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paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22347
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Suppose 20,000 people hear about this place and think they might want to come here.

Suppose all 20,000 start to listen to the first podcast.

I suspect that half will stop after a minute or two.

Half of that will stop a bit further in.

Half of that will make it to the end of the first podcast.

Half of those will choose to go on to the next podcast.

I am now down to 1250 people.

Let's suppose that 100 people make it to the end of the 10th podcast and are still thinking of coming here.

Let's suppose that 20 make it to the end of 100 podcasts and are still thinking of coming here.

Let's suppose that 10 people actually make the attempt.

Of those 10, some people realize that this is not the kind of thing they want to do. Some realize that they don't like me. It turns out that there are some that I don't like. Others it seems like everything is great, but after a few months or years .... not so much.

In the end, there might be one person. Maybe.


Conclusion: It isn't that I need to be somebody that charms ANYBODY/EVERYBODY. I need to be myself and find that 1 person in 20,000 that is a fit. And if I wish to build a community of more than me and one other person, maybe I need to get my stuff into more brains than 20,000 people.



Corollary: When people tell me what I have to do, have to say, have to think .... maybe I should direct them to this thread.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 586
Location: Soutwest Ohio
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Among the lessons I have learned from being an author is that chasing an audience gives short-term gains, but long term problems. You have to write for yourself and get it into the hands of as many people as possible. You find the audience who loves what you do and that makes all the difference. I suspect it is pretty much the same with what you do Paul.

You explore what fascinates you. You speak against the things that frustrate you. You speak from your heart and not everyone who hears what you say feels the same. Those people aren't your audience. Over time, some may be convinced by the sheer volume of evidence. If not, that isn't about you as much as it is about them. Your audience likes what you have to say and over time, has snowballed into a much larger community.

Keep sowing the seeds of insight as broadly as you can and I know that those that land in fertile ground will take root.

Postscript: I know a lot of us here do what we can to spread the word as well. Hopefully it is helping move from that twenty thousand into twenty million or more on a regular basis.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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When I consider the principle "Catch and store resources" I count human resources among those worth catching and storing.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2085
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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What you are doing is working.

The ant village is working well, for a brand new project. You're even helping out your friend mike oehler (in an indirect way). Stuff is happening. It's cool to watch all the changes happening, all over the place.

I agree that getting your ideas out there to as many people as possible is a good strategy.
 
Rick Howd
Posts: 128
Location: McMinnville Oregon
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I honestly believe that our passion can touch 1 in 10 to some degree. 1 in 20,000 are those who will be "PITS" 'Paul's in training'. Everyone of them will teach, train and pass on information to others in some way. It may never be published or seen in the community but it will have local effect. Maybe %0.1 can push things forward, 20 people with Paul's commitment could change the world.

There are new people moving into this concept daily, to keep them excited they should have: base information/starter videos/web pages/links/amazon purchase pages, that are current and updated. A dead link is a killjoy for a geek that can search more, it's death for a novice.
 
Rhys Firth
Posts: 120
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And then there is the 20,001st guy like me, who might be interested in the information and ideas in the podcasts, but is deaf and doesn't manage sound only media. Except for noise pollution running in the background, AKA Music.


Subtitled/Close Captioned Youtube now... THAT might work for me, but the whole system is that you don't NEED the every last scraping form the bottom of the barrel if you get the message broadcast enough to be able to cherry pick the cream off the top.

Mixed metaphors and all.


 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3562
Location: Anjou ,France
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I agree with Rick . If we touch 100000 1% is that not better than touching 1 person a 100%. Little bit at a time .
For instance my name sake the victorian expolorer was employed as a missionary in Africa total converts over his long career 1. But his writings were used as evidence to persuade Britain to end slavery 1807 . I consider the latter a more worthy achievement .

