Project Welcome Mat

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Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1233
Project Welcome Mat

Long-time site regulars know that PeakProsperity.com offers an enormous amount of content. But the site is seeing an explosive growth of newcomers, and I've realized that many people have no idea what they are missing. For example:

  • Many people watch the Crash Course but are not even aware of the more advanced topics discussed in the Martenson Reports.
  • Many newcomers never really discover the discussion forums or realize how much they have to offer
  • Some people have actually participated in the forums for weeks before realizing what the Crash Course was or watching it.
  • Those who are not paid (enrolled member) subscribers probably don't have a very good sense of what the Martenson Insider and the Martenson Reports have to offer.
  • Newer enrolled members probably have no idea that there are a few really timeless Martenson Reports from past months and years that are just as applicable today as they were when originally written. There is (presently) no roadmap or reading list to bring newcomers up to speed on post-graduate (after the Crash Course) materials on this site

So an idea was born in another thread: Why not collaborate among a few old-timers to put together a Welcome Mat of sorts - a roadmap introducing newcomers to some of the highlights of this site including a review of the most important timeless works. I really like the idea of doing this as a production of a few volunteers, i.e. not an official Chris Martenson publication. The reason is that I think it sends a very powerful and important message to newcomers: There is a proud community here. We enjoy what is probably the most grown-up, respectful discussion forum on the net, thankfully devoid of the name-calling and ad-hominum attacks that are so common on other websites. In order to maintain and even grow that "community feel", I think it says a lot if a few guys and gals with nothing to gain financially put their heads together on a welcome-to-the-site work of some kind. I would envision it very directly promoting these values of a grown-up community where polite and respectful discourse is the norm.

My concept of this was a written document - a primer on the site or roadmap guide of sorts. User JAG suggested creating a video, which sounds to me like a fantastic idea. Seems to me like the best way to answer the which is better question is to do both. The video would need some sort of script, and the extra work to produce a written roadmap guide from that script would be trivial.

But before we get too far down the path of deciding formats and division of responsibility among volunteers, we need to figure out what the important content is. So let's use this thread as a collaboration center to come up with the most important messages that this welcome guide (written or video) should contain. Here are a few ideas that were brought up in another thread where this was first discussed:

  1. WELCOME MESSAGE - I think it sends a strong and important message to introduce ourselves as a community, to say directly that this was produced by "fans" rather than by Chris himself, and to include a few comments about how we hope newcomers will help uphold our values of polite, respectful discussion in the forums.
  2. REVIEW THE TIMELESS WORKS and offer guidance to help a newcomer find what interests them quickly. WE NEED MORE SUGGESTIONS about what to include, but here's a start:
    1. The Crash Course itself
    2. Six Stages of Acceptance
    3. The Four Horsemen
  3. A Consumer's Guide to Enrolled (Paid) Membership - What do you get for your money, etc. In a video version this could be a guided tour of the enrolled member areas of the site. I think it would be valuable to give newcomers an unbiased perspective to help them decide whether paid membership is worthwhile for them.

Ok, so let's use this thread to discuss:

  • What else should go into a welcome guide to PeakProsperity.com?
  • Who wants to help with this project?

Erik

 

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
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Re: Project Welcome Mat

As I mentioned, Erik, I'd be happy to be involved. I don't know what role I could play, but I'm willing to help.

I would keep it very simple. A written message, certainly. A video, in addition, possibly. A list of people that new users could be encouraged to contact if they have questions seems like a good idea. Try to limit the clutter, and keep it relatively short.

Personally, I think the 3 "timeless works" you suggested are perfect. In addition to the CC, the other two are the ones that sprang immediately to my mind. I'll go back and look at the others, too.

Chris

ckessel's picture
ckessel
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Posts: 460
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Eric,

I agree this will be a big help to those arriving at his site.

The Five Horseman of the Apocalypse was published on Aug 31st, 2009.  I also recommend  "Oil, The Coming Supply Crunch Part 1 and Part 2 on April 5th, 2009.

I have found that many first time arrivals to the CC material have no idea that some of these concepts were originated years ago such as the work of Marion King Hubbert on the nature of Oil Field discovery and extraction. For those wanting to do some study, the reference data would be worth noting.

Let me know what I can do to assist. Thanks!

Coop

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
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Posts: 1233
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Oops - FIVE horsemen, not four. My bad. I like the oil Part 1 and 2 pieces as well.

What other "seminal works" should be on the list?

What else do newcomers generally miss about the site, aside from the older timeless writings?

Erik

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1978
Re: Project Welcome Mat

I'm not a paid member as every cent I have is going toward prepping. I'd like to join, but it's not an option. Others might be in the same condition. So they need to be able to sort through the free general forums to their best use. It's intimidating: where does a newbie start? I recommend the following threads, in this order:

* The Definitive Agriculture/Permaculture Thread

* The Definitive Water Thread

* Food Storage, Lessons Learned and Recommendations

* Off Grid Refrigeration

* The Definitive Alternative Energy and Home Power Thread

* Community Building

* The Definitive Firearms Thread

* The Definitive Tactics Thread

 

And any others you might suggest

joemanc's picture
joemanc
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Posts: 834
Re: Project Welcome Mat

This is a great idea Erik.

