My main goal for the Becoming a Data Scientist websites is to bring others along on my data science learning journey in order to help them succeed in becoming a data scientist, too!
People come to data science from a variety of backgrounds. The term "data science" itself is not clearly defined and covers a wide variety of related topics, so as you probably know, it is quite overwhelming to figure out where to start and which resources to use to move into the field.
With your help, I hope to continue to provide guidance and encouragement to learners, help connect them to one another, bring a diverse variety of people into the data science field, find and share great data science resources, and provide tools to help everyone optimize their individual learning experiences.
What I plan to do with this campaign is raise support to be able to pay people to assist me to keep the sites going, in order to enable me to spend my time where my contributions would be most valuable. For example, I could record more podcast episodes if it didn't take so long for me to edit the audio and video for each episode myself.
Watch this video for a summary of what you are supporting:
I have a full-time job, and I'm not starting this campaign to add additional income in my own bank account, but there are things I would like to do with my sites that I think would help everyone, and I am asking supporters to chip in, because I don't have the extra resources to pay for additional assistance out of my own pocket, and I refuse to "hire" unpaid interns. I plan for all of the Patreon campaign money to go towards services and hiring assistants, and not to myself.
First of all, when I say "Becoming a Data Scientist sites", I mean:
- BecomingADataScientist.com blog (and twitter account with over 10,000 followers)
- Becoming a Data Scientist podcast (audio, video)
- Becoming a Data Scientist Data Science Learning Club (and twitter account)
- DataSciGuide.com (and twitter account)
- JobsForNewDataScientists.com (and twitter account)
- TheDataScienceFair.com (not yet developed)
Here are the 4 types of assistants I would love to be able to hire (more details below if you're interested):
- Content Curation and Data Entry Assistant
- Social Media Marketing and Promotion Assistant
- Web Analytics and Advertising Assistant
- Technical and User Support Assistant
I hope you can tell by what I have built in less than a year with my evenings and weekends, that I know how to do a lot with minimal resources, so I'll make the most of the assistance you can provide.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
More details for those that really want more to read :)
Here are descriptions of how financial support could help me keep each of these sites going, and growing...(estimated costs are in italics)
Becoming a Data Scientist Blog and Twitter account
This is the central website and blog that links to everything else. By hiring others to help as outlined below, I would be able to free up more of my own time to write more blog posts like "A Challenge to Data Scientists" and "Boosting as a Metaphor for Diverse Teams" as well as providing descriptions of my learning experiences like when I posted about learning how to use APIs in python. The site also needs some technical and design updates, which aren't top priority, but I haven't even come near that part of my to-do list without help. I would still maintain the central twitter account myself, as this is the main source of information for all of my sites, as well as a place to share other resources and articles I come across online that I find valuable (which also get posted to my Flipboard magazines).
Becoming a Data Scientist Podcast
The podcast (links to audio and video in the list above) has gained an audience quickly, and receives over 2,000 listeners per episode within the first few weeks each is posted (The top audio episode has been accessed more than 9,000 times total, and the YouTube channel has 720 subscribers!), and has a 4.5/5-star rating on iTunes. It highlights data scientists (or those learning data science) that come from different backgrounds, so learners can find people they relate to and get valuable learning advice that is relevant to them.
I record and edit each episode myself, but I paid someone to help edit and compile the most recent episode with Debbie Berebichez out of my own pocket. This probably saved me at least 4 hours of time (and frustration) that would have been spent cropping, audio balancing, and recombining the various sections of the audio and video. I would rather focus on the scheduling, interviewing, and recording, and then hand the files off to someone else more experienced to prep for publication. This will cost approximately $100 per episode.
