Fri 30 Nov 2012 10:28PM

Outreach Initiative Proposal (Drafting Stage)

ST Sean Tilley Public Seen by 35

Currently in the process of drafting a new proposal for things we ought to try for reaching out to new people.

This includes:
* Developers
* End Users
* Activists

and could probably involve a lot more different kinds of people.

Questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • What kind of messages should we convey to people learning about the project?
  • How can we best connect with fans and supporters?
  • How can we get more people into the project infrastructure?
  • What barriers do new people have to joining our community?

I'd love to have some help drafting it and getting some suggestions for directions we can take with this. :)


Sean Tilley Fri 30 Nov 2012 10:34PM

@robinstent-outreach might be interested in this. :)


icewater Tue 2 Dec 2014 8:28PM

Hi Sean, assuming this effort is merely dormant at the moment, I'm interested.

Some unstructured quemments and observations:

I would like to see wider-spread adoption of diaspora* among everyday non-technical users. Is this advisable at this stage? My feeling is "yes", but my own experience with social networking is limited.

Should we recruit within the current user base for others to assist with outreach? Some participants in this thread might be motivated: https://www.loomio.org/d/61Fq0xPo/how-do-we-get-more-people-involved

The word "Facebook" does not appear anywhere in the "For Users" FAQ, yet this is unavoidably the reference point for 100% of non-technical users, and probably 90% of those who are technically oriented. A "diaspora* For Facebook Users" article?

On the "Get Involved" wiki page I see: "Persuade your friends and family to join diaspora* by organizing your own real-life diaspora* meetup in your own community." A meetup might be one approach, but the wording feels like a dead end with respect to other possible recruitment efforts.

More later :-)


[deactivated account] Tue 2 Dec 2014 9:20PM

Hi @deadsuperhero and thanks for pointing that out, it's really good to have this kind of activity around here - asking ourselves four important questions, we must formulate some answers as soon as possible, the project should be evolving in all kinds of ways. So let me try and give you some responses:
1. What kind of messages should we convey to people learning about the project?
That diaspora* is free, ad-free and free as in "free beer" and "free speech". Diaspora* is for two kinds of people: those who enjoy relaxation and like things as they are; those who want to change the world as we know it. Basically everyone is welcome!
2. How can we best connect with fans and supporters?
By investing in the idea of community. In other words, let's keep calm and place high emphasis on the fact that diaspora* belongs to people like you and me, not to the companies, diaspora* does not treat anybody as a product (as facebook does, for instance). We grow because we believe that a decentralised network is the key to a democratic social network, where everyone is free to contribute, criticize or (even) troll, and we are ready to defend our rights by the simple fact that we help each other build this community.
3. How can we get more people into the project infrastructure?
We don't have rich features like other social network, we don't have fancy corporations opening accounts on diaspora*, we don't have a lust for selfies. But we are trying to keep one thing alive: honesty. That's our recipe.
4. What barriers do new people have to joining our community?
Maybe too high expectations regarding the overall look (call it "infrastructure") of diaspora* (yeah, the UI). Some features are, imho, badly needed (events, groups, photo managing etc.) for newcomers, but they can be ensured that our community works on our requests and that everything will be improved in the near future. Would you like to contribute or just have everything ready? Would you like others do the job for you, or would you rather take charge?
That's my two pennies :) Thank you for making us think and get involved, Sean!


[deactivated account] Wed 3 Dec 2014 7:47AM

I'm new in the forum. I am a non-technical user from Switzerland. I opened a diaspora account about 2 years ago, but it was too soon I think. I came back few weeks ago after reading a post from the Facebook Diaspora Page.

It looks like everything is ready now to promote and open Diaspora to people like me, who prefers to have ethic than features and looks. Very interesting: in France just went out a study saying that 51% of french users distrust Facebook! (http://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/high-tech/les-francais-se-mefient-plus-de-facebook-et-twitter-que-de-google_1416108.html)

Now is time to act. Let's promote diaspora this way, exactly like riderplus says:

" We don’t have rich features like other social network, we don’t have fancy corporations opening accounts on diaspora*, we don’t have a lust for selfies. But we are trying to keep one thing alive: honesty. That’s our recipe. "

I tried to promote to my friends, with no success, I think it'll be easier with some blog post saying exactly what riderplus is writing. I'll translate it for the french community.


[deactivated account] Wed 3 Dec 2014 12:31PM

That's a good idea, thank you for being involved!
I also thought about a slogan:


Let's be honest!

I think this slogan might be useful if we try to promote diaspora* further!


[deactivated account] Thu 4 Dec 2014 8:46AM


[deactivated account] Thu 4 Dec 2014 9:03AM

Good job! Let's spread the word!


icewater Thu 4 Dec 2014 6:17PM

Which groups do we wish to address with outreach? What do we offer these groups? What would interest them to try diaspora*? What would keep them? How do we reach them?

Working from Sean's initial classifications:


I got nothing regarding common motivations among them. Any developers care to chime in?

End Users

  • ...might be curious
  • ...might follow a friend there
  • ...might be discouraged by an unfamiliar environment
  • ...might wonder where their friends are


  • ...would like their communications to be private
  • ...might see the irony in Fighting the Power using corporate social networking software (on corporate OS's, I might add)

sumimasen Fri 5 Dec 2014 9:22AM

Just a silly thought I had this morning, maybe we could try to get people like Russell Brand to promote diaspora. He, for instance, is quite successfully getting his message (against the power of big corporations and mainstream media) heard these days, however he is only broadcasting through mainstream social media. (Twitter, FB, Youtube) He should definately have a Diaspora account. I can totally see him doing an episode of his "trews" about the power of big social media corportations and the alternatives that are out there.


