How do we get more people to come to Indietalk?

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
You said in your original post that you think forum members have fractured off into other places like Facebook. I am not a Facebook user, so I have no idea what the filmmaking discussions look like on that platform. Do you think more people participate on Facebook than they do here?

I applaud your effort to get more engagement. As I said, I love filmmaking. I love talking to filmmakers. I also love just reading the thoughts that other filmmakers have. I'm not sure how you get this place to become more than it already is.

Participate, no. Schill, yes. That's the indietalk difference. This place is about the community, and those other places especially facebook and twitter seem to cater more to people who just run into a room, yell, look at me, look at me, and then run out. In my mind a more robust community that develops over time is far more rewarding. I feel that for indie film people our greatest weakness is how we're all divided up into tiny groups without much collective horsepower. I'm working to the best of my ability to create a sensible way to approach that, but it really requires conversation, and I can't get that within the 2 second attention span ecosystems created by the likes of twitter.

I don't want this place to be more than it is. But I do want more people here. The reason being that it's a great place to network on a deeper level, where you can kind of learn about the personalities as opposed to just hash tagging everything into a monosyllabic checkbox. Personalities are important when you are trying to find people to collaborate with. I've spent, and am spending, real time here getting to know people, and I just don't have much interest in the shallow and purely self promotional aspects of many social media sites. To be fair, that's more of a problem with the modern world than it is with any one specific site, but on the other hand, we do see things working correctly here. People having real discussions with some weight and consequence.
 
I don't want this place to be more than it is. But I do want more people here. The reason being that it's a great place to network on a deeper level, where you can kind of learn about the personalities as opposed to just hash tagging everything into a monosyllabic checkbox. Personalities are important when you are trying to find people to collaborate with. I've spent, and am spending, real time here getting to know people, and I just don't have much interest in the shallow and purely self promotional aspects of many social media sites. To be fair, that's more of a problem with the modern world than it is with any one specific site, but on the other hand, we do see things working correctly here. People having real discussions with some weight and consequence.
I think this is very well said and I agree with you. It is a much bigger issue than just this forum. A superstar/influencer mentality has dominated our culture since the 70's. At its core, it's a culture that revels in recognition more than accomplishment. In fact, I would suggest that in the US, we have a population that is barely able to discern accomplishment these days.

As a boy growing up in NYC, I knew people that aspired to be great waiters and to work at the premium restaurants in NY. I can't imagine there are any people in our country anymore that aspire to be great waiters. In the city of Angels where I live now, they pretend to be waiters while they work on their screenplays or acting classes or connections. I'm torn about that ethos. In some ways it makes sense: work at what pays the bills to chase what you really have a passion for. Maybe this is actually a good thing that so many are chasing their dreams? How many previous generations never had the opportunity to or even felt they could take a chance to chase? However, I am suspicious that film and tv is where they landed. If you care about craft, aren't there a whole host of professions you could waiter while you work on becoming an accomplished whatever? Couldn't waitering itself be one of those? Only a very very small percent will ever be superstars and I suspect a large percentage of the dream chasers want recognition, not the accomplishment that comes with great craft. In the meantime, it's hard to get really good service when I go out to eat.

Much as he's maligned, I admire Tom Cruise. He began life as a superstar and has been working ever since to perfect his craft.

So, your main goal is more people here and the kind of people that stick around and have meaningful conversations. Curious if you have a number in mind?
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
more like a fraction of a number. I personally need to round up about 200 people for what I want to do. I'm convinced that there are tens of thousands out there that might want to join, I just don't have an effective way to reach them. If there were a few thousand people here, I'd likely be able to succeed in finding the 1 in 100 that is a perfect fit.
 
Alright then.

I see over 28K people are members of this forum. Right now, there are almost 300 visiting, only 6 are members.

When you say a few thousand, do you mean a few thousand additional members (over the 28K already registered) or that at a given moment a few thousand are actively visiting the site, whether they be members or not... or something else?
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
since I can't have much of a conversation with passive viewers, really only people that are signed in count. so that number 6, that frequently ranges between 1 and maybe 12, I need that number to be 3-5000. Then my life would become easier. Last week I worked over 80 hours, many of which was spent jumping from place to place to place across the internet, trying to find these "Missing filmmakers" in every country of the world. All I'm looking for are people who want to be creative, but are disenfranchised, so basically this should be about 99% of the creative population. And to be fair, the join rate has been very high. I guess that's why I'm so frustrated. About a third of people I've talked to for any length of time have already joined. And if I had the ability to repeat this process across a wider audience, I have no question that the project would succeed, and I could finally escape the viscous cycle of being too poor to work effectively.
 
