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Homesteading Business Courses Kickstarter  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I haven't got enough bandwidth to get the video to load, so, based solely on the text:

I don't think the verbiage is nearly concise enough.

A great kickstarter pitch should make itself clear really quicky. Plenty of room for details after the prospect understands the bones of the thing.

Here, I have to read, and read, and read, to sort of understand what the heck the kickstarter is for.


Here's how that went:

Ok, it's about homestead businesses. Cool. I wonder what sorts?

OK, that doesn't seem like the greatest way to describe it. It's about some company called PermaEthos building 'a rich library of courses relevant to homesteading'. Sounds ambitious. Maybe the kickstarter should be more focused...

Is there enough interest? Well, that would depend, what are the courses, are they good, or mostly shiny fluff like many I can think of?

OK, FINALLY it tells me what the first course is about. Homeschooling. I have no kids, or plans, and thus not a lot of interest. Maybe the others will be more interesting.

Whoops, we're not moving on to the next course, we're talking Big Picture again. Sounds like at first this will be more like a tour than in depth courses info if there is 'potential' for intensive courses.

I like the idea of a tour. But why is it on kickstarter? Seems like that would be more at home on youtube with a patreon account...?

Still don't know about any of the other courses...

OK, moving on, now it's.. more about the Ponders, who are just course one? Skimming, looking for the next course... Whoops, 'See exclusive interviews with the Ponders and the folks they visit.' OK, so the Ponders are the ones doing all this, not just the subject of the first course! Wait, are they PermaEthos or is that someone else??

Hey, cool windmill tower, too bad there's no info about that...

Aaand that's it! Still don't have really a solid Who, What, Why for the project after reading the entire spiel.



I feel like most people would have stopped reading sooner.


Separate gripes:
1) I would echo the concerns about info from distant places being of lesser utility, that certainly rings true. If it was really about business aspects, I would be interested in a more generalized course including things like evaluating markets, navigating regulation, financing, and insurance issues, etc... with case studies to illustrate. Courses based on a single location sound potentially too narrow to be broadly useful.

2) I dislike streaming, I hate physical DVDs, and I hate low res versions. The rewards only let me buy the whole package as HD download... why can't I pick out which content I want and have it as an HD download?



Hope that is more useful than depressing. Good luck!
 
Posts: 156
Location: 54 North BC Canada
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First off--I read something that, for whatever reason, uses jargon as a selling point and I get a little annoyed.
Probably because I come from the end of pre-jargon era...the "Woodstock generation".  No mention of KPA's,JIT's,CPM's.
or SWOT's. No TV blurbs featuring General Waste-more-land talking about "body counts",or "collateral damage".  
No "educators" talking about universal,student-centered.compentancy-based, and data-driven methods.

I guess when I read a phrase like "quick-win courses", I wonder just what is being offered.

What Jason Rhodes did with his farm tour was unique.  This just seems to be a clone--motor home, videos of
little kids doing "cute things".....same old,same old...Justin Rhodes has been there and done that.

Do we need more individual courses?...Udemy, the Aust's 'Homesteady', the Justin Rhodes collection,the Ecosnippets collection,
the Marjory Wildcraft yearly summits, and the output of Gina+Jennifer at Morningchores.com, just to list only a few.

We have Permaculture Chickens.  Maybe we need more specific courses on raising permiculture pigs...turkeys..
....ducks....pasture methods for cows and sheep....beekeeping....   Maybe touring farms that are in different parts
of the country and their methods of raising things.....basing courses on specific items....an attempt to get all the info
'out there' into one place....

Here is a novel idea.  I read this book quite a while ago--about the same time I got interested in the SPIN gardening
method for using a small acre-or-less area of land and turning it into a market garden.

This book was called 'The Organic Farmers Business Handbook' which was marketed as a "complete guide to
managing finances, crops, and staff--and making a profit.

Would it be possible to put together a 'Permaculture Farmers Business Handbook', or even a video farm tour/course?
All I have read about it is in vague general terms and the only"real" advice for people is to try to break into the
pyramid-style scheme of selling PDCs.

I'm glad "To Catch the Rain" met it's Kickstarter objectives.....specific info with real-life examples.  
 
