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TOPIC: Member Survey

Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 08:43 #8441

It seems that our outpost here on Awakenetwork.org, Dharma Forum Refugee Camp, has evolved into a more or less insular and small-ish group and almost all our comments are being posted to the members only areas, so there is nothing for the guest or casual visitor to see.

Question -- is that what we want?
Last Edit: 11 Jan 2013 08:44 by Chris Marti.
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 09:54 #8442

I have an idea that some of the placement may be an inadvertent thing? The topics that I failed to initiate were probably in 'members only' just because that was where I was reading when I made my attempt.
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 11:40 #8443

Good question. I don't come across many things to post for general discussion - the occasional film or book or something. I tend to respond to other people's practice threads now and then, and occasionally mention something on my own. But I don't feel a huge inclination to do extensive practice journaling, unless something particularly unusual happens, which isn't very common.

So for me this forum is (at least currently) largely a way to keep in touch with the active members. I would be happy to chat on other subjects and interact with new members, etc. but I guess it's a matter of not having a lot of questions or ideas to start new threads with. I've also lost a bit of interest in posting things just for controversy's sake or to criticize (like "what's up with this weird shit so and so said over on this website") and it seems in general that weird or controversial topics bring the most discussion, where if someone says "oh, I just had a nice day and look at this cute puppy" there's not much to say.

So on the one hand I miss the activity, but I also recognize I'm not helping because I'm not contributing as much as I have in the past.

Thoughts?
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 16:21 #8444

I don't have much to say lately, but it's nice to have the option to have more private conversations with a smaller group. The points of view are pretty diverse here, and I know that if I choose to post something, there will be multiple takes on it from different angles that I may appreciate. there are other fora where I can interact with a broader range of people in a more free for all format.
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 16:31 #8445

On one hand, I'm trying to cut back my forum participation (all forums). On the other hand, I do check this site a few times a day, so I'm getting something out of the way things are. The signal to noise ratio here is wonderful.

I guess ultimately, I don't feel very evangical or teacherly, so I'm not thinking about providing content for others via this site. Probably the main thing that would change that tendency would be if others were asking for more (info or help). I'm posting in the private area so I don't have to think as much about the content, tone, or degree of polish of my posts.


Sooo Chris, what are your thoughts?
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 16:59 #8446

shargrol wrote:
On one hand, I'm trying to cut back my forum participation (all forums). On the other hand, I do check this site a few times a day, so I'm getting something out of the way things are. The signal to noise ratio here is wonderful.

I guess ultimately, I don't feel very evangical or teacherly, so I'm not thinking about providing content for others via this site. Probably the main thing that would change that tendency would be if others were asking for more (info or help). I'm posting in the private area so I don't have to think as much about the content, tone, or degree of polish of my posts.

This applies to me also...
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 18:26 #8450

My thoughts are that I would like to hear your thoughts. What do you want from this place? I'd like to see as many opinions as possible.
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 21:43 #8453

I'm still keeping my quasi daily practice log on KFD. I lately have gotten into posting on DhO in response to other people's questions and concerns, but don't post anything there on my own initiative. The groups are different, and I'm more or less comfortable moving back and forth. As for here: I save stuff I don't want to reveal on the other places for here, more personal stuff. I also post lengthier things here. So that's why I end up in the Members Only section. In fact, I'm about to mosey on over to my thread in a few minutes and add an update.

Sometimes I feel spread a bit thin and don't check one or another of the three threads for a lengthy period. Keeping up on all three is a lot. But then sometimes I want what one or another has to offer. I like it here the way it is. I'd probably spend more time here, though, if it were more reliably active. I suppose I could do something to make it more so!
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Re: Member Survey 11 Jan 2013 22:38 #8455

I only pop in from time to time when I have a specific question or sometimes just to get a dharma fix. I like that this forum is fairly intimate and low key. Generally (not as a rule that is) the bigger these sort of things get the less authentic they feel. But that may just be me. At any rate, my two cents is I like it just the way it is. But again, I only duck in from time to time.

Take care all
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 08:20 #8460

I was a little overwhelmed by Dharma Overground and when KFD started it was exciting to join a relatively small group learning Kenneth's new vipassana techniques together. Now KFD has the plusses and minusses of a big city.

