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TOPIC: The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts?

The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 00:56 #14549

Hey, this is Daniel Ingram of the Dharma Overground, just trying to get a sense of what everyone here thought and felt about the recent proposed merger in some ways of the AN and the DhO.

I am hoping that many of the original issues that split the DhO into KFD, OE, HP, DFRC and the like have blown over to some degree and that people would benefit from the cross-pollination, not that there isn't a lot of membership overlap anyway between those groups, and that joomla will offer a better platform in some way, I hope. Apparently Joomla does interest groups well and can section things off while also allowing integration between groups and provide some social aspects we have missed on LifeRay. It will be interesting to see if the tech issues can all be resolved, such as how to continue to have links to DhO content function and the like.

Thoughts?
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 01:41 #14550

I think it's a great idea. Better than Android teaming up with KitKat! :lol:
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 02:29 #14551

My understanding is that AN can hold multiple forums/communities on various topics that are independent in subject matter (though given the theme would all be about awakening, dharma, etc.). But that people can belong to or participate in any one of these without participating in the others. Each community can be public or private or a combo, depending on the needs of its members.

Because there's for a while only been this one forum under the AN umbrella, we tend to associate AN with this forum; but the intention was to have AN be an umbrella for multiple forums on various subjects run by their own groups, with their own moderators, members, rules, focus, etc.

So in that sense I don't see any issue with differences in style or content or other forum-specific ways of being.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 08:29 #14556

Ona "So in that sense I don't see any issue with differences in style or content or other forum-specific ways of being."

Exactly; my understanding of how this might work is that if DhO migrated to AN, that would merely make such raprochement *possible* and perhaps more organically practical. But it would still take reaching out. It would just bring both groups into closer online proximity. Much of the resistance to such a migration is presumably coming from fear that what posters value about each forum will be lost in a 'merger', but what is being proposed is not a merger of DhO and DFRC, so to my mind the only issues are technical ones.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 11:12 #14573

Interesting. At this stage of community (relatively small) my guess is that more new people looking for this type of thing might be reached with a single larger portal, rather than a few small ones.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 11:57 #14574

It sounds exciting! There is some overlap already.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 12:49 #14578

I may be the only one who thinks so, but I would not welcome a complete merger. But then, perhaps I am the sole person here who is a KFD & DhO nonparticipant, since this place started up.

My tiny 2 cents.
Last Edit: 04 Sep 2013 14:04 by Kate Gowen. Reason: typo
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 13:19 #14581

If it's not clear by my original post-- I don't expect that my opinion weighs much in the balance against a probably large, if not overwhelming or even unanimous, majority. But we were asked, and there it is.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 13:30 #14584

I agree with Kate. A complete merger is not something I would encourage. Although I like to browse around on DHO, and rarely on KFD, I like the sense of community here, and choose to participate here.

I would support DHO being brought under the AN umbrella, but kept separate from this forum. (I think that's what is being proposed).
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 13:52 #14586

I have been reading the corresponding discussion over on DhO, and people there share the same concerns about retaining what is distinctive about their community. I agree with that. I personally post in both places, but mostly here. Wouldn't want to suppress points of view that people value in either place. I know that I'm in a different place now than I was in spring of 2011, for example, when I was new to this whole endeavor and thought AF was the End Of The World.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 14:03 #14587

I have not yet begun to schism!

:D

(I was trying to find that great description of DhO splitting to KFD and then DFRC... can anyone point me to it? I love the way the schisming is described!)
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 14:40 #14589

Kate Gowen wrote:
If it's not clear by my original post-- I don't expect that my opinion weighs much in the balance against a probably large, if not overwhelming or even unanimous, majority. But we were asked, and there it is.

On the contrary, everyone's opinion is very important to me. Can you please elaborate on what the downsides would be to you, personally? For example if a large part of the DhO traffic were invisible to you, would that be ok? Is it a signal-to-noise thing, or is there something more (culture, perhaps)? The DFRC can continue to be as exclusive as we wish to make it, but the thinking is that for people that participate in both places, having a single destination is a bit of a welcome relief.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 14:59 #14590

"Can you please elaborate on what the downsides would be to you, personally? For example if a large part of the DhO traffic were invisible to you, would that be ok? Is it a signal-to-noise thing, or is there something more (culture, perhaps)? The DFRC can continue to be as exclusive as we wish to make it, but the thinking is that for people that participate in both places, having a single destination is a bit of a welcome relief."

