Re: Community portals [was: Seeking fellow cohousing geeks
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:07:24 -0700 (PDT)
On Jul 11, 2014, at 9:30 AM, Catya Belfer <catya [at]> wrote:

> \A bunch of us have set this sort of thing up for our communities - I'll
> register also, but for what its worth I wish this conversation was
> happening here or on Sharon's list.

Based on my experience of setting up alternative forums, I not only wish it was 
but advise you to do this. It's very hard to keep a list active. I think forums 
are probably worse. Until there are 200 or so members the discussion will stall 
out. When lists go quiet people forget about them. Cohousing-L focuses on 
problem solving so it revives with the next problem. But it has close to a 
1,000 (?) members.

I started lists for cohousing on reserve studies, on using Wordpress, and on 
sociocratic governance for cohousing. They all had early activity, particularly 
the reserve study list, but then they went dead. The reserve study list gets a 
post every once in while but they are very dependent on me keeping the 
conversation going. And I can't keep that many balls in the air.

Many sociocracy people in cohousing have joined the main sociocracy list, 
sociocracy [at], which is very active but also goes quiet until 
I or a couple of others post something to revive it. 

80% of members will only listen. It's like reading a newspaper. How many 
readers ever send a letter to the editor or write an opinion piece? But the 
newspaper is still very important. The other 20% have to produce the action.

I started alternative lists because I thought the general list wouldn't be 
interested but I think I was wrong. They were all topics that everyone would 
benefit hearing about. I was afraid they would be too technical or take too 
much space here but I think I was wrong. 

So I think the discussion would be better here and would attract cohousers who 
are not involved in other cohousing discussions, thus broadening the audience.

Sharon Villines
Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy

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