How can we bring more users to the Rosetta project?

Message boards : Rosetta@home Science : How can we bring more users to the Rosetta project?

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Message 13593 - Posted: 12 Apr 2006, 23:09:42 UTC

Online interactive help desk: Have you seen those websites that allow you to get immediate help? My public library has one. I can click the button and converse directly (via typed messages) with someone at the reference desk if I like (during business hours of course).

Do you think we could rally enough volunteers to have someone online all the time to take a first stab at answering people's questions? MOST of them are going to be REALLY EASY. And if you can't address it, then you suggest the person post on the message boards.

I don't know how these things work. I presume one staffer could have multiple message windows open simultaneously? Is there special software or subscription to buy to support hosting it?

If we could get 5 volunteers from each timezone, we'd have enough people that you'd only have duty assigned a couple of hours a month. And, given the current level of traffic on the Q&A boards, I'd think it would be pretty rare for anything to come in anyway. It's basically time you might already be spending surfing the Q&A boards looking for strays in need of help. And if people get their question answered, they won't be posting as many Q&As anyway.

The idea behind this is, some people don't want to get an ID or sign up for anything until they know more. But, they can't post a question to the message boards until they get an ID. So, they have no outlet to ask very basic questions about the project and how it works. This help desk would be open to anyone with a Rosetta/BOINC question. The interactivity also gives you some closure. I mean to post a response on the message board and look back a week later and person still hasn't downloaded a WU, and you've lost them. But point them to that FAQ page or Wiki section right at the time of the question, and then stay with them until they agree this tells them what they needed, and now you've got closure.

We'd have to somehow label it as the volunteer help desk, or "unofficial" help offered. Then there's issues of controlling what is said and no personal information yadda yadda... all this can be worked out...

Do you think the idea will help bring (and KEEP) more crunchers? Vote with the green plus and pink minus sign beneath this post to express your vote.
+ means I think it helps bring and keep more crunchers.
- means I don't think it's going to make a difference.
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Running Microsoft's "System Idle Process" will never help cure cancer, AIDS nor Alzheimer's. But running Rosetta@home just might!
https://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/
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Message 26283 - Posted: 7 Sep 2006, 17:22:04 UTC

I've created a new thread for the discussion of the next newsletter.
Add this signature to your EMail:
Running Microsoft's "System Idle Process" will never help cure cancer, AIDS nor Alzheimer's. But running Rosetta@home just might!
https://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/
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Message 26390 - Posted: 8 Sep 2006, 20:00:21 UTC

I've created a new thread to discuss the chat room help desk in more detail.
Add this signature to your EMail:
Running Microsoft's "System Idle Process" will never help cure cancer, AIDS nor Alzheimer's. But running Rosetta@home just might!
https://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/
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Message 26395 - Posted: 8 Sep 2006, 20:34:11 UTC

Moved the related posts to those two new threads.
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Message 26594 - Posted: 11 Sep 2006, 13:57:27 UTC

No idea should be dismissed because it is "too ambitious." If you said years ago that it would be possible to create AIDS vaccine candidates through supercomputers, it would have been dismissed as not possible.
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Message 29573 - Posted: 18 Oct 2006, 12:28:11 UTC

I've Started a group on Facebook.com similar to and growing like myspace.com called "Boinc Researchers" and trying to advocate to others that they should help, but I can only do so much. I need more members that also will let others that I do not know and invite them. So far 161 members, but similar group "My Screensaver Cures Diseases" has 1,334 members as of today. Both groups are growing fast.
GridRepublic - bringing BOINC mainstream: http://www.gridrepublic.org

GridRepublic Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/GridRepublic

Progress Thru Processors Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/progressthruprocessors
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Michael G.R.

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Message 29576 - Posted: 18 Oct 2006, 13:45:49 UTC - in response to Message 29573.  

Could you give me a link to the MySpace page you created? I can't seem to find it with their crappy search tool..

