For years, my YouTube audience asked me to tackle a very complex classic work in Philosophy – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. I gave a lot of thought to how I might best help my viewers and subscribers — and the wider general public – make their way through this very rich and rewarding, but dauntingly difficult text.
In the end, I decided to attempt something that has never before been done – a video series that would provide expert commentary, going through Hegel’s text paragraph by paragraph.
Greg Sadler is our first guest to return to the podcast. The adjunct philosophy professor-turned-Internet sensation was with us all the way back in Episode 4, talking about how to conquer Youtube as an academic.
Greg is doing something even more interesting now. He is stepping into the world of crowd funding and trying to earn an income based on patronage. He is using Patreon, a unique funding platform for creators of all kinds. But these donations are for specific project — Greg has created dozens of videos for “Half Hour Hegel,” an enormously ambitions project to go through Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit, paragraph by paragraph. He’ll be doing this until 2018.
We get into all sorts of things in this episode, such as the origins of Half Hour Hegel, how scholars can use crowdfunding themselves, and pointers for others who want to crowdfund alt-academic work.
Greg’s Pointers for Others Who Want to Crowdfund Alt-Academic Work:
- Decide what kind of project you want to work on, start thinking out what format you want to work in – continuity is important
- Blogging is a bit tough, unless you’ve already got a reach/following – but YouTube is still wide open – if you can discuss your topic/text/thinker in ways going beyond typical academic audience
- Start laying groundwork for social media presence – Facebook page, Google+ (will connect with YouTube), Twitter, perhaps even LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest
- Start thinking about how to get other people to publicize your work in social media platforms – you want them working for you
- Start looking at Crowdfunding sites. I do recommend Patreon, but there’s no reason to just look at them, depending on what your project is.
- Making a lot of money can’t be your prime motivation – support will come if your project is a valuable one for the public, and if you are indeed a good fit for the project.
- Don’t get discouraged when there isn’t a huge initial response – this takes time to build
Sites and resources mentioned in this episode
Greg’s Website: www.reasonio.com