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We are about to graduate. Exciting times.

We are a small community, and I believe we would benefit from more users. Both in the variety and the amount of people. We seem to have gotten a lot of new users recently, but more of the ask-question-and-dissapear-kind.

How can we recruit new blood?

We all want people who have a few braincells, and that can contribute by answering a question now and then. Where would we find them, and how to persuade them?

There are of course traditional forums out there, for all sorts of related things. Since GD SE is not a forum per se, we do not compete with them, and could therefore mention our existence now and then. Other ideas?

How can we give new people room to get comfortable?

Personally, I think it is wise to give questions a little time (particularly the "easy" ones), to see if that could "pull" new contributors in. New users (I include myself, I have only been here a few months) needs to get the opportunity to achieve some reputation to motivate them. Some users will try to up their reputation by asking at times inane questions; I think this should be avoided if possible. It is certainly not beneficial to GD.

How can we expand the subjects we primarily deal with?

Sometimes, it is "photoshop hell" out there. Users seems to spend a good deal of time answering basic how-tos. It would be interesting to see the stats for how many questions are marked as duplicates... (maybe we should have a discussion on what constitutes "graphic design"...)

Other SE sites?

Can we announce our existence, by suggesting to move relevant questions here? Can we try to pull in users from Area51 proposals? And in that vein, I would like to pull up this question again; Should we rename. If it is too late, ref. graduation, it is worth a thought anyway, as to what we want GD to cover.

  • Great question. One easy idea: it might be worth some of the old hands making an effort to think up really interesting and juicy "design, not software" questions to ask any time in the first few months after graduation it seems to be going "photoshop hell", to make sure newcomers see the range of the site and to set a good example. – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 6 '14 at 12:33
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This is a great question-idea, that I wish I had an answer to!. Because I don't, I made a list with possible places or areas where we can invite people to check our site out.

Area 51 Proposals:

  • Digital Arts. For digital artists, creative programmers, processing users, openframworks geeks, arduino friends, Max6 / Max MSP programmers and more

  • Painting and drawing. For those who interested in various painting and drawing techniques like oil painting, pencil drawing, water color painting, etc.

  • Art & History of Art [closed]. For art historians & curators, gallery artists, art dealers, and other fine/visual arts professionals.

  • Printing? This proposal was made by our very own JohnB and has several followers who already participate in GD. So probably no point in recruiting there, as we are anticipating a new site will be born from it ;)

Software-specific Forums

  • Inkscape forum (official).

  • Gimp forum (official). I left messages in both these places, because I think it would be nice to have more open source sotfware users, but we don't want to steal people wither, so it's tricky not to be spammy :)

  • Adobe Community forum. I'd keep an eye on more conceptual questions here, definitely not how-tos. We have a good database of existing questions we can potentially refer people to if they want to know more, discuss, etc.

GD Forums

  • General GD forums. There are quite a few, so I invite other who are more familiar with them to post some. Again, how not to try and steal users? I think we should aim for other sorts of groups, see next point.

  • Subject-specific forums. This is where I think we can gain a lot. I'm thinking about very specific communities that might be interested in joining GD and use it as an information repository for their own specialties. The easy ones: Corporate identity, book design, packaging design, illustration, 2D art, web design (I think we need more design-related questions on these areas). And the unconventional: Tattoo design, data representation, weird platforms design (help me out here!).

Those areas could be interested in GD, and we could be of help to them. So in short, I think that's where we need to focus, on finding specific communities that are interested in creating a knowledge base for their areas.

Another group I find interesting is young people trying to decide for careers, and students. They tend to go for either interesting wide ranged questions about what it actually means to be a designer, or more conceptual questions that make you pick your brains. But I'm not sure how / where to find those :)

  • But what about finding Qs in other SE sites that "belongs" here? Is it kosher to suggest migration? – benteh Mar 6 '14 at 0:00
  • @boblet You can definitely flag them for migration, as long as they are not on topic on the site they were asked. If they can exist in both places, probably best not to migrate. – Yisela Mar 6 '14 at 0:04
  • Stackexhange get its fair share of stuff that could be migrated here. It just that this may not be a great idea as people on SE have a tendency to push stuff out without super deep thinking. But things that would be more appropriate here happen a lot in graphics apps categories as new users dont seem to get stackxhanges limitation. – joojaa Mar 10 '14 at 21:45
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Dare I mention social media? I've given a shout out to gd.se a number of times in different LinkedIn groups, even the occasional Facebook comment (occasional, because I only go there occasionally).

Answering questions on other forums is also a great opportunity to link to an answer here, on the basis that once people find out we exist, they'll hang around if they like what they see.

  • Ah, yes.. social media... it just did not really occur to me, as I am pretty much off the social media grid, so to speak. It is nice to know that you think Beta GD worth spreading :) I do believe that gentle awareness of the existence of GD is a must. I have just re-joined a design forum I used to frequent years ago, to see if I can - constructively direct some traffic this way. – benteh Mar 22 '14 at 13:08

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