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giving stuff away

 
steward
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10 million people have come to my empire, so far, for 2012. More to come.

Just before this permaculture conference, I spent about five minutes at alexa.com to try and get an idea of the relative size of permies.com to PRI and the other permaculture sites. At some point this year, I think permies.com passed the point where it is larger than all other permaculture sites combined. And that's just permies.com - not counting richsoil.com, the podcasts or the youtube channel.

During the conference there were lots of people that were really glad to see me, and a couple of people that had open disgust for me. One person even came to my presentation about "How to make the big bucks with permaculture" with the intent, it seems, to push his own message of how permaculture should not be about money. I encouraged him to lead a life of giving things away and reminded him that this presentation was for those that were choosing a path different than his.

Later, something in my mind connected. Sorta like a slap in the face.

My site is free. I give heaps of information at no charge.

I give away more stuff than all other permaculture people combined.

I tried to think of ways that this might be not true. Who are the others that are giving away a lot and how does it compare? I know lots of people have blogs, but even a daily blog does not compete with the daily contributions here. And all the permaculture blogs added up ...

So, I think it is more than safe to say:


I give away more stuff than all other permaculture people combined.


And so I think that this fact gives me certain licence to say certain things. So, by the power vested in me, by this really cool accomplishment, I hereby officially proclaim:

- It is awesome for people to give things to others, and it is wrong to try to shame others into giving stuff away.

- Making big gobs of money through honest means is awesome. Shenanigans, lies and ickiness are always lame.

I'll add to this list whenever I get the whim.

For now, I am looking forward to exploring new levels of arrogance and obnoxiousness as the self proclaimed king of free permaculture stuff.

I post this here with the idea that anytime anybody tries to shame somebody for exploring income with permaculture, I will direct them to this thread.



 
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
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Just so you won't be tooting your own horn let me confirm that you do give things away.
The huckleberry pie contest!
IMG_1676.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1676.JPG]
 
Posts: 35
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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I agree with Paul. He gives a crap ton of stuff away. Free information for all!

And there is nothing wrong with making money and benefiting from your own hard work. Especially if it is also saving our environment.
 
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Paul, Thank you. I am very new to permaculture and permies and YES you do give away more. Permies.com is a tremendous free source of endless info. This quality alone makes me want to meet you more than ever, and I dare say I would PAY to have the opportunity.
Good luck in all your endeavors and thanks again.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 612
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- It is awesome for people to give things to others, and it is wrong to try to shame others into giving stuff away.

- Making big gobs of money through honest means is awesome. Shenanigans, lies and ickiness are always lame.

Amen to that. Preach it.

I've gotten tons of ideas here. The other night, my wife and I watched the entire "replacing irrigation with permaculture" video and enjoyed the ideas.

Keep it up - and good work.
 
David Good
gardener & author
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Can I say "IDEAS" again? IDEAS! TONS OF AMAZING AND CRAZY PERMACULTURE IDEAS!

 
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Paul, I so appreciate all you give of yourself; your knowledge and your enthusiasm are gifts indeed. It was great to have the opportunity to meet you this past weekend. Although a novice to permaculture, your sharing will aid me greatly in developing my awareness as well as implementation of permaculture. I honor your worldly, vast experience on this immense subject, dear monarch.
 
Instructor
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Two thumbs up and a hearty guffaw for Paul.

also two comments,

1. not only does Paul himself give tons of stuff away, he also make it easier and more effective for others to reinvest their surplus and give away free stuff. This is very empowering to these individuals and the permaculture movement as a whole, particularly in the US where many people enjoy the luxury of being able to live off of the system and don't have the same dire needs as in some other countries (that is not to say that there are not people in need and who lack opportunity here).

2. Paul also helps many people make a living doing Permaculture work, which means they can focus more time on this type of work and be more effective with on the ground changes that take time to establish and grow. This action prepares more 'fertile soil' for future permies to find or create incomes based in Permaculture, which is awesome and important if we want to continue to leverage and increase our success and examples of permaculture that are inspiring and enticing to others.