I have a bias toward the small and intimate-- and I realize that that is not everyone's preference. I certainly don't wish to impose my preferences on anyone, let alone the larger group. Then, there IS the further issue of every discussion getting drawn into the hot interest/issue of the moment (and, yes, I have AF very specifically in mind, and I understand I am probably irritating some by being so blunt). The further thing I have to work out for myself, is keeping track of who I'm "speaking to" when I post.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 15:10 #14591

Kate, the proposal on the table with Daniel Ingram is not to completely merge the two message boards but to put DhO under the AN umbrella like we are here. They would remain separate and distinct and we would have to work out some of the technicalities like how the "Recent Topics" button works.

BTW - since Daniel posted about this proposal both here and on DhO we're already getting a lot of new members. Some folks are curious about how this AN/DFRC system works, some are no doubt checking us out in a less technical, more sociological way.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 15:14 #14592

Kate Gowen wrote:
I have a bias toward the small and intimate

I would really miss this aspect. If things got bad, we might need to do something heavy handed and create the "small and intimate DFRC schism" within AN. I don't think that will be necessary, but it is an option. Plus it would allow me to forment schism. :evil:
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 15:22 #14593

shargrol wrote:
Kate Gowen wrote:
I have a bias toward the small and intimate

I would really miss this aspect. If things got bad, we might need to do something heavy handed and create the "small and intimate DFRC schism" within AN. I don't think that will be necessary, but it is an option. Plus it would allow me to forment schism. :evil:

That was probably tongue-in-cheek, but in case there was some seriousness, and to be clear, the DFRC group within AN will remain just so...not an option or exit strategy but the way it is. In a way, we have been badly served by having DFRC be the only group in AN...the two are not strictly synonymous.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 15:24 #14594

I was a schism fomenter - twice! It's not as sexy as it sounds.
Last Edit: 04 Sep 2013 18:38 by Chris Marti.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 17:08 #14598

Hi all,

I completely agree with Kate - I really like the small, intimate, personal and private nature of this forum. When I joined at the start of this year, I was trying to decide between DhO, Kenneth Folk, and here, and here was hands down. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable posting the personal material I do presently in a forum that was more like DhO, in fact there's no way I would.

Just personally, DhO is not the kind of forum that I'd like to participate in at the moment - it shares a lot of problems of many big, long-running forums, i.e. trolling and tiresome argument, discussion over and over again in the same terms of a few discussed-to-death issues (e.g. rebirth, renunciation - not that interesting conversations can't be had about these, but you know what I mean), basically very low signal-to-noise ratio - I still find some great stuff there sometimes but for me I'd say it's about 5-10%. I'm forever grateful to Daniel (if you're reading) for MCTB, DhO and everything you've done in creating and maintaining a PD community so it's not intended as a criticism in that way, just an observation about my preferences currently.

From reading their thread it seems to me that the DhO people feel the same way about our 'culture,' though I can't help thinking that, from my personal experiences here, the criticisms (e.g. that we're not open to different practices, 'commercialisation' etc) are way off target. Some other criticisms from that thread also seem to go to the cultural differences, e.g. I really liked that I got a personal email on signing up to AN, it made it seem like a space where it was safer to share personal stuff, and also more friendly.

I know I've said this before, but I really don't understand why we have a drive toward being bigger. For me, NOT being bigger was precisely the attraction to AN. The only argument I've seen thus far is that a bigger forum survives better. That may be the case, but (and again this is my personal opinion) I don't think we can take it for granted that that in itself is a good thing. Look at Dharmawheel and Dhammawheel, which I sometimes used to read in my early years in Buddhism - they're really big and long-running (despite schisms) but they're really, really not conducive places, to my mind, having a lot of the problems I mention above about DhO, but writ even larger. And yeah, even with separate sub-forums in AN, I'm not sure how the Recent Posts thing would work, how this might affect the feeling of smallness and privacy, etc.

Finally, I am also extremely grateful to Chris, Tom and everyone involved in setting up AN, but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't community consultation here about the merger before it was being presented as a possible fait accompli, and that the first I knew of it was being pointed to Daniel's thread over at DhO, indicating that conversations had already been taking place behind the scenes - for me this raises some broader questions about the nature of the direction of AN, i.e. is it community-driven and democratic, or is it run as the mods' creature/creation with secondary input from the community?
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 18:37 #14601

One more time:

There is no intent and no desire to merge DhO and this DFRC forum into one big mashup.

