Author Topic: FREE PDC  (Read 3267 times)

Offline jr doyle

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« on: December 18, 2014, 11:33:10 AM »
found this site that offers free pdc course in the form of videos. they also offer a design certificate for 525$ has anyone ever heard of open permaculture? if so any thoughts? if not maybe a good resource for others.


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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 12:17:49 PM »
This free PDC from Open Permaculture/Regenerative Leadership Institute seems to pop up on the forum from time to time. I signed up for it last year or even before that and never got past the first three lecture videos. The lectures are very long and while Larry Korn is a well-respected permaculture teacher who studied under Fukuoka himself, he tends to ramble and his speaking style put me to sleep. After listening to 3+ hours of videos, I hadn't learned anything practical or actionable. Maybe the videos get better, but there are only 9 or 10 on there IIRC.

I've learned more about permaculture basics from Jack's YouTube videos or the videos on Geoff Lawton's site. When I get around to taking my PDC, I'll either do Geoff's online PDC or the PermaEthos online PDC when they get all the kinks worked out and start offering it to non-founders.

I'm sure there are still some nuggets in the Open Permaculture one and you can't beat the $0 price, but I would sign up for the free videos and watch a few of them before spending $500 on their certificate. Just my $0.02

Offline Black November

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 04:47:58 PM »
Some of the resources/info has gotten much better. I have found some good stuff.

My biggest complaint is that once you sign up, they Spam the crap out of you. Use a junk email or be prepared to get 5-6 emails a day.

Offline surfivor

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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 09:24:46 AM »

 The Larry Korn PDC seems to be disabled .. It does not send me an email for password recovery and the page says "registration disabled"

 I had watched some of these videos before. I would be interested in a similar PDC or anyone that you can do at your own pace even if it was not free.

This is the site page I found now:

reddit page that says site is spam:

Offline I.L.W.

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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 09:09:18 PM »
It's not malicious spam (they're not trying to scam anyone). However, I would not expect this to be worth the effort. It just strikes me as someone who doesn't understand how to market a business online.

The site design is a bit sophomoric and looks like a canned website template from any of the generic "turn-key" online business suites people fall for. If anyone's ever pitched you an eBook written by someone else or tried to make $10,000 a week selling vitamins from home, this is the crap they get duped into buying to "grow their business". It means the would-be entrepreneur is a moron.  I kinda feel sorry for the guy. There are good intentions behind it, but it's pitched like a 2:00AM Japanese Infomercial.

General advise for online sales:

• Never post customer testimonials on your own site. Everyone with brain cells (plural) automatically assumes it's bullshit. There's inherent bias as you won't undermine your business by posting negative comments. Even if all your reviews are genuinely positive, it only has value when moderated by a third party.

• The word "FREE" in a 30pt font is a huge middle finger to your audience. You're basically telling them "here's the stuff I can't sell, it's of no value, please spend 30+ hours reviewing it". It's ok to offer free content, but just put it out there on YouTube, and Facebook with a link back to the site, offering premium content for those who want more. The problem is over-emphasizing "free" reduces the perceived value. Rather than registering to receive something for free, give them the free shit up front and let them register if they actually like it. It's online etiquette. In today's world, you can verbally assault someone online, attack their religion, their political views, tell them that their kids are ugly... but asking for an email address up front is crossing a line and getting way too personal.

• Email is not for your customers, it's for your customer's grandmothers. Seriously... Again, there is nothing wrong with the medium, but people today will aggregate what they want to receive, usually through a third party like Google Alerts, Feedly, or an RSS reader. They may get an email, but they will get one a day, or one a week (whatever THEIR preference is). It will be filtered based on their interests, mixed with other notices from other sources, and ordered based on their priorities.

• The WhoIS seems sketchy. It's a common practice to hide details about the registrant and keep it anonymous. That's normal. However, you have the option of still showing a name. It's not a bad idea to link back to a LinkedIn page, something that ties a personal identity to the site. This tells me "If I get screwed out of money, I'll waste two months trying to subpoena records from a company in Canada before I even know who I'm supposed to talk to". It's a fine line between protecting your privacy as a webmaster and business owner, and remaining transparent with your customers.

This is someone who doesn't understand how the internet works, trying to make a few bucks and probably being taken for a ride by some shady telemarketed "SEO firm" who cold-called him from India.

The Redit thread also suggests (with some evidence) that the presenter, Larry Korn, is not behind the site. The business is run by a self-proclaimed "brand promoter" who has a questionable track record. This is not unheard of.

If I wanted to run a "survivalism" course, I might approach Jack Spirko and say "Hey, I love what you're doing. I see you've produced a lot of free content, I want to do something like this with my own business. Rather than re-invent the wheel, would you let me use some of your content? This will increase your profile, and I'll give you a cut of any profits I make from the premium offerings". Now in that scenario, Jack would tell me where to stick it. He knows how to brand a company, and wouldn't risk his brand on something like that. But a lot of these permaculture guys are academics and idealists, they know next to nothing about running a business, and even less about building a successful brand. They are easily taken in by such offers. Sometimes it works well for them, sometimes their names get run through the mud.

From what I see, this doesn't look like a scam, just a really shitty business model, poorly implemented and targeted at those with little experience and poor judgement. I think the motives behind it are good, but I would give them a bullshit email (use a service like Blur), and don't pull out a credit card for anything unless it's fulfilled by a third party and there are unbiased reviews of it on another site.

Offline tomboy72

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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 06:55:23 PM »
I ordered one of their 99 cent DVD specials a few years ago and jumped on another 99 cent special and opted for a free trial of their permaculture library.  The courses in the library seemed more of a PowerPoint presentation than a video which is okay but I prefer actually seeing the concepts in use.  The cancellation form was not easy to find as I had to do a google search to find it. 

Upon canceling I received an email stating that I had authorized the transaction and that I would be missing out on a great opportunity because that information would soon cost over $100 to access.  For one, I never said I that I didn't authorize the transaction.  Secondly the information was definitely worth .99, but I would hesitate to pay the $36 a month after the trial and I would feel that $100 is grossly overpriced.  For $100 you could buy a few books on the subject and have much more insight and the ability to read at your own pace.

While trying to find the cancellation page, I found several pages where they were addressing customer complaints and almost every time they were threatening lawsuit and/or collection actions against the complainants.  Whomever was addressing these complaints reminded me of a 3 year-old throwing a temper tantrum because someone said something bad about them.  I'd recommend doing a bit of research before enrolling in the paid PDC course they offer.

Oh and yes, they are over zealous in their email marketing as I get one or two a day from them.

Offline ModernSurvival

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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 07:58:10 AM »
Note the people behind this are complete and total scum.  Do not have anything to do with them!  At all, ever.  They literally have threatened to sue people over bad reviews and for being kicked out of private yahoo groups which they were spamming.

When you sign up there TOS literally says you give them permission to sue you. 

Notice to MODS, the people from this organization are scum, they are to be brutally beaten with the ban hammer if they show up EVER, if you provide me with IPs I will ban them from the server or admins you are free to do so as well.

Thanks to Paul Wheaton for letting me know about this, this episode of TSP gives the entire story, jump to about 7 minutes to get the skinny. 

Vlad, you are a scum bag!  Now go ahead and threaten to sue me!