Well @Nate North , I certainly don't want to be a damper on your ambitions, but it seems to me going from 12 people to 5,000 would be quite a stretch. Also, if indeed 5,000 people were to be signed into the site, using your 1 in 100 ratio, that would net 50 people for your project.

I'm curious why the need for an intermediary site like IndieTalk? Why not drive traffic directly to your website? Ads on ProductionHub and Craigslist could get you some candidates. If you're willing to spend a little bit of money, you can buy targeted audiences on FaceBook and drive even more candidates that way. As you say, you need to talk to potential candidates to see if they are a fit, but you seem to have built the capability for chat already. Why increase the membership here instead of directly on your own site?
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Well @Nate North , I certainly don't want to be a damper on your ambitions, but it seems to me going from 12 people to 5,000 would be quite a stretch. Also, if indeed 5,000 people were to be signed into the site, using your 1 in 100 ratio, that would net 50 people for your project.

I'm curious why the need for an intermediary site like IndieTalk? Why not drive traffic directly to your website? Ads on ProductionHub and Craigslist could get you some candidates. If you're willing to spend a little bit of money, you can buy targeted audiences on FaceBook and drive even more candidates that way. As you say, you need to talk to potential candidates to see if they are a fit, but you seem to have built the capability for chat already. Why increase the membership here instead of directly on your own site?
That's a perfect question, and of course I've thought of all of that. I am running this project on $200 a month. I live in the poorest town in Indiana, no hyperbole, that's from census data. I know people that drop 40k a year into a slot machine, but aren't impressed enough with my work to give me 10 dollars in funding. I saw a guy on youtube that got paid 16 grand to sleep for 7 hours. I have not recieved one cent of help in 6 months. There are all kinds of better solutions if I could make any money, but I can't. I just did a client job to try to make money, and he stiffed me on the bill. It's maddening, so I'm trying to work with what I have, and succeed regardless of the adversity.

I am building my own site up this very night, and have been for a while, and it may well serve as a recruitment hub once complete. Facebook and Instagram pages will be up within days, so maybe that will accomplish something. But this place is special, because I have found it attracts a certain type of person that's really perfect for my team. It attracts my kind of people. I'll try every permutation possible in time, but I am incredibly overloaded with very little help right now, jumping from role to role an average of 14 unpaid hours per day, 7 days a week. I passed out at my desk this morning and woke up sitting upright in my chair.

I'm actually an expert advertiser, and have years of experience running targeted AdWords campaigns, but no resources to follow that most logical path.

I'll actually continue this though in a seperate post. This has been a fairly upbeat thread, and I don't really want to spoil it. I rarely talk about money because it's become such a sore spot since I ran out of it. My thoughts on the matter trend toward the depressing, so I'll put them somewhere else.
 
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If there were a few thousand people here, I'd likely be able to succeed in finding the 1 in 100 that is a perfect fit.

All I'm looking for are people who want to be creative, but are disenfranchised, so basically this should be about 99% of the creative population.

I am incredibly overloaded with very little help right now, jumping from role to role

You're looking at this all wrong. :scared:

On the one hand, you're looking for people who are "creative, but ... disenfranchised" ; on the other, you're wishing there were more people on this forum, which essentially translates to individuals having made a decision to become un-disenfranchised by joining a forum. And following the maxim "like attracts like" I reckon a quick survey of all the active members here would reveal that the vast majority are "incredibly overloaded with very little help" - and still you hope they'll find time to add something else to their day?

I'm curious about your project. I used to read the CYOA books (always bought for my brother, never for me, don't know why) but found them a bit too rigid, so decided to write and "publish" my own - a genuine one-off edition, typed on an old-school typewriter, with hand-drawn artwork, and properly bound in a hard-cover, then given to my brother as a birthday present ... - but I haven't even got around to reading your presentation on the project because you start so many different threads about different things (although, like this one, it's beginning to seem like they're all about the same thing).

I don't fault you for wanting to use Indietalk to stimulate interest in your project - I joined for exactly the same reason (although I still haven't got around to writing the post that'll mine "out there" to be picked apart. Overloaded with little help, am I). But your posts create an impression of someone who's unable to switch off and chill for a while; that this project is your whole life right now; and - as you've already observed in creating this thread - Indietalk is not the frenetic mosh pit of Facebook or Reddit or Twitter, so it's hardly the place to find anyone who'll invest as much time and energy into your idea as you do.

