by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

January 21, 2008

Sheep v2.7 Education/Registration/Donation plan

So as you might guess, running and developing the Electric Sheep network is a costly endeavor. Rewarding for sure, but the bottom line includes server hardware, bandwidth bills, and engineering time. One of the objectives of the upcoming version 2.7 is to let more people know how the Electric Sheep works, and how they can help it continue to work, by registration, and donation.

I plan to continue to offer this service for free to the public. These days there are 50,000 daily users, but mostly I have no idea who they are, and vice versa. Below I outline the plan to address this. Your feedback is welcome.

1) during the installation process, add an optional registration and donation step, maybe just by popping up a web browser on a server page with the information and forms. We call this "page X" below.

2) if they decline to register when they install, they may run the client anonymously then they:

a) download sheep from the lowest http bandwidth category (maybe from CoralCDN, ie the current system), except the first 4 sheep which come from a fast server.

b) periodic on-screen text on the bottom of the screen: "see or press 'y' to join and receive more sheep free and faster". Pressing 'y' exits the screen-saver and brings up a browser with page X loaded. Other key/mouse events just exit to the desktop like normal.

c) In the config dialog there's an "about" button to pop up page X.

3) After they register on page X of the drupal:

a) part of registration is asking for donation.

b) after the email address is confirmed, their client will download from a larger bandwidth category (from our corporate sponsor).

c) opt-out bimonthly newsletter consisting of your rendering stats (how many frames your computer submitted), best recent sheep, random news, reminder to donate. can roll this out slowly.

you may prefer to comment on the forum, rather than below. Posted by spot at January 21, 2008 10:58 PM

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