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a shift in how I manage new content

 
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I am drowning in work.  

At the same time, I am getting a bit discouraged.  I feel like my videos, articles and all sorts of stuff are making a huge world impact, but the more I get done, the more I get tied up with what I have done in the past and the less I can do in the future.  So I am losing velocity.  Something needs to change.

Yesterday afternoon I pretty much shut down and watched as email piled up and scads of things got put off.  I need a better strategy.

On my last video, I didn't go far to tell folks about it.  I usually try to put a bit of thought into it and spend about four hours going around and telling folks about something new.  But I just didn't feel like it.  This seems to be a big part of the issue.

When I put out a video and get 20 people saying "excellent!" - does that mean a thousand people watched and thought "this was weak." ??  Or did 90% think it was great.  And if it was tweeted zero times, what does that mean?  

I convinced myself that for my next video, I should just upload it to youtube, do nothing else and see what happens.   And then I had the thought of just not uploading it.  Maybe I should focus more on my personal income and personal stuff.  

I've gotten a bit tuckered out.  I have footage for another 50 videos that need to be edited.  And I still need to clean up several articles.  And I have the fixin's for another dozen articles in my head.  

I don't get money for this stuff.  I run some ads - but what I spend on doing all this stuff far exceeds the little that comes in.   So I find myself asking myself ... "self!  why the hell are you doing this?  it's making you broke and yet you keep doing it!  you should do something that fills your pockets with money - like you used to do."   What can I say - I'm bonkers about this stuff.  I want to do more.  And, at the same time, I kinda feel like folks might be getting bored with my stuff.   And I kinda feel a little bit like, if my stuff were good - I would just upload it and folks would tell folks.

So then my mind goes down the road:  well, if I stop telling folks that I have a new video, maybe hardly anybody will see it.  So what's the point of even putting it up?  And then what's the point of going out and getting more footage?

So I took a bit of a breather yesterday.  And thought about it a bit.  

I currently have about 2500 subscribers to my youtube stuff.  And when I upload something, a new video will show three views before I get a chance to look at it myself - or told anybody about it.  So the subscriber thing seems to be working pretty good.   Out of the 2500 subscribers, each video gets about 250 views from subscribers.  I kinda think that of those 250, if they actually liked the video, they would push it out somewhere.  Maybe a few somewheres.

So now I really like this idea of focusing more on making content, and less on trying to let folks know about my new content.  

Of course, if the traffic to the new content drops a lot - then that would show:  1)  people don't think it is good enough to tell others about, and/or 2) people were only looking at it because I went to so many places and told them about it.  In either case, it is evidence that my stuff isn't that good and I should stop bothering people with it.

I think I really need to shift gears.  I'm going to focus more on making content and focus nearly zero on promotion.  If my stuff is good, people that see it will put it on facebook, twitter, reddit, blogs, forums and the like.   I think that is the real vote for if stuff is any good.   And if my stuff doesn't get that - then maybe I should be putting out a lot less: only the really good stuff.

I'll continue to put the latest video here on permies.  And I will continue to feed stuff to twitter (twitter seems like an easy way to push new info out).  


 
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Just do what you enjoy doing Paul, why focus on whether people like it or get something out of it at all? That part is not up to you, once it's out of your hands and out in the world it has a life of it's own. You sound like you're driving yourself a bit crazy worrying and thinking about things that you just can't have any control over. Just trust. If it comes from your heart and you are passionately expressing it, that comes through loud and clear. People who are meant to find your info will, I know I did. So thanks Paul. I think what you do is great  .
 
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Paul,

It sounds to me like you need a break from all things internet.  Maybe appoint someone responsible for the forums for a couple of weeks, setup your email to bounce anything sent to you, and go spend some time in the dirt.

I personally need this every few months and I don't get 1/10th the volume of stuff you do. 

Maybe get an intern that can spend 50% of the time doing Permacultue and 50% screening your email.

