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There will be a meeting in our chat room on Tuesday, December 27, at 18:00 UTC / 20:00 IST / 13:00 EST to discuss the next steps in promoting this site to the outside world. Anyone interested is welcome to attend and contribute. Abby T. Miller and possibly other SE staff will be there.

SE has budgeted us up to a total of $2000 for external advertising and the Ambassadors program.

Agenda:

  1. Decide how much of the budget to keep in reserve for either Ambassadors (if we get volunteers) or future advertising.

  2. Decide which publications to advertise in now, and how much ad to buy in each.

  3. Determine a concrete way forward for designing/selecting an ad design (or multiple designs for different publications).

Feel free to start posting ideas here or at the linked posts about advertising ahead of time.

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    Re: #3, we should keep in mind that the design of our ad(s) might change depending on what publications we are advertising in, due to either the content or simply the size and stylistic specifications. – hairboat Dec 22 '11 at 16:59
  • @AbbyT.Miller Thanks. I've edited this in. – Isaac Moses Dec 22 '11 at 17:01
  • Is Hapardes still published? – Shmuel Brin Dec 22 '11 at 18:10
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    Shouldn't getting a custom design come first? – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 0:15
  • @yydl To get to that stage, we need to grow the community. – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '11 at 3:05
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    But I think having a generic looking site can affect some of our efforts – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 3:12
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    @yydl There's no reason to make the perfect the enemy of the good. I am certain that if we do a targeted ad campaign, we'll increase our community size significantly, with high-quality community members. – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '11 at 3:17
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    True. But the first impression is lasting. While the content on our site is top notch, the current implementation just isn't friendly. A) we are a sub domain B) our design looks very generic. When targeting the broader masses, these two do make a difference. – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 3:31
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    Well I'm just saying that before we jump into spending $ on ads, we need to consider what the typical user will think of us when s/he lands on our front page [for the very first time]. I mean imagine you see an ad in the paper: "we're bulding this awesome site. Come check it out. It's at this real random URL that happens to have the word Judaism in it." And then you land on the site and it just looks like... well... like our site right now. We have no unique identity. – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 4:27
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    Nothing that ties us into the user's mind. If we really want to present ourselves as a go-to site about Judaism, we need to look like a go-to site about Judaism. While the custom URL appears to be a sore topic, we should, at the very least, have a custom logo by now. – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 4:27
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    @IsaacMoses I'm not worried about the money, just about the effectiveness of an ad-campaign for something that's still in Beta. And I think we're agreeing that the URL that's placed on the ad will have a very strong impact on the likelihood of fulfillment. – yydl Dec 23 '11 at 19:26
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    let us continue this discussion in chat – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '11 at 20:00
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    @ArielK, We'd love to work with you on that. In addition, we'd like to see about whether you or someone you know could write an article about J.SE in the Commentator. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '11 at 19:06
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    OK, I should be able to help organize the event. We can discuss details next semester. I'll also see if they're interested in having an article on the topic. – Ariel K Dec 27 '11 at 22:31
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    @ArielK, thanks! If you need to contact me off-site, please use info@yodeya.com . If you have any conversations with Commentator people about J.SE, I'd love to hear about them. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '11 at 22:34
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We had a great meeting. The transcript is here. I'll come back and put a synopsis here later, or someone else can (community wiki).

We decided to:

  • Accept @ArielK's offer to host an event (details TBD) at YU in February.

  • Pursue getting an article in the YU Commentator (possible connection identified).

  • Consider a print ad in Commentator later, but try the others first.

There was a dicussion of online vs. print publicity; the SE team in general doesn't find print to be all that helpful, but the character of the Jewish community seems to be different so they're willing to consider print ads. Online does not mean banner ads, which are very ineffective, but rather looking for reviews, plugs from prominent bloggers, etc. We didn't discuss details on this.

  • @Monica, thanks very much for the synopsis. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '11 at 23:13

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