It is quite hard to make an open source project popular if you don't push it really hard. Sometimes people cannot find your project easily, or another project takes them away. So a little bit advertising won't hurt. But how to advertise depends heavily on the project characteristics.
For example, my every first open source project was born in 2005 for Borland Delphi 2005 (a small add in). In order to make it known, I published news in one of the most popular Delphi sites here in China Mainland. Then I went to Borland Developer Network, and at last hit the newsgroup.
But what about #SNMP? Although I have been using C# for long, I really don't know where to publish news at first. And Google helps a lot in such a case. How? It simply shows me what are the HOT links for SNMP and C#.
If you search with "C# SNMP" on Google.com now, you can see two AdWord items at top and then a few normal links. I did not want to pay Google so there is no more AdWord items for #SNMP :-) However, I have made #SNMP visible in the top three links below. But where?
Because all of the three links are old forum threads, so I did append a message at the end of them all to promote #SNMP. In this way, a lot of traffic has been redirected to #SNMP homepage at CodePlex.com as people want to try something new. Nice.
And what's more? I bravely contacted the author of the very first threads, Malcolm, to tell him I created something new based on his research. If you read this post, you know what happened soon. Even more traffic comes from Malcolm's page.
OK. Want to promote your open source projects now? Hope this post help :-)