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The last time we did an IRL (in real life) promotional event for TCS.SE was at FOCS 2010. I don't unfortunately have any data on whether that event worked to draw more people in. We also had the SIGACT News article in the latest issue.

FCRC is coming up, and STOC/CCC/EC/PLDI/PODC/SPAA will be there.

What kinds of promotional events might we carry out at FCRC ? In your answer, please clarify also if you plan to attend, and in what capacity you'd be willing to help with execution of your suggestion.

Also, to help with brainstorming, it might be useful to separate out

  • activities that help with spreading word about the site
  • activities that help increase participation from established researchers as well
  • new activities that could become regular occurrences at major conference events.
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  • $\begingroup$ I like this: Joe, make it an answer ? $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 10 '11 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ LICS is also early June, and has a good mix of logically-inclined theory types (both A & B). I have a paper there, and so can do a little promotion. $\endgroup$ – Neel Krishnaswami Mar 11 '11 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ LICS 2011 is in Toronto Fields Intitute, so I'll be around. :) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 11 '11 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ meta discussion on t-shirt design $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 15 '11 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh, is anyone following this up? $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jun 6 '11 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think so :( $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jun 6 '11 at 4:24
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An idea might be to introduce a temporary FCRC tag, so that questions arising from the conferences could be tagged with it. It might be a good way to promote the site as the natural venue for such questions post-conference. That way there woud be a page with any questions arising from material discussed at the conferences, which could be linked to by an announcement in the header (like the one pointing to this post). This would only really work if people do post FCRC related questions, so to make it work current users would need to try to ask some questions initially, to get the ball rolling.

(Moved from the comments at Suresh's suggestion.)

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    $\begingroup$ I could imagine people posting questions here based on talks that they hear, and the authors chiming in with clarifications. That would be really neat. But then we'd have to couple this with advertising efforts at FCRC to make authors aware of this. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 10 '11 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively we can also put links to the FCRC in a CW post on the main site (to avoid creating a new tag for FCRC). $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 10 '11 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: Yes, but it would require far more work to update the CW post, and I imagine it simply wouldn't stay up to date if we were getting a lot of questions coming from FCRC. A tag seems a nice solution, since we can always delete it at a later stage when the relation to the conference is no longer important. $\endgroup$ – Joe Fitzsimons Mar 10 '11 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe, hmmm, so you are suggesting a temporary tag for FCRC? That seems fine to me. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 10 '11 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: Yes. Obviously it is not a top-level tag, so shouldn't be the only tag used, so retiring it a while after the conference shouldn't cause any problems. $\endgroup$ – Joe Fitzsimons Mar 10 '11 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ Here is an idea: we can try to encourage people post their questions from speakers also on cstheory. Or we can try to post the interesting ones ourselves in real-time! $\endgroup$ – Kaveh May 4 '11 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: I absolutely agree (we could even set up a twitter feed of them), but unfortunately I won't be there, so can't offer to contribute. $\endgroup$ – Joe Fitzsimons May 4 '11 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately it is also unlikely that I will be at FCRC. But I will be at LICS and can try to do it there. (It seems that Neel will also be there.) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh May 4 '11 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ I have created the FCRC tag. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jun 6 '11 at 1:28
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Someone could make a flyers which could be either squeezed into the conference goody-bag (unlikely unless you know the organisers) or left lying around for people to spot and pickup.

This would require:

  1. Someone to design a flyer.

  2. Someone to print 100 copies of the flyer.

  3. Someone to pay for 2.

  4. Someone to bring the flyers to the conference (presumably the same as 2).

  5. A team of CSTheory nijnas to stealthily place stacks of flyers in suitable places each day.

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    $\begingroup$ this is easy to do, and is essentially what we did for FOCS. it might be good to focus questions by conference as well. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 10 '11 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ Note that we can get help from SE, there was a blog post by Jeff about promoting SE sites and how SE can help with that: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/a-recipe-to-promote-your-site I particularly like the t-shirt thing, having some people wearing cstheory t-shirts would be nice. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 10 '11 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ I can email the SE admins to see what might work. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 10 '11 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ I want a t-shirt! $\endgroup$ – Marcos Villagra Mar 10 '11 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Two t-shirts please! :) $\endgroup$ – Marc Bury Mar 10 '11 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Marcos and @Marc: maybe cafepress ? and you already have access to the logo on the site. Maybe start a discussion a t-shirt design. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 10 '11 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh: Is there a version of the logo with a higher resolution and more dpi? $\endgroup$ – Marc Bury Mar 11 '11 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Marc, I'm not sure, but I do have a weaker version in tikz that we used for the FOCS 2010 promotions. attaching it in another answer below. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Mar 11 '11 at 17:58
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Just as a reminder we have guidance for this now:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/supporting-community-conferences/

Feel free to take us up on any of that!

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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea of sponsoring someone to be 'conference reporter'. We have room on the cstheory blog for conference reports now, so such a reporter already has a place to post their material. It would be a great opportunity for a student. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Sep 1 '11 at 16:25
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Code for logo used at FOCS 2010 promotion:

\newcommand{\mylogo}{%
  \begin{center}
    \begin{tikzpicture}[node distance=3cm]
      \tikzstyle{every state}=[shade=ball,ball
      color=white,draw=none,text=black,circular drop
      shadow] % to get the shadow effect

      % \filldraw [fill=gray!20!white] (-0.5,-0.5) rectangle (2,0.8);
      \node[state, ball color=black,text=white] (s) {{\Large $?$}};
      \node[state] (t) [right of=s] {$!$};

      \draw [->] (s) to [out=60,in=120] (t); \draw
      [decorate,decoration={text along path, text={\ \ \ \ \ \ \
          cstheory}}] (s) [yshift=1in] to [out=70,in=110] (t);
      % \path (s) edge [loop above] ();
    \end{tikzpicture}
  \end{center}
\vfill
}
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