This is a summary of updates and milestones that have been recently made to our Homesteaders Co-op website, over the past month or so, followed by an outline of some of the upcoming work that may be done on the website in the near future.
We just had our first official Homesteaders Co-op open community meeting in our discord server voice chat on Wednesday. We had a lot of great discussion about the marketing challenges of our Co-op and how to address them. You’ll see more posts about that from us in the near future.
We’ve decided to hold regular voice meetings every other week for any member of our community to join and listen or participate that wants to be more informed or involved in our community effort.
In the meantime I would like to share with you a summary of website updates, milestones and goals that were covered in our meeting – with a bit more detail.
this is an update to our Fundition Project
Most Recent Website Updates and Milestones
We now have over 150 email subscribers, which is quite a lot considering all things and very telling that there is a lot of interest in what we are doing. I am being careful to send emails sparingly and reserving our emails for more important updates or announcements. Our more frequent messages are sent out in steem, our blog and social media.
If you are not subscribed but would like to, you can find our email subscription form at the bottom of our website: https://homesteaderscoop.com
Our new community section has been created in the website. This is part of our steem onboarding program outlined in our Fundition proposal.
The purpose of this section is to: 1) provide an introduction to steem communities with real examples, 2) Demonstrates individuals of steem communities creating positive change, 3) Provides more context to our vendors as humans, and 4) Sharing a general pride for our communities.
We collectively put a lot of work into this community showcase. We are already presenting Homesteaders Co-op community, Natural Medicine community and ecoTrain community. A few others will be presented in the near future.
An Our Logo page was created in our website to talk about our logo and what it represents. Special thanks to @frejafri who designed our logo and can be commissioned in STEEM for custom illustrated designs!
homesteaderscoop.com is starting to be discovered in search engine results. In fact our store Seeds of Abundance recently had an inquiry from a customer that found our seeds from a Google search result. That is significant to me because our Co-op vendors are just starting to reach an audience outside of steem via search engines.
Steem Payments Improvements
I have recently made some updates to the WooCommerce Steem Payments Gateway open source plugin that homesteaderscoop.com uses to accept STEEM/SBD payments. You can read that update here. The plugin is becoming more robust over time and there are more updates planned in the future.
More website Backups and Better Security
I recently consulted with @eco-alex who generously offered to help us add more redundancy to our website backups and increase our website security. Thank you so much for offering us a hand and helping us achieve more resiliency for our community website. I would like to note that @eco-alex is available as a website consultant and if you are looking for help with your website you may consider his excellent service.
Homepage Featured Products
Our website homepage featured products are now updated on a weekly basis to match our new weekly featured products post. See this week’s featured products here.
Upcoming Website Features
Following is a list of updates I am considering making to the website in the near future. I am putting this out there now and before doing the work in an effort to be more transparent about this process and will consider any feedback from the community.
I plan to create a new page in the website to ask for community donations. Initially this will be through our Fundition project. However I would like to transition to pursuing donations on a regular ongoing basis as part of our effort of reaching financial sustainability. This is one option I have come up with as I consider interacting in a gift economy, which is more attractive than forcing our members to pay. You can read more about that idea my recent Funditon project update titled Why Donate to Homesteaders Co-op?. This approach is likely to evolve as our community and our marketplace evolves – anyway it would be interesting to hear your thoughts here.
Ethical advertising is an idea I have come up with and coined as a way to pursue relationships with ethical businesses that offer value to our audience. Ethical advertising is advertising space in our website that will be gifted and/or traded to the advertisers we choose. This is in direct contrast to the dominant style of advertising we are all used to and tired of that pursues profit instead of real value and meaning. I will share more about this idea in a separate upcoming post.
Steem Onboarding Section
This upcoming page or section in our website will define steem to an audience that has not heard of steem before and is likely not familiar with blockchain. This task can be quite lofty or simple depending on the approach! I will likely be asking community for input on the approach in the near future. We will also use this area in our website to offer free accounts to anyone that wants to join.
I would like to see our homepage better represent the categories of products that are offered now by our vendors. Things have changed a lot since we started with just 3 main categories. We now offer Handmade, Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Services, Books, Food and Children related products and services.
We will also be updating the featured vendors regularly to correlate with a new featured vendor curation effort that @senorcoconut is working on.
A few folks have mentioned interest in either accepting or shopping with other cryptocurrencies. While for the most part we are pretty happy just to accept STEEM/SBD I think it is worth exploring other crypto options here, especially if we wouldn’t have to rely on a third party that charges some commissions or fees. At the moment this limits us to WooCommerce plugins that are already existing that accept cryptocurrency payments that we can modify to work in our multi-vendor marketplace.
I would like to explore other ways of interacting in a gift economy via our website including: Tipping, Delegating Store Space to other vendors, Products by Donation.
Vendors Page Improvements
As our vendors page grows with more vendors it will be nice to sort and filter vendors by location, etc.
What Would You Like to See on our Website?
This is the perfect opportunity and time for you to share what you feel our website is lacking or what it could really use! Is there something important we haven’t thought of yet? Is there something on the list above that is WAY more important than anything else? Please let us know.
@nateonsteemit just posed the question a few days ago what products would you like to see in our Co-op and we got a lot of great feedback there.. thank you Nate and everyone who shared their comments there!