Becoming a Data Scientist Data Science Learning Club
I create a learning activity and compile resources with help from volunteers to go along with each episode of the podcast (and recently had some guest-hosted activities). The Data Science Learning Club has over 600 members - about 90 of whom have posted threads in the forums. I would love to pay someone to be available to help with this on a consistent basis so the forum doesn't have to be completely volunteer-supported. Also, it would be great to have some technical help from someone that could help behind the scenes with myBB forums (or even upgrade to another system) so I could focus on the content and communication and not the technical upkeep. (see Assistants section)
DataSciGuide.com is a learning directory website I designed to help people find high quality data science learning resources like books, websites, online courses, podcasts, etc that match their current learning level. You can see my vision for the site here, and info from the last time I did technical updates on it a year ago. I got the website set up, installed and customized several Wordpress plugins to allow detailed ratings and custom post types, and generated the initial set of content myself. Some friends have helped me add more content, but I would love to pay someone to help add content on an ongoing basis, and keep the site fresh and exciting so people continue to use it and add helpful ratings and information about the content items for other learners. I could also use help with the affiliate advertising and technical aspects of this site that take time to set up and maintain. Not only would the site be more active and fun, but I would also have more time to write blog posts about the resources. (see Assistants section)
Jobs For New Data Scientists
JobsForNewDataScientists.com is designed to help people with less than 3 years of experience in data science find appropriate jobs to match their skill level, and to help companies find great candidates for their job openings. I set up and configured this site in a weekend, but need to spend time (and get help) marketing it so it will have enough users to be worth companies paying to post ads, and enough companies posting ads to be worth users' time to check in. I would also like to set up a system to send matching listings to people who sign up to receive notifications. Having assistance maintaining and marketing this website to companies and job seekers would help me get it off the ground. (see Assistants section)
Here are the details about the 4 types of assistants I would like to hire to help with the Becoming a Data Scientist sites:
- Content Curation and Data Entry Assistant - would help find and post content primarily on DataSciGuide.com, but also identify content worth sharing with the Data Science Learning Club and on the various twitter accounts. The main focus would be keeping everything fresh and updated and "alive" (not stagnant like it has become).
- Social Media Marketing and Promotion Assistant - would help share content from all sites on the twitter accounts, grow and track followership, and help determine what content was receiving the best response. Would also help recruit companies to advertise on JobsForNewDataScientists.com, promote giveaway contests, and encourage people to rate content on DataSciGuide. The main focus would be keeping social media channels active and encouraging engagement.
- Web Analytics and Advertising Assistant - would help monitor analytics/stats for all sites, generate affiliate links and ensure existing links still worked, manage sidebar ads and possibly featured content on DataSciGuide, and report on growth related to the activities of myself and the other assistants to make data-driven decisions about where to focus our efforts. The main focus would be monitoring and optimizing site and affiliate account activity.
- Technical and User Support Assistant - would help me troubleshoot technical problems and maintain the technical side of the websites: Wordpress plugins, forum features, team tools for assistants, documentation, etc. The main focus would be taking care of the technical details I can hand off, and helping users make the most of site features.
I would pay these assistants at least $15/hr (no unpaid interns here) with the potential for higher pay or other perks once the sites start generating steady income. I could also lend my expertise and experience to help them develop as a sort of "Apprentices" - they would get to see how I have built the Becoming a Data Scientist websites and audiences so far, and they could contribute new ideas and help me grow them even more!
At a minimum, I need 1 person that can help for 5 hours per week, which would come out to 5 hours x $15/hr x 4 wks/month = $300/month.
To get the most help I imagine needing at this point, and build a full team, I could use up to 4 people x 10 hrs/week each x $15/hr x 4 wks/month = $2,400/month.
Then, as the websites grow and start to generate income, I would need less support from Patreon and could eventually end this campaign, as I wouldn't need the continued outside support.
See the Patreon "goals" for how I plan to use the money at each level!
The main goal of this Patreon Campaign is to make sure I get enough help that the sites I've built don't stagnate, and that I can eventually grow the Becoming a Data Scientist sites to the point where they're self-sustaining financially, fun and active, and benefiting a wide variety of users long-term. At the point when there is enough traffic that the ad and affiliate income can support the paid assistance, I would end the Patreon support for these activities.
I need your help to get up and running, but I'm not focused on getting rich from these websites, just on bringing them up to a point where they're being updated consistently, and are most helpful to you without costing me additional money out of pocket; freeing me up to do more valuable activities on the sites myself, like reviewing learning resources and generating original content.
Thanks in advance for participating and helping me help you (and others) learn data science!!
(Even if you can't contribute financially, help spread the word!)
(Even if you can't contribute financially, help spread the word!)