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Debatepedia:Marketing

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This is Debatepedia's open-source marketing strategy and implementation staging area. Any registered user (you, create an account) is welcome to help develop this strategy by clicking edit and adding strategic insights. You are also welcome to go to the discussion page and to interact with other users on specific elements of the strategy. Users are also welcome to join the implementation of this strategy. If you believe in Debatepedia's cause, we encourage you to help move it forward with the below strategy, and help Debatepedia achieve its mission. Below are both general strategies and specific things you can do.

Marketing to potential editors and focusing on content building

Improving content, debates, arguments, and so forth is the main marketing mission. There is no substitute for substance. If content steadily improves, the idea will self-perpetuate by word-of-mouth as it will become increasingly valuable. All marketing efforts should focus on involving editors (anyone) and directing their minds and talents toward building content to achieve this mission. The most important thing is to achieve a steady, exponential growth curve of “edits” on Debatepedia. If people are just reading on Debatepedia, than we have failed the mission.

Segmenting the market - Targeting those with the passion and will to edit on Debatepedia

Given that the most important thing is to build content, we need to figure out who is likely to edit, segment that market, and target our marketing strategy toward them. The market general market segmentation is as follows:

  1. The competitive debate community.
  2. Wikipedia editors for specific topics that are on Debatepedia.
  3. Activist, interest groups, area exerts, think-tanks.
  4. Politically inclinded/2008 US presidential elections/Citizen activists.
  5. "Influentials"/Journalists/Blogs

Competitive debate community

This is a gold mine of potential for Debatepedia, as competitive debaters are passionate about debate, are approaching the topics on Debatepedia, are researching evidence constantly and "cutting cards", and are good editors.

We'll need to develop comprehensive list of up-and-coming debate events and topics, develop content for those topics, and market to competitive debaters that would find Debatepedia useful for these topics. And, of course, the goal will be to get debaters to deposit their research, notecards, and evidence on Debatepedia before, during, or after the competition.

Wikipedia community:

For sure, Wikipedia is the greatest body of existing wiki editors. Approaching editors on Wikipedia that have worked on articles that are relevant to Debatepedia articles is a good idea. This has to be done, however, with respect and care to Wikipedia's rules. Avoid anything that could be considered spamming. There are multiple, approaches here:

  • Approaching Wikipedia users (with care): First, go to pages on Wikipedia that are related to the debate or subject area that you are interested in acquiring editors for. Go to their history pages, and take a look at who as contributed most to these articles. Click on their names in the history page, click "edit" on these pages, and write them a note inviting them to a related page on Debatepedia.
    • Letter approach: "Hello, I'm an advocate for Debatepedia, and I thought you'd be interested to know about x debate on the site. (provide link to the debate on Debatepedia) Debatepedia is a reputable product of the International Debate Education Association, and aims to become something like the 'Wikipedia of debate and reasoning', and I thought you might be interested in pitching in your knowledge and opinion on this particular debate. We're also hoping to involve your opponents on this matter, so hopefully it will be an ideal forum to open the debate to greater depths. Thanks."
  • External links on Wikipedia pages (with care): For Debatepedia articles that are fully developed and valuable documents for the world to read, it is appropriate to consider making an external link for that article on a Wikipedia article that is SPECIFIC to that debate. You can do this by simply clicking "edit" on the related Wikipedia page, and posting a link to the Debatepedia page of relevance. Make sure, however, that the Debatepedia page you are linking to is truly worthy of being made an external link on Wikipedia, as their administrators will apply heavy scrutiny to any new external links being provided.
  • See Debatepedia:Coordination with Wikipedia

Activists, interest groups, area experts, think-tanks, and those that have a stake

Probably the single greatest resource of information and passion combined, these groups are very important to approach an include in the Debatepedia editor core. The best way to approach them, would seem to be through specific debate topics. In other words, one should bring a specific debate topic to the attention of those that care. The best way to do this is simply "contact" them saying the below:

  • Letter approach: "Hello, I'm an advocate for Debatepedia, and I thought you'd be interested to know about x debate on the site. (provide link to the debate on Debatepedia) Debatepedia is a reputable product of the International Debate Education Association, and aims to become the 'Wikipedia of debate and reasoning', and I thought you might be interested in pitching in your knowledge and opinion on this particular debate. We're also hoping to involve your opponents on this matter, so hopefully it will be an ideal forum to open the debate to greater depths. Thanks."
  • Facebook and social networking interest groups around these topics.

