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Elliot Temple on December 11, 2020

Messages (38)

https://30x500.com/academy/ is about launching products people actually buy. I think it's oriented to SaaS and digital products (e.g. ebook). It has some info on the marketing page itself.

I found it thanked in the acknowledgments of https://efficientrailsdevops.com which is an ebook I paid for.


curi at 7:12 PM on December 11, 2020 | #1 | reply | quote

A couple of content+discussion sites I'm familiar with have tiered subscription models: https://www.zerohedge.com/premium

https://www.epsilontheory.com/the-pack/

One important way these are different than FI is they had a large following (tens of thousands of regular readers) on their free sites for years before launching paid services. In both cases I think their primary marketing is to people who have been readers and/or commenters for years when the sites had literally nothing to sell.

FI has been around for years too, but has not attracted a large free following that it could market to in that way.

The successful paid sites I can think of that started as paid are in the media and entertainment space (Netflix etc.)

Does anyone know of a successful paid content+discussion site that was paid before acquiring a large following? What was their marketing like?


Andy Dufresne at 5:04 PM on December 12, 2020 | #2 | reply | quote

#2 Jonathan Stark sells $100/mo subscriptions for access to his monthly group video chats, without a huge free audience first. A lot of his marketing is daily his newsletter, which contains more marketing and fluff than useful content. I think I found Stark b/c he was on a podcast with Chris Do who I found on YouTube (I think when I was looking for info about creating animation in videos, and I saw something mostly off-topic that fit some of my pre-existing interests).

There was no need for anything free first to sell me this book the other day: https://efficientrailsdevops.com Just the long form copy on that one page had me convinced before I gave my email and got the free sample containing the table of contents. I found it via search engine (not on my first or second search; I was doing a lot of searches).

I think lots of people sell paid content like courses or ebooks without having a large following first. If one can do that, it should still be possible when throwing in a discussion forum. I don't think subscriptions (for regular additional content, in addition to forum access) are a dealbreaker that ruins that.

I don't think giving most stuff away is helping with popularity. It runs into some problems. Unserious people make discussions worse and have a bad time. Barriers to entry would help them in addition to others. One ought to lock the gate in front of something that's dangerous to random people with no idea what it is. There are also problems with content at varying levels of difficulty and accessibility. People often read advanced stuff or discussions when they should be reading more like a guided beginner's philosophy tutorial.

I think it will work better to basically make stuff free if it's where people should start, and add a barrier to entry after that to keep unserious people away.

Some problems:

- lots of people are hostile to commerce

- some people actually basically can't pay (and most of them won't ask for a discount or free account)

- some people don't want to pay for privacy reasons

- barriers reduce participation quantity

Some benefits and solutions:

- previews: month free trial and, outside trial, 3 thread views per month with a registered account

- most people want a smaller amount of more curated stuff, not a higher volume

- a smaller amount of higher quality forum value will appeal more

- a smaller amount of higher quality free introductory material will appeal more

- people act better in some ways as customers than moochers

- charging more properly presents the material as valuable, serious, and respectful of your time

Broadly, whether it gets popular or not, I don't think paywalling stuff has a major downside. Keeping stuff not paywalled won't lead to popularity anyway.

Broadly, the content I'd make for the site is the kind of stuff I wanted to make anyway, so even if it doesn't pay a lot it isn't a disaster for me.

I don't think aiming for mega popularity is a good place to start. Should get things working well (learning progress happening) with a smaller number of people at first.

I don't know how to manage free forums in a way that large numbers of people want. On the one hand, I can participate and criticize, which most people can't deal with. On the other hand I can leave people alone, in which case I don't know how to make the forum quality particularly good. Paywalls are not a full solution to this but would help. A strong expectation of being familiar with certain introductory material would also help (btw, Less Wrong somewhat has that with The Sequences).

The thing I intend to sell is like "sign up if you want to learn philosophy" not "sign up b/c you want a discussion forum". A forum is a supporting tool, not an end in itself.