The idea that you only need "a fraction" of some big number is classic marketing doctrine, and not at all suited to your needs. It's based on fundamental consumerism: plonk your apple cart in a busy street on market day and you only need a fraction of the thousands of people there to want to buy overpriced apples in order to make a huge profit. It's the same line peddled by dating apps - trawl through thousands of profiles and you'll eventually find The One. And yes, it works as a money-making scheme, but it's not creative, and it repels the creative types.

That's not an effective strategy for what you want to achieve. I have an acquaintance who makes one particular type of musical instrument. He lives in a remote rural area : passing traffic zero. He makes four instruments per year, selling each one for about 10k. His orderbook is full for the next ten years. He doesn't need a fraction of some big number to keep busy, he just needs to put himself in the same space as the kind of person who (a) has the talent to appreciate what he does; and (b) the patience to wait for something that is far superior to anything else.

So instead of chasing after a fraction of the least suitable candidates for your project in places that are full of people doing things "the old way", take a break, take several steps back from what you're doing, and focus your energy on finding the right pool of talent for the project. Chances are, it won't be on any platform with "film" or "movie" in the name.
 
Do you think more people participate on Facebook than they do here?

Yeah. I'm in an Australian invite only soundies group on Facebook that has more activity than this site. There's also a couple of Facebook film jobs groups in Australia that are busier than here too.... So collectively speaking, it's easy to say Facebook has more people participating than here. I've been in a couple of actors groups and they have conversations going non stop. Busy as. These all pulling from a population of only 25 million. I'm sure other trades in film would have their own thing.

I remember a professional soundies forum that was very busy. I think it was jbsoundgroup off the top of my head. I don't know how busy it is these days.

I know people that drop 40k a year into a slot machine, but aren't impressed enough with my work to give me 10 dollars in funding.

I have not recieved one cent of help in 6 months. There are all kinds of better solutions if I could make any money, but I can't. I just did a client job to try to make money, and he stiffed me on the bill. It's maddening, so I'm trying to work with what I have, and succeed regardless of the adversity.

I rarely talk about money because it's become such a sore spot since I ran out of it.

Open another thread if you prefer not to pollute this thread... You are sounding sour.... but I do have to ask. What exactly are you trying to achieve?
 
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I just did a client job to try to make money, and he stiffed me on the bill. It's maddening, so I'm trying to work with what I have, and succeed regardless of the adversity.
I'm very sorry to read this about getting stiffed. It makes me very upset to hear when someone takes advantage like that. Yes, all you can do is press on.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
IDK what the answer is but im pretty sure its not about giving people more opportunities to socially interact with me.
aka increasing my post rate is not the solution

an annual film festival might get people to submit and post
a youtube channel with weekly indie film making tips could drum up traffic
an indietalk facebook group might help to redirect traffic here.. it could automatically post links and titles to new threads to keep the facebook page up to date

i think the strength of indietalk is that people can follow your projects and know who you are and how you grow or accomplish things... with those facebook groups i never get any feeling of community. every post is from a stranger. or people trying to sell something that spam posts on a semi-daily basis.
 
IDK what the answer is

If you don't want to go down the simple commerce route (people like to buy stuff)...

The best way for a forum is to create relatively unique conversations that people want to get involved with. More often than not, deep conversations.

Virtually no one wants to answer the same question over and over again. No one wants to get involved with conversations that have no interest to them. No one wants to get involved with dull ramblings or crazy thoughts. Most won't get involved with conversations that are full of inside jokes/references. No one wants advice that if followed, will send their career down the toilet. No one wants to get involved in conversations that are dominated by people who think they know everything, and shout down those who do know better.

Creating conversations, debates and helping users form quality ideas that positively help them with their chosen path. These are the conversations that help create lasting value and keeps people coming back.

It takes a lot of hard work from smart, talented people.

Indietalk lost a fair bit of their braintrust a while back when there were a lot of new people coming through. From what I saw, it protected the new (who usually left when they realized Indietalk wasn't a shortcut and they needed to work hard and smart) over protecting the experienced. An example of this was APE (I think it was him). A flash in the pants came through, making lots of inane posts, strumming up drama. I have to admit, the drama was interesting, but you lost one of your most valuable long term members over the guy who got bored and left.