Best wishes.
 
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humm sounds like you could use an assistant to handle PR/advertising
not that I'm volunteering at the second mind,  but I'll let the idea of it swirl round in my head a bit and see if I can figure something useful out.
 
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Paul - I'm with David on this.  You need a break.  Your stuff is brilliant.  You know your stuff is brilliant.  But you need a breather.  You say 'you just didn't feel like' telling folks about it.  I know this feeling from my caring duties, and it's because you're over-doing things.  If you don't back off, just a little, or take a complete break for while, you may soon feel like giving up completely, which really would be a bit of a disaster!! 

When I get close to falling apart, my other half sits me down and explains to me very firmly that I'm the king-pin that holds the whole thing together and without me in place nothing will run at all.  I look around my totally chaotic and disorganised house and wonder if it's already fallen apart at the seams beyond repair, but it's usually just a matter of prioritising. Some stuff can be ignored, some stuff can wait, some can be cut back on.  But the health and welbeing of the king-pin *has* to come first or nothing else will work at all. 

Delegate (she says nervously).  Take a breather.  Go claim back some of those hundreds of meals you provided.  But whatever you do, look after yourself.

*****hugs**** 
 
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Paul,  agreeing with the other posters on this, it is obvious you are reaching burn out.

Take a step back.  The world will continue to spin and most everything will be there when you get back.  If you don't disengage you will become bitter and more resentful of doing the work and not seeing the growth you are expecting.

When you over analyze and micro manage you are doing more harm than good.  If you can, get an assistant to take over some of the responsibilities.  Delegating is one of the leadership skills that is hard to develop, but it is essential for you to continue this.  You cannot be a master at everything and you need to let go of the need of making the videos, websites, writings etc, a personal-living extension of yourself.  Yup, sounds crazy, but many of us are wrapped up in our life's mission and work so much it as if it cannot survive without us.  And consequently, without it, we cannot survive.

All of this comes from a been there done that experience.  Your physical as well as mental health is more important to you, and us too for that matter.  Having the material come forth slowly and more the way you really want it is better than rushing and cramming more new material onto the net.

Okay, I'm off the soap box.  Good luck, and please take good care.




Al
 
paul wheaton
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Getting tired?  Need a break?  Kinda.  Doing this stuff is like my ongoing vacation.  I am crazy pasionate about all this.  At the same time, it seems I've become sorta ... well known.  I have detractors and stalkers and negative nellies ....  slowing me down.  It seems odd to become so well known and the icky people seem to have a big passion to rain on my parade and the people with umbrellas are sorta watching to see how it turns out.  

I'm going with brice on this.  I really should hire 20 people, but I'm already running in the red, so I can't hire even one.

If I had 20 people that each thought "I like this - I'm gonna share it with ______" then that would free up a huge slice of this stuff.  I can then focus more on the new forum software, new videos, new articles, etc.  

Surely there are people out there that are as passionate about this stuff as I am.  Or maybe 1/10th as bonkers about this stuff as I am.

I feel a bit like I am swimming up river.  I'm hoping at some point to have help.  The whole "many hands make light work" thing.  

There's no money in this.  But surely, there are a few people that are as passionate about this path as I am.  Rather than standing up on a soap box and saying "the world is a mess and all the bad people need to stop being bad", we are building a better world one brick at a time.  Hugelkultur, rocket mass heaters, homesteading, gardening, wildcrafting ....  each post in each thread; each video; each article ...  it all adds up.

I think the reason my stuff doesn't get redistributed much is because I've been doing it.   In 2011, the way that something catches on is that people link to it.  They put it on their blog, their facebook page ... they twitter about it.   They do stuff I am not even aware of yet.  

Building a better world one brick at a time.  I make a new brick ever few days.  If I had help, I might be able to make a new brick every day.  

If the whole world knew about all the stuff in my articles, videos and these forums, would the world be a better place?  

