Thank you SO MUCH for starting this thread, and all the ideas already shared!! We need this!!
(For context - I am the communications manager, but I am also the design and whatever else manager, so I honestly don't have enough person-hours to cover everything we've had occasional help from elsewhere, but nothing long-lasting really, and we have a social media manager (Vika), but all the content generation + strategy falls on me. And while I do have experience in science communication, I don't have experience in marketing !! So definitely welcome help if you're willing to give it )
Now find some answers to all that you wrote below...
Our thoughts exactly!! But, naturally, they are not so easy to reach, ha. We do have promising leads in contacting Bill Gates, Seth Rogens (he and his wife founded Hilarity for Charity raising awareness & funds for Alzheimer's disease), and have a wishlist of many others, but haven't yet reached any of them. Any ideas who and HOW we should target?!
Yes, exactly - and that's a very good point. We've been trying hard to ensure a working pipeline, but we keep facing challenges - currently, the machine (not the human ) is the bottleneck i.e. the preprocessing that we do before the movies are ready for Stall Catchers is happening too slowly. The algorithms and everything that we recently developed to make this process work smoothly work fine, but we need more processing power. I think Pietro & Ieva have a solution for this though, and she has been addressing this today and yesterday, so fingers crossed we'll start getting more data much faster soon.
But yes - I agree, we need to first make sure that process works before we ramp up our recruitment efforts. Not too early to start thinking about it though!
Those should hopefully ONLY be calibration vessels!! (Most have been used since the beginning of Stall Catchers). Others, as Guy say, should definitely stop before 10-15 (usually much fewer classifications are needed.)
Well, we have discussed this many times, and on one hand, we want to be a project that "anyone can join" but that, obviously, doesn't help with marketing, so we've been focusing on retirees and school-age children as the two main target groups. But that is, to be honest, more in the back of our minds than it is obvious in our marketing strategy, as you'll notice, i.e. I think we are not targeting either group actively enough (although note some of our initiatives I indicated below).
We don't really know we are deliberately not collecting any personal data if we can avoid it, so we don't know where our catchers come from, what's their age etc. Unless we actively reach out and ask, which we haven't really done. We could try doing a survey, but turnout of those is usually low, so not sure how representative it would be. I will look at the DB and see what we can find out from what we have about the Top 200 catchers, but it's unlikely to be much. Any thoughts about how we should get this info / do this differently ?
When Claire was still with us (she left a few weeks ago to pursue other opportunities), she created a survey & an interview plan to find out more about why catchers are catching and why, if they have stopped, they stop. But we haven't pursued this yet, since it is not (in our opinion) in our critical path of activities right now. (We have to be scrappy, and address the project's basic needs, like funding and data, first, so sometimes we have to let the other (albeit important) things stay in the backlog )
Do you think we should pursue this soon? Perhaps you'd be willing to be involved or lead this activity?
So far we've learned that the most effective ways to reach someone is by 1) word of mouth; 2) media. At the moment, we are preparing a large outreach effort to libraries and teachers, including an article at the National Science Teacher Association's Science Scope magazine (March issue, leading up to Citizen Science Day in April). We also have a working groups of teachers who have been involved in Stall Catchers with their classrooms to work on a curriculum and other ways to involve more classrooms. (Educators page on Stall Catchers is underway too)
Regarding retirees, we have been pursuing an article opportunity with American Association of Retired Persons, but that has been moving rather slowly. We are also hoping to join BrightFocus' holiday outreach which would reach their donors, many of whom are retirees or families affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Otherwise, even though we do use Facebook & Twitter, those have been running in "life support" mode, as neither seems particularly effective in reaching either group, and are there more for general online/social media presence I guess...
Ideas about this very welcome!
Retirees = spend your free time (if you have any!) doing an activity that helps battle a disease that is affecting your friends, your love one(s) or even yourself
Students (especially in school) = instead of other activities in a tech class, play a game, and in the process contribute to actual research (at Cornell) that makes a difference (and may even help your grandparents)
How does that sound?!
Um, what do you mean by "trial of Stall Catchers" ? You mean why should people try it, or??
Fire away if there's more! (I have to look at your email too...)
Thank you Guy, really appreciate your (and others) help with this. Please share your thoughts, ideas, (and critique!) here, and thanks again for starting this thread!