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Maybe kickstartering has had it's run....time to do something else...with maybe a much bigger scope, involving the whole empire's funding...very much in line with plotting for world domination....create a permie's token ( the"PAUL" Permaculture Account Unit Ledger)...launch a initial coin offering on one of the ethereum like platforms. Use the coin for rewards for good comments, upvoting and so on....like steam does it...and much more.
I am no tecky, but I guess Paul has a pool of savy people on java ranch that could maybe implement such a cryptocurrency....
There are youtube videos from Ivan on Tech that show how to create a coin, or a ICO in 15 minutes...of course, working out the why's and how's would ask major brainpower, but we could have a thread about it...
I know that ethically, there are drawbacks like the amount of energy these algorithm based technologies use....but I am confident that energy won't be a real issue anymore in the future.
That is my 2 satoshi worth of contribution...
 
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Everyone has pretty much said it already. To me... I am getting tired of video projects in general or courses I have to sign in to or whatever interactive thing it is that takes time spent online. I have no regular internet. My feet are on the ground. I am doing things in reality so time and money are not being wasted especially on paid for content. I made an exception for the pdc/atc thing because I knew the content coming was more updated cutting edge permaculture or similar related information. Whenever I see homesteading courses or something similar I just think of very general very basic info. which is just old to me now. Unless it seems like something that would stretch my mind in great new ways I can think of the ideas better or just by myself. Nothing against families' videos or homesteading info. or any of that. It just seems kinda done and nothin' new. I'm not going to spend time or money on things unless they are truly worthy from now on. Just a bit of my take...
 
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ok. So I find myself not going for video content as much.  I find that even dense ones move more slowly than just reading the material.  The Rhodes style drives me nuts - I've sometimes tried to skip over the intro, and I still can't always find the information. So I was not likely to go for anything video related - I do slightly better with lectures, but even then, i just don't have time. I haven't kept up with the Ecolonomic action webinars, which are awesome.
When the request for feedback came in (and I had internet again, which is why I'm late to the party), I went to the kickstarter, watched the video, read the blurb. My question was - is it going to be something that would keep my interest enough to actually get me to sit down and watch it? So, I went to youtube, and searched for PermaEthos.  The first video that came up was called "taking back the garden". I have it playing now, its 11 minutes in, and I'm watching a guy use a moterized hedge trimmer. I haven't found it compelling, or learned anything major.
   Is this a fair assessment of PermaEthos' courses? Almost certainly not. But it is the way I make snap decisions on where to spread the resources I have online. Perhaps others do to.  So I know it is too late change things, but maybe a better example of what the course will actually be like might be useful to people who make decisions the way I do.  Something that I can watch and say "if I like this, I will love the courses".
 
pollinator
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43000$ didn't convince me that this is going to happen. 43000$ for 48 months of travel for 48 states, it is less then 1000$ requested for a family of 5 for a month of traveling. Is that even possible? I am aware that the requested amount is not for living but gear and etc, but how they are gonna eat/sleep etc? Why they are going into so much trouble? I can't seem to understand.  In a related note; PCD was already happening and some more was needed for the gear so go kick starter. GAFT was also happening (the guy built a bus-house for over 2-3 months before the crowdfunding). I don't have the feeling this is going to happen when it is not funded. Moreover, even if it gets funded, the requested amount doesn't seem to be enough. Some crowd funding projects (not about this one but from experience and not all permaculture related), played the "membership" card  to have a second round of crowdfunding - in the middle of the work! It gives me that feeling of insecurity.
It might seem counter intuitive, but I would gladly pledge for a tour of 6 months covering 10 states asking for the same amount.
 
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Upon reflection I came to these conclusions why this kickstarter did not appeal to me personally:

Im not intrested in contibuting towards gas, camera equipment and housing for a family I dont know to drive all around the States. These startup costs feel like something a new business should invest into its self.  

I just dont digest information through long podcasts or video series since it is time consuming and difficult to filter through the information.  I prefer to read in depth and follow up by quickly by flipping through my reference materials.  Books or magazines have a greater staying power and digitally blogs like Strauss's NWEDIBLE site appeal to me for the same reason.  Lots of material to read and quick to reference past posts.

I am intrested in using what little disposable income and time I have on local projects that help remediate the environment and improve our ecological wellbeing.

This being said I would love to see the content you would be creating!  I just didn't feel a local connection or benifit even though there would be one since you are creating content for all the growing zones.  

I hope this is useful and not more cyber garbadge.  I Love the forums and have been following for years.

May your carrots be fat and long!
Nimish
 
master steward
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I just heard from josiah that they are letting it go.  

The last thing they were going to do was to list what the first 12 courses would be, and then list 50 or more of what the future courses would be.  

Click on the thumbs up for this post if you think that would have made a difference for you in supporting this kickstarter.  
 
