I am always looking to improve my persuasive abilities. Over the years, I think I have gathered some good advice on how to target a broader audience, or at least not to turn off or scare away an audience that may actually be open to certain ideas when presented in a certain way.
Something that struck me about the feralculture.com content was the technical wording used throughout and right off the bat. I think technical wording is great to use for people who understand it and understand where you are coming from. But, I think it can also be a turn-off for people not familiar with advanced concepts like “open-source rewilding” and “distributed community”. Wording like that usually sounds intimidating and makes the people behind those words seem more distant and elevated on a platform, kind of like with doctors, lawyers, mechanics, or any other specialty that use technical wording to distance itself from the layperson.
If the goal is to attract only people who have an understanding of such advanced concepts, then wording like that is great. But, I think if you want to reach a broader audience, it would not hurt to start off with basic concepts everyone can relate to and agree with before getting into the more advanced subjects and topics. I would think a big part of the feralculture project is to help people come together and gather around the big important topics like happiness, self improvement, building relationships, subsistence lifestyle and building a community of individuals of different ages and backgrounds who support each other.
Having spent some time with Andrew and Jennifer, it seems to me that there are two main goals with this feralculture project. There is the local goal and the global goal. The local goal being gathering a community of individuals, who live close enough together to be able to physically interact on a consistent basis (in the Tanana Valley and Fairbanks area). The global goal is to support individuals online who are doing, or want to do, something similar, but elsewhere. Somewhere in between is maybe another goal of helping people transition from elsewhere to the Tanana Valley and Fairbanks.
These are the goals I was able to gather in a maybe simplified form. Maybe they can be elaborated on and streamlined further. But I think the language used is important. I am not sure how necessary it is to use wording like “shift anthropocentric lanscapes to regenerative wild ecosystems with permaculture nudges”. At least not when people are first introduced to the website. I think those sort of advanced concepts should be relegated to blog posts, forum discussions, and recommended reading lists where a person can be exposed to it and learn about it further at their own discretion.
Certain concepts can be important keywords in attracting those who use search engines like Google. Words like permaculture, bushcraft, paleo diet, primitive living, subsistence, wilderness survival, rewilding. Adding “Alaska” to any of those can help narrow down search results to a website like feralculture. On the other hand language like anti-civ, anarchist and negative attitudes in general toward our current way of life is a great way to turn off certain people who might have been more accepting toward the feralculture project otherwise.
I try to keep in mind the people who are in a transition zone, which is a fragile zone to be in. We are all in some stage of transition, whether it is from the standard American diet to veganism, from vegetarianism to the paleo diet, from the paleo diet to a purely subsistence lifestyle. Some people are transitioning from city living to rural living, from living on a farm to having a homestead, from homesteading to living in a remote village or as part of an intentional community. Whatever stage of transition a person is in, they can be influenced in what may be a better direction for them. In my experience, simple, positive concepts and wording are more influential than negative and complicated ones. Deep down, I think that is what most people want to be associated with.