I don't think people should start with a forum. They need some introduction first. They need more clue wtf they are doing in order to use the forum in a positive way. So making the forum free is maybe not useful for recruitment and can be harmful as people jump in the deep end. You need to know something about how to think, and what sort of world you live in, and what your goals are, and how to make decisions, before unstructured collaboration with others on thinking.


curi at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2020 | #3 | reply | quote

#3 As an intro The Sequences are way too long (they are broken into parts – each sequence focuses on a topic – but people are routinely told to read all of them or asked if they have read them). *And* they aren't all that introductory. They skip tons of steps and don't provide any kind of complete overview or summary. Basically they keep starting kinda in the middle and telling you some stuff about a specific topic. It's a little bit like reading *Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman* where you read a variety of individual stories. That works for entertainment, particularly for people who already, in advance, have similar ideas and values. The Sequences do try to teach some significant things that its readers don't know in advance, but those parts are found here and there, not as a concerted or organized educational effort. And there are minor tips/teachings all over, which tend to rely on a bunch of shared background knowledge. They lack calls to action and aren't seriously designed with a goal of people changing or doing much. HPMOR is similar. It teaches scattered pieces without any unified picture. It's implied that there *is* a unified picture re how reason works, and you're getting glimpses of it which are meant to help you understand it, but the presentation itself is mostly bits and pieces.


curi at 11:42 AM on December 13, 2020 | #4 | reply | quote

#3

> I think I found Stark b/c he was on a podcast with Chris Do

Maybe it would be a good marketing strategy to try to get invited as a guest on others' podcasts.

Also, maybe it would be a good marketing strategy to try to get people with large(r) followings to be guests on your podcasts.

What do you think?

> I don't think giving most stuff away is helping with popularity.

I agree. I don't think just making it paid will either, but there are other reasons as you mentioned (and I agree with).

> The thing I intend to sell is like "sign up if you want to learn philosophy" not "sign up b/c you want a discussion forum".

When I first started with FI, signing up to learn philosophy wouldn't have appealed to me. After several years of interaction, it wouldn't have appealed to me. Even now, I'm not convinced enough to do it with something simple like a learning plan.

OTOH I did want a good discussion forum, and I still do. I am a subscriber now & would probably have been earlier if it'd been pitched as a subscription rather than a donation.

Maybe I'm not the target market and I don't understand the target market.

Or maybe the pitch for learning philosophy isn't good enough yet.

Or something else is going on I don't understand.


Andy Dufresne at 8:16 PM on December 13, 2020 | #5 | reply | quote

#5 Podcasts are difficult for several reasons.

I lack credentials and social proof.

I can do two main roles: expert or critic.

I think podcast people broadly don't want criticism.

Typical podcasts involve a mutual effort to make each other look good socially.

I think it's problematic for a lot of people to treat my weird ideas as expertise to learn from.

If they try to debate me, they'll get criticism and look bad.

I can't socially-safely invite other people on my podcast to be an expert because I will disagree with some of what they say and I don't want to hide or suppress that and praise them instead of saying what I really think.

I don't have a large audience to offer as value when inviting people.

I think getting invites overlaps a lot with the problem of getting fans (some fans will have podcasts).

---

Re forum, I think they are generally the blind leading the blind. People overreach and have unproductive debates. Some people find this entertaining. I don't think it's bad compared to a lot of other things. But I don't think it's a big value.

I want to sell what I think is good. I think a forum can be important but not as the starting point for most people. That's one of the reasons to paywall it. People are bad at just taking a forum and then learning a bunch. I want to provide help with actually learning useful stuff.

I think learning "philosophy" is poor branding in our culture. So I may call it something else. I do think a fair amount of people have interest in learning how to think more rationally, and other stuff in that ballpark. I think my material about that can stand out.

To get a larger audience, edu material needs to work better for people who are paying less attention, spending less time on it, taking less initiative, etc. Even people capable of doing those things well, in large amounts, often start with low amounts of them to try things out. A more organized and curated experience will work better for new people, plus some marketing. E.g. the FI essay collection lacks any calls to action. It doesn't guide people on what steps to do next.


curi at 8:56 PM on December 13, 2020 | #6 | reply | quote

#5 BTW I think ur comments/crit/doubts are useful, Andy D.


curi at 9:56 PM on December 13, 2020 | #7 | reply | quote

Andy Dufresne at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2020 | #8 | reply | quote

I made a tree of some of the channels we have been discussing + a couple others I thought of: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lmabaFKJxB0qzkug_XBdNHFyVSZ48cIo/view?usp=sharing


Andy Dufresne at 9:55 AM on December 14, 2020 | #9 | reply | quote

#9 Some stuff not on the tree:

- social media: build following. this is a big way to find ppl today and get fans

this shitty CR group on FB has 6.3k ppl (i assume most members pay ~zero attention. and iirc they had like 5k ppl 5 years ago): https://www.facebook.com/groups/criticalrationalism/

FB has some shitty Oist groups with thousands of ppl too. it's much easier to get free members who don't care on FB.

