Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Let's do some commerce

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    I have seen good things said about http://www.patreon.com/ as a way of patronising (in a good way) your favourite web content folks.

    They seem great, but not for us. As I understand it, participation as a creator means publishing your content to their site, and I can't quite get my head around that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    mercantile leverage...
    The Personal Honesty Box - (or jar) beside the computer - every time you feel that something deserves a payment toss a coin in the jar - when filled count and send same amount to PA (or a rotating roster of similar worthies...)

    small change mounts up...
    small changes have an effect
    the more the merrier!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Nice sentiment ; sort of like the busker’s hat on the footpath.
    The age -old conflict between art and survival.
    FG found it easier to accept no payment for art and to work at something else for the survival, thereby obtaining the sort of artistic freedom that is universally desired.

    @Andin;-
    It’s perfectly natural to view the coming of the cold and darkness with some trepidation.
    To maintain a condition of negative entropy takes energy ; energy that comes , in our little corner of the planet, from the sun, which supplies less every day until the shortest day around the 20th of June.
    FG counts himself as fortunate to have a job which pays $25/hr for 80 hours every week , for 52 weeks a year. It’s constant.
    But he had to create the business which pays him that wage ; nobody else would do that.
    And it had to be original, productive, and competitive.
    But that is what creativity is for , isn’t it?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Is your website link your business? a) I buy your milk and bush honey yoghurt a lot. It's excellently yum. b) I never clicked before that it's biodynamic. Don't know why because I'm an assiduous label-reader. Where did you learn BD: Taruna? I'm aiming to do the course one year soon.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Hebe,

    "Is your website link your business?"
    Yes.

    We were lucky to get some on-farm guidance from Peter Proctor back in the 70s. Herbert Koepf was also a visitor, as was Carl Hoffman.
    A lot of it was about making a place to rear some children , and so we were guided by the thesis set out in Karl Ege's book - "An Evident Need of Our Times".
    We were lucky to score an old schoolhouse , which we moved to a paddock , and it all grew from there. We barely survived the '87 crash , but we got a lucky break there when the mortgagee sale was unable to proceed.

    The initial impetus was a desire to save the family farm which my grandfather had started back in the 40s.
    We knew that conventional agriculture was not going to make that possible, so we were open to anything.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    I wonder if you can recall how you came across these products. I would presume that it was not as a result of an advertisement because we have not attempted anything along those lines. Occasionally a business has asked us to sponsor a feature that might have some connection to what we do, but those sorts of things are more in the way of support for the medium , rather than the product, or the business.
    I'm just pondering what Russell is proposing here, and it just throws up questions.
    My assumption has always been that if you are pushing a product that most people neither want , nor need, then you advertise.
    If you go the other way, and produce an item in response to a want or a perceived need , then people who are looking to fill that need will find the item, and if they are satisfied then they will tell others ;that's how we have always worked.
    Growth in this way is organic , manageable , and inexpensive.

    What Russell does here is art : he is a writer.
    Advertising copy and art just seem like strange bed-fellows.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    a product that most people neither want, nor need

    or don't know about

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    "or don’t know about"
    Yes I suppose that there are people who know what they want or need , but don't know where to find it.
    I assumed that anything can be found on the net , but there are some people who don't do that stuff.
    When we launch a new product we just do a few strategic in-store tastings to get the ball rolling , and then let the product grow from there. If it's a good product then word gets around, at least to the extent that it keeps us busy.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    careful with that adze Eugene…

    a product that most people
    neither want, nor need
    or don’t know about
    then you advertise.
    If it’s a good product then word gets around.

    Poor old Advertising started life as the humble act of notification, , a gazetting, or public notice in the journal of record or other ‘database’ of its time – to draw attention to a fact or quality – so that people could make an informed decision.

