As suspected already from the start, I ran out of stickers really fast. I ordered more from my trusted sticker guy on the corner, and he could even deliver stickers put into pre-printed envelopes. Envelopes that even got a curl logo on them. Around two hundred recipients got stickers that way.
It took me a while to complete this task. Getting all the addresses organized took time, getting all the materials restocked took time, packaging sticker of different sorts to almost a thousand people took time and then I also of course had to do occasional work in the mean time so I didn’t finish the delivery from my end until near the end of June.
When I write this, I’ve just sent off the last few parcels. 978 recipients are now close(r) to get curl stickers.
The bulk amount of stickers would still get sent in larger batches to individuals who would send them on.
One redistributor single-handedly took 174(!) addresses, but otherwise they typically were in the range of 20-40 recipients each. Each redistributor got 4 * [number of recipients] + 10 stickers in their envelops.
To spice up this game a little bit, most packages have gotten stickers of more than one kind. Hardly any package got the exact same setup (apart from the first batch). So whatever you might end up getting in the end, please cherish what you got and enjoy them. They are the result of quite a lot of work, sweat and devotion from a lot of people.
I’ve reimbursed most of my expenses for this from the curl fund, which means that this effort was paid for at least in part by our sponsors and Open Collective donors. Thanks for that!
All the stickers have not yet arrived at their final destinations, so I’m writing this up a little premature. There will be disappointments involved because this whole process is very human-centric and error prone. Some of the addresses we got probably don’t even work or will be mis-interpreted down the line and more. I’ve done this to the best of my ability.
The plans for future sticker offers as discussed in part 1 are still just plans and have not materialized anything further yet.
Part 1. The beginning. (There will be at least one more part later on following up the progress.)
On May 18, 2021 I posted a tweet that I was giving away curl stickers for free to anyone who’d submit their address to me. It looked like this:
Everyone once in a while when I post a photo that involves curl stickers, a few people ask me where they can get hold of such. I figured it was about time I properly offered “the world” some. I expected maybe 50 or a 100 people would take me up on this offer.
The response was totally overwhelming and immediate. Within the first hour 270 persons had already requested stickers. After 24 hours when I closed the form again, 1003 addresses had been submitted. To countries all around the globe. Quite the avalanche.
Assessing the damage
This level of interest put up some challenges I hadn’t planned for. Do I have stickers enough? Now suddenly doing 3 or 5 stickers per parcel will have a major impact. Getting envelops and addresses onto them for a thousand deliveries is quite a job! Not to mention the cost. A “standard mail” to outside Sweden using the regular postal service is 24 SEK. That’s ~2.9 USD. Per parcel. Add the extra expenses and we’re at an adventure north of 3,000 USD.
For this kind of volume, I can get a better rate by registering as a “company customer”. It adds some extra work for me though but I haven’t worked out the details around this yet.
Let me be clear: I already from the beginning planned to ask for reimbursement from the curl fund for my expenses for this stunt. I would mostly add my work on this for free. Maybe “hire” my daughter for an extra set of hands.
During the time the form was up, we also received 51 donations to Open Collective (as the form mentioned that, and I also mentioned it on Twitter several times). The donated total was 943 USD. The average donation was 18 USD, the largest ones (2) were at 100 USD and the smallest was 2 USD.
Of course some donations might not be related to this and some donations may very well arrive after this form was closed again.
If I had thought this through better at the beginning, I would not have asked for the address using a free text field like this. People clearly don’t have the same idea of how to do this as I do.
I had to manually go through the addresses to insert newlines, add country names and remove obviously broken addresses. For example, a common pattern was addresses added with only a 6-8 digit number? I think over 20 addresses were specified like that!
Clearly there’s a lesson to be had there.
After removing obviously bad and broken addresses there were 978 addresses left.
I got postal addresses to 65 different countries. A surprisingly diverse collection I think. The top 10 countries were:
Countries that were only entered once: Dubai, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, Zimbabwe
Figuring out the process
While I explicitly said I wouldn’t guarantee that everyone gets stickers, I want to do my best in delivering a few to every single one who asked for them.
I have the best community. Without me saying a word or asking for it, several people raised their hands and volunteered to offload the sending to their countries. I could send one big batch to them and they redistribute within their countries. They would handle US, Czechia, Denmark and Switzerland for me.