BTW the FI newsletter has ~750 ppl but i don't think it's within reason to convert 10% to any kind of paying customer. but a few ppl do convert. e.g. a few ppl bought YesNo who haven't written any posts (afaik). i haven't checked how many of them are newsletter readers though, but if they aren't then they probably converted from finding my blog or another website (which would be how they became newsletter readers in the first place anyway).

- social media: meet ppl. find ppl on social media. chat with some. learn about target audience. e.g. read Facebook groups that have something to do with rationality.

- possibility of targeting rich people (some ppl donate millions to dumb, ineffective stuff like their university or lots of dumb charities). what are the motives of rich donors? mostly social status? i imagine some care about doing something useful. IIRC Hayek (mount pelerin society) and Marx got significant funding from rich ppl (maybe just one rich guy each) who liked their ideas.

- also possible to try to provide direct value to rich ppl (improve their lives personally rather than they give money and we do stuff to improve the world).

- could also target businesses. like teach how X type of biz can use Y type of philosophy idea to make more profit.


curi at 10:42 AM on December 14, 2020 | #10 | reply | quote

> BTW the FI newsletter has ~750 ppl but i don't think it's within reason to convert 10% to any kind of paying customer.

That's basically without marketing, and with the newsletters consisting mostly of a bunch of links that most ppl never click on.


curi at 10:43 AM on December 14, 2020 | #11 | reply | quote

There are things people care a lot about that I can help with, like diet/weight loss or getting a date. The weight loss stuff is largely socially acceptable (whereas that's a major problem with the dating advice – ofc the dating advice is socially acceptable *to the woman you get a date with*, but the issue is it isn't socially acceptable to explain various stuff about how social dynamics work to the man/public).

Parenting is another big one but that suffers from more than socially unacceptable advice: it's also really complicated and hard to provide quick wins for (or at least existing TCS type material isn't about quick wins or concrete, practical tips. some could be developed. but existing material is more about general concepts, principles and methods, with some examples).

Biz stuff is another one that could work well. It's a big topic so would need to focus on something more specific.

Focus helps with marketing in general. But part of the power of philosophy is its generality. Can do some of both though. But it's hard to give ppl demonstrations and get them to believe the general method is good. Would need some good ideas about how to convert ppl from e.g. listening about diet to learning general thinking methods. (Ofc you can make money without any such conversion. But I don't want to just help ppl with diet to make money and forget about explaining rationality. I don't want to just use rationality/philosophy as my private competitive advantage over other ppl selling diet advice.)


curi at 11:01 AM on December 14, 2020 | #12 | reply | quote

#8 Yeah the basic theme there was people hate math and don't understand numbers. Speak casually in words people do understand. That's pretty standard.

I don't like Apple's chart with no numbers on either axis. Apple is maybe thinking something like: "ppl are impressed by charts they don't understand, which they assume are real. it doesn't matter if the chart is actually real and meaningful to an expert. what matters is if ppl are impressed and if they will be upset and asking for refunds later, which they won't b/c our M1 chip is actually great so our fake chart is not actually misleading". that's too dishonest and manipulative IMO. it's pandering to ppl's flaws. there's gotta be a good way to communicate numeric advantages, technical seriousness, etc., without using a fake example. i do agree that using a real example – presenting a meaningful chart or other genuine technical artifact – is generally not the right answer for communicating with the general public.