Dogs was nice enough to put all of the Definitive Threads into one Thread, though there may be more since he posted this thread.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/consolidated-list-links-existing-pre...

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Re: Project Welcome Mat

I know about the list of "definitive" threads, and yeah  it's a good one. But not all of the threads I found useful as a prepper were labeled "Definitive"  (see my post, above).

JAG's picture
JAG
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Posts: 2492
Re: Project Welcome Mat

I did a little research on adding links to youtube videos, and it looks like you can no longer embed links into the videos themselves. Which means the video would have to be viewed on the youtube site to act as a video directory for CM.com, which isn't very practical. And I doubt CM has the bandwidth available to host the video on his servers.

I'll keep looking for a solution.....Jeff

rocketgirl1's picture
rocketgirl1
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Re: Project Welcome Mat

This is fantastic Eric and thank you moving this idea forward.

I have read enough from other posters and experienced first hand how overwhelming it is to view The Crash Course and then feel the need to share your new reality with others only to be rejected and labled as a bit crazy.  I think it would be helpful to new comers to have some friendly advice to resist the urge to share immediately what you've learned and to take things step by step even tho you feel a sense of urgency.  Maybe a little guidance in moving forward with personal understanding before sharing with others. 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
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Posts: 1233
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Jeff (and other prospective volunteers):

How do you want to proceed? Jeff, you mentioned a desire to make a which I think it great. You'll need to tell us what you need in terms of contribution from other people.

I think we should also do a written piece. I was going to wait for more ideas about what it should contain to be posted here before proceeding to work up a draft, but so far only a few suggestions. Any more out there, on content, format or both?

Thanks,

Erik

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
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Posts: 799
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Here's a (very) rough draft of a potential welcome message. I was going to write a bit more, but really need to hit the rack. Hopefully, this might get the ball rolling, and we can add a written document to the excellent video by JAG. Please feel free to edit freely, or eliminate the whole thing. This is not my best work, but I wanted to get something posted before this thread turned to dust!

Welcome from the CM.com community!

 This welcome comes directly from some of the regular members of CM.com, rather than from Dr. Martenson or his staff, for two express purposes:

 First, and perhaps most important, we are pleased with the community which has developed at this site, and wish to extend our invitation to you to join us.  

 Second, we feel that Dr. Martenson, to his credit, is not terribly fond of self-promotion, so we thought that we might reach out to new visitors and encourage your participation, particularly as a paid (enrolled) member.

 Most, if not all, of us were originally drawn to this site to view the “Crash Course”.  Many of us have stayed, to expand upon the concepts of the “Crash Course”, to discuss current events as they relate to the “3 Es” or impact our lives, and to work together to envision a more sustainable future.  If the “Crash Course” were all that was available on this site, it would serve as a one-stop resource only.  Instead, with a vibrant online community, we feel that CM.com has become a site unlike most that you will find online.

 While Dr. Martenson and his staff have provided useful guidelines, and more importantly, excellent examples to follow, we community members feel that we have also contributed greatly to the success of this site.  In the forums, and in responses to such items as “Martenson Reports” and the “Daily Digest”, we try to adhere to the goals of being objective, factual, relevant, and respectful.  We readily admit that we do not always live up to these goals, but we do aspire to them.

 A brief word about membership.  Becoming a registered member is easy, free, and safe.  Registered membership allows you access to a high resolution version of the “Crash Course”, special content such as abridged versions of the “Martenson Reports”, the majority of the forums, and the ability to respond with your own comments.  

 Becoming an enrolled member requires a fairly nominal investment ($300 for one year, with shorter terms available), and includes additional benefits to include the “Martenson Insider”, unabridged versions of the “Martenson Reports”, timely alerts and updates, podcasts, and access to the enrolled section of the forums.  For those of us that are enrolled members, we obviously feel that this investment has been worthwhile, and would encourage you to join us, if only on a trial basis.

It is our sincere hope that you will find what you are looking for on this site, ask the questions that you need answered, and will feel welcome to continue to participate in this ongoing, most important, dialogue.

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 460
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Christopher,

I like your "welcome mat" intro. Well done!  Very sincere and friendly. 

We may want to devise a way for persons to connect up with others in their area which has been discussed before I think. Not sure about the best way to accomplish this aspect but for those willing to be contacted we may devise a map of sorts.

I see it is 1:00AM so I am cooked for the day myself.  More later.

Coop

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1233
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Chris,

Thanks for keeping this rolling! I liked the welcome message you wrote. I do think it needs to be supplemented with a suggested reading list of the most "timeless" pieces as discussed earlier in this thread, but that's a pretty easy change. I liked what you said about being factual, etc, but I wonder if we should strengthen that statement even more? I feel that the civility of these forums is a real differentiator. I wonder if after your words that we aspire to those values, we might add a statement like "As you join our community, please keep this in mind and help us maintain this site's reputation for civility and maturity by taking Dr. Martenson's posting guidelines to heart, and helping us to uphold our standards of not allowing forum discussions to devolve to the level of name calling and ad-hominum attacks that are sadly the norm on so many other websites."