    Unfortunately it fell amongst hucksters, snake oil peddlers and other purveyors of prevarication to prince and proletarian alike, they stripped the ‘quality and facts’ from the process, and ramped up the ‘draw attention to’ aspect, to eventually become the tawdry beast that primps, preens and solicits before us today…

    Controlling your ‘ad’ catchment may prevent sudden floods of interest, if it is counterproductive to expand, others may take up the field and band together, then we get co-operatives and sometimes they end up as corporations (Fonterra, etc) – which always seems like a death spiral to me.

    Why can’t corporations that metamorphed from co-operatives retain the principle of everyone in the chain getting a fair share, why the greed?
    (I’m looking at You supermarkets, banks, insurance companies, etc)

    Sounds like Farmer Green has found the balance that works for him, which considering its based round Biodynamics makes perfect sense, Steiner was on to many things that create working holistic systems.

    Linux for life maybe?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Poor old Advertising started life as the humble act of notification, , a gazetting, or public notice in the journal of record or other ‘database’ of its time – to draw attention to a fact or quality – so that people could make an informed decision.

    I still believe in that aspect of it. A key part of the reason bFM hangs on is that enough of the advertising is bFM-type people telling other bFM-type people what they’ve got happening (or, to the extent that the creative policy persists, outsiders telling in a bFM voice). Andrew Tidball makes a viable income from gig advertising on Cheese on Toast. The audience for both would be worse off if there were no advertising.

    I’m bugged by the current agency fad for “paid content” or “native advertising” — not because money changes hands but because it’s not credible as content. If you’re offering my readers some prize swag, then maybe you get some words of your choosing published, but no one round here’s going to respond to naked advertorial.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Poor old Advertising started life as the humble act of notification

    That would seem to explain half of how the French "avertissement" came to be a faux ami. Funny how "avertissement" moved towards "warning", while in English "advertisement" became a kind of warped "come hither". Perhaps the French are on to something.... nah, cos they still have ads, just as bad, just under a different name.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Why can’t corporations that metamorphed from co-operatives retain the principle of everyone in the chain getting a fair share, why the greed?
    (I’m looking at You supermarkets, banks, insurance companies, etc)

    Pretty much what happens when private equity - the financial equivalent of junk food, for lack of a better description - dilutes such principles.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I wonder if you can recall how you came across these products...
    I'm just pondering what Russell is proposing here, and it just throws up questions.
    My assumption has always been that if you are pushing a product that most people neither want , nor need, then you advertise.
    If you go the other way, and produce an item in response to a want or a perceived need , then people who are looking to fill that need will find the item, and if they are satisfied then they will tell others ;that's how we have always worked.

    Not to derail the thread Russell -- I shall come back later about yr piece (Greg has requested the rate cards)...

    Farmer, I can't remember how I came across the yoghurt. My best guess is that somewhere back in the mists of time (say the early '90s) I bought it somewhere like Piko -- or very possibly at a supermarket when I sifted the chillers for a decent yoghurt and there was little natural or not-plastic product widely available. That answers the question I guess: not from advertising but from a need (fuelled by living in the UK where good yoghurt was everywhere; and not having the inclination to make it myself). Then the Bush Honey became available down here when my children were about two years old, so consumption in our house rocketed. Then the apple syrup, which I thought sounded yukky until one day the honey and plain sold out. I bought it grumpily and found a new favourite.

    With the kids going to a Steiner school for over a decade until last year, many shared lunches, camps etc were had, and often the yoghurt came along with other people: so that shows me it is a product well-supported by that community -- possibly who know about the biodynamic link.

    How fortunate finding those advisers for your farm at the right time. Looks like your time has come. I have an idea that I'm refining -- but need the land to do it, which is
    the great hurdle now. Though I'm realising that leasing the right spot may be the answer.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    Not to derail the thread Russell – I shall come back later about yr piece (Greg has requested the rate cards)…

    Which should be read as aspirational literature rather than a list of actual prices :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He's a-thinking. Unfortunately though another non-immediate thunk. I feel your pain.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hebe,

    somewhere like Piko

    Spotted some in the fridge there not two hours ago...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    But he had to create the business which pays him that wage ; nobody else would do that.