There will be separation and DFRC will not be merged with DhO. Tom has been consistent and crystal clear about Awakenetwork.org all along. The intent of AN has always been this -- to have multiple independent forums housed under the AN umbrella. Tom, me, and Jackson (the other DFRC founder, when he was around) never presented anything different. We moved DFRC to AN because of the technology and because we could control our own destiny here. That will not change. This conversation is taking place on the Dharma Forum Refugee Camp message board, not on the larger AN proper. If DhO joins AN they will have their own separate place like this one, their own membership list and their own rules. DFRC will stay as it is - and I say that as the only remaining founder. I value this place, too, and helped create it for the same reasons you all are upset about. However, if this place remains tiny it risks dying slowly, so the need to grow somewhat (not into a massive monster) is clear to me.

As for culture, that, too will differ. We will not change the way we manage DFRC. It will remain part public, part private because yes, there are things that are more "safely" said in private. We created private areas for that reason and they will remain that way. Some of what has been said over on DhO is being said because folks may remember the schisms of old or they may not have spent any time here and may be surmising about us more than operating from experience here. That's what happens when comfort is threatened by change. Maybe we can overcome that kind of thing and operate from the facts that are being presented by Tom and me, and not from our worst fears.

Finally, your input, coming from all of you, is important to Tom and to me. You have been listened to in the past and you will be now and in the future.

Does that help at all?
Last Edit: 04 Sep 2013 18:41 by Chris Marti.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 19:17 #14602

Thanks for the clarification, again, Chris. Perhaps it was the thread title, and the room for confusion, in Dan's presentation, that got me going.

If there's not going to be an appreciable change to this gathering, it seems unnecessary to ask our opinion-- ? Or am I still confused, only differently?
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 04 Sep 2013 19:27 #14603

Yeah, Dan's presentation ;-)

We'd ask you about this anyway, Kate. Daniel did what Daniel seems to do - he got out ahead of all of us. Tom and I had no idea he would create public topics here and on DhO and make this public just yet. He was provided access here so he could look around at the place and get a feel for the technology. This was something Tom and I raised to Daniel at BG2013 and it has moved along quickly, mainly because Daniel is amenable and, frankly sinks a lot of his own money onto DhO and this move can help him avoid that. Our technology is open source for the most part and much less expensive to operate. He can have a separate DhO, run the way he wants it to run. The obstacles are technical, mainly, and probably solvable but that's Tom's domain.

So, yeah.

Fun!
Last Edit: 04 Sep 2013 19:28 by Chris Marti.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 05 Sep 2013 05:21 #14605

After reading the threads here and at DhO I think it is a good idea with an umbrella platform for the both sites.
It seems like the forums can keep their distinct "personalities" intact, and mingle only when wanted.

And it would be really great if the remains of the old KFDh forum could be imported as well.
Maybe just as a limited "Best of" import that could be done by the thread-starters (like some have done at the new KFDh) if it can not be done automatically.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 05 Sep 2013 08:15 #14607

Pejn wrote:
And it would be really great if the remains of the old KFDh forum could be imported as well.
Maybe just as a limited "Best of" import that could be done by the thread-starters (like some have done at the new KFDh) if it can not be done automatically.

That is being worked on as a separate, but in many ways equally important, task.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 05 Sep 2013 14:51 #14619

shargrol wrote:
(I was trying to find that great description of DhO splitting to KFD and then DFRC... can anyone point me to it? I love the way the schisming is described!)

Found it:

:)

The Dharma Underground spawned the Dharma Overground, which spawned KFD and OE when the first Great Schism occurred, and then KFD had its own series of schisms, one of which spawned The Dharma Forum Refugee Camp whose members include some of the early DhO members, and that spawnened the grand attempt at re-integrating some of the fractured communities called awakenetwork.org.


Awesome. Expansion and Contraction.
Last Edit: 05 Sep 2013 14:52 by shargrol.
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The DhO and AN proposed merger: thoughts? 06 Oct 2013 09:39 #15228

Since this was brought up on another thread, I thought I should write something here. First, there was a very "lively" discussion about it at DhO. You can read about here:

www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discu...ards/message/4650405

As you can read, there were many strong, negative reactions to the idea. There were also a few good criticisms of the existing AN interface, and a very few positive reactions. One can probably assume that there are a bunch of lurkers on the "don't care" side of things. But as of right now, there is no movement on this integration of DhO until some of the underlying architectural and cultural issues are addressed.
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