David
 
Dan Mangan
Posts: 26
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I am busy or would give it a shot and succeed. I know I like you and I'm pretty cool myself. Keeping your offer in mind. In a year give or take I will be partnering with my mother to do such a project. Doesn't mean I can't come sooner but I have to keep her wishes in mind also. We are legit. It would also be great to be in contact directly or indirectly with you.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 388
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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Of the 19999 that don't become permanent valuable members of the community, some of them could have if the path they must follow was easier. The first question is can you make the path easier without compromising on your values? And if so, is it easier for you to increase the conversion rate, or to increase the initial numbers?

I'd want to focus first on finding out where the 19999 fall. Web analytics to find how many make it to each stage of the process, and request feedback on obstacles. How many stop listening because they disagree with you or aren't interested vs audio media being less accessible than written/visual. All those people bored at work who would rather be part of your community, spending hours at permies.com on their boss's time but unable to turn the sound on.
 
Diego de la Vega
Posts: 39
Location: Central Virginia, USA
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paul wheaton wrote:Suppose 20,000 people hear about this place and think they might want to come here.

Suppose all 20,000 start to listen to the first podcast.

I suspect that half will stop after a minute or two.

Half of that will stop a bit further in.

Half of that will make it to the end of the first podcast.

Half of those will choose to go on to the next podcast.

I am now down to 1250 people.

Let's suppose that 100 people make it to the end of the 10th podcast and are still thinking of coming here.

Let's suppose that 20 make it to the end of 100 podcasts and are still thinking of coming here.

Let's suppose that 10 people actually make the attempt.

Of those 10, some people realize that this is not the kind of thing they want to do. Some realize that they don't like me. It turns out that there are some that I don't like. Others it seems like everything is great, but after a few months or years .... not so much.

In the end, there might be one person. Maybe.


Conclusion: It isn't that I need to be somebody that charms ANYBODY/EVERYBODY. I need to be myself and find that 1 person in 20,000 that is a fit. And if I wish to build a community of more than me and one other person, maybe I need to get my stuff into more brains than 20,000 people.



Corollary: When people tell me what I have to do, have to say, have to think .... maybe I should direct them to this thread.


Changing who you are or changing your dream into something "less dreamy" for you is not a good idea since your personal success can only be judged by your own level of happiness and fulfillment in what you do.

Now there is a whole lot of unsolicited advice given online which is mostly put forth by armchair quarterbacks who never have nor never will do anything of note or profound.

HOWEVER, in my life I have sometimes been sure of my path in the beginning and then found that things did not go as well as planned. I have also had the experience that I have been sure of my path and things went rather well. In both of these instances when I heard sound advice and suggestions from others, I have at times received great success from following said advice. This success was of course much better when I was doing poorly and still very helpful when I was doing well. Some people are able to look at a "thing" and see what it could be, and know how to make it that way even if they lack a desire to do so in any hands on sort of way. These people have lots of great ideas all the time. Some people (like me) have occasional strokes of genius interspersed with long episodes of mediocre ideas. Other people still think they have tons of great ideas all the time, but are actually full of bad ideas and can occasionally have a decent one.

Basically what I am trying to say is that what works for me is to listen to the ideas of others. I sort through them and take note of the good ones while discarding the nonsense or even perhaps sound ideas that do not fit with my current goal. Then I constantly reevaluate, asking myself if there is a better way, and if I could be doing it wrong. Sometimes my extremely stubborn nature keeps me doing things wrong for a VERY long time.

Diego
 
Rachel Dee
Posts: 34
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As for me, I find it highly interesting, would visit to learn, take workshops. I don't think our personalities would ever fit together to even think about staying though.

You don't have to really like someone to be able to learn great things from them, you just have to put yourself (opinions, ego) aside for a moment, listen and learn from their experiences and knowledge.
 
Ross Raven
Posts: 255
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Funny but true. Hi Rachel. I too have reached out to 20000 to get just 1...or 2 in this case with Rachel's partner. I have talked to hundreds without it going anywhere and that part has been emotionally exhaustive. I never took that into my original considerations. Its like being stuck in perpetual internet dating and you get to feel rejected 19998 times to get two. LOL.

