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Rethinking the Freemedia problem



Just free thinking here.  Stop me if I'm an idiot.  :)

We've clearly got LOTS of demand.  What we need is more participants.  
BUT... we don't want to burden participants like we've burdened poor 
Thomas.  :)

Maybe we need more structure and tools to scale participation -- and a way 
to "guarantee" response times.  So let me bounce this structure off you:

1. THE RECRUITER PAGE.

Maybe we make a real easy webpage that says something like this:

Join Up!  Lots of messaging here about how you're sharing the fun!

Tell us:
  * Name and email;
  * Where you live;
  * Whether you prefer to send CDs, DVDs, or both;
  * Where you're willing to send CDs/DVDs;
  * How many per week you're willing to send.

2. THE INPUT QUEUE.

Same as what we have now, except the request goes into a simple database 
that tracks address, date of request, and who's handling it, if anyone.

3. THE REQUEST ENGINE.

Basically, it goes through and matches volunteers to requests -- at a rate 
that precisely matches the volunteer's desire to help.  If someone can 
send one DVD / set of CDs a week, that's exactly what we ask them to send.

4. THE BACKLOG.

We show the backlog on a webpage, and given the number of requests we 
have, we estimate a delivery time for every single CD/DVD request we have 
in the queue.

5. THE RATING.  :)

Once someone promises to send CDs/DVDs to someone, we need a way to find 
out if it happened.  Actually, what we *really* need is a way to find out 
if it *didn't* happen.  Maybe an "Oops!" counter.  If someone accumulates 
a few Oopses, they'll get a gentle reminder that they made a promise.  If 
they accumulate a bunch of Oopses, they're dropped from the rotation.

=====

So.  Thoughts?

There's some work here, but for a reasonably competent web programmer... 
it's really not tough.  Just requires someone with hands and time.  :)

Might also be nice to donate such an application to the community at 
large...

--g

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Greg DeKoenigsberg || Fedora Project || fedoraproject.org
Be an Ambassador || http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors
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