We could always invite Harmonica 44 back...

He made my blood boil. For some reason, that dipshit triggered me. I ended up getting a permanent ban from my interactions with him. Later on, the owner of the site banned him and asked me to return, but the damage has already been done. I'm just not that into this site as I once was.

You have to figure out what the site is. Work out what's valueable to the site. I've always believed it was the experienced users who were the most valuable. That being said, it's not for me to decide.

As I said, it takes a lot of hard work. You need to decide whether it's worth it.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
You're looking at this all wrong. :scared:

On the one hand, you're looking for people who are "creative, but ... disenfranchised" ; on the other, you're wishing there were more people on this forum, which essentially translates to individuals having made a decision to become un-disenfranchised by joining a forum. And following the maxim "like attracts like" I reckon a quick survey of all the active members here would reveal that the vast majority are "incredibly overloaded with very little help" - and still you hope they'll find time to add something else to their day?

I'm curious about your project. I used to read the CYOA books (always bought for my brother, never for me, don't know why) but found them a bit too rigid, so decided to write and "publish" my own - a genuine one-off edition, typed on an old-school typewriter, with hand-drawn artwork, and properly bound in a hard-cover, then given to my brother as a birthday present ... - but I haven't even got around to reading your presentation on the project because you start so many different threads about different things (although, like this one, it's beginning to seem like they're all about the same thing).

I don't fault you for wanting to use Indietalk to stimulate interest in your project - I joined for exactly the same reason (although I still haven't got around to writing the post that'll mine "out there" to be picked apart. Overloaded with little help, am I). But your posts create an impression of someone who's unable to switch off and chill for a while; that this project is your whole life right now; and - as you've already observed in creating this thread - Indietalk is not the frenetic mosh pit of Facebook or Reddit or Twitter, so it's hardly the place to find anyone who'll invest as much time and energy into your idea as you do.

The idea that you only need "a fraction" of some big number is classic marketing doctrine, and not at all suited to your needs. It's based on fundamental consumerism: plonk your apple cart in a busy street on market day and you only need a fraction of the thousands of people there to want to buy overpriced apples in order to make a huge profit. It's the same line peddled by dating apps - trawl through thousands of profiles and you'll eventually find The One. And yes, it works as a money-making scheme, but it's not creative, and it repels the creative types.

That's not an effective strategy for what you want to achieve. I have an acquaintance who makes one particular type of musical instrument. He lives in a remote rural area : passing traffic zero. He makes four instruments per year, selling each one for about 10k. His orderbook is full for the next ten years. He doesn't need a fraction of some big number to keep busy, he just needs to put himself in the same space as the kind of person who (a) has the talent to appreciate what he does; and (b) the patience to wait for something that is far superior to anything else.

So instead of chasing after a fraction of the least suitable candidates for your project in places that are full of people doing things "the old way", take a break, take several steps back from what you're doing, and focus your energy on finding the right pool of talent for the project. Chances are, it won't be on any platform with "film" or "movie" in the name.
Took me a minute to get around to answering this, as usual, I have way too much to say about everything, and I was concerned that if I responded to a couple of these posts I could end up with a novel instead of a nights work.

But I'll try to respond as briefly as I'm capable of.

paragraph 1, not sure we're on the same page here, some semantics issues clouding the meaning

paragraph 2 - "but found them a bit too rigid, so decided to write and "publish" my own" lol. I think maybe you should read some of my materials, this sounds like a case of "Great minds think alike" lol. Making a CYOA story that is not rigid, is literally one of the primary goals of the entire project. Almost no one has ever done it. The design was simply to fix that one core problem of the CYOA medium, and present it in a way that would be new and interesting to modern audiences, while being self sustaining. Along the way I figured out how to make it a training and develpment portal for aspiring storytellers and artists that face the all too common problem of simply not having enough help to make it up the first few rungs of the ladder.

paragraph 3 - Yes, I'm an intense person, always have been. but mosh pit intense is different than Dave Gilmore intense. I'm not looking for a more frenetic site, I'm just looking for more of what's already been working. I understand your perception of "stop what you're doing and work on my project" but that's not the whole story in this case. I've intentionally built a system that isn't mine, but ours. I'll be directing the beginning of the project and getting the foundation set in stone, but it's built from the ground up to allow others to grow their ideas inside an ecosystem that isn't designed around one person. It's also set up to be a mentoring community in it's way. I'd be better off typing more information like this into the site rather than here.

paragraph 4 - I understand what you're saying, but I think you went overboard from a turn of phrase. I'm able to think outside standard business tropes, but also, I will need a larger audience before I can grow something like this. Much larger.

paragraph 5 - I follow this concept, but it won't work for what I'm doing. I could probably succeed by making extremely detailed oragami figures and selling them at auction, but my goals are different, and I basically need an army

paragraph 6 - This is good advice, thanks, just clear and interesting.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
What exactly are you trying to achieve?

