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Slow start

Since its announcement and the release of its first course, the freelearning site has been sitting solid but rather empty. There are the obvious reasons for that, such as a neglect of promotion, and only minimal development. These first couple of months have taught me that it’s not enough to create something which has the potential to add value; without exposure, it can’t grow.

Next steps

There are two directions I could take once this post is published. I could carry on waiting for a trickle of newcomers to miraculously discover the freelearning site, which is almost certainly not going to happen for reasons already outlined. Or I could step things up and focus on what are surely the only things that will enable it to grow: new content, collaboration and promotion. So let’s consider each in turn.

Content

My vision for freelearning content was always – and largely still is – about raising awareness of, and educating people about, privacy, security, decentralisation and free open source software (FOSS). This probably won’t come as a surprise when you take a moment to explore the content on my site and my (infrequent) toots on Mastodon.

Digital Privacy Essentials was the first course I wrote, developed, built and released from scratch. I'm happy with it, but it’s only a start, and I think it's too early to call it a success. Now that it’s done and dusted, I need to turn my attention to the next course. Maybe that’s an introductory course, or range of courses, on GNU/Linux commands or software. Or maybe it’s a course dedicated to a broader subject such as encryption or decentralisation. Maybe it’s something I haven’t anticipated.

Collaboration

For the freelearning site to really take off, there needs to be more contribution and collaboration. There’s nothing I’d love more than to work with others to expand the course catalogue with unbiased, diverse learning content. And while I’d still hope to see that catalogue full of the sorts of courses mentioned above, it should be open to a broader range of relevant subjects, even if those subjects aren’t related to each other.

Promotion

To make all this happen, it’s on me to promote the freelearning site and philosophy to the extent possible, factoring in available time and connections. Outreach is crucial for the growth of any young idea or movement, no matter how important. Without being given the chance to propagate from one mind to the next, it can’t hope to survive.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about how any of the above points could be achieved, please get in touch. Let’s collaborate and create something great: something that matters, something open and truly free for everyone.

You can contact me by email, through Mastodon or any of the other methods listed on my contact page. I’ve also just launched a freelearning Matrix room, so come say hi!

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