To Mike Jay's point, with so much success under your belt (and probably only a little fear that you wouldn't hit the initial funding goals) why set them so low?
Getting 800% funded sounds really good I guess but I think it would have more traction at this stage if it was just 200% or perhaps even just 110% funded. Adjusting the risk of not getting funded may create more urgency and therefore more support (for future KS attempts.
Also, while the spiffy link system is working as is, having a webform/email list opt in my help you Paul, or even perhaps creating redirects you can track directly i.e. you create spiffy link, give them a permies affiliate link that redirects to the KS spiffy link and therefore all the dashboard/tracking/management you want is already in house and can be leveraged to your (and spiffy link sharer's) advantage.
I like the idea of a quick and dirty podcast style audio book presentation.
Hell, I'd even read it to get it out there for you Paul. Maybe that should be stretch goal audio book #1 with "Paul will eventually read it with some additional editorial commentary" audio book coming much, much higher.
For additional goals, perhaps a poster with some building a better world to do's or bullets?
Maybe some "marketing stickers" with a link to where people can buy the book after the kickstarter for supporters to plaster on interesting places like their car, their local coffee shop, etc.
Perhaps the option to "add on" (as in, you you can add extra money to your pledge) a bit of money for a Permies T-shirt?
I'd love to see some of the PDC and ATC content released, this way. Perhaps the segments most likely to differ from "conventional offerings" or those segments most likely to have the biggest impact if they were shared about?
If you want to talk to me about reading the thing, or I can help with any of the other merch I mentioned let me know.
Create the curriculum, and the list. Offer the online course for :: PRICE:: and then tell people to go get it done. Heck, since people might be more interested in the skill teaching than the whole package or the certification offering them a la carte would probably create great revenue too. Each skill course goes up when it is ready, hopefully funding the next filming and presentation of the next skill.
When they have completed a sufficiency (perhaps 1000 of 1200 or 800 of 1000) they can apply, and schedule, and pay for, a PEP1 certification visit. This may at first represent relatively few on sight visits by yourself to get a few others out there accredited but it would not take long I suspect before you had a core number of PEP1 certified folks. I'm picturing something slightly less attainable than say an online PDC and something more attainable than Sepp's (where you must labor under his eye for hours and hours and hours).
I suspect this model would also allow you to drop PEP1 certs immediately on a number of folks out there already doing the right stuff. I'm thinking of some of the established operations out there (Ben Falk, Mark Shepherd, Jack Spirko) or the like. And if those 3 weren't ready immediately I suspect that it would be a short list of additional skills they'd have to show to earn it. Get them on board and you've already established 3 additional potential certifiers too.
Just spit balling here, based on my understanding of your idea. I'm also thinking these skills will be a lot more "create and run a cashflow neutral - cashflow positive orchard (or livestock, or etc.) operation" and a lot less "Make a Proenneke style mallet/cabin/barn" but you're the boss, boss
I've read this, and read your PEP1 initial thoughts post. I am someone who has listened to 90% + of the podcasts (everything free) but I am also not going to suggest that I can repeat all of the little things that make you so.... Paul I guess that means I'm due to relisten from the beginning. This is also isn't meant to be a (rather poor) attempt at a brief resume, just letting you know that I have paid some attention before my question.
If I read correctly PEP1 would represent 1000 skills demonstrated by 1000 projects/tasks ?
Are all 1000 of these compiled in your mind at this time? I was unable to find a post with a list though I can see how that may have been intentional too.
What would a PEP1 be able to accomplish having achieved the certification? What would a PEP* MASTER be able to do?
I'm picturing this in terms of a statement like, "After earning your PEP1 we could drop you in the woods with a few supplies and come back in a year to find a a thriving site covered in beautiful systems", or "A PEP* MASTER recently dropped into the article circle with nothing but a small metal knife and a pair of boots has walked back to town now, 6 months later, to solicit new colonists for his (fully established) artic-circle-permaculture community and courses."
I think there is something important there Greg, and I think more folks this year are asking questions first and finishing the chapter (or the previous Q&As) later. When Geoff says "this has already been answered" he doesn't mean in the comments, though there is a lot of answering happening there he means in the course itself or already in the Q&A. I don't think there should be some kind of draconian requirement that a student demonstrate they have "finished" the chapter or something before they ask a question, but it certainly seems to me that the number of people asking questions immediately rather than waiting to see what the course will cover is higher than in previous years. I have lost count of the number of questions which show up and the next comment is from the same user saying "Oops, Geoff totally answered this in the next video".
