As I already wrote about it, there was this annoying question on the
Marketing BOF at YAPC::EU 2009 on how can we measure success of the
promotional or marketing project we are planning to do.
It is still unclear to me what are the objectives of others and I am sure some
people will even say, that Perl does not need any promotion but
the presence of those who came to the Marketing BOF confirmed that
I am far from being alone in my thinking that Perl needs promotion.
I think I am also on the ambitious end of those who think we need more
marketing. Some would say I am just a dreamer. So let me do just that here.
We need some measurable objectives and a time frame to achieve those.
I mentioned some of the general objectives in my previous post, let me try to
describe a few specific and mostly measurable objectives along with a target
date. We can of course add more such objectives and discuss these too and set all
of them to some reasonable value.
As we cannot really be sure which of the following is achievable at all IMHO
we should say that by a certain date we would like to achieve some of these objectives.
Let's say by end of 2012 we would like to achieve at least 3 out of the following targets:
Perl as an approved corporate programming language
Turn Perl into an approved corporate programming language by 10%
of the Fortune 1000 companies
I wonder how many of those companies have a list of approved languages and which are those
languages. Before we can actually set an objective like this we should try to find out
this and also try to find out how we can check this. To make it clear, this means that Perl
has entered in the short list of supported and recommended languages of the organization.
To refine this we could say 10% of those that have any approved languages list.
Double the number of jobs as listed on JobStats.
Currently I see the following data:
Java All Jobs
PHP All Jobs
Perl All Jobs
Python All Jobs
Ruby All Jobs
Doubling these numbers for Perl would be a nice achievement.
Increase the number of job posts on dice.com that
have "perl programming" in their description. I could not find the data for the baseline.
Increase the monthly number of job posts on jobs.perl.org
to be 500 per month
This is three times as many as the peak was and about 8-9 times of the current numbers.
See the stats.
The increase here can come from both an increased number of overall perl jobs or by more
companies and recruiters knowing about this site. Someone could try to "game" the system by
contacting all the companies looking for a Perl programmer and suggesting them to post on
this site as well. I would say such a behavior is most welcome. That would be part of the
promotion of Perl to make sure companies are aware of the services the community can
Increase the number of Perl book sales
Increase the number of Perl book sales to be the number 5 group in the O'Reilly report.
The latest report from July 2009
indicated a decline in the whole market but I think I saw real numbers on in an earlier
report from February 2009
Based on that I have this slightly rounded data on 1000 units sold for some of the languages I found relevant.
As an objective we can say that we would like to see the number of Perl books sold to reach 60,000.
Get some major web-sites proudly display a "using Perl" logo
Have 15 of the top 500 websites (as listed by Alexa)
proudly display a "using Perl" logo.
For this first of all we need to figure out which companies are making heavy use of Perl that
are listed among the top 500 websites. Then we should contact them and encourage them to display a logo.
Of course they might want to have a nice logo to display and they might want to link to somewhere,
so we have to make sure there is a web-site they would be ready to link to.
We could use this opportunity to try to understand why are they reluctant to
put up a link - if that is the case - and see if we can change that.
Increase traffic on major Perl web sites
Looking at Alexa again I searched for perl
and found the following numbers:
(50% went to perldoc.perl.org 18% went to perl.org
In order to compare I searched for a couple of other keywords and found these:
I am sure we have to invest more energy in locating other representative
web sites and in analyzing this data. We then should set a target ranking for
the perl related web sites. Getting two perl related web sites in the top 5000
sites should be a good target.
Increase traffic on IRC channels, web forums and mailing lists, blogging sites
I have not looked for data on this, someone should see if we can have statistics
on number of posts, number of (new) users, number of threads etc.
Publish at least 100 articles about Perl
Publish at least 100 articles about Perl in important magazines and
on important web sites. This might be more of a tool in our quest than an objective
and I don't heave a ready made list of important journals but I think we can easily
put together an initial list and we can measure the number of articles.
Improve the perception of Perl
I guess if Ovid and others can manage to run a market research now
that will help us analyze the state of the market and the perception of
the world of Perl outside the community we could set some targets based on those
data. The achievements then could me measured later by running a similar
research again a few years from now.
Increase the number of contributors to the Perl world
During YAPC::EU we saw some encouraging numbers in terms of number of
new CPAN uploads and number of new authors. (See the blog post of Mark Keating about
Perl is alive, kicking and stronger than ever!
That seems to mean that there is disconnect between what the people in the Perl community
do and what happens outside of the community, in the more general user-base.
Ohloh indicates that number of Perl projects
and the number of commits are increasing but their percentages are sharply dropping.
I wonder if we can set some objectives in either of these metrics too?
No conclusion yet
We need to invest more energy in finding metrics that we think can
be interesting and we should decide on some objectives that are reasonable
to reach in a few years.