Around the time Chris stopped moderating KFD, since I'm his student and found out he moderates here, I did some lurking. Some of the things I liked right off were the private area and the more intimate scale. With that I decided to stretch my comfort limits and go public with my name and even giving up my tortoise for a photo. (My daughter said "you don't really look like that photo, it makes you look scared or something". I said, yeah but it looks like how vulnerable I feel.)

I think it could grow some and not lose that, but if it gets pretty big I'll probably pull back into my shell some. B)

I tried posting general interest to the public area, but it seemed like I only had access to post to the members-only and I didn't take the challenge to figure out how to do it.
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 11:17 #8467

To probe this a little further, one of our goals was to be a network of communities, not just a single group with private/public discussions. Is this a good thing, in your opinion? Clearly if there were other groups having their own discussions, some publicly, there would be more fodder to read and comment on. And if this is a good thing, does anyone have opinions on how best to achieve that?
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 11:35 #8472

Ah! Now that's a neat idea -- and it seems like it could solve some of the privacy problems with facebook/twitter.
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 11:41 #8473

shargrol wrote:
Ah! Now that's a neat idea -- and it seems like it could solve some of the privacy problems with facebook/twitter.

So, got any sanghas that need a home?
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 11:47 #8474

And further... if any of you know other people who might enjoy being a member here, tell them about us! Ask them to join.
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Re: Member Survey 12 Jan 2013 12:31 #8475

Will do! A few people come to mind.
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Re: Member Survey 13 Jan 2013 10:12 #8482

Hi. I'm a brand new member, so this may not be what you were asking about...

First impression is this is a forum for PRIVATE chats about personal issues around the Dharma - as well as general encouragement, etc.

Seems to be for people who are not preachers but doers, and willing to share their experience and knowledge with others with a similar 'itch'. :-D

Which is just what I'm looking for :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I looked at the MAIN FORUM, and there are two threads:
1 is locked so no discussion will follow from those three topics. The other isn't locked, but seems a SUGGESTION Box only.

The SANGHAS FORUM has the following description:
"This section is for discussions in different sanghas. Generally, the discussions will only be visible by members of the particular sangha, unless it is deliberately made public."

On the HOME page, you have the statement:
"Please note that joining awakenetwork.org is just the first step. To get the full benefit of discussions, you will need to be a member of one of the groups on the site. So if you see a group that strikes your fancy, contact that group's admin and get yourself signed up."

Anyway, the impression I'm getting from all these little messages is this forum is not for EVERYONE, but at the same time is welcoming to those who want to learn, share and grow with other dedicated practitioners. Although that may SOUND elitist or insular, it isn't. It is not as if you have created a Professional Body, where people need to have the right qualifications to get in, or a club where one's STATUS is examined before entry. I was told by my teacher, or the 6,000+ students in the specific tradition I was studying with, the number of 'yogis' was under 10

I think there are plenty of online places people can go for general discussion, so I do not feel you need to replicate that.

It really depends upon the vision of the people who created this forum: what are your goals and aspirations for this site? If you are wanting something different to what you are getting, then looking at the 1st impressions and general message new people get from the site may be a place to start. IMHO

My first post ended up being a bit longer than anticitated. Possibly not even on topic?? Food for thought...I hope. :-)
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2013 10:13 by All One Planet. Reason: punctuation
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Re: Member Survey 13 Jan 2013 10:22 #8483

Welcome, Colin! Your input is very much appreciated. I am one of the founders of Dharma Forum Refugee Camp (DFRC). That is but one of the forums that was intended to reside here on Awakenetwork.org, which is meant to be a multi-forum hosting site. At this point only DFRC is active, having been ported over here from another system last summer. Jackson Wilshire is my co-founder of DFRC. Tom Otvos is the founder and technical guru of Awakenetwork.org. Both participate here.

DFRC was created as a response to some dissatisfaction with its progenitor from which many of us come, Kenneth Folk Dharma on the Wetpaint system. Kenneth Folk Dharma was created in response to dissatisfaction with its progenitor, Dharma Overground, then also on Wetpaint but having since moved to another more proprietary system.