We don't have to set making money as our primary goal, in fact I believe very few permies actually do this, but we can acknowledge it's usefulness as a tool and apply it to facilitate designing and building beneficial connections. We live in a cultural context where money empowers decisions and development and we can assess this context and develop microclimates where it has less influence and develop systems that manage this energy and cycle it many times. I think Paul is accomplishing both of these objectives at once (stacking functions). Let us remember, the problem is the solution and everything works both ways.

For those who want to practice permaculture without making money, I want to honor your personal vision and goals. I am excited to see and participate in and learn from the systems you design and develop. They will be powerful examples as we move forward. I encourage you to build examples that work without anyone making or spending money and document how this works, to build alternative economic systems that are manageable and interface with our current system to the degree that they allow people to transfer between them as needed and document how this works. To experiment, to implement, to monitor and assess and adapt. these are all critical to the movement as we learn and demonstrate how to live with the land and benefit our local ecologies.

thanks again Paul for all that you do.

 
gardener
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I think it's mostly about leadership. Paul read those 100 books about gardening developed great ideas, and continues to have a vision for things that really do make a difference in the future of our communities and our planet. He stays at the leading edge, connects with and fosters others to continue to share cool stuff, and makes possible a lot of great direction in permaculture. Being blessed economically is totally ok in my opinion as long as what you are doing to get it stays good and he has. This makes our world a better place.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Thank you, Paul, for your generosity and ferocious sharing of knowledge and resources. You have been a great help in me and my family moving toward self-sufficiency and surplus. And, of course, the surplus is also to be shared along the way.

If your wealth is enhanced by what you do, then you surely deserve it, be it money, fame, a good name or all the above.

-Tim
 
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What you are giving away is life itself VERY AWESOME.
You can keep sharing and never diminish but only enhance your own life.
 
pollinator
Posts: 165
Location: E Washington steppe
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Paul is the greatest Permaculture spokesman in the world. Paul's efforts to put the word "Permaculture" in every human's vocabulary and promote the ideals, concepts, and techniques with humor, science, technology, and hands-on hard work make me second his claims. I only hope that Paul feels he gets back as much as he gives from the good folks of this forum and all his "meatspace" contacts, presentations, and visitations.

After reading Paul's initial post above, I asked myself, "what have I given away to promote Permaculture today?". Paul is walking his talk and a tireless ambassador for Permaculture, a true role model for us all.

Thank you Paul!

Will Kearns
 
pollinator
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I have learned more here in two years, for free, than I ever learned anywhere else over the last couple of decades.

But I am really confused: If Bill Mollison is the father of permaculture, and if he teaches his design students that they must include ways for the client to make money in thier designs, then WHERE did this whole idea that it should all be for free come from???

In almost every lecture of his that I have watched he talks about making money using permaculture - as opposed to making money using methods that trash our environment.

I personally am inclined to start turning a deaf ear to each and every comment I hear from someone who thinks it ALL should be for free. For cryin out loud! Everything here is free, the permaculture institute publishes tons of free stuff. Mollison has whole lecture series AND a mass of pamphlets for free. I am assuming these people want someone to buy the land, farm it, prepare the food and serve it to them -- free?
 
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Why not continue to share your knowledge but sell advertising space on your site to those that can hardly wait for the opportunity to do so to reach your audience?
 
Posts: 42
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Emily is right paul - the model is to build up community with free info, get the big hits, then sell advert space. I think if you start producing some dvds like GL - everyone would be all over it. But the ad space...as long as it doesnt become annoying. I hope people are buying your podcasts in bundles on scubbly.
 
pollinator
Posts: 298
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First and foremost, Paul is the king of giving away awesome stuff for free! A thousand thank yous for all your efforts!

I don't know where the idea that making money is bad came from but I get that too. I think the idea why money is linked to environmental destruction is best explained in Mark Boyle's work Moneyless Manifesto http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org

However, in the real world that we live in today, we will have to make money. Gift economy is a wonderful idea and I think we should all try and bring as much of it as possible into our lives, as Paul does. But before the day comes (if it ever comes) that there is no need for money, I think the best possible way and least harmful to the environment is to make money with permaculture.

