits) [badges: social status]
  • credit for translations [badges]


  • financial reward
  • social status
  • intellectual interest / learning
  • altruism
Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on Sep 13, 2010, 3:40:55 AM