Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Who Supports Cuusoo Projects? A Breakdown of Supporter Types

I often see people new to Cuusoo not having a strong idea of actually how Support works.  This is understandable, why would anyone know how a complex social website works without being around for a while?

Well, what I have here is an attempt to clear up one of the most complex and misunderstood notions on Cuusoo.  Where does the project support come from?


Usually I try to work with hard data when I write an article like this, but this one is a bit more complex and is based more on observation.  I have however passed this article around to some of my more analytical Cuusoo peers and they found it to be relatively accurate.

Before you email me with counter-examples to what I have documented here,  I would also like to express that this is intended to reflect general expectations and trends in behavior.  There are always exceptions...

Project Supporters

I have identified six types of supporter.

  • Cuusoo Regular
  • Triggered FOL 
  • Triggered Inquisitive FOL
  • Triggered Muggle
  • Triggered Inquisitive Muggle
  • The "I should support something" Project Creator (not depicted on Pie Chart)



Cuusoo Regular
A cadre of something to the effect of 100ish FOLs who regularly check in on what is new in Cuusoo.  Of all categories they are the most generous with their support.  Indeed there are some extreme users who attempt to support virtually every project on Cuusoo.  The Cuusoo Regulars are the reason why even the most obscure projects have a few votes to them.

These people might get you 25 support.


Triggered FOL
These are people who identify as FOLS who are connected to Lego through Lego Blogs, Lego social media sites, LUGs or other Lego communities who hear about a project the peaks their interest.  They come to Cuusoo to support this project that has been brought to their attention.

You can identify these users because the projects they support tend to be high caliber within the Lego Community (the project looks awesome, even by discrimination FOL standards) and if you really have your finger on the pulse of the community, you can identify that the  projects they support are the ones making the rounds in the FOL community. 

This group can get you about 500 support.

Triggered Inquisitive FOL
Like Triggered FOLs but when these supporters come to Cuusoo to vote for that cool build they saw on Brickset or what have you they also check what else might strike their fancy.

These people may check out  Cuusoo's suggested projects, other projects by the same creator,  the most supported projects, the newest,  do a search for projects of the same theme, etc...This category is not defined by how they find additional projects to support but differentiate themselves in that, once they get to Cuusoo, they look around a bit before carrying on.  
The amount of support a projects "drafts" off a Triggering project varies tremendously based on a variety of factors but if a project gets more than a 5% turn over on the support given to the Triggering project, they are extremely lucky. 

Triggered Muggle
These are your everyday internet folk.  Everyone likes Lego but these people are not "FOLs."  They have little to no direct connections to Lego in their online media though they might be following the Lego group on Facebook or Twitter.  These people see a Cuusoo project on Facebook, Twitter,  Geekdad, CNet, Tumblr, a conversation, or anywhere really and something about it really connects with them, and they go to the site and support it.

The vast majority of supporters for Purdue Pete fall into this Category, as do the much more recent examples of Doctor Who supporters.  These people didn't find the projects they were wowed by on a Lego blog, they found these project through a connection to some other fandom, like their Alma mater, a "Geek blog", a Facebook share by a friend...

You can identify these people because, well, they have only supported one project that has been in the Muggle media channels, OR they have supported a series of projects, all high profile.  If you check out the support history of some of the people who support Doctor Who for instance, you will see that they also supported the Serenity and perhaps one or two others.  

Like the Triggered FOL, when Triggered Muggles are done supporting the project that brought them to Cuusoo, they go on about their business elsewhere.  At one point I calculated this to be about 60% of the users on Cuusoo and these are the people who get projects to 10,000 supporters.  This is the Target demo people.  Non-FOLs who appreciate the THEME of your project.

Triggered Inquisitive Muggle
This group is simply the Muggle version of the Triggered Inquisitive FOL.  These guys come to Cuusoo to support that cool build they saw that really connects with them and they they poke around a bit. Since a theme is what brought these people to Cuusoo, you can usually see patterns of theme in the support history on this group.  For instance, you might notice that some Doctor Who supporters investigate all the Doctor Who projects.  Likewise a lot of Star Wars fans will come for one impressive Star Wars build and then support several more.  When Purdue Pete was getting support, there was also a bump in support for the Lunar Lander project, which makes sense because Neil Armstrong is a Purdue Alumni. 

Just like with FOLs though, the conversion rate from Triggered to Inquisitive is extremely low and hovers in the 5% range for any given project. 

The "I should support something" Project Creator
The last category of supporter is a special case, I only include it here for completeness. 

These are people who pop up on Cuusoo and want to throw an idea out there and, for the sake of the look of the thing, or just to get a solid idea of how support works, they support one or two projects. The project supported is generally the highest quality new project from the week that the user's project was published or the most popular project in the carousel. 
 
This category will net you about 1 support.