Why do all the doomers get all of the attention?  And lindsay lohan?  And the green bay packers?

I guess building something better, one brick at a time, is boring to most folks.

In 2011, it takes me a day to make a brick.  It takes somebody less than a minute to share that brick with their friends on facebook.  It take two minutes for folks to share that brick on a blog.  

What if there were a dozen people that were powerful keen on building a better world one brick at a time and spent five minutes a day sharing bricks?  It doesn't even have to be my bricks.   I think those 12 people would do three times more than what I do all day long.

Mending the wrongs of the world is easy.  You just need a lot of people putting in a little bit of time each day.  One brick at a time.
 
Burra Maluca
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You can't afford to hire, so you need 20 volunteers to delegate to.

Here's your first one. 

But I'll need step by step instructions on what you want doing 'cos I'm a bit of a dumb-ass.

OK, one down.  Nineteen to go.  Who's next?

 
paul wheaton
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Burra,

Awesome!

First, make sure you are subscribed to me on youtube. 

Next, for the video that is up now, and for each future video, share it.  Maybe four or five places.  Each video has a "share"  button.  Do a few of those things.  If you visit forums other than permies, share the video there.  If you are on a mailing list that fits with the video, share it there.  Maybe email it to a few people.  Maybe share it in ways I've never thought of. 

I think it would be great to brainstorm different ways to share this stuff.

 
David Galloway
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Paul,

How about a quarterly pdf "zine" with one of your full-length articles, book reviews, links to videos, and teaser posts of topics here on Permies.  We could individually print these out and put them on bulletin boards and "forget" them in library gardening/permaculture books.  That could be an additional way of spreading the word for those who aren't as internet saavy.
 
Burra Maluca
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Already subscribed! 

And as for brainstorming, presumably you have a list of all the places that you usually post stuff to?  How about dividing that list into, say, ten parts and issuing one part to each of ten volunteers?  If it takes you four hours to tell everyone about a new video at the moment, then it should take each volunteer less than 25 minutes, which isn't such a big deal. 

We just need nine more volunteers - who's up for it?
 
paul wheaton
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David Galloway wrote:
Paul,

How about a quarterly pdf "zine" with one of your full-length articles, book reviews, links to videos, and teaser posts of topics here on Permies.  We could individually print these out and put them on bulletin boards and "forget" them in library gardening/permaculture books.  That could be an additional way of spreading the word for those who aren't as internet saavy.



See - that's the thing.  I feel I need to focus more on making bricks and hope that others will share the bricks. 

Also, for the last month, I have redirected my "triage" mentality to give big weight to "how many people will this reach?"  Therefore, email gets the lowest priority.  This forum gets a much higher priority.  If I write something in these forums, it takes me a few minutes, but over the next five years that one post could be viewed by 10,000 people. 

On the other hand, if I say "please add my latest video to your facebook page" and 10,000 people read this post, and 100 people do it, and 50 friends of each of those people see the video - that's 5000 bricks. 

If ten people share a brick a day for a year, and 50 people get a brick each time, thats 10 * 365 * 50:  182,500 bricks. 

For each new video, I was going to six mailing lists, twelve forums, facebook, twitter, buzz, stumbleupon, reddit and sometimes appropedia.  So I handed out more than 20 bricks for each video.  On reddit I would usually hand out about five more - cuz reddit is sorta designed for that.  And while I was there, I would usually try to hand out seven or eight more bricks for threads in the forums or other, older videos or my articles. 

And with each brick, I would think "I'm building a better world.  Slowly.  Patiently."

 
paul wheaton
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Burra Maluca wrote:
Already subscribed! 

And as for brainstorming, presumably you have a list of all the places that you usually post stuff to?   How about dividing that list into, say, ten parts and issuing one part to each of ten volunteers?  If it takes you four hours to tell everyone about a new video at the moment, then it should take each volunteer less than 25 minutes, which isn't such a big deal. 

We just need nine more volunteers - who's up for it?