I started reading Creating A Life Together since so many people recommended it and I got a good chuckle at this part-

" I heard more than one founder say: “If I’d had any idea
how hard this would be I never would have done
it!”After a pause, however, they usually add with
a smile, “Thank God I didn’t know, though,
because here we are.”
“Be careful what you tell your readers about
forming community,” warns a friend who lived
for years at a permaculture-based community in
New England. “Don’t be so realistic about the
process that you scare them off.”He told me if I
really wanted to help potential community
founders achieve their goals, maybe I should say
relatively little, so I don’t discourage anyone
who’d otherwise just plunge in and figure it out
as they went along, as most community founders
do"

Im sure we scared off way to many by being "Realistic".
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1332
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Paul,

I would not be worried about your personality having a clash with anybody; personalities inevitably clash in major and minor ways--How conflict is resolved is one of the keys that decide a community's longevity (the primary other one would be a commonality of belief {Permaculture's three ethics or something akin could possibly serve to start with, and a few basic personal property/conduct rules to go along with it}) .

You may be opinionated and strong willed, but I doubt you are an ass to the point that you can not set your opinion to the side long enough to put yourself in someone else's shoes and/or listen to and be deeply considerate of their opinion. As a leader of a large community (Permies... YAY), I find you genuine, passionate, and full of honest insight and self reflection. At first I thought that perhaps you were an ass, but that was before I allowed you a place in my heart: Now I see you as the guru, duke of permies that you are. Not a demi god, not a saint, certainly human and fallible, but a guy that is trying his damndest to get a bunch of ideas out in the world, and projects off the ground. I salute you.

I guess the question to ask yourself is: If of the 20,000 people that you initially reached, 5000, or 500, or even 50 of them showed up, would you be able to handle it, particularly if they were not nearly as into it as you might hope? Think of the energy drain on your project if a good chunk of them were a drag!

The way I see it, is that if you managed to have 20, or 10, or even 5 or 2 genuine amazing passionate people building and experimenting, teaching and learning, living and growing, together with you and yours, that would be immensely better off than if you suddenly had 50, half of which had 20% initiative or any self starting potential (that you had to coax and prod to do anything that had any merit), and most of the other half too self centered in their individualistic approach to life in general to really be part of a community that interacts and helps each other to achieve collectively derived goals, or individually inspired projects.

Like the parable of the mustard seed that I paraphrase here: the seed is small, but if it's put into half decent ground it will grow into a big plant, a plant that will produce a shit ton of seeds, and man, if some of those seeds land in fertile ground, then things go exponential.

I think that is already happening. Although permaculture took a long time to really take root in America, and the world, I think that the guys like you, and jack spirko, toby hemenway, Brad Lancaster, and many more that I can't think of off the top of my head (sorry ladies), have done heaps and leaps to springboard this concept into the mainstream especially with the help of the internet. You have done amazingly well.

My project has barely begun, and I want it all done N O W !!!
... but I have to be happy with the fact that I've started.

and I think that you should be glad for the amazing things that you have achieved. I'm not saying that you should beat a hole in your back patting yourself too hard, or that you should rest on your laurels, hoping to use them as a Krazy Karpet to success, but that you should consider carefully nurturing the growth of that initial rare mustard seed, because that seed is far more important than trying to push the possibilities by growing a massive theoretical and hypothetical and metaphorical field crop of mustard and having it invaded entirely down to it's very genetics by monsanto's GMO canola. I'm not saying that your project will be undermined by the consumer culture, but that a culture that you might not want could develop if you expand beyond your ability to observe and steer it's potential towards the initial end goals of the project.
 
Ross Raven
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I was reminded of this video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO8MwBZl-Vc

My goal in life is to be the lone nut...and then brutally be forgotten as someone else's subnote. That is success. My responsibility is to treat the first followers as equals and make it easy for them. They are the REAL leaders.

Ive often said, "Hey, it aint about me"
 
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