April 22, 2008

Weekly Snippets, 4/21/2008

My day job is at Google, where there has long been a tradition of the "weekly snippet".  This is a short summary written every Monday about what you did last week and what you plan to do this week, automatically indexed so you can search them or look at someone’s snippets.  It’s a nice way to keep track of what other people are doing, and I’d like to bring snippets to TSI.  Here are some snippets for our first public week:

Stuff We Did Last Week

  • Community
    • Website – first week (well, 6 days)
      • Stats: 36 registered users, 288K hits, 47K pages, 8589 visits, 6GB data.  Top referrer other than search engines / my blogs: Strike The Root.  1530 hits to the press release, 3404 to the homepage.  31 Diggs on the press release – go digg it here.  Please continue to spread the word about the site and the Institute.
      • Many bug fixes, GUI editor for the forum, etc.  More will come slowly and steadily.  Please report website bugs / ideas here.
    • Volunteering / Staffing
      • Great response, lots of posts on the volunteer thread/emails offering to help, and our first volunteer project has started (see Book below)
      • It will take us some time to figure out exactly how best to proceed on making use of y’all, especially on the engineering side, and with those w/ more experience, so please be patient with us.  Adding more hands is one of our top priorities right now, but we want to be careful about it.
  • Research
  • Engineering
    • Planning/Discussion on hiring plan.
  • Misc
    • Had coffee w/ Tyler Emerson, ED of SIAI, to draw on his experience.  We had a good conversation about futurist organizations like TSI and SIAI, and how they can thrive.
      • One of the key takeaways was that we need better marketing/communications – simple, clear, compelling statements of our purpose and vision.  If any of you have formal marketing experience, please email
      • Another point, obvious once he pointed it out, is that fundraising will have to wait until we have 501c3 status (end of the year, due to IRS processing time).  We are enormously grateful to Peter for being willing to provide us seed funding in the interim, but it is unlikely that other donors will be so generous.  So you are all totally free from being pestered for money until 2009!


Things to look for in the next few weeks:

  • Community
    • More website improvements
    • List of volunteer positions
    • Start forming Scientific Advisory Board
    • Official date for the first conference (planning it can come later)
  • Research
    • Job Req. for Chief Scientist
    • Get a PDF of the book draft available on a Print-on-Demand website (will still be a bit rough around the edges).
    • First couple Distributed Research Projects specced out
  • Engineering
    • Plastic Aquarium-steads
    • Seastead design strawman