FI doesn't need to have nearly as broad public appeal as Apple goes for, so that makes things easier. E.g. targeting all FI marketing at people who like numbers could be a reasonable decision. It's problematic in that it would exclude some ppl I don't want to exclude. But it'd leave plenty of ppl.


curi at 11:11 AM on December 14, 2020 | #13 | reply | quote

One of the difficulties with marketing FI is the lack of focus. And that's hard to change cuz I like to look at and talk about a variety of things. A forum is one of the types of place where having writing about many topics is expected.

It's also possible to make a more focused thing and just keep this blog to post whatever. But capturing value from most of the stuff would be better.


curi at 11:16 AM on December 14, 2020 | #14 | reply | quote

Another marketing technique is newsletter and related stuff like premade email campaigns (set up a series of articles to be sent out on a particular schedule to new ppl or with some other trigger).

premade emails sent no a schedule is possibly manipulative b/c ur controlling pacing with a robot instead of just giving them stuff to self-pace. (and they often lack dates or any other info saying it's old material, not being freshly sent out as written). but most ppl are awful at self-pacing so it could be seen as helping them deal with a problem they have.


curi at 11:51 AM on December 14, 2020 | #15 | reply | quote

#15 get X (e.g. an article) only if you sign up for newsletter is a common one.

a lot of ppl are really bad at managing their email and it's a little lame to contribute to that mess (a significant percentage of sign ups will not end up wanting to read the emails later and won't unsubscribe either).

in general a lot of marketing is competing over attention in noisy channels. similar to email inboxes, ppl's social media attention is a mess where they get pulled around to different stuff and have trouble controlling what they do and choosing what they want to read/see (they aren't blameless or literally pulled, but they experience it kinda like that).

it'd be nice to find some other channel to interact with ppl that isn't such a mess of things shouting for ppl's attention. but broadly if a lot of ppl pay attention to something then there's already lots of marketing there seeking that attention. some small niches have less marketing, e.g. Objectivism or anti-aging forums.

also lots of marketing has optimization related to common flaws ppl have (can be trying to exploit the flaw or trying to make it easier for someone to succeed despite the flaw). it's nicer to focus on positives and interact primarily with the best parts of ppl.


curi at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2020 | #16 | reply | quote

It seems like there's two kinda separate considerations. I updated the first tree and created a second:

- Where to market (channels)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lmabaFKJxB0qzkug_XBdNHFyVSZ48cIo/view?usp=sharing

- What content to market (focus areas)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uFlIlpFcj1K-IJ5v9wXSrQkIClq44Nxq/view?usp=sharing

The reason I think these are kinda separate is I can see doing ex: diet focused marketing via an email signup, or SEO, or paid placement, etc.

Maybe some focus areas work better in some channels than other. But overall, I think they're kinda independent decisions.


Andy Dufresne at 5:30 PM on December 14, 2020 | #17 | reply | quote

I figure I'll make some things for free, but only a few, periodically, that are intentionally designed to work well for non-customers (accessible without background knowledge; reasonably short; focused on one topic; provides some quick value; call to action). This would start with CF edu material, and later I could do others like a small set of articles+videos about diet, AGI safety. I think, broadly, making other additional stuff free won't help. The issue with recruiting is not quantity of public-facing material.

For members, I'd like to organize some things a bit more to help people make progress on an ongoing basis. Or at least provide some regular stuff to learn from like e.g. a weekly article and video.


curi at 11:20 AM on December 15, 2020 | #18 | reply | quote

patio11 short twitter thread on sales:

https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1339412793687040001

also i just saw this Chris Do video which i will try watching later:

How To Sell Without Being Salesy w/Matt Essam


curi at 2:05 PM on December 17, 2020 | #19 | reply | quote

#19 applying patio11's comment:

ppl want to outsource/delegate "manage my philosophy learning project". they will pay for that. they suck at doing it themselves.

it's a different thing to provide that philosophy ideas, articles, etc. it's different even than particularly education-focused articles. e.g. http://fallibleideas.com/grammar is particularly focused on educating ppl and helping them actually learn the material – much more so than a typical essay that just takes a topic and says some interesting stuff about it (generally including explaining some stuff – there's some edu).

