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If we want more participation, we're going to need to find those people who are interested and even enthusiastic in this subject. That's a very niche audience.

I suggest we/someone make an effort/research to list all people who would be interested in this subject matter and then (subtly) contacting them to let them know about it.

Note: I don't know stackexchange rules about this. In all cases, my suggestion is to be constrained by stackexchange rules and policies (and this question may be edited by anyone to reflect such).

We would need to keep track of sources, contacts, and status. Maybe on a private wiki. A lot like culling leads in a sales team.

  • #1: Educators who actively promote the teaching of science and math history.
  • Any teacher/professor of a math history or science history class.
  • Find out which universities have such classes.
  • Journals, articles, books, videos, movies that write on the topic.
  • Authors of said media.
  • Readers of said journals (perhaps via Amazon, book reviews, etc.)
  • Anyone who wrote a thesis or dissertation on the subject.
  • Websites on the topic.

I wouldn't suggest being spammy about it. But those are the people who would have a vested interest and enthusiasm in participating and there you will find a core group.

Please comment / add ideas / etc.

Also, members may edit this question as needed.

Regards, CoolHandLouis

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    $\begingroup$ Another major targent audience are students. We want more students to get curious about the history of the stuff they're learning and come here to find out. Unfortunately, studying the history of mathematics and science in order to understand it better isn't something that's really actively encouraged in most universities, from what I know... $\endgroup$ – Jack M Feb 10 '15 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @JackM, As listed above (a) Find-out-which-univ-have-such-classes -> (b) professors-of-such-classes -> professor engagement with this stack (and possibly the professor mentioning it in class, as per your helpful point). :) $\endgroup$ – CoolHandLouis Feb 10 '15 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ in the UK, you could try contacting the British Society for the History of Mathematics. They might mention you in their journal if you asked. $\endgroup$ – TooTone Feb 22 '15 at 17:07
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This isn't the list you're looking for or anything like it; it's just some of my musings about the idea.

It's a good one. I'll be the first to admit that we need to draw more people in. The Community Promotion Ads might be helping, but it's hard to find a definite correlation between people seeing them and visiting the site.$^1$ They've received lots of upvotes on Mathematics and Physics, which is a sign that people support us.

We certainly need more outreach to expand our user base. So this could work. I'm against one thing though, which is this idea:

We would need to keep track of sources, contacts, and status. Maybe on a private wiki. A lot like culling leads in a sales team.

This is not a good idea. Well, sort of. But putting any personal information there? That's a bad idea. On Physics, a certain scenario unfolded:

  • A user asked a question about a certain scientist and what became of that scientist.
  • For a long time, nobody was able to figure the answer out.
  • A while later, the user who asked the question managed to contact the scientist.
  • This user posted an answer explaining how he contacted the scientist and learned that the scientist was not a fan of public attention, and would not want tons of people calling him up or emailing him.

The important thing here is that many people - experts or not - feel the same way. The user on Physics did not give out any of that scientist's contact information, but the scientist would have been rather annoyed if he (the user) did so. I don't think that we should make the names public unless the person involves gives his/her consent.

Otherwise, it's a good idea. We should definitely contact them.


$^1$ If anyone's willing to make ads, you can submit them here and they'll be posted on other sites in lieu of our current ad.

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  • $\begingroup$ @CoolHandLouis Which part specifically? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 5 '15 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ I can't understand the paragraph, "A user on Physics...by incessantly contacting him/her." Maybe just state your point succinctly? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – CoolHandLouis Feb 5 '15 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ @CoolHandLouis Sure; I'll edit it. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 5 '15 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ @CoolHandLouis Done. Is it a bit clearer? I don't want to give a link because I highly discourage the user's attitude in general - in fact, this is the only time I felt he was gracious. I don't condone his other behavior, and so I don't want to identify him. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 5 '15 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ One of my points/belief/feeling is that a targeted community out-reach campaign is going to be 1000% more effective than broad group advertising. (Well they are really two different purposes.) But really, I think the targeted campaign idea might be a key to success here. So it's kind of funny and ironic to me, but I would prefer there not be an advertisement for "the advertisement" in this thread (your footnote). I'd prefer this Q/A be focused on the targeted campaign concept. All smiles here :) :) :) $\endgroup$ – CoolHandLouis Feb 5 '15 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ @CoolHandLouis I think you might be right about the efficiency. And we'd know for sure if it works or doesn't work (though I think your idea will work well). All smiles here, too. :-) $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 5 '15 at 1:17

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