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Jonas Larsson May 28, 2007 09:03

Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I have made a small tool which CFD-Wiki visitors can use to automatically email their friends and tell them about CFD-Wiki. You can see the tool here:

What do you think about this? Is it a good idea? I was planning to launch this and a special page with the CFD-Wiki banners that Tony made some time ago. People can use these banners to link to CFD-Wiki from their own websites. I will also contact the CFD webmasters responsible for the sites linked to from the homepage database at CFD Online and ask them to either inform their users about CFD-Wiki or link to CFD-Wiki from their own websites.

Anyone have any other ideas on how we can improve the marketing of CFD-Wiki?

Jonas Larsson May 29, 2007 09:15

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
In addition to the "tell a friend" tool I have also put together the following marketing page for CFD-Wiki:

I intend to publish this at various high-profile locations on CFD Online and also include it in an email to many other CFD webmasters.

What do you think about it? Should anything be changed? Any other suggestions?

Jonas Larsson May 30, 2007 10:30

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I've included links to both of these pages on the front page of CFD-Wiki. I hope that this will continue to increase the exposure of CFD-Wiki and hopefully engage a few new authors. If it doesn't improve things I'm soon running out of things to try. We might have created a half-finished wiki which has thousands of visitors every day and none that contribute to it :-/

jasond May 30, 2007 20:03

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I probably should have responded to your post(s) sooner, but I have been thinking about things (especially in light of Jonas H.'s posts). I'll try to keep this from being too long. Since you have removed the focus area text, I assume that is pretty much gone - it did not seem to work (bummer). I don't know if it because of your latest efforts, but it seems like there have been more edits lately. A couple of observations/opinions/questions:

0) It is probably too early to tell whether recent edits are due to your exposure/marketing effort. Would a month be too long? Two months?

1) It seems to me that one of the issues we have is a lack of depth. Jonas H.'s posts started me thinking (again) that it might be a good idea to work on that - I am not sure how, since the focus area idea was supposed to address this very issue. To a certain extent, don't we need to improve the pages we have before adding new pages?

2) It is (in my opinion) instructive to look at the "popular pages" special page. My editing of the meshing pages has stalled due to a horribly broken Poisson grid code and looming deadlines, but maybe I should be concentrating on the Fluent FAQ, which is apparently the second most popular page. And it is in need of a lot of work.

3) On the FAQ issue, we are either not doing a good enough job directing people to the appropriate FAQ list or the FAQ answers are not very good. The "nmake not recognized..." issue keeps getting asked in the Fluent forum, and I suspect the same thing is happening in the other forums as well. But then, the link is right at the top of the page, and it even says "NEW". (At any rate, I will try to expand that FAQ answer tomorrow.)

4) There is a wish list (that is not very well linked to) - that we haven't really made full use of. I added two items a while back, and someone else added an item.

I make the following concrete suggestion: We work on the wish list to figure out what we really need to get beyond being half-finished, and then look to find people with that expertise and bring them on board. Some possible additions to the wish list: finish/polish the turbulence article, Lattice-Boltzmann methods, rework the FAQ's. This might conflict with my point #1, but I don't really care as long as the Wiki continues to grow.

Let me add that I like what you are doing with the exposure/marketing effort. I think that given time it will help, but it will probably need to be a continuing effort.


Jonas Larsson May 31, 2007 04:18

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I agree with most of your opinions. Here are my comments:

The recent surge in the number of edits is directly related to my recent marketing. I sent out almost 20,000 emails to CFD Online users and encouraged them to contribute to CFD-Wiki. The key now is to keep the momentum and keep these new authors active. I will continue my marketing with more long-term marketing like getting CFD sites at universities and companies to link directly to CFD-Wiki. The reason I added a marketing sentence instead of the monthly focus area line on the CFD-Wiki frontpage is that we have had this focus area for some time now and when something have been the same for a long time people stop seeing it, besides we haven't seen a lot of efforts on this focus area lately either. We should also soon launch a new featured article.

I agree with you that the popular pages list is interesting to look at. One thing that strikes me is that it is quite long and not so dominated by just a few popular pages. I think one reason is that CFD-Wiki is now very well categorized by Google. If you, for example, search for Lid-driven cavity problem, SIMPLE algorithm or SST k-omega you directly find a page in CFD-Wiki. I can also see in the log files that many users arrive directly from google into sub-pages on CFD-Wiki.

About the code-FAQ's. Perhaps I should add a small line in the posting field of the forums to advice people to first check the FAQ's... but my main concern for CFD-Wiki now is not that we don't have enough users, it is that too few are contributing.

I agree with you that it is wise to focus on improving the pages we already have. We have some very good starts but most sections need to get more depth, be cleaned up, restructured and have a better indexing. I have been trying to focus on the best practice guidelines for turbomachinery that I started a long time ago, but then I got a bit worried about the falling number of authors and now I'm instead focused on trying to change that with marketing etc. Seeing the dramatic surge in number of visitors combined with a slowly falling number of active authors is starting to worry me.

About the wish-list. I agree with you that it should be updated and perhaps get some better exposure. Feel free to modify the front page as much as you want. Also please let me know if you want me to link directly to this page from one of the marketing pages that I created recently. You mentioned the turbulence section. I also think that this should be finished. We have got a very good text, which Prof. Bill George has donated, which we have based it on, but the work on adding this text is not finished and it needs to be wikified a bit with a new structure and menu system. I haven't seen Michail for some time though, he was the one working on this previously.

Jonas Larsson May 31, 2007 07:08

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I have another idea on how we can improve the awarenes of CFD-Wiki. Since CFD-Wiki is very well indexed by search engine like Google it must be important for authors to ensure that their methods and models are correctly described in CFD-Wiki. For an example, if you search for SST k-omega in Google you first find the CFD-Wiki page about SST k-omega, see:

Once we have written a basic description of a model or method in CFD-Wiki and it has been well categorized by Google (hopefully happens in a month or two) we can contact the original authors and inform them about the description of their works in CFD-Wiki and the fact that CFD-Wiki is important since many users directly end up on CFD-Wiki pages when they search for CFD related subjects. This will hopefully make more authors and senior CFD people more aware and engaged in CFD-Wiki. I just wrote an email to Menter about the description of his SST k-omega model in CFD-Wiki.

jasond May 31, 2007 13:18

Re: Marketing of CFD-Wiki
I thought that you might have better stats that might shed light on some of the cause/effect of recent developments. That is great news that the marketing is working - really great news.

On the wish list: I think that it (or something like) it needs to be part of the overall campaign to increase submissions. I will add some things today or tomorrow, and I would appreciate a link to it in your marketing material. I'll also see if I can come up with other places to link to it. My motivation here is to provide as many ideas as possible to potential new editors (hopefully interesting and at the same time aimed at a more complete Wiki.

On the whole, I think that this is the way to go.

On an unrelated matter, I have been meaning to clean up the Codes page for some time. I don't think every code needs its own page, especially if nobody has written one and all we have is a link to nowhere. We also have some copyright issues (as was discussed months ago), and we should probably fix that.

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