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TOPIC: Awakenetwork Improvement Project

Awakenetwork Improvement Project 19 Feb 2019 06:59 #110485

What we need is a schism. :D

Your turn!
Last Edit: 19 Feb 2019 07:11 by Chris Marti.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 19 Feb 2019 07:07 #110488

I did a cartoon on this subject once. There are common practices amongst the more hardcore of 1) never criticizing or complaining as a topic of conversation 2) never talking about oneself not to mention just generally 3) no idle conversation. It's very effective for augmenting your awareness (Hi, Chris!) of your 'crap' and your inner reactions and what arises from which and so on. Prevents distracting yourself with idle curiosity, gossip, wasting time pondering random things, etc and keeps you focused on practice. That said, it kills conversation.


custodyofthetongue.jpg
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 19 Feb 2019 07:09 #110489

Ding ding ding ding ding!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 07:01 #110531

I haven't visited this site for ages, due to many different things but chiefly because I haven't been getting any emails telling me when new posts had arrived. I used to get these ... and now, for some reason they have started again. No idea why.
Then I found this thread and it made me feel quite sad. I haven't finished reading it all, which I will do later. I am generally one of thise people who read and don't contribute. For a variety of reasons. I am going to spend some time thinking about this, reading, and try to post later.
At the moment, my immediate feeling is that when I originally joined I didn't feel any great encouragement. I felt I was joining an established group where there were a few people who knew each other, and I had no idea how to fit in.

I am contributing this now because I feel upset that the group is failing . I doubt I can help, but will read, think and return later.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 07:30 #110532

Anne Delnevo wrote:
At the moment, my immediate feeling is that when I originally joined I didn't feel any great encouragement. I felt I was joining an established group where there were a few people who knew each other, and I had no idea how to fit in.

Is there something that I/we can do to fix that, for future newcomers? Is there something additional that I can add to the "Welcome" email?
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 08:58 #110536

I came here because I’d originally connected with Kenneth and when I returned a couple of years later with an interest in sitting again and found that Kenneth’s site was inactive (but housed here) and that I recognised some of the names of people here, I felt this would be a good place to pitch my tent. I always felt DHO was overcrowded and noisy. I much preferred the quiet, calm, and peaceful intelligence and wisdom of AN. I still do. I used to read most everything here, so I felt like I kind of had a finger on the pulse of the place, but since I stopped writing up every sit and made a point of minimising my reading of anything practice related, I haven’t visited so often and so I don’t know how things have changed, if at all. From my perspective I don’t think AN has failed. In fact I think the forum and the people here have been absolutely key in pushing my practice forward and to a point where I’ve seen dramatic change in my mind, my behaviour.... my life. For me, that represents success. I’m saddened that there’s a feeling of the site failing and dying. If it’s a case of low numbers of visitors and limited discussion... can I ask, hasn’t it always been like that? Sure, there’s no controversy, no conflict, etc. There’s no celebrity figurehead... but so what. What we have here, to kind of repeat myself, is quiet, calm, peacefulness, intelligence, grace, wisdom and opportunity to appeal to folks who are looking for that. Maybe I’m being naive; I don’t know.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 09:40 #110537

I think my tendency is/was to not jump on each person who introduced themselves, giving them time to orient themselves and begin to ask a question here or post there... but for every "giving someone space" there's a "being standoffish". So, happy to see you here!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 12:06 #110543

Anne Delnevo wrote:
I haven't visited this site for ages, due to many different things but chiefly because I haven't been getting any emails telling me when new posts had arrived. I used to get these ... and now, for some reason they have started again. No idea why.
Then I found this thread and it made me feel quite sad. I haven't finished reading it all, which I will do later. I am generally one of thise people who read and don't contribute. For a variety of reasons. I am going to spend some time thinking about this, reading, and try to post later.
At the moment, my immediate feeling is that when I originally joined I didn't feel any great encouragement. I felt I was joining an established group where there were a few people who knew each other, and I had no idea how to fit in.

I am contributing this now because I feel upset that the group is failing . I doubt I can help, but will read, think and return later.