I definitely appreciate the genuine interest. It's just such a long answer. I've been struggling to best encapsulate this answer for a while now.

I want to create several things at once, an incredible film that defies the rules of the medium, a meritocracy where creatives can gather to be part of something larger than themselves, a system in which I can give as much as I take, a content studio where the opportunities to advance are real, and a society where previously dominant factors like money and location don't have so much power to stop any one from simply building a story and sharing it with others in a way that's actually worthwhile. So vauge. But I have thought this through on a level I'm not seeing elsewhere, and I want to see what happens, so I'm doing it.

This is why a place like this is a good fit for me, and why I wish the group was larger. My concept doesn't fit onto a banner ad, or a facebook meme. It's big. It takes a lot of explaining, and on the other end, a lot of time to understand. Like if you wanted to pitch GOT and no one had ever seen it. What do you say to a 10 second attention span community? "There's a bunch of people and no main character and they are standing next to a wall and then after 50 hours and 2 billion dollars of your networks money, there will be some dragons" doesn't really sound investible using that description right?

I have been working on an entire site that answers this exact question in detail, due to it's unfinished nature, it's still a bit confusing, but in case you're interested

 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Also, I am a curious person, and know nothing about Harmonica 44. Can someone enlighten me as to this legendary figure in Indietalk history?

I went back and read some posts but there were almost 7 thousand, so I feel like I should just ask someone who experienced whatever you're talking about.

Who was Harmonica 44, and why do you all fear his return? Was he a man of great stature who overshadowed the accomplishments of thousands? Was he the worst filmmaker of all time? I literally know nothing about this guy. Must have missed an era in there somewhere.

I did pick one post at random out of the 7000 and read it. Seemed to be a lot of people facepalming over and over as they tried to explain extremely basic concepts to a brick wall.
 
I did pick one post at random out of the 7000 and read it. Seemed to be a lot of people facepalming over and over as they tried to explain extremely basic concepts to a brick wall.
That sums him up, right there! His gift was starting topics that drew a lot of people in. He didn't get mad, but sometimes it was hard to tell if he was putting on an act or not, because he drove a lot of people crazy by making them repeat the same concept over and over.
 
I have been working on an entire site that answers this exact question in detail

Just to clarify, you're crowd sourcing your own film or are you trying to build a platform to let people crowd source their own films? Is this the Tech CEO thing you mentioned in the other thread? or was that another business?

know nothing about Harmonica 44. Can someone enlighten me as to this legendary figure in Indietalk history?

The best way I can explain h44. He was a stain on your underwear that not only didn't wash out, you couldn't remove the stink. Contributes nothing but manages to make your life hard at the same time. A wannabe filmmaker who never found an excuse he didn't fall in love with. That's h44 in a nutshell. If I had an employee who's greatest contribution to a project is to stand in the corner and not breathe, it'd be h44.

One thing he has was a talent that made people pay attention. Much like a fatal crash on the side of the road. It's a wreck but you just can't stop looking.

Someone summed him up a while back. They used that song, "There's a hole in my bucket". It's him. He starts with a hole in his bucket and even with every solution, you end up with a problem anyway.

I co-owned a business a while back. I had an applicant once. I made a bet with the other owner that I could take the worst possible applicant and with the right training, opportunity and motivation, turn them into a valuable, contributing staff member. No matter how simple the task, no matter the motivation, no matter how in depth and personalised the training was, I came to the conclusion, I'd rather have someone who could only drool in the corner than this guy. Needless to say, I lost the bet... and my sanity. H44 was worse. Much, much worse. With the experienced between this person and h44, I have zero tolerance for incompetence or excuses and I have no time for anyone I consider a waste of space.

I did pick one post at random out of the 7000 and read it. Seemed to be a lot of people facepalming over and over as they tried to explain extremely basic concepts to a brick wall.

Sounds like h44 on a good day.
 
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