Rather than dividing the list, I think it would be good to find out who is already connected somewhere first.  Then maybe some people can take up the leftovers.  And there are surely places that I have never thought of.

One place is WiserEarth.  I tried to do some stuff there, but found it confusing and ended up letting it go.  Is there anybody that knows about WiserEarth?  It seems like they want to add all of my stuff to their big list of resources. 

And then there is gardenweb.  I haven't been there in years. 


 
                                  
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How can it take 4 hours to promote a video? Seems very high to me.

After some basic linking on permies.com, viral effects ought to take over. I suggest focusing on which videos get the most views and trying to emulate their success.  I assume you don't work any harder to promote the e.g. scything video that has 21k views than the "pheasants out my window" with 1,500. 

Also, it probably has more do with topic choice than any production quality. (Though concise editing is great.)
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
Burra,

Awesome!

First, make sure you are subscribed to me on youtube. 

Next, for the video that is up now, and for each future video, share it.  Maybe four or five places.  Each video has a "share"  button.  Do a few of those things.  If you visit forums other than permies, share the video there.  If you are on a mailing list that fits with the video, share it there.  Maybe email it to a few people.  Maybe share it in ways I've never thought of. 

I think it would be great to brainstorm different ways to share this stuff.




Who isn't doing this? I share your stuff on my crackbook page, email, on a raw foods forum, etc, and my friends repost too. Because it's awesome Paul.
 
paul wheaton
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Leucaena wrote:
How can it take 4 hours to promote a video? Seems very high to me.



For each place i would post it, i always thought it was important to be respectful of that community.  I would make sure that I answered questions about the video.  Plus, it just takes time to go to a lot of different web sites and post the information. 

I found that reddit was really good for posting this sort of stuff.  It led to a lot of views.  But you have to sorta nurture your submission in the first hour or so.  So i would submit a new video to about four subreddits and then make sure they did okay.

After some basic linking on permies.com, viral effects ought to take over.



And if they don't - then the video must be not all that great?

I assume you don't work any harder to promote the e.g. scything video that has 21k views than the "pheasants out my window" with 1,500.



True.


 
paul wheaton
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:
Who isn't doing this? I share your stuff on my crackbook page, email, on a raw foods forum, etc, and my friends repost too. Because it's awesome Paul.



That's the sort of help I need!  Thanks! 

Well, I just posted a new video.  I posted it here on permies.  From the video page I clicked on "share" and did twitter, facebook, and no others.

No email.  No mailing lists.  No other forums. 

If the video gets about 1500 views in the first 24 hours, it has a good chance of getting on a bigger stage at youtube and getting a lot more views.

Let's see how it goes.

 
paul wheaton
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Oh yeah, here's an interesting thing:  several of my recent videos made the youtube "most favorited" page because about 22 people added the video to their favorites list.

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Like everyone else posting here, I'm a big advocate for your content.  I share your site information with everyone from new gardeners, farm managers and Michigan's DNRE agents (for sources to research some of my and my clients land use concerns). 

One thing to remember, in those difficult moments, is you do have supporters and advocates working to support your hard work.  It might not be right in front of your face but we're here pushing your content forward, too.

And, then, there is the fact that I have a secret hide-out... in a beautiful peaceful spot where no one would find you.   So, if you ever need a break, you know how to get in touch with me.  You can stay at the cabin by the lake for a week or two and recuperate (uninterrupted) at no charge. 

Joy!

 
paul wheaton
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Thanks for the offer mustang.  I've never been to michigan before.

I think the new video is doing pretty good even though I have done so little to promote it.

I had planned on not doing anything at reddit, but I have a cyber stalker over there, who gets hysterical every time I post anything.  So now I cannot help myself:  I have to post stuff over there just to see him get angry.  It just seems like if the bad guys are angry at you, you must be doing something right.
 