Thanks for posting this, Anne.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 12:15 #110544

I decided to go back to the beginning, as if I had just heard of this group and was looking at it for the first time.
So I started with “Home”:

“As a quick orientation, this site is divided into several broad sections: a social network (the "Share" menu), a discussion forum ("Discuss"), and a community magazine ("Read"). If you are used to just having a discussion forum, then the social network and magazine will come as a (hopefully) welcome addition. And if you normally just use a social network like Facebook, we hope that this more focused community will help grow your practice.”

I understand “Discuss”, but I can't find “the Share menu”. Am I just missing this? It sounds good, and something a new member might want to join in with. And I feel unsure about “Read” - whether it feels like a magazine?

As I am writing this, I find myself wondering if I am posting in the right place? Should I have started a new topic? Especially as this may be the first of a few posts from a new person's point of view. Hope that's OK?
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 12:27 #110546

Those are good points - I think there are some features that never really took off, despite hopes that they would.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 12:38 #110547

Would it make sense to rewrite the introduction to reflect current usage/habits rather than aspiration? For example, something like this:

Welcome to AwakeNetwork, a community of meditation practitioners from a wide variety of traditions whose goal is simple: to awaken in this lifetime. In this community you will find people from all walks of life, young and old, modern and traditional. The only real tie that binds us is we all "suffer" (however you want to define that term) and we all want to fix that.(is that still true? is that everyone's motivation?)
In some cases, the people you will interact with at AwakeNetwork will be the same people to meet face-to-face in your real-life sangha. However, in many other cases, you will be interacting with people whom you have never met except virtually, and that is really what this place is about. Because technology has enabled a huge dissemination of dharma knowledge and, as a result, there is an unprecedented mixing of traditions and knowhow resulting in...who knows what?
Whatever this mixing produces, w
We hope that by creating a place to foster the communication and sharing of practical dharma wisdom, we will all end up in a better place, and leave a legacy to pass on to future generations. (Add something about mentoring each other, supporting each other in our practices, a supportive place to share our practices, ask questions, and explore our difficulties?)
As a quick orientation, this site is divided into several broad sections: a social network (the "Share" menu), a discussion forum ("Discuss"), and a community magazine ("Read"). If you are used to just having a discussion forum, then the social network and magazine will come as a (hopefully) welcome addition. And if you normally just use a social network like Facebook, we hope that this more focused community will help grow your practice. Awakenetwork features a discussion forum with public and private sections (private sections are only visible to members who are logged in). There are also sections for members who wish to contribute articles or resources, and social media features like sharing and friends lists. (something like that?)
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.
Namaste.
There is also the possibility of forming or hosting your practice group here, with membership just for participants and discussions focused on the groups particular activities. Talk to the administrator if you are interested.
Welcome!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 13:20 #110548

Ona Kiser wrote:
Would it make sense to rewrite the introduction to reflect current usage/habits rather than aspiration? For example, something like this:

... words...

So I went back and looked at the existing Welcome page, and then actually read it. I've never done that before. It's always seemed like a big a wall-o-words, and I've just skipped past it.

I'd completely support a rewrite of the front page wording, with the proviso that we keep it very short, much shorter than Ona's suggestions, even. But, I'd encourage a link or two on the Welcome page for more information, using Ona's words (which I really like).

Something like this, maybe:
Welcome to AwakeNetwork


discussing twenty-first century dharma practice




Welcome to AwakeNetwork, a community of meditation practitioners from a wide variety of traditions whose goal is simple: to awaken in this lifetime. In this community you will find people from all walks of life, young and old, modern and traditional. (a few more words, but not more than 10 seconds of reading time)

[Join AwakeNetwork button]


Link: Why join?
Link: Quick orientation



Comments?
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 13:24 #110549

Anne Delnevo wrote:
I decided to go back to the beginning, as if I had just heard of this group and was looking at it for the first time.
So I started with “Home”:

“As a quick orientation, this site is divided into several broad sections: a social network (the "Share" menu), a discussion forum ("Discuss"), and a community magazine ("Read"). If you are used to just having a discussion forum, then the social network and magazine will come as a (hopefully) welcome addition. And if you normally just use a social network like Facebook, we hope that this more focused community will help grow your practice.”

I understand “Discuss”, but I can't find “the Share menu”. Am I just missing this? It sounds good, and something a new member might want to join in with. And I feel unsure about “Read” - whether it feels like a magazine?