What if someone makes a million dollars with permaculture, would I object to it? Well, I think it is not very likely that there will be many permaculture millionaires but if someone succeeds in it then great, that is indeed quite an achievement. The only question I would then have is what will the million dollars go to. I hope not to Monsanto stock Well it wouldn't, because no one dedicated enough to permaculture to make a million dollars practising it would ever consider such an option. It is an interesting question theoretically. How should one spend the money earned by permaculture in a permie way? But in practice few of us have to worry about it
 
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Yeah, thanks Paul for the free web site. Im interested in all the great stuff on Permies.com but I own no land, so I am a bit reluctant to read everything as of yet, since ...

I'm sorry I missed your conference, I didn't have the money - at the time - to come.

I agree it is wonderful to give. Of course, kudos to those who have worked hard and succeeded economically or otherwise!

You may or may not be aware of the " BUY NOTHING DAY" movement, but here is another idea for the holidays! Peace!
http://www.care2.com/causes/occupy-wall-street-is-buying-and-paying-the-99s-debt.html
 
Nina Jay
pollinator
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David Forester wrote:This is a wonderful site and I commend you for it, but you are not giving stuff away for free. Your business model is one where content created by yourself and others results in your being able to provide contextually relevant advertisements. And you profit from those advertisements. It's a give and take. I post and create content for you to profit from and you manage the front and backend of the site.



Well maybe not totally absolutely free but my guess is that if Paul ever calculated how much time he uses giving advise, answering emails, making podcasts, running this site etc. etc. and divided the money he earns from this "content" by the time invested it would not amount to much anything!

 
paul wheaton
steward
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The ads that are running on permies.com now do not cover the expenses. Most of the ads I do for free.

Therefore, I actually pay money every month to publish the writings of others.

but you are not giving stuff away for free. Your business model is one where content created by yourself and others results in your being able to provide contextually relevant advertisements. And you profit from those advertisements.



So I have somebody calling me a liar. I've decided that quality of the site will be greatly improved by banning this person whose dozen or so contributions before this appear to be dominantly saying mean things to people.

 
pollinator
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I have been on the receiving end of free stuff and free information and even helpful phone calls so I can honestly say that Paul gives way more than any other permaculture people that I AM PERSONALLY aware of..of course I don't know them all..

toot your horn, yell it from the roof tops and be proud and happy Paul..many blessings to you..you have been a huge blessinig and I appreciate you
 
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Because of Paul, I have met & been invited in to the homes of Toby Hemenway & Mike Oehler, I have built a wonderful relationship with Ernie and Erica Wisner, as well as folks like Jocelyn, Jon, Owen and Kelly, contributed to several of his podcasts, I have been inspired to be a better person, and now have 4 rocket stoves at my place. I have hosted a full RMH workshop, and also contributed at the INPG Conference this past weekend. In a nutshell, he has given quite a bit to me, and I haven't paid him any money. The only thing he asked of me was to be gracious, say thank you, and continue to show the world how we can be better through what he is sharing. In my opinion, that's just not greedy, it's generous!

THANKS PAUL!!
 
Krista Miller
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PS, he promoted and advertised our RMH workshop for FREE, several times, in several ways, and has certainly looked past my imperfections!
 
Nina Jay
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:The ads that are running on permies.com now do not cover the expenses. Most of the ads I do for free.

Therefore, I actually pay money every month to publish the writings of others.



I feared that it might be that you actually pay money to run this site... that's not good!! What can we do to help?!

I hope that the first person to make the really big bucks from permaculture will be you Paul! It's not very likely considering you spend all your time giving away stuff for free but you would certainly deserve it!


 
paul wheaton
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Sepp is making big bucks. So that is covered.

Adrien is looking into ways to improve income streams and I am focusing on getting fresh content out.

 
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Paul, I too want to thank you for providing this site. It saved me this summer when an injury kept me from my normal work and now I'm hooked. I had never participated in a forum before. I love the flow of information... feels like I have been given an on line Permaculture course even though I'm unable to watch the videos or listen to podcasts on my kindle.
And I don't misspell 'a lot' anymore.
 
paul wheaton
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Now I have to say it: alot of fun (thanks to the CodeRanch staff for always finding ways to add fun to the site)
 
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Although we haven't got started on our permaculture experience yet (24 days) I have gathered many wonderful ideas! So when I saw standing snags on the property I knew what to do with them! HUGLECULTURE!!! Never heard of it until I was looking for some ideas on gardening to use less water and there was Paul Wheaton with a plethora of information!!!