We created a MySpace page for our blog (www.treehugger.com) and have about 2,200 friends now. I'd like to add your page to that.
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Message 29612 - Posted: 19 Oct 2006, 1:32:59 UTC

Did you mean this one?
http://groups.myspace.com/rosettaathome
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Message 29627 - Posted: 19 Oct 2006, 8:55:15 UTC

Well, I've come back to Rosetta from WCG. I think the science in Rosetta@Home is more important (I'm still doing it for the HIV/AIDS virus) and because WCG isn't fair for Linux users.
"In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and is widely considered as a bad move." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Message 29634 - Posted: 19 Oct 2006, 13:38:22 UTC - in response to Message 29573.  

I've Started a group on Facebook.com similar to and growing like myspace.com called "Boinc Researchers" and trying to advocate to others that they should help, but I can only do so much. I need more members that also will let others that I do not know and invite them. So far 161 members, but similar group "My Screensaver Cures Diseases" has 1,334 members as of today. Both groups are growing fast.


http://www.myspace.com/bakerlab
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Profile Gerry Rough
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Message 31489 - Posted: 21 Nov 2006, 4:12:26 UTC

I was thinking in the last couple of days of an idea that might help bring new users to Rosetta@home. What about the idea of endorsing other boinc projects that are similar to Rosetta, such as Docking, Predictor, Proteins, etc. We would put their logos on the Rosetta site, and they, in turn, would put our logo on their sites, much like a link swap. The endorsement would be at the bottom of the page, and would say something like "Rosetta@home endorses these similar boinc projects." The difference with this idea is that only related boinc projects would be encouraged. What do you think?

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Message 31501 - Posted: 21 Nov 2006, 11:02:42 UTC - in response to Message 29627.  

Well, I've come back to Rosetta from WCG. I think the science in Rosetta@Home is more important (I'm still doing it for the HIV/AIDS virus) and because WCG isn't fair for Linux users.


All BOINC projects that based credits on the benchmark claim were unfair to Linux users, not just WCG. It is only in the last half-year that projects have tried to address various issues arising from the benchamrking, and there are a number of approaches to this.

The Rosetta approach has its own oddities - you get an uneven number of credits per hour at present. In the short term this can end up being very uneven, and some crunchers have expressed their dislike in fairly strong terms. Over the longer term these statistical fluctuations should roughly even out, but will never do so exactly.

The advantage, as you say, is that the oddities of Rosetta's current credit policy do not selectively hit one operating system. To me, random feels fairer than systematic, but it is still not perfect. Nobody claims it is.

When selling Rosetta to potential newcomers, I feel we should be up front about the disadvantages (like the uneven credits/hour) as well as the advantages. That way we will get fewer disappointments, and fewer flames from disaffected newcomers. If someone wants a nearly error free project, or a rock steady number of credits per hour, then Rosetta is never going to keep them happy.

We want to attract people who will stay, not people who will do 500 credits then fill our forums with flames that arise from their own false expectations.

For me the other three big advantages of Rosetta over WCG are

- no redundancy so our cpu cycles are proportionally more effective;

- the fact that this project develops the code as well as uses it (an advantage for some, and a disadvantage for others as this is the reason for the higher error rate than you see on some other projects)

- and the splendid communications between the project professionals and us as participants.

R~~
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Message 31522 - Posted: 21 Nov 2006, 17:54:51 UTC

I can see where you're coming from Gerry, (with the web-ring idea), but realistically, all of the BOINC projects are already a web-ring of a sort in that most people who come to a project, and are the type to get more involved will quickly find other projects and info sites anyway.

By specifically endorsing another site over which the team here have absolutely no control, there is the risk of souring the reputation here if something goes pear shaped at a site we have "endorsed".
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Message 31546 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 2:26:19 UTC - in response to Message 31522.  

I can see where you're coming from Gerry, (with the web-ring idea), but realistically, all of the BOINC projects are already a web-ring of a sort in that most people who come to a project, and are the type to get more involved will quickly find other projects and info sites anyway.

By specifically endorsing another site over which the team here have absolutely no control, there is the risk of souring the reputation here if something goes pear shaped at a site we have "endorsed".


I really doubt that something at another site will leave a bad taste in the minds of Rosetta crunchers. They will no doubt know that the pear shape is indicative of only the site involved, and not part of any ring or of BOINC in general. Layoffs at Ford do not generally reflect negatively on Chevrolet.

