Jamison Moore's Obligatory Presence

It's not just FFmpeg and REAPER. I also bake cookies.

Futures, Foresight, and Freddie

I have a secret. I’m a part time webdev project manager. Shocking, I know, seeing as this is running on Squarespace (Update: It isn’t!) and not on a custom RasPi cluster serving up dynamically generated Jekyll pages, but it’s true. For the last couple years, I’ve been project managering it up on work’s futures ideation platform. The idea is, well, the ideas, collecting them, analyzing them, and finding what our expert community thinks conflict will look like in 2035. I’ve learned a bunch of new web stuff, from CSS tricks to JavaScript shenanigans to why you don’t edit the live site during a demo. We’ve built a successful project, and want to take it to the next level. The problem is, well, have y’all ever heard of Mailchimp? Let me back up a bit. When Futures, as it’s so creatively called, started out, we used a big spreadsheet and other people’s mailing lists. Over time, we assembled our own community and needed a grown up mail solution. Freddie, the Mailchimp monkey, seemed like the answer. Mailing lists that we could segment, smart, good looking sign ups, and a decent HTML mail designer. I imported all of our lists, rebuilt the WordPress integration, and whipped up a beautiful adjacent announcement mail. Then we sent the first batch of emails to the crowd and… nobody got them. Turns our that when you use the industry leader, Army IT has seen you coming and filters most Mailchimp emails as not work related marketing. Awesome! So how do you send emails to people who can’t receive them? First, we me asked the experts. We sought out other groups that were doing similar outreach efforts inside the Army and asked how they did it. No one had a great solution, since industry and Army mail don’t mix. That’s when it hit us. There wasn’t a great way to communicate to individuals, but there was a strong network of informal lists, command and working group networks, and interested friends and colleagues who could get the word out. Instead of blasting everyone who’d ever signed up, we could work these internal networks, and get a much more organic growth of our player base and community. Did it work? Not quite. When a lab is on board, or our long term players have a plan, we’re golden, but when we rely on conventional marketing, that darn monkey bounces off the email filter’s bars. Maybe we’ll try bananas next time…]]>