    Huh!

    The initial impetus was a desire to save the family farm which my grandfather had started back in the 40s.

    Ahh

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    The point being that an insolvent family farm, which is being put up for public auction, is not in a position to provide paid employment for anybody , family member or not.
    And on - call 24/7/52 jobs (which pay reasonably well) are not easy to come by :-)

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Everyone interesting (Islander/Keri for example) has left PAS, bullies like Craig Ranapia who are friends of Russel get free rein - and they know it. I've given up myself. This used to be a good place, but this begging is just shameful. I've had it. Goodbye.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Kracklite,

    Begging? So someone spends a shitload of time and talent on producing something that is unusual, fills a need and provides a good service to quite a number of people, and they should do it for nothing. Eh?

    Russell is trying, like most media outlets and online communities to find a model that enables the site to continue while keeping the very good parts and support his household. Looking at this site, I can see thousands of hours of work. Why should he not derive a decent and stable income from that graft?

    I can't get upset that I don't live up to your expectations re the level of discourse and general interesting-ness: it's all opinion round here. Fact is PAS adds to my life (in a positive way).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Hebe,

    It seems to be a general trend on all the blogs that I have frequented over the last several years, that the rate of dropping out is increasing, and all of those blogs are asking questions about their respective futures.
    Has Peak-Blog already passed? It seems that Facebook and Twitter are displacing some traffic, even though they serve a different function.
    Or is it the absence of any burning issue?
    I mean the imminent collapse into anarchy of Turkey, Thailand , and the Ukraine is just same old, same old , isn't it?
    Are we just encountering the annual drawing inward as winter approaches? That seems unlikely.
    Are we just blogged out? I see Cactus Kate has called it a day.
    Maybe we are just being more selective. Maybe the tendency now is to just read , and not comment.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kracklite,

    Everyone interesting (Islander/Keri for example) has left PAS, bullies like Craig Ranapia who are friends of Russel get free rein – and they know it. I’ve given up myself. This used to be a good place, but this begging is just shameful. I’ve had it. Goodbye.

    I’ll do you the credit of assuming you’re having a very bad day because I have no idea what’s brought this on.

    I would note that when I ask Craig to pull his head in, he does so. By contrast, I had to close a thread after you and another commenter ignored my repeated request that you stop attacking someone else in the discussion.

    And “begging”? “Shameful”? This site has been running for more than 11 years (Hard News itself is headed for a quarter century). It occupies more of my time than any other work I do, and adding discussions made that only more so. I don’t think you have a clue of the commitment this entails. Spare me the lecture. Come back when you’re not so angry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Kracklite,

    [redacted]
    Not helpful.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

    I too am commentless...

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 877 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    throw your alms around me…

    Kracklite –

    Things are strange all over at the moment,
    there is a disturbance in ‘The Force’ ,
    or at least an outbreak of ‘Novelty’
    co-existing with uncloaked realities…

    difficult times
    change and cycles
    chains n sickles
    there’s no logic

    I for one have always valued your comments/contributions, perhaps not always agreed, but I have had my eyes (and mind) opened further by access to a different viewpoint.
    I suspect some shelves of our libraries are very similar, and that despite your observations above, Public Address does give us all ‘Common Ground’ – a welcome respite from the ‘Blasted Heath’ other similar sites can present.
    I see ‘begging’ as just one word on the continuum of ‘asking’ or ‘informing’… I didn’t read any imploring, beseeching or sponging elements into Russell’s post – just a lifting of the bonnet to reveal the engine and the observation that it does need lubricating and powering – ya don’t need to be a Toyota to get the corollary…
    and one can act as one sees fit…

    I don’t mind a tithe to a community I live in
    or access to their attention should I have something to offer
    quid pro quo

    And then again it is sometimes good to pull back and get away from the devices and too much information (I’ve done that myself here).

    go well
    hope to see you back

    peace

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

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