As to your first point, true, but I'm thinking that those who are interested in the biology/protein folding and such will like Rosetta and its family of projects much more readily because they have a very practical element, and not just purely for the science, like S@H and E@H. In those cases, I don't want the new crunchers hunting around: I want them hunting within the ring of Rosetta and its family of projects: lets keep them here or close as much as possible. Everyone within the ring wins with this, since there is so much overlap/similarity

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Message 31554 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 8:35:34 UTC
Last modified: 22 Nov 2006, 9:27:41 UTC

From a more practical point, Predictor is on hiatus, I've had no work from them since the bovine prion units finished mid August. Both Proteins and Docking are very Alpha and invitation only.

Other biological projects are SIMAP, which we crunched to completion a couple of months ago, and now has just short bursts of wu's to update it's database, (next due 15/12). Then there is Tanpaku which is up and running, but difficult to follow because of the language issues. MCDN is going well, but again, is not open to new accounts. Folding has basically dropped it's BOINC plans.

I lean heavily towards life science projects myself, but have 13 projects in my portfolio, of which 8, (7 plus two halves, irregular wu production (SIMAP and LHC)), are actively running everyday.
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Message 31569 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 14:14:00 UTC - in response to Message 31554.  

From a more practical point, Predictor is on hiatus, I've had no work from them since the bovine prion units finished mid August. Both Proteins and Docking are very Alpha and invitation only.

Other biological projects are SIMAP, which we crunched to completion a couple of months ago, and now has just short bursts of wu's to update it's database, (next due 15/12). Then there is Tanpaku which is up and running, but difficult to follow because of the language issues. MCDN is going well, but again, is not open to new accounts. Folding has basically dropped it's BOINC plans.

I lean heavily towards life science projects myself, but have 13 projects in my portfolio, of which 8, (7 plus two halves, irregular wu production (SIMAP and LHC)), are actively running everyday.


While I agree with all of your points, I was thinking along the lines of projects that are mature, like P@H. Eventually, of course, Docking and Proteins will come on line, and I think you might be incorect on the F@H. Last I heard, folding was waiting until after the new year to roll out its boinc program, probably february or so. Docking is looking at the same time frame, and I'm not sure about Proteins, but I suspect pretty much the same since they started about the same time. In any case, a nice ring would be there for R@H to link up with by spring 2007. I think it would be worth considering in the mean time.


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Message 31571 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 14:46:46 UTC

Doh!

I forgot to mention that I've been thinking along the lines that if I link up with the homeland security department, which I will be pushing for next semester when I finally graduate, I'm thinking I might decide to ask around to see if DHS might want to push for boinc crunchers on the theory that cures for diseases and other nasties that can be weaponized can be found much quicker if DHS pushes boinc as a national security issue that every American can help with, especially if they were pointed in the direction of the bio projects. Who knows where this will lead, but it might be interesting to see if a .gov department might consider pushing for it.

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Message 31574 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 16:29:18 UTC
Last modified: 22 Nov 2006, 16:42:14 UTC

Whoa! Anything that has US government/military associations on it, even the most tenuous link, will send crunchers flooding away from the project. You will need to be VERY careful here. The projects probably won't want that kind of association either.

The only thing the DHS could do that might help more people crunch BOINC is to state publically that they have no objections to their staff running it on DHS computers. That would signal to many companies that will not allow BOINC to be run at work, that it is safe to do so. Even then, that might start the conspiracy theorists along the lines that the DHS is planting something inside BOINC to monitor our computers!
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Message 31575 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 16:33:56 UTC - in response to Message 31574.  

Whoa! Anything that has US government/military associations on it, even the most tenuous link, will send crunchers flooding away from the project. You will need to be VERY careful here. The projects probably won't want that kind of association either.


That was exactly my thoughts. Whilst those who are live in the US may not mind too much, there are certainly crunchers in the rest of the world that would...

--
Mats

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Message 31578 - Posted: 22 Nov 2006, 17:15:09 UTC - in response to Message 31554.  

and now has just short bursts of wu's to update it's database, (next due 15/12).


Nope, next SIMAP batch starts 1/12, HMMER batch follows 15/12

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Message boards : Rosetta@home Science : How can we bring more users to the Rosetta project?



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