Category: E-Commerce

Recent & Upcoming Website Updates – Open to Community Feedback.

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

Email Subscribers

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

Community Section

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 communityNatural Medicine community and ecoTrain community. A few others will be presented in the near future.

Logo Section

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!

Search Engines

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.

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.

Donations Page

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

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.

Homepage Updates

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.

Other Cryptocurrencies

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.

Gift Economy

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!

โ€ @sagescrub

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Ordering With Homesteaders Co-op: Part 3

Hey y’all, Nate again, here to wrap up the summary of ordering my blackberries from @mountainjewel on Homesteaders Co-op!

Winter being here and the days becoming unnoticably longer, we’re planning bigly for spring. One of my most anticipated plantings will be the blackberry bushes that arrived in the mail today!

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I noticed yesterday that Wren from @mountainjewel had tried to email me a while back and ask what variety I preferred. I haven’t checked my email in about two months, and am lucky she contacted me on discord. Melissa (my wife) specified the sweeter variety, Triple Crown. Wren also graciously included a fifth plant, a Chester variety to add a bit of biodiversity that all permies love.

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Five blackberry bushes! I had planned on four, and decided on locations for two. Guess I need to make up my mind, huh?

The contents also included some sunchokes. Four tubers of two varieties from their own garden that they said they’d send after reading my Permaculture Playing Cards post on sunchokes a few weeks back. The varieties are Pink Crispy and Lola sunchokes, and we’re very excited to put them in the soil. Melissa for the pretty flowers, and me for the food!

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Woo, what abundant blessings from their permaculture homestead to ours. And all for just a 25 or so SBD.

I have said it before, and I suppose I’ll say it again: ordering on Homesteaders Co-op is a breeze. And now, @sagescrub has added USD compatibility with PayPal for those vendors who choose to also accept fiat currency.

I couldn’t be happier with my second order from @mountainjewel with the Co-op and I hope others are able to order soon and support this movement as well.

Be blessed.
Be fruitful.
Stay relevant.

Nate

P.S.

Where the heck is a soapmaker?

I’ll be back soon with a big idea. Co-op community involvement is about to go through the roof, y’all be sure to follow and stick around ๐Ÿ˜‰


@nateonsteemit is a budding permie in North Texas. Family man and welder by trade, his goals inside permaculture are the advancement of Liberty and saving a few bucks. Check his intro to the Co-op here.

Homesteaders Co-op: The Model of an Ethical Marketplace

Hey y’all, Nate here again, ready to talk about money!

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The world runs on money, right? Til just recently, I think I’d join a lot of people in saying that that system kinda (okay, really) sucks. A weird notion coming from a die-hard capitalist, huh? Well, that’s because I’m an ethical capitalist. People and community are always before money, just as in permaculture:

  1. Earth care.
  2. People care.
  3. Equitable sharing.

Those are the permaculture ethics. They’re in that order for a reason, and as permaculturists, we need to recognize them and their order.

Now, I’m not here to talk politics (such a divisive and counterproductive subject usually), so I do need to point out that permaculture is an apolitical system with no heirarchy except as implied in the ethics. Permaculture doesn’t care if you’re left wing or right wing or wherever. As long as you align yourself ethically, you’re welcome here. That’s why this co-op has an emphasis on sustainable goods and is based heavily on the Steem community. Without those two requirements, what else is there to distinguish us from the unsustainable conglomerate down the street?

That’s also where crypto comes in. For the first time in a long time, we have access to a medium of exchange that is simple, available, and equitable. We have an economical ecosystem here that has lent itself to support of a community, rather than a heirarchy that we didn’t expressly consent to.

We have an outlet now for truly ethical commerce and we want to share it.

We’re here to build and support this earth first and foremost. Without that requirement, how is a system sustainable? Secondly, we’re here to build and support our community. Without people, there is no market; no economy; nowhere to make progress. We need people. And that market space is where we share by our own standards of equitability.

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Ethical money. Ethical food. Ethical markets. Ethical community. That is what Homesteaders Co-op is about.

I appreciate y’all reading this far. That’s one awesome step. But the main step is to join me in conducting ethical commerce at Homesteaders Co-op. For example, go check out our newest vendor of ethically produced medicines, @ofsedgeandsalt on her Vendor Page. I’m sure she’d love to have you as her first customer through the Co-op.

Be blessed.
Be fruitful.
Stay relevant.

Nate


@nateonsteemit is a budding permie in North Texas. Family man and welder by trade, his goals inside permaculture are the advancement of Liberty and saving a few bucks. Check his intro to the Co-op here.

How an order from Homesteaders Co-op works: part 1

Hey y’all! Nate again. Merry Christmas!

I just made my second order from Homesteaders Co-op last night, and I figured it’d be good to make a couple posts with @mountainjewel (who’s shop I ordered from) about the process of making an order from the perspectives of the buyer and the seller.

Since my first order@sagescrub has changed some things in the process.

Most notably, the pricing is now in USD. It’s not a payment option, but that’s an easier way for the vendors to price their goods. It is tied to an exchange that updates the steem/SBD price hourly. And yes, you can now pay in steem too! This will be good when we are experiencing that beloved crypto volatility, to prevent a product from being priced in a straight crypto price that could mean a seller sells you a $20 product for 38ยข or to keep you from paying $76.23 for the same product.

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I don’t know if it’s part of the pricing system, but a billing address is now required separately from the shipping address. I imagine these can both be entered falsely in the name of anonymity if that’s a concern for you because it’s still paid in crypto, which isn’t tied at all to your physical address. Ain’t that kind of liberty cool?

So, what did I order?

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Photo stolen from their listing on the Co-op

Well, I’ve been eyeing their Thornless blackberry bushes for a while. When I cashed out the last of my mined ETH to SBD, the goal was to buy the blackberries, and I had just enough! If you follow @mountainjewel, you probably saw their post about the blackberries shortly before they left for their meditation. In it, they said that they’d throw in another crown if you mentioned seeing it in their blog.

That post was a while ago, but I figured I’d mention it just in case. And since it’s Christmas day, I’m not in a big hurry and definitely don’t want to rush anyone over the holidays.

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Other than the small differences in pricing and checking out, the transfer went the same. SteemConnect popped up and I put in my key. Done just as fast and simple as any steem transfer you’ve ever done. Oh yeah, and I did the whole thing on my phone as indicated by the screenshots. Couldn’t be simpler.

What are my plans with all those blackberries?

Well, I want them for the food forest, of course! But I’m also going to plant some out front. I want to make a little fruit picking place for families to come. I remember as a kid there was a place close to our house that would let people come pick berries on their property, and I’d love to be able to let people do the same here. I’ll add a couple fruit trees in the process too. Community and all that jazz, right? It’ll be neat to offer something like that that’s in line with the third permaculture ethic: equitable sharing.

Be watching to hear from @mountainjewel soon about their end of the process! I’m sure it’ll be a good one, as always!

Be blessed.
Be fruitful.
Stay relevant.

Nate


@nateonsteemit is a budding permie in North Texas. Family man and welder by trade, his goals inside permaculture are the advancement of Liberty and saving a few bucks. Check his intro to the Co-op here.