my grammar article doesn't manage your learning project for you. it doesn't manage your schedule. it doesn't find worksheets for you to supplement the few practice problems i included. it doesn't decide for you whether to also do the Peikoff grammar course. it doesn't find some other books and websites for you and guide you which to read, how much, when, and in what manner (e.g. targeted reading about a specific issue you were having trouble with). it doesn't free up your attention so "learn the thing right in front of me using the resources right in front of me" is the only thing you have to think about. *schools do that quite a bit*. a 3rd or 11th grader in a class room is given specific goals, tasks, edu resources, etc. they are told what homework to do, what will be on the test, etc. it's all handed to them. they don't do much project management. (still some, e.g. of their time away from school they or their parents decide when specifically to work on homework – the teacher doesn't control that, her control is mostly within the classroom). universities do less project management than k-12 schools for you, and control your learning experience less, but they still do quite a bit. compared to k-12, universities generally reduce class time hours and hours you spend directly interacting with a teacher (back and forth interaction, not listening to a lecture with 300 other ppl which basically might as well be watching a video), and uni students do stuff more on their own, and that applies more for grad students than undergrad.

this is part of why "courses" have some popularity vs. blog posts. they are bundling in some project management. sometimes not much project management or guidance is included in the "course". but customers are at least hoping to get a more guided experience if they use a course instead of blog posts or doing self-study with some books they have to find (a lot of ppl will do worse at choosing books than searching for and reading several reddit threads giving book recommendations for the exact thing they want – which exit for a LOT of things and often have substantial expertise – and then making reasonable judgment about which advice in the reddit threads is good by looking at who gives reasons that make sense, what common themes accross many responses are, etc. a lot of ppl suck at searching the web and finding useful things like that and also they want a single answer. do X. the end. that's what schools offer generally. reddit threads with book reccs offer *conflicting advice*, which is better if you're a good thinker who cares enough to put in a bit of effort, but a lot of ppl deal with it quite badly. lots of ppl are also bad at using amazon reviews or even choosing between multiple books that come up on an amazon search for a topic. lots of ppl use fucking word of mouth – use a book one friend used and didn't hate. and if none of their friends have learned about something, they're a lot less likely to try to learn about it themselves).


curi at 2:23 PM on December 17, 2020 | #20 | reply | quote

#20

> ppl want to outsource/delegate "manage my philosophy learning project". they will pay for that. they suck at doing it themselves.

I agree if given an X that people want to learn, they (mostly) want to outsource/delegate "manage my X learning project". What you say makes sense.

Do you know how many people already want that with X="philosophy" though? I don't. Maybe this is just terminology again, and if X="rational thinking" there's enough of a ready-made audience.

Or is your plan to convince people to want to learn philosophy, and then convince them to outsource/delegate managing their learning project to FI?

Another consideration you hinted at is people use social considerations to choose who to outsource their learning to. They won't outsource to just anyone. Positive word of mouth from their pre-existing social circle, or social proofs like prestige, titles, and socially valued accomplishments seem to be a significant factor.


Andy Dufresne at 11:02 AM on December 20, 2020 | #21 | reply | quote

#21 I think lots of people don't understand, realize or sometimes admit what they want to delegate and why. But if they don't get external help with certain things, it often results in failure.


curi at 11:04 AM on December 20, 2020 | #22 | reply | quote

Chris Do: Sales Call Technique & Role Play (16min)

I watched it and I think it's good.


curi at 2:17 PM on December 24, 2020 | #23 | reply | quote

curi at 4:27 PM on January 5, 2021 | #24 | reply | quote

Jonathan Stark's top marketing strategy:

https://jonathanstark.com/daily/20210105-2236-email-by-a-mile

Highlights:

>Most effective way I’ve found is:

> Write a free 5-day email course

> Tell people about it

> If nobody signs up, write a better one

How do you tell people?

> I’d go wherever my target readers were already hanging out. Could be a Slack community, a subreddit, a Facebook group, a Twitter hashtag, a LinkedIn group, a listserv, the reviews on an Amazon product listing, etc

...

> Pick a niche market, find their watering holes, be super helpful there. If it’s appropriate, share a link to your email course opt-in form. If it’s not appropriate to share explicitly, link to it in your bio for the platform.


curi at 9:00 PM on January 5, 2021 | #25 | reply | quote

People on Hacker News

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25641205

impressed by this Descript marketing video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl9wqNe5J8U

which may have cost ~$250,000.