So Paul a HUGE thank you for all the FREE information you offer and when I can make a few dollars off the things you have taught, I will share the abundance with the teacher...

 
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[size=18]Would it be possible for us to start a Permies.com Club? Everything wold stay the same on the site, but we could join the club for $30.00 a year. This would give us special privileges like ---huckleberry pie recipes, the honor os saying we belong to the club, a piece of paper sent electronically of course that proclaims we are part of the club. I always wanted to be a part of the club. And all proceeds go to Paul. I hated that he spends money to keep this site going. that is wrong. Elisabeth[size=18]
 
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I hated that he spends money to keep this site going. that is wrong. Elisabeth


Yes it is wrong. I think this is the best suggestion so far!
 
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Location: Vero Beach, FL
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Elisabeth Van Camp wrote:Would it be possible for us to start a Permies.com Club? Everything would stay the same on the site, but we could join the club for $30.00 a year.



Or it could be a donation-based membership. I love those.
 
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Hang on a second... 10 million site users all paying $30 a pop? The drinks would seriously be on Paul...

I think this site is totally wonderful but I'd be wary of any kind of "paywall" as they tend to deter visitors. Paul's aim is to spread the word so anything that hinders that would be counter-productive. I'm all for Paul making money but it would have to be carefully thought through. Wikipedia asks for donations, for example.

I think the whole money-from-permaculture thing is fine. Essentially everything happens for economic reasons, so if permies can show that permaculture is a profitable path that you can live from, then it sells the idea to more conventional thinkers, including the most influential.

I'm so happy I found this site, and have been sharing it with others. Cheers Paul! (mine's a glass of Dom Perignon...)
 
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I'm new here so I will add my 2 cents. I think most of what I'll say is common sense to most people, so I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but I'll say it anyway.

Greed is good. If it weren't for greed, we would all be still living in caves or we might even be extinct. Everything we ever bought in a store was invented, built and marketed by greedy people. If it weren't for greed we would have no electricity, cars, tractors, clothes, guns, people to build houses or web sites like this. So other people's greed allows us to have this discussion. (Its the greedy people who put fiber optic lines in to support the internet who made this site possible, plus the ISPs who want to make a profit by charging for service, the installers and hardware manufacturers, etc). Profit drives the motivation to publish books about permaculture and gardening. The only way a person could survive without the input of greedy people would be to live in the wilderness without any bought tools, clothes, basically live like primitives. Not that there is anything wrong with that, some folks may enjoy it but most of us wouldn't.

I think people who think everything should be free are also greedy, because they would live off the hard work of other people, (which is not to say that I think they are less than perfect, because I'm saying greed is a good thing!)

Also, not everybody who is greedy is bad, and not everybody who gives stuff away is good.

Having said that, I don't think a pay model would work with this web site because most of us are trying to live with less money, and most of us just don't have it to spend. But a 'donate button' might bring in at least enough money to pay for the server. Some of us have enough money that we could donate occasionally when we have money.
 
paul wheaton
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Glenn,

You are gonna love this: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/455-podcast-085-greed/

As for the pay-model for the forums: the idea is that those that pay get extra goodies. All of the existing content will remain free.

 
Glenn Underhill
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Ha yes Paul you are right - I already listened to that podcast and I did agree for the most part. (we might differ on some details politically, but you present your ideas with logic and facts instead of emotion and feelings, so I can respect that.)

The pay-for-premium plan is a good one and I think would work. I've made donations for open-source software I downloaded and used because it supports the folks spending the time writing it, encourages development, and makes the product better. I think you could at least get your server and bandwidth paid for, and if you don't feel comfortable with extra money (not saying you shouldn't!) you could sponsor workshops or give tours on your new farm! (hint hint!)

 
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Why do you give stuff away (for free)?
 
steward
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Why do you give stuff away (for free)?



Perhaps, an easy answer is that, that way it gets into the most hands.

Hopefully, most of those people will 'pay it forward'.

Many people are reluctant to pay for something if they don't know whether it will work or not.
By giving it away, more people will try it. The more people who try it, and succeed, the quicker it will spread.
The quicker it spreads, the quicker we all benefit.



 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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