It all started with a simple question: how can we get leading technology companies to support StopBadware’s work? It was a bit over a year ago, and we were struggling to expand our network from a core group of early supporters—Google, PayPal, Mozilla, Verizon, and SoftLayer—to the large, diverse constituency we knew was necessary to step up the fight against badware. Nearly everyone we talked to, whether in marketing, security, or the executive suite, said they liked what we were doing, but they weren’t prepared to become sponsors. So, we started to ask them why.
The key, as it turns out, was engagement. Companies weren’t looking to just write a check and get recognition; they could do that at conferences and events. Instead, they were looking to be part of the solution. They asked to participate in discussions. They offered use of their tools and access to data. They told us they wanted to learn from and network with each other and to be part of a collective industry response to badware on the Web.
So, a year ago, armed with this input, we launched our new Partner program. A central feature was the Partners Forum, a regular conference call and accompanying email list with representatives from all the participating companies. We also created a tiered cost structure, including an entry-level tier for companies that were ready to engage but were not yet able to put up the amount of cash offered by our earlier supporters. And, with each prospective Partner, we talked about ways that we could work together to build a safer Web.
A year later, we’re up to nineteen Partners from over a dozen different industries. And we’re not done yet. Each day, we learn more from our current and prospective Partners about their needs and those of the users we’re trying to protect. Our Partners’ interest prompted us to develop a data sharing program, which we hope to launch in the next several months. Meanwhile, we continually refine our Partners Forum calls based on feedback and participation.
With the help of our new Partners, the StopBadware community continues to build momentum in the fight against badware. If you are interested in learning more about our Partner program—or sharing your ideas on how to make it stronger—please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.