But why stop at those four? In my next step I put up a public plea for more volunteers on Twitter and man, I got myself a busy evening and after a few hours I had friends signed up from over 20 countries offering to redistributed stickers within the respective countries. This way, we share the expenses and the work load, and mailing out many smaller parcels within countries is also a lot cheaper than me sending them all individually from Sweden.
After a lot of communications I had an army of helpers lined up.
28 distributors will help me do 724 sticker deliveries to 24 countries. Leaving me to do just the remaining 282 packages to the other 41 countries.
I’ve offered “a few” stickers and I decided that means 4.
978 * 4 = 3912
Plus I want to add 10 extra stickers to each distributor, and there are 28 distributors.
3912 + 28 * 10 = 4192
Do I have 4200 curl stickers? I emptied my sticker drawer and put them all on the table and took this photo. All of these curl stickers you see on the photo have been donated to us/me by sponsors. Most of the from Sticker Mule.
(There are some Haxx and wolfSSL stickers on the photo as well, because I figured I should spice up some packages with some of those as well.)
The stickers still haven’t shipped from my place but the plan is to get the bulk of them shipped from me within days. Stay tuned. There will of course be more delays on the route to their destinations, but rest assured that we intend to deliver to all who asked for them!
Will I give away more curl stickers?
Not now, and I don’t have any plans on doing this stunt again very soon. It was already way more than I expected. More attention, more desire and definitely a lot more work!
But at the first opportunity where you meet me physically I will of course give away stickers.
Buy curl stickers?
I’ve started looking into offering stickers for purchase but I’m not ready to make anything public or official yet. Stay tuned and I promise you’ll learn and be told when the sticker shop opens.
If it happens, the stickers will not be very cheap but you should rather see each such sticker as a mini-sponsorship.
Stay tuned. I will be back with updates. See Part 2.
FOSDEM 2020 is over for this time and I had an awesome time in Brussels once again.
I brought a huge collection of stickers this year and I kept going back to the wolfSSL stand to refill the stash and it kept being emptied almost as fast. Hundreds of curl stickers were given away! The photo on the right shows my “sticker bag” as it looked before I left Sweden.
Lesson for next year: bring a larger amount of stickers! If you missed out on curl stickers, get in touch and I’ll do my best to satisfy your needs.
“HTTP/3 for everyone” was my single talk this FOSDEM. Just two days before the talk, I landed updated commits in curl’s git master branch for doing HTTP/3 up-to-date with the latest draft (-25). Very timely and I got to update the slide mentioning this.
As I talked HTTP/3 already last year in the Mozilla devroom, I also made sure to go through the slides I used then to compare and make sure I wouldn’t do too much of the same talk. But lots of things have changed and most of the content is updated and different this time around. Last year, literally hundreds of people were lining up outside wanting to get into room when the doors were closed. This year, I talked in the room Janson, which features 1415 seats. The biggest one on campus. It was pack full!
It is kind of an adrenaline rush to stand in front of such a wall of people. At one time in my talk I paused for a brief moment and then I felt I could almost hear the complete silence when a huge amount of attentive faces captured what I had to say.
I got a lot of positive feedback on the presentation. I also thought that my decision to not even try to take question in the big room was a correct and I ended up talking and discussing details behind the scene for a good while after my talk was done. Really fun!
The video is also available from the FOSDEM site in webm and mp4 formats.
If you want the slides only, run over to slideshare and view them.
Several years ago I made a first version of a “curl HTTP cheat sheet” to facilitate the most common curl command line options when working with HTTP.
This has now been refreshed after I took lots of feedback from friends on twitter, and then worked on rearranging the lines and columns so that it got as compact as possible without sacrificing readability (too much).
To spread the word, to show off the logo, to share the love, to boost the brand, to allow us to fill up our own and our friend’s laptop covers I ordered a set of curl stickers to hand out to friends and fans whenever I meet any going forward. They arrived today, and I thought I’d give you a look. (You can still purchase your own set of curl stickers from unixstickers.com)
I’m happy to announce that we now have an official set of curl stickers that you can get. Sorry, that came out wrong. That you should get! The first official curl stickers ever and they’re all based on our new and shiny logo.
These stickers are designed and sold by the great folks over at unixstickers.com and for every purchase you do, a small percentage of that adds up to stickers for me so that I can hand them out to peeps I meet.