20 September 2007

Changes on the horizon

Yes, things are changing at ArtistsJournals2 (aka AJ2), a Yahoo Group that I started almost exactly six years ago.

I've had a great time with AJ2 and I love so many of the members! But, it's time for changes at that group... some very big changes to keep it vital.

The first change is that it's for people who want to exchange ideas. The key word is "exchange." AJ2 turned into a group with maybe 50 people contributing... and 1450 (maybe) lurking.

Oh, I'm not pointing a finger. I mean, I'm the one who said that it's always okay to lurk in my groups! But... I never meant AJ2 to become a spectacle, where just a few people bare their souls and contribute journaling tips. I figured that, in time, most of the lurkers would come out of hiding and share questions, advice, and so on.

I mean, art is about communicating... isn't it? It's about sharing what we see... in our mind's eye if not in our surroundings.

It's funny, the email that I've rec'd since saying that everyone has to agree to participate in discussions now & then. (Not weekly, maybe not even monthly... just "now & then.")

From some, the disapproval has been searing. To them, I want to say, "Fine. Go start a Yahoo Group that's for people who are too busy or too self-absorbed to say anything. See how much people enjoy that kind of group." And y'know what...? I'm only half-joking.

But, yes, I was ready to close AJ2 about a week ago. Thanks to my two co-moderators, Red Dog Scott and Becky New, I decided against that idea. Instead, we came up with a plan to revitalize AJ2 and take it in new directions.

That's what's in progress right now. The first step was to identify who is still reading AJ2 and can agree to participate in discussions. That's what we're doing right now, with a poll at AJ2. (If you're in AJ2 and haven't been reading your emails recently, now would be a good time to do so.)

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Blogger Dindrane said...

Another problem with a group having only a few people who post is that theirs becomes the dominant aesthetic, so other people may come to think that only AJ pages that look like that are "acceptable" or "good." This of course creates a downward spiral as people become afraid to post their own work that might be different for whatever reason.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Aisling said...

That's brilliant, Erin! Now that you mention it, that was going on! I'm just really pleased with the results of the changes, both at AJ2/WAJ2 and in my own life.

Thanks for always being so incredibly astute. It helps to have a friend who can evaluate situations so well.

10:04 AM  

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