I agree it's good. I don't see it as super amazing.


curi at 12:34 AM on January 6, 2021 | #26 | reply | quote

I'm gonna see what this is like: https://www.getdrip.com/forms/985096725/submissions/new

Jonathan Stark is sending one email per day for 10 biz days and set up a Slack server. Starts Jan 11. Free.

The content is something about systematizing your biz. Better processes instead of running around putting out fires.


curi at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2021 | #27 | reply | quote

Some ideas for stuff to sell:

* low numbered nodes -- could have a reserved section, like triple digits (and reserve lower numbers for big/important things). one benefit of this is we immediately get into >= 4 digits, where there's very little marginal utility, and far less reason to spam to get low numbered stuff. (arbitrary versioning/editing of node body/titles would mean 'reserving' stuff would be more valuable, esp with e.g. blog support)

* custom shortlink things / stubs. if someone wants cff.com/s/cff-project to redirect to cff.com/54783 then they might pay for that convenience + the other benefits.

* features like CNAMEs for blogs/etc. That's nice. I want to do that for my blog.

* * on that note, encouraging ppl to use it for stuff like project mgmt could be fine/easy with some supporting features, and would provide other revenue streams and mean more ppl were benefiting from the features/addons we (or others) could build. probs not something to focus on in the near future, but it's a thing we could do.

* private areas? IDK about this one, like it's hard to imagine good use cases. it makes more sense when combined with a cname.


Max at 4:50 AM on January 18, 2021 | #28 | reply | quote

#28 starting nodes at 1000 and saving the low numbers for potential later use makes sense to me. custom short links are a good idea. maybe i should have my own personal namespace of short links like /c/name we could also auto-generate long but human-friendly links for any post with a title like /posts/[title] which ppl might prefer to share over something with a number in it. however we have to worry about duplicate or edited titles. the link solution at curi.us is [num]-[title] and only the number matters for looking up the post, but you get a human readable url this way.

> * features like CNAMEs for blogs/etc. That's nice. I want to do that for my blog.

I'm not sure how this will work given my plan to make it a paid forum. I don't think I want to host people's (presumably public in the sense of free, no paywall) blogs because having a lot of public (free) sections mixed with the private (paid) sections would be more confusing and unfocused. And it'd lead to problems where e.g. someone says X, and if X was in a paywalled section I would reply with Y, but I don't want to give that away, so I treat X as a lower class citizen and reply worse, but many observers don't understand that and think if they wrote something as good as X or less then they would get no reply.

My current plan is to make one public (meaning free) open thread per year, and it'll be easy for people to understand that's being treated differently, it'll be clearly labelled, etc.

Public/private also means "Can I quote or talk about this elsewhere?" The answer to that will be yes in general, and no for a "private" section (no NDA, just requesting ppl not share from that section – btw we should give it a different color scheme so ppl are aware of when they're in that section).

If people want to use this forum software for their own public blog (or private invite-only forum, e.g. internal at a company), my initial idea is we should either sell it or give it away. Then they can host it themselves.


curi at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2021 | #29 | reply | quote

> If people want to use this forum software for their own public blog (or private invite-only forum, e.g. internal at a company), my initial idea is we should either sell it or give it away. Then they can host it themselves.

An alternative idea would be to host two copies ourselves, one for the paid forum and one for a free site where people could put their public blogs. (Not a priority.)


curi at 1:34 PM on January 18, 2021 | #30 | reply | quote

podcast with email marketing info (have not listened):

https://jonathanstark.com/daily/20210118-1703-email-challenge-2021


curi at 2:19 PM on January 18, 2021 | #31 | reply | quote

#29

> I'm not sure how this will work given my plan to make it a paid forum. I don't think I want to host people's (presumably public in the sense of free, no paywall) blogs because having a lot of public (free) sections mixed with the private (paid) sections would be more confusing and unfocused.

Ahh okay. I might have had a different idea of scope. nbd, tho I think.

> I don't think I want to host people's ... blogs

Do you include FI ppl in that? I think it'd be good for us to be able to host blogs there. Mostly because discussion is already happening there (I'm thinking of something of curi.us microblog threads, but more substantial if ppl want).