But what I think we really need is a clear decision on format. My original vision was a written welcome message exactly along the lines you proposed. But then Jeff suggested a video and my opinion was "on the fence" between written and video. But after seeing what an outstanding job Jeff did with the "Eyes Wide Open", I was sold.

Jeff: Are you still up for doing a welcome video separate from the Eyes Open video you already did? IMHO if Jeff is still willing, the video is much more compelling than a few written words. Here's how I imagine it:

(fade in)

Rapid-fire opening montage with music overlay, like the stuff in Jeff's "Eyes Wide Open" video, but much shorter durations - say 5 to 10sec max. But maybe instead of mostly people like Bernanke and Paulson in the montage, include some clear references to topical subjects that get discussed here - Peak Oil. Permaculture. Debt Deflation. Hyperinflation. And so on. Maybe include some screen shots from forums with catchy titles to achieve this effect.

(end music overlay, slow down the pace of changes in video image)

(narrator reads something very close to Chris' proposed text in reply #10 above) as a slower--paced video presents relevant images to the narration. For example, could have a screen capture of going thru the registration and enrolled membership sign-up screens as the narration covers those topics.

Include suggested learning syllabus with narration, as video shows the relevant pages of the site coming up. Narration might go something like this:

We strongly recommend everyone start with the Crash Course (video shows navigating to CC viewer). From there, we suggest reading some of Dr. Martenson's best writing, such as The FIve Horsemen (video shows that MR on the page, maybe illustrates how to find it with search box), Six Stages of Awareness and The Shell Game parts 1 and 2. From there we suggest you check out Dr. Martenson's suggested reading list (video shows essential books page), and from there we recommend purusing the various "Definitive" threads in the forums.
(transition from narration back to music and rapid-fire montage of forum topics and views of Martenson Insider and Martenson Report pages)
(end with the same final slide Jeff used in Eyes Wide Open, but change "Join the conversation at" to "Welcome to" above CM.com logo)
Jeff, are you still up for this? How can the rest of us help?
Erik
JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Re: Project Welcome Mat

Erik & Chris (and others),

After the feedback from Land on the Eyes video, I think its critical to have a whole series of videos that explore the content on this site, and I'm still willing to do it. There still are some technical issues with linking from the video that I need to resolve,  I feel its very important to get people to the information that they want as quickly as possible, and embedded links are very effective at this.

I do have some time constraints, as I have quite a few business related projects due this summer. But I will really enjoy working on this so I will make time. I will also need to purchase some specific stock footage and some royalty-free audio as well. To do a nice series of videos, I'm probably going to need to purchase around $500 of stock footage and music. I can probably swing this cost myself spread out over several months, but if your going to want the videos soon, I will need some help with finances. Perhaps Dr. M could create a paypal donation button specific for these projects.

We should also use this thread to consolidate ideas for the content of the videos. I really like both Dr. Peters and Erik's suggestions. We need more ideas.

Best....Jeff

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2210
Re: Project Welcome Mat

I like all the above ideas (and Dr. Peters' welcome message).  I'll help out however I can (incl. a little cheddar if we get a paypal donation deal set up).

Viva -- Sager

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1233
Re: Project Welcome Mat
JAG wrote:

Erik & Chris (and others),

After the feedback from Land on the Eyes video, I think its critical to have a whole series of videos that explore the content on this site, and I'm still willing to do it.

Jeff,

That's fantastic! My hat is off to you, both for the excellent work already done on the Eyes video and for your interest in keeping the ball rolling with this project.

Although I started this thread, I feel that you are in a much better position to "run with it", and your creative talent in the video arena speaks for itself. So please, consider yourself the Captain of this thread and this project. I and several others want to help, but I think there needs to be a clear "person in charge of the project". While I might have been the heir apparent as the one who started the thread, I think you're better qualified and I'm quite certain you have more creative talent.

So please let the rest of us know what we can do to help! I'd be happy to narrate (you said you specifically wanted help with that), but am not offended if someone else wants to. I'd also be willing to make a small contribution toward your direct costs as I'm sure others would be willing to do as well. But my suggestion is to check with CM first. He may already have whatever you need and thus save the need for buying something new.

This is corny, but I can't resist...

Captain Jeff of the Sheeple and for the Sheeple, please tell the rest of us Sheeple what you need from us! We're at your disposal!

-Erik

 

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Re: Project Welcome Mat

I loved JAG's "Open Your Eyes" video, and think that a welcome video would be good. I would still recommend a short written introduction, I think, if only because hyperlinks could be included, directing, for example, to some "suggested reading". These items could include the "classics" that Erik previously mentioned, as well as to the forum guidelines.

If a written introduction is used, it does not necessarily need to be based upon what I wrote. If someone would like to modify it, please feel free! In the end, if this is to be welcome message from our community, input from any members of our community is welcome.

JAG, if you decide to do another video (with or without a written message), I'll be happy to finance it. BTW, did you receive my PM regarding Waimea?

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