Writers and Journalists, Science Needs Your Help!

Volunteer computing efforts boosting research on cancer, clean energy, and more, depend on press coverage for volunteer recruitment and coverage is falling. You can help!

I am a big fan of volunteer computing efforts like BOINC and World Community Grid and hope I can convince you to be one too. Here’s why:

There are billions of bored computers and Android devices out there that are just begging for something to do. Imagine what we could accomplish if all that spare computational power could be put to work doing research on diseases, clean energy, astrophysics, climate change, and more.

Well guess what? It can and it is so easy you can get started helping cure cancer or Zika in just a couple minutes.

“Wait!” you say, “This article’s title mentioned writers and journalists, what can we do to help”? Good question. BOINC and World Community Grid don’t have marketing or advertising budgets so new volunteers are largely recruited via word of mouth, social media, and…through coverage in print and online publications. In fact, any time a project gets written up in a big magazine, volunteer numbers jump (see images below); proving that lack of awareness is holding back volunteer computing’s immense potential.

Large Spike in SETI@Home Volunteers Due to Press Coverage. Image from BoincStats.com
Spike in Rosetta@Home Volunteers Following Media Coverage. Image from BoincStats.com

Knowing that media coverage leads to short-term spikes in volunteer registration, it is a shame that media attention to, and public awareness of, this incredible technology seems to be dropping.

That’s where you come in. After you install BOINC and pick all the amazing projects you want to help out, why not write or tweet about your experience?

Let your readers know that they can easily join hundreds of thousands of volunteers whose computers are helping research some of the world’s biggest problems and greatest questions. Thanks!

Check out more pieces on Medium about Volunteer Computing:

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