I'm sure there are plenty of old students willing to answer super specific questions too, but one of the things I've seen over and over again is folks asking the wrong questions and worrying about the wrong things because they're only partway through the course. A whole army of former students answering questions in comments also doesn't change the most important lessons in the course: the super specific problem, or unique issue that "I'm sure you haven't considered" that drive so many of the questions is just false. Start at the beginning, follow the process, learn to trust what you see and leave the baggage behind and everything can be handled using these methods of planning, observation, and design. Getting folks to that point is very hard, and all too many of those "but on MY site" questions followed by a slew of details find their roots in that fallacy.
The 2014 students had access for almost a whole year. I believe Geoff only removed access for them just before launching the 2015 course, so the changes to alumni access would have gone through or appeared pretty much the same whether you were looking at it as a 2013 alumn or a 2014 alumn.
Right now the 2015 course does not include any reference to the Earthworks course or the Reading The Landscape course. I do see where Geoff and team have added links to the geofflawton.com videos within the course, and a few other things you can find out there free on the internet now (like the Greening the Desert videos, and Hope In a Changing Climate). Course material itself is unchanged, though all Q&A videos (including new 2015 responses as they come out) are still being shared.
I hope that helps, let me know if there are specific questions about the current content that I missed.
I know this falls under Paul's "issues" with people poking at the innovators instead of trying it themselves (apologies in advance) but I am curious.
I know sand was found to be unsatisfactory and pebbles worked better, especially the smallish ones. Was rock or stone dust tried? If it's a heat conductivity issue the dust should behave more like rock than sand and if it's an airflow issue a bucket or two on top to slow/stop the airflow should help the pebbles also.
I bought the Bill and Geoff PDC DVDs years ago. That whale story was a winner for sure, but I love all of Bill's stories.
Those DVDs were actually part of the reason I knew that the online course would work for me. After absorbing everything I could about permaculture free, I bought the 1983 PDC audio (Geoff's first PDC) and my wife bought me the DVD set (which I believe was Geoff's first PDC he ever helped teach) and if I wasn't hooked then I was definitely hook line and sinker after that. I had begun to despair too that I would have to wait a long time before I could find a semi local on-site PDC from someone I trusted and liked so I could get my certificate. When Geoff announced the online PDC that would let me get my cert from Geoff and the PRI without having to take a week off from work I was sold.
I think the 2013 class was so much of an experiment Geoff didn't even think about it and was just glad it was such a success.
After 2 years (and 2-3k "participants') I suspect they realized how much more of a logistical nightmare it becomes. Never mind the presence of a whole class of "teaching assistants" Geoff didn't hire who maybe are helping and maybe are not. I also saw a decent number of veterans who treated the new year's course as a direct line to Geoff. So in addition to the questions he was trying to field from students of the 2014 class (on topic or not) often he had more advanced or more off topic questions coming from veterans, usually starting with "hey I know this is complicated/off topic/I'm a veteran but Geoff I really need to know how my questions/this issue/the color of my barn impacts my...." and that can be problematic too.
I'm sure Geoff doesn't want anyone to feel ignored especially the new students and even the time it takes to weed through questions and decide which ones to answer takes time away from actually answering the questions and participating with the students.
As fast as I could do the initial signup I still only logged at #185. That means we broke 200 before 30 minutes had passed (it started at 1pm EST so 12 Dallas time).
By the time I had chatted with my wife and she decided we could afford (and she wanted to) get a second "seat" her spot was #511. So it was to 200 in 30 minutes and halfway gone in less than an hour. Mega mega interest.
I'll be interested to see how the PE folks address that issue.
I also think that a course 100% in front of a white board (regardless of how much I enjoy Geoff's lectures) is also missing something and (based on the questions) doesn't seem to be stopping new students from trying to put herb spirals where they don't belong or trying to reinvent the wheel.
Consider how the on-sight PDC students can walk outside and see examples of the water systems in action in a mature system, or how they can be sitting in the gardens and asking about the interactions and design. This is an element that the PEPDC wants to try and include. I have no doubt that they will spend just as much time on other climates and using the white board or infographics. If they are going to skip relevant material because it doesn't apply on the PE site... well that would be a mistake. A mistake that I doubt Jack will allow or that Geoff would be comfortable with (as a member of the PE board).
Geoff's involvement in the PE concept, farm, and PDC helps me feel more comfortable with the idea and knowing Jack as well as I feel I do as a member of his community I have little doubt that this new PDC will be in any way lacking.