Citizen activists/2008 Presidential elections

Taking advantage of the heat surrounding the 2008 Presidential elections, and the debates involved in this will be a very important marketing strategy for Debatepedia. There are many facets of this strategy:

  • Develop the 2008 US Presidential elections category and portal pages on Debatepedia and opening and developing the content on the hot debates for this election-cycle should be the focus of this strategy.
  • Use Debatepedia's digg, facebook, reddit, and delicious functionalities on upper right corner of these pages.
  • Attend political conferences, debates, etc and just talking with people.
  • Write tips to key political "influentials" (political bloggers, political website websites,...) regarding the existence of Debatepedia and its area focus on the presidential elections.
  • Letter approach: "Hello, I'm an advocate for Debatepedia, and I thought you'd be interested to know about x debate on the site. (provide link to the debate on Debatepedia) Debatepedia is a reputable product of the International Debate Education Association, and aims to become the 'Wikipedia of debate and reasoning', and I thought you might be interested in pitching in your knowledge and opinion on this particular debate. We're also hoping to involve your opponents on this matter, so hopefully it will be an ideal forum to open the debate to greater depths. Thanks."
  • Congresspedia: Congresspedia and Debatepedia are two peas in a pod. Linking out to Congresspedia and creating links within Congresspedia out to Debatepedia is a key strategy for the 2008 US presidential elections.

Utilizing Debatepedia's digg, facebook, delicious, and reddit functionalities

Debatepedia has many unique functionalities that it developed in coordination with QuadOne Technologies out of India. The main purpose of these functionalities are for them to be used by you and other editors to spread the word of a debate on Debatepedia. They are a vital element of Debatepedia's marketing strategy. They are listed below with ways to use them to spread the word about Debatepedia.

  • Digg: This is probably the most important feature on Debatepedia for marketing purposes. Digg.com is a website where an article is submitted, and users of the site (anyone) then vote it up or down, digging up to the prominence or burying it in the back pages.
  • Facebook: This is a way for you to inform people you are associated with on Facebook about a debate on Debatepedia. If you want to help market Debatepedia, go to debates of interest to you, click on the facebook icon in the upper right, and send a message to as many of your friends as possible.
  • Delicious: The delicious functionality is both for personal use in bookmarking a debate page or other articles on Debatepedia, but these bookmarks go toward exposing a page as well.
  • Reddit:

Getting "influentials" advocating for Debatepedia and writing about it

One of the strategies is to get “influentials” on the list and advocating the site on websites through articles and blog postings. "Influentials" are generally people that have a significant amount of influence over those surrounding them, such as a debate coach that hosts a debate-related website or a widely read blogger that covers controversial topics. Notifying such individuals of the existence of Debatepedia is a sufficient approach, with the hope that they take interest and decide on their own to write an article and make a posting about Debatepedia.

Another important thing here is to get "influentials" on this marketing page, thinking critically about this strategy, edting on the page, and providing recommendations on the discussion page.

Join Debatepedia mailing list and become and activist

Anyone can join this mailing list and stay tuned to the big-thinking dialogue going on surrounding Debatepedia. For marekting purposes, influential political bloggers, debate coaches, and web-marketing strategists are important groups to encourage to join the mailing list.

Conference panels

  • Debatepedia advocates, leaders, and experts should consider attending conferences that relate to wikis, techology, democracy, politics, citizen journalism, and specific subjects and debates. This is a very high impact way to get the message out to people who want to listen (they're at a conference!).

Facebook group?

Craig’s list?

Yahoo Group?

Wikipedia links?

Attempt to place external links on Wikipedia articles of relevance to a debate in existence on Debatepedia. Make sure that the article being linked to is of great enough quality to merit a link on Wikipedia. If it doesn’t Wikipedia administrators will have cause to remove these links (and they will!).

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