As I am writing this, I find myself wondering if I am posting in the right place? Should I have started a new topic? Especially as this may be the first of a few posts from a new person's point of view. Hope that's OK?

Yes, you are posting to the right place. If ever a post appears in the "wrong" place I generally moderate it over to where it belongs.

As to "Share", Ona is correct, there was a social network component but that never took off. I guess the landing page blurb is, in part, my stubborn reluctance to let that go since I felt (and still do) that it has relevance. But if that leads to confusion, then that is another matter and should be fixed.

Since Ona has taken one stab at marking up what is there, can I propose that she float a new, complete, wording of that landing page here and we can collectively massage it, or give it a thumbs up, and I'll replace it?
Last Edit: 21 Feb 2019 13:25 by Tom Otvos.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 13:26 #110550

Ok, Ona, or Andy, or whoever else wants to contribute!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 14:12 #110551

I agree with Andy that a glance should be enough to take in the landing page. I also had never read it before, that I recall.

I had deliberately left out two things: 'dharma' which is a term relevant only to Buddhism, and 'namaste' which I believe is a Hindu term. To the extent the majority here think those are broadly infused into the culture that they are no longer specific to their original traditions and would not be better said in English (or a different word substituted), that's fine. There have been mostly people here practicing things derived from Buddhism, with some things derived from Hinduism mixed in, but also a mishmash of other esoteric, New Age, etc traditions, and then there's the oddball Catholic, ahem, who does nothing else anymore, though I once did.

And Tom, we are here to help root out your stubborn resistance, right? ;) As St. John of the Cross said, your brothers in the monastery are the chisels and hammers which God uses to chip away at you (you being like a freshly quarried piece of marble) until you are perfectly formed into the beautiful image He wanted you to be. Or something like that.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 21 Feb 2019 16:56 #110555

My vote would be to hide the functionalities other than forum, private messaging & the section with the articles. So all the other writing/communication forms on the site, hide - less is more - streamlined encouragement to contribute.

also someone who isn't me should organize a monthly video chat! we can use my zoom :)
Last Edit: 21 Feb 2019 16:57 by Noah.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 10:23 #110570

Not the last word on this, but I did a quick hacking of the landing page based on the comments here. I have also removed some menu items that are currently not useful.

Note that the landing page is not really meant for members to see (which is why many of you have not see it). It is more for those that end up here through Google or whatever and need a quick blurb on what this is. So I don't want to agonize over it too much. But I DO want to address the earlier comment about new MEMBERS not necessarily feeling welcome, or knowing what to do next, as well as maximizing the value out of this place.

For those that have not formally signed up, this is what new users receive once they have been approved:
We’re very pleased to let you know that your membership in Awakenetwork.org, and the Dharma Forum Refugee Camp group, is now active. We’re happy that you found us and think you will find, as a meditation practitioner, that this is a very rewarding place to hang out online. You will be among your friends and peers. We value your contribution to our forum no matter your level of experience, tradition or point of view. Make sure you take some time to explore the non-forum areas of AwakeNetwork, too, such as our blogs and social media areas.

As a member you will now have access to protected, members-only content that was previously unavailable to you however, we encourage our members to continue to post public content as well, as that is seen by all members as well as the outside world.

We are an online community that values tolerance and polite interaction. To that end please read our posting policy:

awakenetwork.org/forum/rules

Once you’ve had the time to log in please visit our Welcome topic and introduce yourself. This is a great way to let other members know you’ve joined us and to welcome you. The Welcome topic can be found here:

awakenetwork.org/forum/102-welcome

Thanks for joining!

Wording changes to make new members even more welcome are...welcome. Clearly the "blogs and social media areas" is not relevant, so I'll remove that.
Last Edit: 22 Feb 2019 10:24 by Tom Otvos.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 11:56 #110574

Me again.

