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Nobody wants my gift codes!

 
pollinator
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I signed up for the $100 level of the better world book and put together a spreadsheet with all of the codes I got. I shared that spreadsheet with some permie friends, my lefty workplace, and my local folk school. Not a single one of the codes has been used. I think people are turned off by having to sign up for the site to receive the materials. One of my friends told me she didn't want to sign up for permies because she's partnered and thought it was a dating site; when she looked up permies on Google a lot of the results were from the Permaculture Singles forum. If the point of the gift codes is to share permaculture knowledge as widely as possible, I think it might be worth rethinking how the gift code system works.
 
steward
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I've seen the same thing in the past.  I handed out about 8 codes and only one person consumed theirs.  Bonus is that I can regift them, but I'd rather they get used in the first place.

I wonder if it would be possible to allow the gift content to be viewed once or twice without needing to set up an account and then to watch it after that, you need to sign up.
 
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Meg, I can relate.

I spent two years writing a book to solve a problem that billions of people are freaking out about.  I managed to tell a million people.   I thought for sure a million people would support my kickstarter.   I even sweetened the pot with dozens of bonus goodies.   2700 people supported it.   About one in 370.

A coupla days ago, youtube asked me to watch a ted talk that was about how a person could lower their own personal carbon footprint.  It was pretty good.   About 80,000 views over the last two years.  

In the meantime, other videos are getting billions of views.  

So the pretty good video got about one in 12,500.

Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day ...   I say the same thing over and over ...   "Make the best of it.  Try."

I can relate.

There are already people where I have handed them a copy of the book.  A couple of weeks ago even.   The book gathers dust.  

Make the best of it.

Try.


 
Meg Mitchell
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No worries about the trying, Paul. :) I went for all physical copies because they're easy to leave laying around and people will eventually get bored and open them. My birthday present this year will be one of those little community libraries, and I'll definitely leave a copy in there. Also plan to leave a copy with my coworkers, one for the town library, etc. I like to talk about this stuff but I try to strike a balance between sharing as much knowledge as possible and becoming that one-note nag nobody wants to listen to.

There is something to be said about making the process as easy as possible, though. The login creates a barrier that (technologically-speaking) does not need to be there. If we want people to look at the stuff, we should make it as easy as possible for them to look at the stuff, no?
 
paul wheaton
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The login creates a barrier that (technologically-speaking) does not need to be there.



I think you need to handle support for a few weeks and see if you still feel that way.  

As is, I think we have made it crazy super simple.  

And there are a lot of other factors involved.  We need to be respectful to the kickstarter supporters.   And we need to be thinking about the people that will lose their ebook and need to download it again.  There are probably a dozen more factors to juggle.  

And on top of all that, changes like the one you propose will probably take a year of development and test.  And that's if we determine it is a high priority.  

And then the bottom line:  I think setting up an account here is super fast.   And setting up an account for this sort of thing is generally accepted as how this sort of thing is done.  


 
Meg Mitchell
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:

The login creates a barrier that (technologically-speaking) does not need to be there.



I think you need to handle support for a few weeks and see if you still feel that way.  

As is, I think we have made it crazy super simple.  

And there are a lot of other factors involved.  We need to be respectful to the kickstarter supporters.   And we need to be thinking about the people that will lose their ebook and need to download it again.  There are probably a dozen more factors to juggle.  

And on top of all that, changes like the one you propose will probably take a year of development and test.  And that's if we determine it is a high priority.  

And then the bottom line:  I think setting up an account here is super fast.   And setting up an account for this sort of thing is generally accepted as how this sort of thing is done.  



If the software behind the site is open-sourced, point me in the direction of the repo and I'll be more than happy to help. I'm not trying to say this is an emergency thing that needs to be dealt with right now; I think it's a general barrier to participation that should be dealt with in the long term. If we can fix this in a year, that's perfect; it means next time a big kickstarter is done, we'll get much better participation. I haven't done support for permies but I have done support for most other software products that I've developed. The process required to get through "the funnel" is important if you care about how many people end up making it through to the other side. Most of my employers care about the funnel because it affects their bottom line; I think permies should care about the funnel because it affects how many people end up accessing and absorbing the information that you're trying to pass on.

