Re: Intentional community blogs, forums
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 16:08:34 -0700 (PDT)
There are, of course, many blogs available on the websites of individual
communities - some delve into the topics Robert L yearns for, but they
mostly seem to focus on communicating with prospective future members. This
seems to be growing to connect with people who are watching, but have not
yet "risked" two-way communication. One of our current members told me they
followed our website (, and those of two other Puget Sound
forming groups for almost 2 years before they decided to contact us. They
came for a visit, joined us, then ultimately moved in. Now, they've been my
neighbor for about 9 years.

As for active discussion of community theory, design, structure, etc. - I've
witnessed this almost entirely face-to-face. In private meetings with
cohousing activists and professionals. in small group gatherings (especially
within forming groups), amongst academics, and, of course, at large events.
Some regional groups also host events with that intention.

My guess is that to meet the needs that Richard L. expresses, he needs to
delve into the academic world. There are many active intellectual dialogs
that are inclusive of the needs of intentional communities. My assumption is
that today, this type of active "discussion" is not in online blogs as much
as in emails, papers, dissertations, books, articles, conferences, and the
many other ways that people communicate, including... face-to-face.

As much as some of us might like to have all things online, all the time...
most of our world "just don't happen" by sitting at home, browsing, reading,
and typing away at our computers.

Now its obvious that  I'm an active online communicator myself.

But I can testify that the things I do that are the most appreciated by the
people I know best are physical, they are real, and are not about typing
words. This morning, I mudded and taped the ceiling of one of Songaia's
guest rooms (now under rennovation). Tonight, I'll walk next door to help
Fred get into bed - it takes a Hoyer lift to transfer him from his power
wheelchair to his bed, and its just too much work for Nancy to handle alone.
Both of these actions are appreciated far more deeply than are these words,
but, of course, only by a few people.

Typed words can inspire, can influence, can inform and all kinds of other
good stuff, but to truly impact most people the most deeply, we need to be
there for them, where they live. We need to open our arms to help a dear
friend, grab a putty knife and spread some spackle, fix some food to share,
or clean up after a nice meal.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in sharing our words, our ideas. But my direct
experience is that for most, to have a rich community life requires work and
play and hugs - all in the "real" world. I look forward to seeing some of
you again in Seattle... and let's hug if you would like.


On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 6:44 AM, Fred H Olson <fholson [at]> 

> On 5/30/09 Richard L. wrote to :
> >
> > The Community Buzz Blog seems to be dead along with just about all
> > the other blogs that might cover cutting edge ideas in intentional
> > community theory and design. Do you know of any blog or forum that
> > has a current, active discussion of new ideas for community design,
> > organization, structure, theory, etc?
> >
> > I don't just want to read books and articles--I want to discuss
> > technical and scholarly issues with experts in the field. Unfortunately,
> > I am not in a position to travel and attend conferences. I need to find
> > a forum for this on the web.
> >
> > Any suggestions?
> Long ago someone maintained a list of community related forums but alas
> it's maintenance was not sustained and I am not aware of anything
> current.  There probably are some partial lists, if anyone knows of
> something please reply with details.
> Cohousing-L is a forum related to the topics Richard asked about.
> Cohhousing-L ( ) is a mailing list about
> all aspects of cohousing tho topics about other forms of IC's particularly
> if they overlap cohousing are welcome.
> Not sure if anything that rises to the level of "active discussion of new
> ideas for community design, organization, structure, theory, etc" comes up
> - it tends to be more pragmatic questions.  You're welcome to join and
> post a message trying to start such a thread that may elicit a response.
> Cohousing-L has about 800 active subscribers, averages about 150 messages
> per month and has a searchable archive of our 30.000+ messages since 1993.
> Tho mailing lists have numerous disadvantages, unlike most blogs, web
> based bbses etc, most subscribers get the messages in their inbox (most in
> digest mode) when there is activity so it is seen promptly and tends to
> generate more activity as other people are reminded of a topic they want
> to bring up.  This does result in an ebb and flow of messages but there's
> never been prolonged lull in messages on cohousing-L. Recently
> (5/16-5/23 ) there was a lull with a bit less than one message per day
> but yesterday had 4 messages and 14 the day before.
> A possible hybrid of a more reflective blog with the immediate
> audience of a mailing list would be to cross promote them with
> a mailing list post about new blog posts or requests for contributions to
> a blog via the list.  But this would require a dedicated peson to make it
> happen.
> Blogs are like online calendars and web sites generally - they are much
> easier to start than they are to sustain.
> Other related sites:
> has some blogs.
> Note that as of Dec 2008, "the monthly Cohousing Magazine, with its
> in-depth articles, will be fully integrated with the website, and replaced
> by Cohousing Now" "Now" is an occasioonal email newsletter.
> Note cohousing-L is independent of Coho/US tho we do share the domain and
> cooperate.
> Further from the blog / forum format are
> and
> BTW one complaint I have about some of these other formats is the
> frequent lack of a date the information was posted so one is left
> wondering when references to "recent" etc refer to.
> Fred, cohousing-L list manager
> --
> Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
> Communications for Justice -- Free, superior listserv's w/o ads:
>      My Link Pg:
> 612-588-9532 (7am-10pm CST/CDT)   Email: fholson at
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