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Link us, we'll sort him out  .
 
paul wheaton
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Here is my account:  http://www.reddit.com/user/paulwheaton/

I deleted about six submissions today because he downvoted them shortly after I submitted them - which then makes them not appear at all. 

In two of the ones that survived today, it looks like some people really gave him what for!  Pretty cool.

 
T. Joy
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Give up a heads up before you post with a time idea of when it will be up and a link once it is. I'll be ready with my voting finger then Paul!
 
paul wheaton
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David Galloway
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I just created a Reddit account to help out, but I'm unsure of how to help.  It looks like I can leave comments, but I don't see how I can vote something up or down.  Any pointers for a Reddit newbie?
 
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I'm not positive but there are little up and down arrows on the left side, you just click the up arrow.
 
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Ah yes, thank you CLM.  The arrows were greyed out so they didn't immediately catch my eye.
 
paul wheaton
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And right on cue, there's my cyber stalker. 
 
paul wheaton
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So the idea with reddit is that you can vote on submitted links and you can vote on comments.

If a link score drops to zero, it is removed from the "hot" list - which is the only place that 95% of the people look.  If the score becomes high, it goes to the top of the hot list. 

It looks like the stalker has used all five down votes for the link. 

 
David Galloway
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Too bad you can't up or down vote individual users...if their score falls below a certain point their votes or ignored or fractioned down.
 
paul wheaton
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In a way, you can. 

If a user has really low overall points - perhaps negative points, then you can complain to moderators that the user is being annoying again.  There is then a good chance that the user will be banned.
 
paul wheaton
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Reddit is a place where you can submit links to stuff.  Like my videos.  Or to threads here on permies.  Or to my articles. 

So when I have a new video, or article, or see a really good thread, i submit it to reddit.  It usually does really well.  unless my stalker gets to it early and crushes it right away.

The reddiquette document says it is okay to post your own stuff. And you can resubmit your stuff to multiple subreddits.  This guy wants reddit to be different.  It would seem that he never submits anything.  He just complains.

So - my video is now not showing up.  If the video were to get two more upvotes, it would show up again, but it would be low on the "hot" list.  It would probably take about ten upvotes in the next hour to get on page 1 of the hot list.

 
T. Joy
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This stalker has more than one profile? How is he doing this? I can only up or down vote once or so it seems.
 
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Maybe a way to combat this in the future would be to create a topic letting us know you will be submitting to Reddit at X time.  That way at least 10 or so of us could be at the ready to help.

Also, if you want to spend a little time talking with the good folk at the The Survival Podcast forums, I know that many of them would probably help out as well.  Just explain how this guy is stalking you and keeping good permaculture information off Reddit.  Hell, if you contact Jack directly he may even give it a quick plug on his podcast.  He occasionally asks listeners to help on Facebook contests and the like and the last one I think he got over 30k votes.  It would probably be a fertile ground to cast a few seeds.
 
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I X-posted to crackbook and the raw kids but it's late at night so not sure how many people have had a chance to see it. For sure give a heads up with the time you're next going to submit something new and I'll be ready for when it goes up.
 
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He logs out and logs back in with another account.

 
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The trick is that timeliness is critically important.  So if I submit something and within the first five minutes it gets ten upvotes it will go WAY up. But if it gets one downvote and zero upvotes in the first hour, it will be effectively gone.

 
paul wheaton
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I posted this to the fan page on facebook.  But so far, it is at zero points.  So it is porbably dead.
 
T. Joy
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What we're saying is that if you plan on posting something there in the evening let us know in the morning what time it will go up and we can check the link very soon after it's posted to vote it up. If enough of us know about it in advance it stands a fighting chance of being seen, right?
How can he have multiple accounts? Isn't there anybody running the show over there looking out for that sort of trouble maker? Lame.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a post of his where he got downvoted a lot and people told him off.  It made me happy. 

http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/fohd2/the_cheapest_slug_control_ive_ever_heard_of_a/c1hg7wk

 
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