Although the CGAL Open Source Project is a non-profit organization, it should be clear that we need communication to reach new users and grow the community. Today Influencer Marketing is the channel of choice.
Last century, only big players had one-page advertisements in traditional print media, that is newspapers like the New York Times and weekly publications like The Economist. Smaller software companies advertised in niche publications like Usine Nouvelle or 01-Informatique. The end of the century saw the arrival of featured content, that is articles written by journalists paid by companies, as well as industry fair magazines such as fon.
Other old fashioned ways to advertise are electronic billboards. While a brand like Pepsi or Nike can afford a permanent screening, we could only pay for a focused screening of 30 minutes during the social event of a recent conference.
October 23, 2000, will be a date forever remembered by internet marketers around the globe as this was the birth of the first ever self-serve online advertising platform: Google AdWords. The CGAL Project has since then spent a small budget on keywords like "Apollonius Graphs" and "Periodic Hyperbolic Triangulations".
We also invest in Banner Ads at conferences like Siggraph, InterGEO (geographical information systems), and FormNext (additive manufacturing). While at Siggraph the goal is to show presence to the many attendees who know us already, for the other conferences the goal is to make people curious and actively search -- "CGAL, What might that stand for?".
There are however other channels where we are not performing as we should: we are not very active on the CGAL youtube channel (which is a pity as geometric computing is very visual), and we are only a little bit more active on our twitter feed, but we should strive to communicate as the top: on each lemma of a publication, and on each implementation detail.
Last but not least, we keep a list of Projects Using CGAL, which brings us to the heart of this posting. Most people find this long list of real-world users a good argument to have a closer look at CGAL. Humans trust other humans who have had a positive experience and who are independent from the self-praising tweets and paid-for content with paid-for-phantastically-rendered magazine images. In other words, real-world users are trustworthy Influencers.
We are glad that you did not stop reading when this ugly word popped up -- influencer. Most of you are scientists, and thus you are objective. There must be hard facts, and it needs more than a good looking teenager telling you that a particular beauty product makes you still more beautiful, or a pimple-speckled nerd telling you that Blender is great. Quite similar to Churchill's "Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.", Influencer Marketing is by large the most honest way of advertising, which is why we have embraced it.
Indeed, the CGAL Project is now a customer of Influence4You, the ultimate platform for matchmaking organizations and influencers. Without going into details, this platform is an efficient lever, pretty much like Github co-pilot is the lever in the world of programming. The hiccup is that we have only found few influencers on the platform that are knowledgeable in geometry processing. It would be good if that changed, not only for the CGAL Project, but for many products (yet another "ugly" word) who got the SGP Software Award, to name just a few.
Just Do It
To those of you who have blogs and twitter accounts, you should have a look at Influence4You. Admit that you like a big number of readers and subscribers, not because you are selfish, but because you know that your opinion counts and you want to have maximum impact.
To those of you who have expertise and strong opinions, but are not motivated to setup WordPress or to create a twitter account, or wish to avoid the humiliating experience of having fewer than a hundred followers in the beginning, note that Influence4You provides the means to get a flying start.With this new venture, CGAL is embracing both traditional and modern venues, and will look forward to the future.
Just in case it didn't became clear yet, this posting was the annual April joke.