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Direction for the 2nd half of 2008


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#1 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:16 PM


On occasion members and registered users have scratched their heads, clicked their mouse, and typed out a few questions about the direction and future of Imminst within the forums. The fact that people have to ask this question indicates a failing on my part – since I am the Executive Director of this fine Institution. I am the first to admit that setting time frames, metrics, deadlines, and staying super organized are not my strong suits, but I am trying. I am more of an idea person, promoter, and marketer. From my years at the Institute, I have developed a fairly good grasp on what works well with the Institute, where we need to go, and a general idea of how to get there.

When VIPs from other areas of life and the memespace ask “what goals do you have for the organization?” I usually respond with “growth”. It isn’t the most specific answer but it is a key metric of success. Numbers mean things. The number of members and registered users is an indication of how successful we are at spreading ideas. Numbers are easy to track.

So let’s take a look back at the first half of the year and plot a course for another 6 months of success.

An off-and-on accounting of Executive Director activities during the first 5 months of the newly created position can be found here:
http://www.imminst.o...ies-t19118.html

Successes in the first half of 2008

1. Revived the Sunday Night Chat, which eventually evolved into a live streaming program named the Sunday Evening Update.
2. Finished the forum upgrade. (big thanks to Bruce)
3. New content driven front page.
4. Initiated the F@H prize (big thanks to dnamechanic, Reason, and maestro949)
5. Organized an Aubrey De Grey visit to UW-Madison. (big thanks to brokenportal)
6. Sponsored UABBA.
7. Began discussions for the upcoming Convergence Conference. (big thanks to Shannon)
8. Began discussions for a 2nd printing of the Scientific Conquest of Death and found a publisher. (big thanks to Caliban).
9. Held weekly open Board meetings (believe me, this is a big success)

Other activies
1.Worked on fixing the membership records system (close to completion, big thanks to Richard).
2. Set-up a new accounting and tax payment system.
3. Added non-Imminst life-extension content to the Ustream channel.

Evidence of the successes can be found in the increase of registered users of the site. A recent graph of registrations can be found here: http://www.imminst.o...&...st&p=249334

Revenue has also been steady. In spite of picking up the significant expense of an employee, the Institute’s cash assets have climbed from $50,086 at the beginning of 2008 to $55,600 (as of July19th) with $2,100 in additional outstanding invoices.

Here are the top initiatives I think the Institute should focus on for the rest of 2008 in order to continue the significant success and “growth” the Institute has achieved in the first half of the year.

1. F@H prize (continuation)
2. Convergence Conference
3. MFURI collaboration
4. 2nd printing of SCOD
5. Sunday Evening Update (continuation)
6. Front page content (continuation)

There are many more things that could be done with enough volunteer help. These six are about the max I can organize/handle on my schedule (which includes a 40+ hour a week day job, managing Imminst advertising revenue, tax reporting/payments, membership issues, forum oversight, etc.)

#2 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:18 PM

F@H Prize:

The F@H Prize has been a resounding success in terms of surpassing the metrics set-up prior to the initiation of the prize. We set out to gain 14 new contributors per month and move up 8 spots in the folding@home rankings per month. From March 25th through July 20th the number of contributors has increased from 220 to 310, an average of about 23 per month. During the same time period, the team has risen from rank number 199 to 156, for an average of about 11 spots per month. Points per day (PPD) of the team has risen nearly 600%, from less than 20,000 to nearly 120,000, which puts the team in the top 60 in the world as far as PPD rankings go.

The aspect of the prize that is hard to measure thus far is how much publicity has been generated outside of our community and memespace. Wider publicity among other folding teams and within general media outlets is one of the goals set out by maestro949 and myself. I haven’t personally seen too much discussion outside of Imminst, but we have only completed 1 quarter of competition. With a continued increase in the team’s contributors and PPD output, there should be more opportunity for wider exposure/publicity.

I believe we should continue to publicize and support the F@H prize in the 2nd half of 2008 because it has been a successful effort thus far, it helps with the publicity of Imminst and the Longevity Meme, and it is real research that helps advance the mission. With continued increases in team metrics, it is possible the F@H prize could garner funding from additional outside sources and we could use this to propel the prize into its second year.

For specific questions about the F@H Prize or comments on how to continue improving the team’s performance, please use this forum: http://www.imminst.o...gHome-f311.html

#3 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:21 PM

Convergence Conference:

Even during this age of instant virtual world-wide communication, physical conferences still play an important part. As I have witnessed from attending the first Immortality Institute conference, the Terasem Colloquium, and UABBA, there is an energy and “buzz” that develops prior, during, and after such “real” space events. The first Imminst conference provided a significant boost to membership, revenue, and website traffic http://www.imminst.o...&...st&p=218226. The UABBA conference was well attended by Imminst members and the Institute was publicly recognized as a sponsoring organization.