This no doubt sounds like endless dissatisfaction, so we're trying to avoid that by asking our members, new and old, what they value here on DFRC, leaving the hosting system Awakenetwork.org out of the equation for the time being. It sounds more and more like what is values here in intimacy and some privacy. That's not what was originally intended but is apparently wanted and worthwhile.

Make sense?

Again, what you said is very cogent and worth listening to. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you!

Chris Marti
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2013 10:23 by Chris Marti.
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Re: Member Survey 14 Jan 2013 07:54 #8492

Hi ChrisChris Marti wrote:
...Dharma Forum Refugee Camp (DFRC). That is but one of the forums that was intended to reside here on Awakenetwork.org, which is meant to be a multi-forum hosting site.
I tried to set up a similar thing with the wider audience of those into 'personal growth'. I realised after a while that unless I went out with the specific goal of attracting groups to use my site for themselves, with a lot of marketing and promotion of that idea, it wasn't going to happen. I suppose, on a esoteric level, I could ask the team here "How much cause have you put out there for the effect you want?"

The other thought I have about this idea comes from my experience within a dharma centre... Unlike this forum, with many perspectives voicing their wisdom/opinion/prejudice/etc., I've found the dharma communities become 'insular'. It might be a hard sell to get the teacher to agree to create a forum on a site that has as it's main forum an 'eclectic' stance on Dharma subjects. IMHO

Obviously, not all dharma communities are joined at the hip with a particular tradition so there may be scope there... with the right marketing.
Chris Marti wrote:
... leaving the hosting system Awakenetwork.org out of the equation for the time being..
I'd never heard of 'wetpaint' until I looked at the KFD website. I suspect it is like the Ning system? Anyway, Joomla + Kanuna is a first class, open source, content management system which allows you to stay in control of the site, updates, etc. Excellent choice!

Colin :-)
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2013 08:02 by All One Planet.
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Re: Member Survey 14 Jan 2013 09:25 #8494

Thank you for noticing the Joomla/Kunena part. One of the very (very) big things about what we were trying to achieve here is the completely open data model so that sites don't get locked into Ning, WetPaint, Lefora, or whatever. After years of discussion, if they wanted to move on, it ought to be easy to just pack up their content and leave.
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Re: Member Survey 14 Jan 2013 09:46 #8495

""How much cause have you put out there for the effect you want?""

That's the problem. We all have full time jobs and busy lives and families, so making time to effectively market Awakenetwork.org is difficult.
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2013 09:46 by Chris Marti.
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Re: Member Survey 14 Jan 2013 12:16 #8498

I talked with a friend yesterday who I'm sure would find discussion here right up his alley, and vice versa. He said, yep, he's sure too, but he finds that anything he does online ends up taking more of his time than he planned. He has a point.
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Re: Member Survey 15 Jan 2013 18:29 #8506

Chris Marti wrote:
That's the problem. We all have full time jobs and busy lives and families, so making time to effectively market Awakenetwork.org is difficult.
Yes, the larger systems have paying subscribers and a (usually a media) company behind them.

If you wanted to make it grow organically, you could maybe make it easy for people who have joined to start a new group and market that group. I know it is already easy - just ask! What I mean is, give the idea of starting a new 'specialist' forum the big-green-light by dedicating a wiki page to the idea (which you can then promote) where the potential group leader will find easy ways to recruit and market their new group/forum.

This wiki page, which also sets out the benefits and features of having a specialist forum here, can then also be used as your 'sales page' if you (or anyone using the forums) happen to come across a potential group looking for a place online.

Just a few thoughts.

Colin :-)
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Re: Member Survey 16 Jan 2013 09:27 #8517

duane_eugene_miller wrote:
I only pop in from time to time when I have a specific question or sometimes just to get a dharma fix. I like that this forum is fairly intimate and low key. Generally (not as a rule that is) the bigger these sort of things get the less authentic they feel. But that may just be me. At any rate, my two cents is I like it just the way it is. But again, I only duck in from time to time.

Take care all

Duane - just wanted to mention I really like your recent post on your blog, the one about honesty. Nice. (embracingsamsara.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/1199/)
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