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Hak.5: Spread the word


VaKo
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Following a discussion elsewhere, the idea of spreading the word about hak.5 has come up. Something like spreadfirefox.com? Anyone got any ideas?

Personally I like the idea of viral advertising, but thats kinda hit 'n' miss really.

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Viral advertising only works with things people want. Usualy a products (Apple like press confrence any one?) although with the advent of season 2 (which has much higher production value) I can see it working as an anoying flash banner on myspace. Although if they advertised on myspace it would be VERY expencive and the forums would be loaded with "How can I get my friends myspace acount password?" questions.

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First off, I think Hak.4 should think up a more original name. :wink:

Next, when Wess does some original mod, see if you can get it posted at Make:zine. The people who check that stuff out should at the very least enjoy the other modding segments.

Do something cool with a Mini-ITX board and try to get it posted on Mini-ITX.com There are a TON of robots, emulators and similarly strange contraptions built there, and it would seem that those techies would look kindly at a show like Hak.5.

Subtitles! As was already suggested in this thread. It takes some time to do, but would allow the show to be accessible to a more global audience.

And of course some evangelism of our own. You (yes, *YOU*) are clearly part of the target audience, aren't you? You watch the show. You like what they do, and possibly do some of that stuff yourself. There are places you go to talk with people who share your interests. Talk to these people about Hak.5. Chances are they'd like the show aswell (I really think the subtitles would help out a lot here).

And it might even be a good idea to talk to some (small, local) TV networks to see if they might have an interest in airing the episodes from Season 1. They get quality footage (by which I mean the DVD quality as opposed to / on top of content quality) to air, and all you ask in return is that they run some promos of the show sometime. Hey, a ludicrous idea is only proven to be ludicrous once you've tried it. And if they say 'No', well, you didn't lose anything, did you?

This, I might add, isn't necessarily something that only the Hak.5 crew could do. Of course, they would have to approve the concept as preparing the footage is likely to take some time. But YOU could call up your local TV station and see if they'd have an interest in airing something like this. If they like the idea, pass the puck on to the Hak.5 crew and see if it goes anywhere.

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When the crew makes it to the UK, might be an idea to see if the BBC will do an interview and run some footage. And I'm loving the subs idea. Get them in american spanish & manadrin and thats a couple of billion more people who can watch the show.

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Cross promotion with other media works well in normal television situations, has it worked well for hak5? Obviously we don't want it to interfere with hak5, that'll loose us more viewers than the publicity will give us.

Maybe some pre made posters or photoshop sets to make our own posters like the "GET DOWN AGAIN" stuff, but for hak5 for us hacklings to put up around were we live would be worthwhile as well. I know of quite a few places where I live where people would at least take a passing glance.

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Perhaps someone could photoshop up a Hak.5 ad that could be printed on leaflets and stickers and stuff. Maybe there's a few of you out there that wouldn't mind spending a little money to get them printed and passed around/stuck to interesting locations.

WARNING: Stickering places is typically looked upon as vandalism, and can get you in trouble with the police. If this happens, we don't know you.

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Not a clue if they would, but then again I didn't think they'd say it was legal to download there shows from a 3rd party source so who knows? Worth a shot though. Europe is only a few hours from london so its another option.

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I say let it spread it's self. If you force it to grow, buch of people are going to join, suck the life out, and leave, causing the death of Hak.5. If you let it grow, the show and the comuity the surrounds it will evolve.

I kinda agree here to the point that ads on myspace, stickers and handouts in RL, are a bit much. I think already the best way to spread the word is to just tell your friends, may it be online or IRL.

The show is already doing extremely well but I'd love to see it do even better. With our production quality and on screen presence I think we could be even bigger if the content wasnt so niche, but thats not something we're about to sacrafice. It's not Hak5 unless somethings getting hacked, modded, or I'm getting hurt.

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Nah, untargeted advertising will fuck things up. As Cooper said:

1. Identify your target audience

2. Determine what this group commonly does to locate the most (cost-)effective form of promotion.

3. Do the actual promotion.

<snip>

And while the above list is easy to make, it's damned hard to find half-decent answers to the questions posed. People make a living answering them.

So our real targets are things like digg, shoutwire and the like. If the forum members/irc folks who are active make sure to digg, and comment on hak.5 releases it gets the word out to a lot of people, and quickly. Also, its free, legal and easy to setup. So why not just game Digg and its ilk for free promotions?

As for flashy, over the top adverts, what about projecting the logo onto something cool, imagine mt rushmore with "we trust our technolust" projected under the guys heads...

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Ok, so we're going to forgo the traditional advertising route until Wess's lasers are ready to turn the moon into a billboard. Until then I'm going with what Cooper said.

1. Identify your target audience

    Geeks

2. Determine what this group commonly does to locate the most (cost-)effective form of promotion.

    Hang out on forums bickering about CPUs, Video Cards, Linux vs BSD vs Windows vs Emacs vs VI, and all the other BS you see around here ;)

3. Do the actual promotion.

    Make linky where it makes sense. (ie. In threads about remote installing vnc, lasers, arp cache, psp hacking, etc etc etc)
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From the DVD Wess and Darren talked about making a show that was kinda like Waynes World but better. Well Waynes world was on a Free local PAS... What if we get episode one in our hands and send it to our local PAS? That'd rock!

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I like the idea of just adverting when appreciated and relevant, and just letting hak.5 grow naturally. I tend to find that when things become big, they change, and usually for the worse. Not always, but enough that it worries me-probably because of the 'forced growth' mentioned above. You're introducing people into the community who could possibly make the current community change radically.

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When you have a clearly defined idea of what you want to do with the show, there's very little chance of outside incluence driving you away from those goals. If you put them up somewhere (Wiki?) you can even be reminded of them if you have the tendency to sway to The Dark Side.

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When you have a clearly defined idea of what you want to do with the show, there's very little chance of outside incluence driving you away from those goals. If you put them up somewhere (Wiki?) you can even be reminded of them if you have the tendency to sway to The Dark Side.

Are you saying we should outline our goals for the show?

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Have a clear grasp of what it is your show is about, and make your viewing public aware of it..

It's a show made up of mods, cool/interesting tech, and heaping spoonful of fun sketches.

It's already mentioned in the Wiki:

[T]he show is a hybrid of technology and geek humor. Hak.5 is a television show for geeks, hackers, and do-it-yourselfers distributed online.

Rest assured, when you do a show without sketches, people will promptly say that they missed that part, simply because it had always been there before, and because you yourself state that it's an important part of the show. And the same thing goes with the tech bit.

If you take in more viewers, there's always the danger of trying to make the show 'more accessible' to people who are more lacking in skill or knowledge. I.e. keeping it simple. I think the community feedback and your dealing with it is proving that this part is nicely being kept in check.

The other risk is that you start to do segments that are suddenly more about other stuff that would be less interesting for the current crop of viewers, but might have a big appeal to a wider and possibly different audience. Should this ever happen, I'm sure the forums will be full of hacklings screaming 'Sell out!'. So far though, I see no risk of this happening either, simply because what you're doing right now seems to be precisely what you want to do.

The 'evangelism' isn't so much trying to get more _viewers_, but trying to get _more_ viewers. So not so much appeal to a wider audience, but instead letting people who are most likely to be interested in the show know about it. I think that's an important distinction.

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