I suggest that Imminst should participate as a full partner in the Convergence Conference in November, with funds, volunteers, and publicity, etc… As Caliban has mentioned more than once, this is also a constitutional function of the organization.

Initial discussion here: http://www.imminst.o...o...c=21811&hl=

#4 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:24 PM

MFURI collaboration

http://www.mfuri.org/ MFURI has asked Immortality Institute to match the original scholarship amount of $2,000 (provided by the Methuselah Foundation). This is under discussion right now and will come to a vote soon. Through the years since Imminst’s inception, many members have called for the Institute to engage in or sponsor research. I view this as the perfect opportunity to take a step in this direction, as the Methuselah Foundation has started making research progress and has momentum in funding and publicity. It will be good for Imminst to strengthen already strong ties with MF by helping MFURI. Imminst has a strong base of members who are undergraduates and this will be another opportunity for publicity among this energetic group. There may be other ways (other than scholarship money) in which Imminst could help the MFURI and these should be investigated during the second half of 2008.

More here: http://www.imminst.o...ion-t22184.html

#5 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:25 PM

The Scientific Conquest of Death – second printing.

The first publication has sold over 1,000 copies and generated $6,171.32 in revenue for the Institute. These aren’t Harry Potter numbers, but they are substantial for the Institute, especially considering the book did not receive the benefit of advertising and was sold through a publish-on-demand service.

Caliban has found a publisher for a second updated version of SCOD and has agreed to take on this project. Caliban almost single-handedly put together the first compendium and I am confident he will be just as fruitful with a 2nd printing. Undoubtedly there will be a time in the near future when Caliban will call for volunteers to help with specific tasks in relation to the second publication (editing or marketing perhaps) and I strongly encourage members to help out in this endeavor.

Forum here:

{I have removed this link from view. We anticipate contributions from members and friends-of-members and want to reserve the possibility of speaking frankly about issues of quality and suitability without ruffling anyones feathers. As a further addendum, I in no way 'single-handedly' put together the first edition, it was very much a team effort - caliban}

Edited by caliban, 22 July 2008 - 04:11 PM.
s.ab.


#6 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:27 PM

The Sunday Evening Update:

The Sunday Night Text Chat was a popular feature during the first couple years of the organization and thus I strived to bring it back late last year. It eventually evolved into the live streaming program the Sunday Evening Update. It has been a moderate success thus far with big name guests bringing in over 30 simultaneous (and over 50 total) viewers. As a side benefit, the live streaming channel also allows the Institute to conduct open Board meetings. At this point the program is part news, part entertainment, and part interview. I would like to see an increased level of discussion as a text chat runs concurrently with the video and audio stream. There also exists a possibility of having guests appear in video instead of just audio (requires software/hardware upgrades). So there is potential for the Update Program to improve and for the entire “channel” to have more content throughout the week, however, I don’t have the time resources to add a lot more than already exists. I will continue the Sunday Evening Update for the 2nd half of 2008 and continue to solicit ideas for changing, improving, and expanding the reach of the streaming content. As evidenced by the July 20th episode, there are still technical/quality problems that need to be resolved before the program and channel can become recognized as something better than a “home-grown/home-spun” effort. We live in a media driven world and I think it is necessary for the Immortality Institute to have a presence outside of just text/website/print.

Update forum: http://www.imminst.o...Update-f63.html

#7 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:28 PM

Front Page Content

Comments and reviews of the new front page have all been positive thus far. News headlines and forum discussions are updated regularly. It is the entry point to the organization and thus should be memorable, informative, and useful. Appearances are important and that is why I put this on the list of things to focus on for the 2nd half of 2008.

The one thing that needs improvement is the feature article section. I would like to have more original and frequently updated content. I am working on some compilations of blog posts and newsletters, but I am sure there is a better strategy to get more writers interested. I think of my own web browsing/reading habits and I thoroughly enjoy original thought-provoking content. It keeps me coming back for more. I hope we can bring this kind of “sticky” content to the feature article section of the front page.