Posts: 55
Location: Western Oregon
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I did back this project, largely because of Paul's enthusiasm, and would offer some thoughts:

I am sure you are tired of hearing this, but my initial reaction was to compare it with the GAFT.  This is primarily because of timing. The Rhodes family have just recently arrived home and haven't even released their film yet.  If you offered this up a year from now, the reactions might be quite different.  I now realize that what you are offering is differentiated in important ways, but the first impression can be difficult to overcome.  

Before seeing this kickstarter project, I had never heard of you.  I have no idea whether I am going to like your content.  Paul, Justin Rhodes, and other uber-successful kickstarter campaigns have benefited from name recognition from other formats (many thousands of people already know who they are).  While you may not have time to build a much larger audience before embarking on this project, try making available some more substantive content to help the audience know what to expect.  A pilot episode offered up for free would go a long way, even if the production values for the pilot are somewhat lower than what you aspire to.    

Hope that is helpful, and I hope you find a way to realize your goals.

 
paul wheaton
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Josiah has been on the staff of permies.com for many years, helping thousands of people.  

Cliff was a boot here at wheaton labs for several months, throwing his shoulder in on a dozen critical projects.  

Click on the thumbs up for this post if emphasizing this would have made a difference in supporting this kickstarter.

 
gardener
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paul wheaton wrote:There is so much about crowdfunding that is a mystery to me.  

I thought that our live pdc, which asked for $6800, had a 50/50 chance of getting funded.  But it got 1400% funded.  

I thought this kickstarter would be close also, because they were asking for $43,000.  But I threw in a bunch of my own stuff to help them get funded.   And we worked a deal so that their stuff would end up in the permies.com digital market.  It felt like good business.  I was even grooving on the idea that there would eventually be 48 DVDs, one for each state.  Each with three to four homestead businesses.   This seemed rock solid to me, but it looks like it won't happen.

Please, please, please give me feedback.  Lots of details.  Josiah and Cliff followed all of my advice to the letter.  I have two projects in the works right now that would be kickstarter projects and I am now thinking that maybe I should scrap them before even getting to kickstarter.  

I felt like the initial kickstarter was rock solid.   After it did poorly, I met with josiah and cliff and we brainstormed to make the changes you see now.  I thought "there's only a few days left, but I admit, what we have created now is three times better than what we first offered."  And it is still doing poorly.  

There are hundreds of farms doing amazing stuff and we don't know about them because they are not "youtube people" or "teach classes people".  So this project would roll up, harvest a lot of knowledge, set that knowledge up as a class and we can tap the knowledge of those people directly.  

Ok, ok, ok, sorry ...   i'm a bit enthusiastic about the project.   The focus of this post is:  what went wrong?  Why do folks support my previous kickstarters, but they are less keen to support this one?



First off I want to say that I thought this project was interesting and I wanted to see it work out so please don't take my feedback as me being opposed to this project.

One piece of feedback is on the reward price jump from $1 to $15. I think having a $5 and a $10 level would have made it easier for more people to support the project. To me the $1 does not seem worthwhile but $15 seemed a bit high - I need to know for sure that the project is something good before I give $15. But $5? I can see that making a bit of a difference and it does not make me really pause especially if the rewards are interesting. I know I could do a custom reward but I just don't tend to do that even though I know I could.

I also don't think it is clear what the focus of the project is. Okay it is about Homesteading Business Courses but then there is a bunch of stuff about a tour and then a lot about the Ponder Family. The section on the family reads a lot like the Great American Farm Tour (visiting farms, national parks, meet-ups, etc.) while the other section is focused on the courses and homesteading business. This seems like two separate projects. The rewards also did not seem to be focused on the topic of Homesteading Business Courses.

Trying to think about this as if I'm someone who has never been to permies.com or PermaEthos but I want to start a homestead or I have one but I can't support my family from it. Lets call this person Bob.

Looking at the $1 rewards: Early Access to the Daily YouTube Vidoes (great but how are these videos related to the courses?), Email Update (okay, but I would think that would be free to anyone signing up on your website...), Understanding Homeschooling Quick Win Course (This is potentially good!), Hugelkultur Micro Documentary (Could be useful but what is Hugelkultur? Bob likely does not know what this is), Permaculture Playing Cards PDF eBook (What is this? I actually own the cards but for Bob... Permaculture is only mentioned once in the whole summary and then only in relation to the Ponder Family and the PDC they took - Bob does not know what a PDC is), 21 podcast review of "Holzer Permaculture" (what is Holzer Permaculture? I get it but no guarantee that Bob would), Public Thanks (Thanks!).