[deactivated account] Fri 5 Dec 2014 12:29PM

That's actually a brilliant thought! We could find more people like him that could promote diaspora*
I was thinking of Stephen Fry. We could write to him, you can see on youtube a video where he encourages people to use the GNU operating system gnewsense, so he might be open to these kind of social advertising.


sumimasen Fri 5 Dec 2014 12:36PM

I actually did suggest Diaspora to Stephen Fry once on twitter when he was complaining his name was claimed by somebody else on Ello... I also pointed out Diaspora to Russell before, but I guess these people get SO many messages they won't notice untill they hear about it from more then one person. How to go about this?


sumimasen Fri 5 Dec 2014 12:42PM

Also, with Facebook changing its ToS once again, I think there is great momentum around the 1st of January to get people to check out Diaspora. We should use this opportunity.


[deactivated account] Fri 5 Dec 2014 1:41PM

I'm into it. Please start a new discussion here, so that many of us could join and compose a message from the Loomio community of diasporians.


icewater Fri 5 Dec 2014 5:30PM

I have found the wiki page referenced in Sean's original post - it has since moved here:


It is a (considerably) expanded version of the outline he posted.

I will add "celebrity endorsements" to the "End Users" section of "Audiences and appealing to them".


[deactivated account] Fri 5 Dec 2014 6:31PM

@icewater thank you for the wiki link, very useful, found interesting stuff for the FB page (about 40 likes in one day, it's a start.)

@sumimasen Of course 1st of january, this is it! Think of all the people who don't want their creations being property of Facebook: photographs, writers, artists...


sumimasen Fri 5 Dec 2014 7:11PM

Russell Brand is out there signing books all over the place right now, It's shouldn't be too hard for someone in london to get in touch with him and have a chat about this...


icewater Fri 5 Dec 2014 7:23PM

Distasteful changes in terms of service, like FB's, present an excellent opportunity to make people aware that alternatives like diaspora* do exist.

If we had a dependable communications network and promotional materials ready to go, we could push them out when event like this happens, along with a "This is the problem, and This is the solution" message.


sumimasen Fri 5 Dec 2014 7:39PM

What about setting up a thunderclap for the 1st of january?


icewater Fri 5 Dec 2014 7:51PM

Sure! I don't know if the current changes of ToS are directly related, but the change may generate general interest in the terms. Perhaps the message could include:

  • a TL;DR of the unpleasant aspects of FB's ToS
  • a link to podupti.me
  • a link to diasporafoundation.org

(That third item makes me think alternative diasporafoundation.org "front pages", for different audiences, might be valuable.)

I have not heard of thunderclap before btw.


jakobdee Sat 6 Dec 2014 7:35AM

thinking conceptually .... some form of marketing campaign involving dandelion seeds blown to the four winds would be an authentic representation of our aspirations?


jakobdee Sat 6 Dec 2014 8:38AM

i also think ... especially with the work being done with Debian packaging ... a dedicated D*iaspora OS would be a good route .. though negotiations with existing distro would be easier ... ive just always liked the idea of a default Ruby-heavy distro ... one to highlight the languages feature set and also be a learning tool


[deactivated account] Sat 6 Dec 2014 10:01AM

Cool, so many brilliant suggestions...let's see some real action now :-) We need to proceed and do what we wanted to, right?


jakobdee Sat 6 Dec 2014 10:16AM

+1 agree ... we need a framework for not only processing the ideas ... but to have an overview of participants capabilities - opportunities - accessibilities ... for the most efficient use of energies .. talks on open source development where the across the mean average it works out that one developer is working on one application ... just is asking for burn out on individuals ... where as many with things to offer feel unconnected to any useful outlet ... the emphasis is on being self propelled ... but an overview with clarity would be handy for many ... btw .. this work is being done ;)


sumimasen Sat 6 Dec 2014 10:59AM

@riderplus I am more than willing to take action, but I'm fairly new on D*, I don't know if there is already some sort of organized group taking care of promotional /marketing activilties? ( If so please point me into the right direction :-)) I just found this loomio site a few days ago :-)

I will look into the thunderclap thing over the weekeind and I will try to think of ways to get Mr. Brands attention. Will start new discussion about that.


Jason Robinson Sat 6 Dec 2014 6:15PM

Great stuff! :)

I don’t know if there is already some sort of organized group taking care of promotional /marketing activilties?

Well, nothing super organized. I handle the official (english) Facebook and Twitter accounts. @goob does most of the work with the official diaspora* account diasporahq@joindiaspora.com. Various other members are active in many ways, @flaburgan especially in the French community.

But there is nothing more organized than this. If you want something done, it's pretty much those who do, get things done, since we're all volunteers :)

A thunderclap campaign sounds a really cool idea for the 1st of January - let's do it! Now we just need the person who will take charge of getting that set up - @sumimasen ? The draft could be created here (maybe in it's own thread)? Usually for "official" campaigns or larger social posts we work together on the text to finalize it so a good amount of interested people feel it's good to use. Also you can get help on graphics etc from those who can do that.

Regarding this conversation as a whole and outreach things. Personally I would really love if diaspora had some really eager person that would love to do a lot of the social outreach stuff. Someone who would take point in setting up various campaigns, be eager to answer press emails (yes, we get those..), monitor the social media accounts, etc.

But that is another discussion. Just saying, if someone who is really interested in this kind of stuff feels like they want to involve themselves deeply in to the project - introduce yourself and start hanging around at core meetings :)


[deactivated account] Sun 7 Dec 2014 11:17AM

I'm still following your discussion and very enthusiastic about the thunderclap campaign. Go on!! I'll help to spread the word. I'm very bad using IRC communications so I'll keep reading the forum.


sumimasen Sun 7 Dec 2014 3:50PM

Thanks for the info @jasonrobinson!