Call for content: http://www.imminst.o...ent-t21685.html

#8 Mind

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:36 PM

These are a handful of the many many many other ideas that have crossed the forums during the course of this year. I do not want to discourage creative thinking and ambition. If any member wants to organize and follow through on any particular idea, please do so (maybe you could get some director treasure chest funds), but I am going to first focus on the 6 big things listed above and I (along with the board of directors) will be asking for help from members and registered users.

Collaboration with Betterhumans

Membership drive

Membership benefits package

Promotional Calendar

SF cons

Health Handbook

More structured and activist political forum

Super index and resource page

Syndicate mailing lists with the forum.

What about.. (from Matthais)
..renting a lecture hall to show the ImmInst film.
..compiling information packages
..and distributing them for $1 via ebay (not for the money but for some hits of ebay's search engine).
..handing out some ImmInst flyers or ImmInst DVDs.
..asking Rex Maughan politely, if "forever living" is only his 2.1 billion dollar brand or moreover his secret dream.
..establishing contacts with journalists who have published something about life extension already.
..advancing brokenportals community-point-system for convincing new members
..continuing the flyers@home project: Everyone can print them out and place them in fitness studios and universities.
..flyers to increase the number of visitors of the Institute's forum.
..flyers to increase the audience of the Immortality Update TV-program.

#9 Shepard

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:38 PM

The Sunday Evening Update:


While researching hosting, did you find anything before settling on UStream? I still really don't like that website and feel like it's worth putting some money into the Sunday Update to have a higher quality recording that can be hosted through our site to minimize headaches.

#10 lightowl

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 10:23 AM

Very nice recap Justin. Thanks allot. It really shows that things are still happening. It was nice for a returning member like me to get a sum up of things like that. All those worthwhile things seems to get lost in the Nootropics/Supplements/Health "clutter" IMO. Perhaps it would be an idea to create a "highlighted threads" sections. A section where threads of special importance to the mission are posted. I'm not sure how those could be selected (perhaps by membership vote, perhaps by Navigators etc), but it would make it a lot easier to follow the interesting discussions. It could be right there on top of the Active Topics list.

I'm interesting in hearing how others find these interesting discussions and projects on the forum. Do you regularly scan individual sub-forums, or do you, like me, mentally filter out what on the surface (title) looks irrelevant?

It would have been nice to see some of my suggestions on the list, but hey, I guess I need to step up and offer to implement them at some point. :)

Edited by lightowl, 22 July 2008 - 10:30 AM.


#11 Mind

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:00 PM

You have made some great suggestions lightowl, some of which could become more of a primary focus, but would fall in the "other" category for now in the short-term.

While researching hosting, did you find anything before settling on UStream? I still really don't like that website and feel like it's worth putting some money into the Sunday Update to have a higher quality recording that can be hosted through our site to minimize headaches.


Yes I did look into other options (Caliban and A941 did as well). We couldn't come up with anything very cheap or free, except Ustream. Anyone reading this, please feel free to look around at other options and report back in the Update Forum. I agree that the site is not the best available option but it works for now.

#12 sentinel

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:04 AM

You have made some great suggestions lightowl, some of which could become more of a primary focus, but would fall in the "other" category for now in the short-term.

While researching hosting, did you find anything before settling on UStream? I still really don't like that website and feel like it's worth putting some money into the Sunday Update to have a higher quality recording that can be hosted through our site to minimize headaches.


Yes I did look into other options (Caliban and A941 did as well). We couldn't come up with anything very cheap or free, except Ustream. Anyone reading this, please feel free to look around at other options and report back in the Update Forum. I agree that the site is not the best available option but it works for now.


Thanks for taking the time to put that all down, Mind, It is appreciated,

#13 brokenportal

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 03:59 AM

Its nice to see how progress is building through a list like this. The momentum has been picking up over the last year and a half or so. Things are expanding. All this stuff has happened and like mind said he and the people working with these particular projects can only do so much.

Ive found myself caught up in this momentum and I want to encourage everybody else to take advantage of it and help keep it moving too. Alot of you are, good work, onward and upward.

#14 Mind

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:19 AM

Here is how things have gone over the last 6 months.

1. F@H prize (continuation) - Success, reached the top 100, now planning for next year!

2. Convergence Conference - Success, Good exposure, looks like the Institute will break even financially

3. MFURI collaboration - Success, new page and $2,000 in scholarship money approved.

4. 2nd printing of SCOD - dropped.

5. Sunday Evening Update (continuation) - Neutral, working on a new video page, good guests, average viewership.

6. Front page content (continuation) - Neutral, updated announcements, headlines, discussions, not many new front page feature articles.

Edited by Mind, 20 December 2008 - 02:20 AM.





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