You must be a subscriber to The Polymath in order to participate and we will soon require all people who subscribe to be referred by a subscriber. We want those who refer their contacts to The Polymath to honestly believe in it. Subscription is free, so you are not selling anything. You are simply letting your contacts know about interesting and thought provoking articles.
As with all word of mouth, if one referrer creates more than one referrer then growth is exponential to market saturation. However, we know, by applying Pareto Principle or 80-20 rule that over 80%^3=51.2% of referrals will come from just 20%^3=0.8% of the subscribers. So, there is two things to learn from this. First, in order to go viral, each CWoM participant must create (1/.08)=120 subscribers. Fortunately, we know from experience that it is a reasonable number. Second, we understand that creating 120 subscribers requires commitment. So, we should compensate them.
If we extend Pareto, we see that if 1,000 viewers create 2,000 new viewers, referrals will look like this
40% will not refer 0
40% will send to one person = 400
16% will refer to an average of 2 = 320
3.2% will refer an average of 8= 256
0.8% will refer an average of 128= 1,024
Total new views 2,000
Generation New Adds Total
F0 1,000 2,000 3,000
F1 2,000 4,000 7,000
F2 4,000 8,000 15,000
F3 8,000 16,000 31,000
F4 16,000 32,000 63,000
F5 32,000 64,000 127,000
F6 64,000 128,000 255,000
F7 128,000 256,000 511,000
F8 256,000 512,000 1,023,000
F9 512,000 1,024,000 2,047,000
F10 1,024,000 2,046,000 4,095,000
F11 2,048,000 4,096,000 8,191,000
F12 4,096,000 8,192,000 16,287,000
As impressive as the page views number is, at best, we might expect 16,287,000 X 7% = 1,140,090 subscribers. However, this, is an uncompensated word of mouth campaign and even with as little as 0.8% choosing to dedicate some significant effort to creating word of mouth, the above calculation is very unlikely. Most likely, the function will be convergent and each generation will add fewer than the last.
However, the calculations are different for a compensated word of mouth campaign. The assumptions are that the compensated people will average a 'reach' of 2,000. In other words, over a period of repeated exposures, between friends and friends of friends, about 2,000 people will see the link to at least one article. From experience, we know that, over time, 7% of their reach will subscribe or 140 given that they are mostly in the top 5% of the population in intellectual sophistication. Also, over time, 5 of those 140 subscribers will choose to do compensated word of mouth. We will disregard the other 1,995 viewers, though, in reality, they will most likely create a non-trivial number of 'free' subscriptions.
The calculations now look like this.
Generation New CWoM Adds New Subs Total Subs
F0 (Michael Ferguson) 8 1,120 1,120 1,120
F1 8 40 5,600 6,720
F2 40 200 28,000 34,720
F3 200 1,000 140,000 174,720
F4 1,000 5,000 700,000 874,720
F5 5,000 25,000 3,500,00 4,374,720
This means that The Polymath can reach market saturation within five generations. If, as appears to be the case, the mean subscription is 4.2 weeks after the CWoM join, five generations is about five months.
The question is, 'What can be offered that will entice 5/2,000=0.25% of viewers to put forth eight hours, or so, to get the 140 subscribers that are implicit in their reach?' Our answer is referral fees on PEN Members and Crowdfunders who purchase a 'forever footer ad'. This potentially will not be an insignificant amount. Our experience is that 3% of subscribers become PEN members. So, that PEN Member referral fee is estimated at 140x3%x$90=$378. Our experience is that 140x5%x$50x15%=$105 will be raised from prepaid footer ads. ($378+$105)/8=$60.38 per hour expended. That seems fair.
Some people, especially those with large reach or a blog or newsletter that is read by a large number of intellectually sophisticated people, will get much larger referral fees. In fact, a subscription box with nice verbiage could outperform most other affiliate style advertising opportunities. This is also why we are promoting Leonardo blogs. The Polymath enables Leonardo and Leonardo enables The Polymath.
So, the Compensated Word of Mouth program (CWoM) works like this. A participant will send a blank email to TPSubscribers@gmail.com
from the address that is payable (used for PayPal, etc.). A unique referral number will be returned.
In addition to the current articles and pages, these articles are scheduled for early publication.
- Internet TV, yet again
- Paleosociology and The Trophy Wife
- Cryptocurrency v Virtual Money
- Rise of the Microstate
- The Death of Capitalism
- If Not The Singularity, What?
At regular intervals, The Polymath will send a list of subscribers with their referral code.
If The Polymath decides at a future date to undertake an equity crowdfunding effort, CWoM participants will receive 10% of the total contributed by subscribers with their referral code. So, to summarize, CWoM participants will receive
Referrers will not be involved in any of these fundraising efforts or PEN recruiting. Their sole responsibility is to acquire subscribers. The Polymath will prompt subscribers regularly to consider participating in these. All the referrer needs to do is promote the free subscription to The Polymath.
This process is simple, compensates you more than adequately for your effort and has the potential to provide The Polymath with explosive growth in circulation.