IOW if you make people sign up to the site in order to access books/video, a lot will decide not to bother, even if they would otherwise read the books or watch the videos and put that knowledge into practice. If we want to maximize the number of people who read the books and watch the videos, and put that knowledge into practice, we should be working as hard as possible to make it easy. From what I've seen, the people most likely to put the info here into practice are the least likely to be willing to sign up to random websites. The friend I mentioned above owns a 10 acre farm and has a huge network of friends and family where she lives; I'm an isolated nobody on a half-acre plot who checks this site multiple times a week. It would be a lot more effective for permaculture in general if you were reaching her instead of me, but your site is scaring her off simply because of how it's set up.
 
master steward
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Meg Mitchell wrote: One of my friends told me she didn't want to sign up for permies because she's partnered and thought it was a dating site; when she looked up permies on Google a lot of the results were from the Permaculture Singles forum. If the point of the gift codes is to share permaculture knowledge as widely as possible, I think it might be worth rethinking how the gift code system works.



I just went and looked up permies via StartPage (which uses google but doesn't store or use the searcher's info). Anyway, looking at the first page of results, I see nothing about singles.

This is what I got:

Permies.com
https://permies.com/
Anonymous View
Permaculture and homesteading community with forums, videos, podcasts, articles, and other resources. Come and join the discussion!

Permaculture Forums at Permies - Permies.com
https://permies.com/forums
Anonymous View
seed saving / exchange / plant breeding. [Folder] carbon farming. [Folder] ...

growies - Permies
https://permies.com/c/growies
Anonymous View
3 days ago ... growies. [Folder] hugelkultur. [Folder] forest garden. [Folder] ...

Permaculture Forums at Permies
https://permies.com/c/10
Anonymous View
All times above are in ranch (not your local) time. The current ranch time is

Recent Topics - Permies
https://permies.com/forums/recentTopics/list
Anonymous View
15 hours ago ... Home Search Recent Topics Flagged Topics Zero Replies ...

Permaculture Forums at Permies - Permies.com
https://permies.com/forums/forums/allForums
Anonymous View
This feature is not available in default view. Please switch to beta view if you ...

Permies.com - Home | Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PermiesCommunity/?fref=nf
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Permies.com, Missoula, Montana. 5398 likes · 43 talking about this. A big crowd of permaculture goofballs.

Paul Wheaton - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wheaton
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Paul Wheaton is a contemporary permaculture theorist, master gardener, software engineer, ... Before creating permies.com, he was the primary architect of the ground system software for the spacecraft that takes pictures for Google Earth.

Permies – Homesteading and Permaculture all the time... - Reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/Permies/
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r/Permies: Permies.com is the largest site about permaculture on the internet. Paul Wheaton started when years ago he would get all sorts of emails …

Permie definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/permie
Anonymous View
Permie definition: a person, esp an office worker , employed by a firm on a permanent basis | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples.



Maybe, in the past, your coworker had been looking at single sites or something? I'm wondering why it would show such different results to her as it did to an annymous search. It is concerning, though, that google is tweaking the search results like that...though I don't know if there's a way we can fix that?


----------

As for email addresses, most free stuff I've been given links to, have asked me to sign up or give an email address. And, like your friends, I never do! Or I give a email that I never use. That would work for them, too. Don't most people have a "spam" email address that they give to companies they want to access stuff from, but don't want to receive emails from? I think quite a few people do that on permies, too...and then we get the fun of when they decide to sign up with their main email address and then want their accounts merged so they can access the stuff they got with their spam email address....

I honestly don't know or understand programming, but I'm really grateful for all the the work our programmers do, and I know there's a big, huge, LOOOOOOONG list of things we want improved here on permies, and permies runs in the red for Paul each month. One day, it'd be super lovely to have a better mobile version, and I"m thinking that might be more important than optimizing this right now. Over 50% of people on permies are accessing via a mobile device. I think we can reach a lot more people if we get things more lovely there. And, there's a bunch of other programming stuff that I don't even understand, and the whole system seems pretty complicated. I have no idea if Java forums were originally meant to have all the neat aspects that our forum does, like a digital market. I'm amazed what our programmers have been able to do with forum technology!
 
master pollinator
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I always get rocket stoves and people raising pigs or growing things. The singles portion is so small and people are so spread out, I wonder if it has ever worked. It must cause some moderation issues, with some of the wild things that get posted. But those can be highly entertaining.

I wonder if it would be okay to do a survey on the singles forum, to see if any of the couples on this site actually found one another through that. Perhaps it could be turned into a social page, where there are singles looking for love and other people who are just crossing the country in a van, looking for somewhere to crash. That didn't come out right. :-)
 
She still doesn't approve of my superhero lifestyle. Or this shameless plug:
Control Garden Pests without Toxic Chemicals
https://permies.com/t/96977/Natural-pest-control-garden
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