WRT ppl generally, yeah it makes sense not to host ppls blogs. If there was a reason to do that (income, mb) then it'd be better to do it from different instance/server/etc.

Another thing I thought of selling was disk/storage/attachment space. Like ppl might get an allocation depending on subscription. The economics are a bit difficult if we're storing stuff ~forever and the person leaves, tho. But disk space is cheap. I got a wasabi storage account the other day; they have an S3 compatible API and I was going to use it to integrate like picture upload and stuff. (also they don't charge for egress traffic which is great for a forum)

> My current plan is to make one public (meaning free) open thread per year, and it'll be easy for people to understand that's being treated differently, it'll be clearly labelled, etc.

I think I need to get a better idea of what you have in mind (tho not a blocker atm). I can't remember if you've posted anything relevant about that.

> If people want to use this forum software for their own public blog (or private invite-only forum, e.g. internal at a company), my initial idea is we should either sell it or give it away.

I think keeping an open mind to licensing would be good, though there might be software support and stuff expected then, and open source ppl wouldn't build stuff for it. We can wait and see whether it looks like a good product or not.


Max at 6:26 AM on January 19, 2021 | #32 | reply | quote

> maybe i should have my own personal namespace of short links like /c/name

That sounds sensible. Easy to add.

> we could also auto-generate long but human-friendly links for any post with a title like /posts/[title] which ppl might prefer to share over something with a number in it.

Yeah, that should be easy.

Little aside: I noticed amazon have URLs like this: e.g. <https://www.amazon.com.au/obscenities-and-spam/dp/B08T826HZC/>


Anonymous at 6:29 AM on January 19, 2021 | #33 | reply | quote

#32

> Do you include FI ppl in that? I think it'd be good for us to be able to host blogs there. Mostly because discussion is already happening there (I'm thinking of something of curi.us microblog threads, but more substantial if ppl want).

My current thinking is that people can post a private, members-only blog or microblog, but can't make arbitrary nodes public to non-members.


curi at 12:49 PM on January 19, 2021 | #34 | reply | quote

https://twitter.com/kaschuta/status/1359036955825229825

> Who’s the most underrated [living] public intellectual (so, yes, one that *people in the know* must know about, books published, etc.)?

I'm sure there are many other similar topics.

It gives significant info about how people see public intellectuals and what interests or impresses them. You can take names on the list, esp ones that get repeated, and look at what those people are doing. It's also notable when people give answers that are a poor fit – e.g. someone already very popular as most underrated. They really wanted to promote that person and believe he should be even more popular. Actually most of the answers re underrated were not very obscure people, even though obscure people are going to be the most underrated both in absolute numbers and as a percentage or multiple (e.g. there's probably some guy with 20 fans who merits 1,000,000x more fans, and no one who already has 100k+ fans can compete with that).


curi at 11:05 AM on February 9, 2021 | #35 | reply | quote

patio11 on sales

https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1359952927931068417

Paul Graham:

>> Salespeople do a lot more than sell things. They're often the de facto project managers of their customers. But it suits both parties to give the job a narrow-sounding name that conceals this aspect of it.

patio11:

> Especially in enterprise, the sales job is "convince an enterprise to change a core aspect of their operations FROM OUTSIDE OF IT."

> If you've ever attempted to change an enterprise from the inside, on a topic you have formal authority on, you can appreciate the difficulty level.

> Too often in software we joke about steak dinners, etc etc, and don't realize that the actual work often involves a corkboard (virtual or physical) mapping the nature of power within the target organization, months long social suasion, cultivating local champions, etc.

> Usually industry prefers an anodyne phrase like "stakeholder identification" but the actual work that is being done is "identification of how power actually expresses itself in the real world and learning to influence and/or wield that power."


curi at 1:20 PM on February 11, 2021 | #36 | reply | quote

What people ask for is not what they actually want. Great, simple list of examples from Jonathan Stark:

https://jonathanstark.com/daily/20210211-2100-what-they-want-you-to-do-is-not-what-they-want


curi at 6:23 PM on February 11, 2021 | #37 | reply | quote

good Chris Do vid with Blair Enns with short examples re sales pitches:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMVayexyVlU


curi at 4:29 PM on March 20, 2021 | #38 | reply | quote

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