Jumping to the $15-$50 rewards: your choice of one/two/three/four of the four DVDs as HD streaming (why does Bob care about the first three States or the family video? Bob is supporting Homesteading Business Courses not a tour), access to the ThriveThrough community club (first time this is mentioned - what is it? If Bob does not know about PermaEthos why would this mater to Bob?)

The $60 rewards: Same as above but now there is finally a mention of courses! But wait micro-courses? Are these the same as the first 12 you mentioned in the description? Or are they different? What is Bob getting? Bob is confused...

What are Bob's pain points? What are the things that Bob is struggling with that you all could help Bob with? To me this project sounds great but does not show me that you understand where Bob is coming from or what his struggles are. Seeing that it is supported by Paul, Permies.com and PermaEthos is enough to make me think it would be good. But I don't think Bob would think you get his struggles - I don't think you are talking to Bob.

If I'm Bob I want someone to offer me the information that will let me start my homestead and be successful or make my struggling homestead successful.

Also, you did not give Bob much reason to trust PermaEthos or permies.com - give social proof. Something like this (would need to be cleaned up a bit):

"PermaEthos, a company that specializes in online education with X online courses that have helped Y homesteaders do Z, is on a mission to create the ultimate homesteading online library of courses that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to create a successful homestead that supports your family, and increases your independence."

"They have teamed up with Permies.com, an online community of X homesteaders, to see this undertaking come to fruition."

Then add some quotes from people who have taken classes from PermaEthos and some users of Permies.com - really only need one or two from both. Add a nice picture of the person if possible - ideally them doing homesteading tasks.

I would then describe the courses and I would not mention the States. Instead of documentaries I would shift that to micro-courses (still videos but instead of being focused on the individual States I would focus them on some broad topics - say raising animals, or growing your own food, etc.).  Then I would have full courses that dive into specific topics in much more detail and go beyond just a video. Say a course on raising cows, another on chickens, another on ducks, etc. This way the broad micro-courses would feed into the more detailed and focused main courses.

Other rewards could be short written guides or checklists based on the same topics. These would be good lower level rewards. Perhaps some short videos from experts in the topics that could be done beforehand (might already exist) on specific topics.

The goal would be to tie all the rewards back to the idea of courses and providing a solution to ease Bob's pain.

Currently, the rewards seem unfocused or tour based which does not seem to be the true focus of this project.

Hope that helps - I don't want to be mean about this because I think the idea is great. My feedback is based on how this project and the way it was marketed hit me when I looked at it. Personally, I think you should launch this kickstarter again but redo it and make it much more focused on the courses and really explain to people how you will help them be successful at homesteading or how by supporting this kickstarter they will be helping you help other people to be successful at homesteading. The tour is how you will get the content to create the courses but the tour should be in the background and not focused on in my view.

Good luck!


 
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Daron Williams wrote: Fantastic Feedback


Thanks for the input Daron, I am not even involved in the project and gained some real value from that post.

If I had pie to give you would get a slice (is Permies still doing Pie? I haven't seen any on the mobile view) but all I have to give is a humble like and my gratitude.
 
Daron Williams
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:

Daron Williams wrote: Fantastic Feedback


Thanks for the input Daron, I am not even involved in the project and gained some real value from that post.

If I had pie to give you would get a slice (is Permies still doing Pie? I haven't seen any on the mobile view) but all I have to give is a humble like and my gratitude.



Thanks! And yes pie is still going on here

https://permies.com/mobile/wiki/52136/Permaculture-circle-Elite-PIE
 
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I'm sorry this project didn't get off the ground.  It sounded interesting, and if funds were not an issue, I would have supported it "just because".  I would not, however, be able to use much, if any, of the information you would have been providing.  Maybe something from Minnesota or North Dakota, but all of these are for climates a whole lot warmer than mine.  (Although, something from Kansas about wind issues would be good...).  Maybe if you show a snapshot of what the classes would look like, or the type of information available, it would be better?  I'm in a swampy area with plenty of spring flooding, massive deluges of rain in the summer and winters that are -45 C for prolonged periods.  The issues up here are too hot of a summer and way to cold of a winter, and water either ankle deep or non-existent.  If I thought I could get even one piece of usable information, I would have dug a little deeper and found the cash for it.  Please try again!  
 
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https://permies.com/t/94677/Groundnut-Tubers-Apios-americana-Improved
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