The main advancement of this past month was getting lead source tracking working in the app and launching test PPC and retargeting ad campaigns across various channels.
This logging works the same way as the referral source tracking in that anyone who visits via an inbound link that has a “utm_” parameter in the querystring will get cookied and then if/when they create an account it logs the utm values from the first touch in their user record. The benefit of this approach is that for any given user you have the lineage of how they were originated if they came via some inbound source you control. Otherwise you just have aggregate referral data in Google Analytics but can’t see on a per-user basis where each person came from. I’m now using this lead source tracking with QR codes on posters I control, PPC ads and anything like social media profile links so I can get a better understanding of attribution.
Other notable progress dev-wise this past month:
- I spoke at NovaSBE (the main business school near Lisbon) a few weeks back and pitched their students on buying their final exam projects for the groups that weren’t intending to pursue them. It looks there should be a few takers on that offer so that’s an exciting bizdev development and could be the beginning of a productive relationship with the business school not to mention a playbook I can run with other local business schools as we expand this outside of Lisbon.
- refactored how Contributions work so it’s a more sensible experience when flagging that you’re working on a project bounty and then submitting for it.
- I added a bunch of tripwires for the MessageQueue so the system now generates notifications for just about every important milestone activity.
- Events can now be themed around specific Problems/SDG’s so for instance our next April events are coinciding with Earth Day and therefore themed around Earth preservation efforts.
- The onboarding process now generates custom calendar invites that accurately reflect the different time commitments depending on the role chosen by the participant.
- Counterparties to proposed trades can now easily preview the non-fungible asset deliverable submitted right from the “pending trades” interface
- Added garbage collection logic to MessageQueue to respect people who have opted-out (previously it was ignoring opt-outs but those folks were piling up in the queue with a bunch of unsent messages instead of being eliminated).
- Fixed a bug in the password reset workflow.
- An awesome feature which is nearly complete called the “Investor Data Widget.” This will soon be an element at the bottom of each project details page and give prospective contributors and investors important quantitative data on the project that can inform their decisions:
Dev this month took a back seat to event prep and content. I have been able to test the first version of what I’m calling the “Street Team” by using the referral tracking aspect with generating custom QR codes and giving out posters to others to deploy in locations they determine. The incentive alignment is rewarding Street Team members with tokens in projects that come from participants they originate and the machinery for all this is finally now in place and working.
I also unexpectedly put out two podcasts this month (which I wasn’t intending to do). My godfather unfortunately passed away mid-month and I was able to recover a lost audio interview with him. He was an amazing human being and actively served the homeless and mentally-ill in Arizona for many years. You can find that episode here. The other interview I did was with Tiago Marques on how they’re using IoT tech to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and combat contributing factors of climate change.
The next pair of events is themed around Earth preservation efforts and coincides with Earth Day this year. Hopefully the IoT interview sparks some ideas for potential projects that can be undertaken using LoRaWAN and IoT.
Next Month’s Focus
My immediate focus is to complete all the features necessary to facilitate collaboration and judges making silent offers for investment at the Ideathon on the 15th. Once that basic set of functionality is in place and we’re past the events, I’m shifting the bulk of my energy to implementing the “Benefactor Model” I’ve sketched out as it represents the single biggest lever for this entire movement.
I’m planning to put about 10% effort behind 1-2 winning projects from the event. As I mentioned in the last update, I’ve spent basically the past year building the “car factory” but now it’s time to ensure we have generate a couple “winning cars” come out of it.
All energy right now is around making our next Ideathon and Buildathon successful. The Ideathon is already 3/4 full and the Buildathon has only a few signups thus far. Now that I finally have PPC ads as a controllable faucet of qualified visitors I’m going to dial that up for the Buildathon and try to get us some devs for that.
No more planned pods at the moment but likely will do one with the winning teams at the Buildathon and talk about their respective projects. I have some awesome t-shirts in production now and am intending to take the gamification rewards to the next level by allowing participants to buy shirts with the FIXR they earn via the onboarding process and referral program. Very excited for this next set of events.
The technical roadmap as always can be found here.