Mar. 24th, 2010

hatman: Glowing Dreamwidth logo. Caption: "OOO, SHINY!" (shiny)
[personal profile] hatman
Dreamwidth rocks. If you're here, you know that. And you've probably got your own unique ideas about why.

The problem with building something new and awesome is that it attracts the attention of the sort of jealous trolls who feel threatened by shiny things and are instinctively compelled to try to smash them. Dreamwidth has twice had to change payment processors because trolls attacked, processors are superstitious and cowardly, and Dreamwidth's founders care too much about their principles and defending the rights of their userbase to cave to that sort of pressure.

Unfortunately, as noted in this week's news post and, more specifically, this post in [site community profile] dw_biz, this has forced Dreamwidth to dip more deeply into its financial reserves. It's also caused site growth to stumble.

Now, the new payment system will be implemented soon. And the one-year anniversary of Open Beta launch (April 30) is nigh.

There will probably be some kind of official sale. But I'm thinking a grassroots movement is in order, as well.

1. There's been mention in the comments of the [site community profile] dw_biz post of creating Dreamwidth swag - shirts, hats, stickers, etc. [staff profile] denise responded to the idea:

I'd love to do this, absolutely. The questions outstanding are:

1). What services should we use? I want one that will have decent quality product, reasonable prices, and ethical sources (no sweatshop labor, etc), where they will print-on-demand and handle all the shipping on their own so we don't have to. (We do not have anyplace at DW HQ to store hundreds of tshirts, and we don't have the required up-front capital outlay free right now to do our own fulfillment and/or pre-ordering.)

2). What designs should we offer, and who'll design them?

If you could take point on researching #1, that would be awesome. (If you can't, I can find someone to, or ask in the news post next week.)


Suggestions, anyone? I've had a good experience with Zazzle, but I don't know their ethical record & policies. (And isn't it awesome that Dreamwidth management has made that a priority, even in the midst of a financial crunch?)

More importantly - art? I'd like to see an "Art of Dreamwidth" movement spring up. Some kind of contest, perhaps? (Something like, say, [community profile] dreamwidth_idol?)

2. I'd also like to see something like a paid account-athon. A grassroots movement to encourage people to buy paid accounts - for themselves, their favorite communities, their friends, random users (there are two options for that in the shop), [personal profile] paidaccountfairy, etc. Perhaps somehow tied in with Three Weeks For Dreamwidth or something like it?

3. I'd like to have some kind of contest here, with the prizes being paid time. Suggestions? For Open Beta, I did a new account fairy contest, but it didn't gather too much participation. Anyone have a better idea?

4. What else can we do?

I don't want it to be charity. Dreamwidth is a business. But it's also a community.

On the one hand, our community has been attacked. It comes to us as good citizens to band together to help clean up the rubble.

More importantly, however, Dreamwidth rocks. It's in our interest to help build the site, to get it to grow and prosper, to make the community bigger and better and stronger. To make it a profitable venture so we can keep it going. And hey, it's Open Beta anniversary. We should celebrate!

So what have you got? What can we, the community, do (unofficially) to get things moving? To celebrate, to drum up activity, to get people excited, to bring in new people, to give people a good reason to spend some money?

ETA: Updates here, though it's mostly trying to bring more visibility to some stuff from the comments from this post.

Would still like input into what kind of contest to run in this comm. Random post to the comm gets paid time? Sponsor free accounts that participate in Three Weeks For Dreamwidth? Or maybe spiff up the layout around here, with the contributions voted best getting paid time? Other thoughts? Suggestions? Should I run a poll?

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Dreamwidth Rocks

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