I haven't got very far since yesterday. And these aren't very important things!
One question: on the profile page, what does “points” mean, and how does one collect them?
And one small realisation (!?): I can now see that the reason I haven't been getting any emails - mentioned in my first reply - is that you only get them if you press “subscribe” on a thread. As I had only done that on the “Welcome” thread and one other, I was only getting emails when someone new joined - and since I joined in July 2017, only 13 new people have arrived in my group. It seems to me that getting emails might keep people involved (as long as they are on topics they are interested in); obviously that is what the “subscribe” button is for, but maybe it's use needs to be encouraged? Bigger subscribe button? Am I nitpicking?
I think what I feel is that to have got as far as joining this group is quite unusual, so anything that gets the new person more involved in the early stages is good. I failed to get really involved, because I felt that the “core” members were far more knowledgeable, much “further ahead” than I was (am). I didn't feel I had anything to contribute, and I didn't want to feel that I was asking stupid and elementary questions.

Regarding the Welcome page, if you shorten it then I think you need to lead new members directly to a page where the use of the site is explained in a simple and friendly manner. We are not all experts at navigating websites (etc) - some of us were born well before the Web and Facebook and I struggle to work some of it out. Or am I alone in this!? (Well, maybe I am)

That's it for now.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 13:53 #110575

I think you can be sure that those of us who have been here a long time practically fall over each other in enthusiasm if some asks an 'elementary' question. Like retrievers running to be the first to fetch the stick.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 13:55 #110576

I also never notice the subscibe button. It's quite subtle.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 14:19 #110577

Nice to know, but wouldn't have guessed that - very rarely see anyone asking “elementary” questions!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 14:20 #110578

Maybe “follow” (this thread) better than “subscribe.

Sorry about all this - spent my working life in market research!
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 15:03 #110579

Ona Kiser wrote:
I think you can be sure that those of us who have been here a long time practically fall over each other in enthusiasm if some asks an 'elementary' question. Like retrievers running to be the first to fetch the stick.

+1000 :D

It's almost comical how we stampede to the question.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 22 Feb 2019 18:23 #110584

Anne Delnevo wrote:
I failed to get really involved, because I felt that the “core” members were far more knowledgeable, much “further ahead” than I was (am). I didn't feel I had anything to contribute, and I didn't want to feel that I was asking stupid and elementary questions.

Honestly, I still feel that way sometimes, and I’ve been here for quite a while. Like my awakening isn’t legit in some way. Ona had a good comment about that over on another thread.
http://awakenetwork.org/forum/kfd-public/13470-the-truth-of-dukkha?start=175#110583

“I think there's a real freedom in letting go of having to make sure you come across as awake enough.”

I am so ready.
Last Edit: 22 Feb 2019 18:27 by Andy.
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Awakenetwork Improvement Project 23 Feb 2019 08:02 #110587

Tom Otvos wrote:
Not the last word on this, but I did a quick hacking of the landing page based on the comments here. I have also removed some menu items that are currently not useful.

Note that the landing page is not really meant for members to see (which is why many of you have not see it). It is more for those that end up here through Google or whatever and need a quick blurb on what this is. So I don't want to agonize over it too much. But I DO want to address the earlier comment about new MEMBERS not necessarily feeling welcome, or knowing what to do next, as well as maximizing the value out of this place.

For those that have not formally signed up, this is what new users receive once they have been approved:
We’re very pleased to let you know that your membership in Awakenetwork.org, and the Dharma Forum Refugee Camp group, is now active. We’re happy that you found us and think you will find, as a meditation practitioner, that this is a very rewarding place to hang out online. You will be among your friends and peers. We value your contribution to our forum no matter your level of experience, tradition or point of view. Make sure you take some time to explore the non-forum areas of AwakeNetwork, too, such as our blogs and social media areas.

As a member you will now have access to protected, members-only content that was previously unavailable to you however, we encourage our members to continue to post public content as well, as that is seen by all members as well as the outside world.

We are an online community that values tolerance and polite interaction. To that end please read our posting policy:

awakenetwork.org/forum/rules

Once you’ve had the time to log in please visit our Welcome topic and introduce yourself. This is a great way to let other members know you’ve joined us and to welcome you. The Welcome topic can be found here:

awakenetwork.org/forum/102-welcome

Thanks for joining!

Wording changes to make new members even more welcome are...welcome. Clearly the "blogs and social media areas" is not relevant, so I'll remove that.

This looks awesome thanks Tom. Can we reduce the number of tabs visible at the top of the forum functionality to have only these: Index, All Recent, My Topics, Search ?
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