TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

The science of social networks has always interested me, which is part of the reason I decided to launch TechHui. I often wonder what the tipping point is for this network. Have we already reached it? If I was hit by a bus tomorrow, would TechHui continue to be a viable social network a year from now? As we approach 200 members, and other active posters have started to appear, I believe the answer is yes, but this is just a gut feeling. What are the metrics? Do they differ for vertically specialized networks and more general networks?

I also wonder about the maximum potential size of our network. How many techies in (or somehow connected to) Hawaii exist? As a reasonably active member of the community I suffered from the conceit of thinking I knew most techies on Oahu. Its been humbling and exciting to see dozens of experienced developers and engineers working on high profile projects appear on this network that I've never met. It has also eroded my confidence in being able to set any sort of meaningful target for membership. Is 1,000 a reasonable target, or is it 10,000?

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Comment by Peter Kay on March 30, 2008 at 8:40pm
One thing that I've noticed gets discussions going is controversy. Nothing like a spirited debate to get the crowd rolling....
Comment by Gabe Morris on March 26, 2008 at 1:34pm
ok - in the absence of a barrage of volunteers, i'll take 33-66

For names outside 33-66, I've highlighted in red the names of people if i think i might be able to track down their contact info... if i've highlighted a name in red (errr... only one so far), then i've also left a note in the Note column with more info about what i'm doing to track down the name
Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 26, 2008 at 1:22pm
Great work! I'll take 1-33.
Comment by Gabe Morris on March 26, 2008 at 11:05am
OK - I've created a spreadsheet in Google Docs with 100 potential invitees to Techhui - names of people that work in tech in hawaii culled from linkedin searches. If you would like to volunteer on helping to contact these people, leave a comment here or send me a private message with your email address and I'll add you as a collaborator to the Google spreadsheet. Feel free to ask away with any questions you might have before volunteering. Volunteering would basically entail hunting down the email addresses and sending a short note (I will come up with a basic draft that you can feel free to modify) to potential invitees.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 24, 2008 at 11:06pm
Very true - We need more contributing members, not just numbers. That being said, much of the content here was contributed by members I didn't know until they joined (like GB Hajim.) With community generated content its sort of a chicken and egg problem. You need members to contribute content and you need content to attract members.

I've been working hard to seed the network with enough interesting content to get things rolling, but its a balancing act between contributing enough content to make things interesting for the early adopters and looking like you are trying to dominate the forum.
Comment by Peter Kay on March 24, 2008 at 10:37pm
IMHO it's always about the content. We won't have to worry too much about getting more members if there is sufficient content/purpose/topics for people to interact with/to.

On the other hand, having thousands of "members" won't matter too much if they are not active.

Perhaps if answer the age-old question of "why should I visit/read/interact with this site" we might get a new insight on expansion.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 24, 2008 at 3:11pm
It costs $200 to send 50 inMails a month so we're going to have to get scrapy in terms of researching email addresses.

Agreed. I've got about 15 InMails available that I am willing to use on candidates that are likely to be interested.
Comment by Gabe Morris on March 24, 2008 at 2:58pm
Right... OK - I'll get on this today and tomorrow. Expect to hear back from me Wednesday. I'll then put the list in a Google spreadsheet. Once I get a headcount on volunteers. I'll divide up the list accordingly. (e.g., if there are six volunteers, then 100/6 means Dan gets 1-16, i get 16-32, etc...). However, all volunteers can cull through the list and leave a comment - either X'ing them out if they would be inappropriate or putting a check next to them. It costs $200 to send 50 inMails a month so we're going to have to get scrapy in terms of researching email addresses. Since we'll invariably have their company info, this shouldn't be too hard.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 23, 2008 at 2:32pm
Why limit membership to just people per se? How about encouraging corporations, companies, organizations to join and participate as member entities?

I like this idea. We have a couple companies as members including Sopogy. I think this may work better for small to medium size companies because large organizations often require a multi-step approval process before anything can be posted on behalf of the company.

And I certainly could see members (people or corporate-wise) from outside of Hawaii being able to both contribute and profit from the interactions made possible on TechHui.

Absolutely! Kama’aina abroad and anyone interested in technology ventures in Hawaii is more than welcome.

looking forward to meeting more of you at the bbq.

Likewise!

(re: LinhkedIn) i'd be willing to collate a list of 100 possible contacts... if there were 5-10 volunteers who could help in subsequently contacting these possible members... what do you all think?

Good idea. I'm in. I guess we need to send them InMail pointing them to the site. We need to make sure they are not already members, and look for people that are likely to be interested so the InMail isn't viewed as spam.
Comment by Gabe Morris on March 23, 2008 at 1:31pm
well, i started to think of all these consultant-y type ways of ferreting out hidden pockets of techies in hawaii - and then i thought - why not just use linkedin? a simple search on "programmer" within a honolulu area code (i tried 96815) will pull up around 100 results... searching on a less specific term like "computer" will turn up another few hundred (although some irrelevant ones)... i'd be willing to collate a list of 100 possible contacts... if there were 5-10 volunteers who could help in subsequently contacting these possible members... what do you all think?

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