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One of the 7 essential questions is:

How do we promote our site?

This is rapidly becoming a hot issue across the entire network: how to promote your site and how to reach out to the experts and pundits in your industry. We can come up with budgets and promotions but — more than any other issue raised here — the means and ideas about how to reach your target audience HAS TO come from you and your community. Has to. Has to, has to, has to! We simply are not experts in your field. We don’t have the the connections nor the experience you bring to the table. You are both our evangelist and our ambassador.

Stack Overflow has been a huge, red-hot success story in the programming arena. But that early success came in large part to the participation of Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, both cult-classic bloggers and celebrities in their field. We want that same success for you and your community. That’s why we need to identify the Jeffs and the Joels of your industry. We need bloggers, pundits, podcasters, publishers, celebrities… anyone who can rally the troops, so to speak.

Meta is the perfect venue reach out and ask around about who knows whom. Ask your friends to ask their friends. The people needed to make your site a huge success are already within your reach.

So, any bright ideas?

[Edit from Laura:] Editing to bump the question up - wanted to re-open this discussion. I'll post a link to the transcript from a chat event we had today so anyone who wants to can read what we discussed and then leave their own ideas or comments. Please continue to post here if you have anything you'd like to see us do to promote the sight and attract new users.

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11 Answers 11

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This idea comes from something Matt Smillie said in comment to Hamish's post. Before we head out and start wildly evangelizing this site to a wide variety of target groups, we should make sure that we have a stable base of contributors who can service those groups. As Matt stated,

At the moment its very much more a camera club than a photography club.

I don't think a truer statement could be made about photo.SE as it is right now. The vast majority of our questions and answers are very gear-oriented with a highly technical base. Honestly, that makes considerable sense, given that I think a large majority of us came from SO, SU, SF, whichever one tickled our technically founded fancy over the last year or so.

I think Photo.SE has tremendous potential that spans WELL beyond the gear-oriented technical base. I have many questions about photography itself, about the artistic aspects, that I have not yet asked. I want to, but I don't really feel like we have a significant enough base of artistically based users to offer me the answers I am looking for. Given that, I think an important step on our journey to broader reach and exposure is to build up a solid base of well-founded artistic photographers in addition to the strong technical base we currently have.

Once we have a more diverse base population of technical and artistic contributors, I think we can be much more successful in garnering support from the greater community of photographers. However, that is just an opinion, perhaps my logic is flawed, so take this with whatever grains of salt you require. ;)

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  • 2
    +1, similar thoughts. – Karel Aug 4 '10 at 6:32
  • I agree with the analysis - any ideas how to make it happen? Do we need to ask questions about the artistic aspects to attract them in? Or do we need to attract them here and answer their arty questions? Or do we need to attract them here with their 'camera' questions and then push the artistic side? It's a little bit of a chicken and egg situation ... Maybe the topic warrants a meta question of it's own. – Hamish Downer Aug 7 '10 at 16:10
  • @Hamish: Yeah, its a bit chicken and egg. I think it could warrant its own meta question. I am honestly not really sure how to attract the right kind of people, but I'm sure either someone does, or as a group we can figure out how. – jrista Aug 7 '10 at 17:19
  • I've posted a meta question - meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/248/… – Hamish Downer Aug 8 '10 at 16:09
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The latest questions do get tweeted, but it would be nice if we could get some of the established photoblogs could mention us -- does anyone have any contacts?

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    Good move with the tweeting. I would suggest adding a #photo or #photography hash tag (or both, if they fit) to the tweets as well; I have found that hash tagging can increase the audience quite a bit. – Fredrik Mörk Aug 1 '10 at 21:21
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    (Also goes to a Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/photographyangle/165110467335 - branding/naming will be updated once the site is ready to come out of beta) – Rowland Shaw Aug 2 '10 at 17:34
  • @Fredrik Should now have the hashtags -- updates every half hour :) – Rowland Shaw Aug 2 '10 at 17:36
  • @Rowland can we update the Facebook page? I think it will be a useful platform once we start rolling out other site promotion ideas, but right now there's no indication that it is a Stack Exchange site. – Laura Aug 2 '11 at 14:56
  • @Laura can you get a branding graphic (at least 180px square) to me? – Rowland Shaw Aug 2 '11 at 17:38
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One existing community which would really benefit from this site that built around David Hobby's Strobist blog. They are currently centred on a blog (strobist.com) and then a Flickr group, which is great for sharing photos but falls into all the classic traps for Q&A that SE model addresses so well.

So David Hobby would be one suggestion of an appropriate blogger to contact.

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We just had a brainstorm in chat - click here to read the transcript and see ideas about partnerships, blogger outreach, and suggestions for photo.se swag! Comment or post a new answer if you have any ideas we haven't covered.

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I think Flickr discussion group is a great place to promote. By promote, I mean gently and organically bring up this site, not in a spammy way. I've learned a lot from the Flickr photography groups. However their blog comment styled of formatting is very hard to find related questions, tags, best answers.

A few Flickr groups I love:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikondigitallearningcenter/discuss/ http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon_d90/discuss/ http://www.flickr.com/groups/critique/discuss/

There are many many others. These groups have a lot of members and are fairly active.

So if you're a Flickr user, may be try to spread the word in your fav groups.

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Facebook

Directly about this site:

Other photography groups we could evangelise in:

  • I don't know any, but please edit this post to add any you know

And as Jin says in the flickr answer "By promote, I mean gently and organically bring up this site, not in a spammy way."

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  • Is that the "official" photo.SE Facebook page? – Seth Johnson Aug 6 '11 at 15:53
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I frequent a couple other photography forums and now when a question is asked, I try to link here (if such a question exists) before doing my usual answer.

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    I think this is a good idea. Could you list some of the other forms you frequent? I use a few sites and blogs, but not many other forums. If I can expand my base, I'll also try to link here for answers. – jrista Aug 6 '10 at 21:41
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One thing that is less than obvious -- there are three badges that can be earnt by those promoting the site, if you use the short links underneath each question, for example, "How do we promote photo.SE?" would share the link to this question, and would be tracked.

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Here's a more off the wall idea (or on, as the case may be) - do you think there would be merit in the site sponsoring/organising regional shows of members' photos?

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One I thought of earlier is promoting it to students of photography directly. In that I'd include

  • fine art degree students studying photography
  • school students studying photography (by that I mean up to 18 years old)
  • people going to an evening class in photography

They're likely to have lots of questions certainly.

How to reach them?

  • posters in the teaching place

Any other ideas? This is CW so please add your ideas directly.

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    Art-oriented aspects would be great to have, but I think we need a better foundation for that kind of question before we could promote it as a place to go. At the moment it's very much more a camera club than a photography club. – ex-ms Aug 3 '10 at 17:23
  • I agree with matt here. If we promote the site to the desired crowds at the wrong time, we could lose them forever. I think we need to broaden our base, and extend ourselves beyond "camera club" and more towards "photography club". – jrista Aug 4 '10 at 3:54
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    We probably want to be careful with respect to "soft-questions" (which includes subjective ones) as well, although I'd hope that an A-Level (etc) course would cover concepts that have a correct/incorrect answer... – Rowland Shaw Aug 4 '10 at 11:41
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One way to do it would ask one of the photographer, highly visible on the social media, to join PhotoSE, atleast for few days, and blog/tweet about his experience (e.g Chase Jarvis)

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