Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

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samseva
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by samseva » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:07 am

The problem is not with participation, or "growing" (a forum with only low-quality members does not survive), but much rather with having and keeping knowledgable members, whom are the backbone of a community.

How a community is structured, whether online or offline—based on a classic on community-building by Amy Jo Kim (who also happens to have a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience), called Community Building on the Web—is the following:

Community2.jpg

Visitors
Visitors are individuals who visit a forum, but don't post, and usually don't even have an account. Their intention is purely to learn—they don't participate or contribute. The determining factor that makes a Visitor transition to a Newcomer or Learner is the level of quality of interactions in the community.

Newcomers
Newcomers—commonly referred to as 'newbies'—are usually, along with Learners, the most numerous of a community. They participate, but do not contribute much, due to being new to the community and the subject of the community. They are the most taxing on a community, since along with being numerous, they must be taught all of the basics (and such topics are of no or lesser interest to Knowledgeables, Experts and Elders). However, the community is there to teach members, and some Newcomers will eventually be the next generation of Knowledgeables and Experts. Helping Newcomers to transition to Learners as fast as possible is the goal, as well as an indication of a healthy community.

Learners
Learners are those who have been part of the community for some time, or were already familiar with the subject of the community before joining it.

Knowledgeables
Knowledgeable members are those who are well-learnt on the subject of the community, but aren't yet experts on the matter. They are in higher numbers than Experts and are still learning, but are valuable members of the community, as they heavily contribute on topics which they are already knowledgable about. While Experts and Elders tend to participate and contribute to discussions which are more complex or of interest to them, Knowledgeables step up to help Newcomers and Learners. Knowledgeables are also the next generation of Experts.

Experts
Experts are few and are highly valuable to a community. They are mainly contributors in a community and can help on almost any matter. Experts should be protected, since, like Elders, they are the backbone of a community. Without Experts and Elders, the community essentially becomes 'the blind leading the blind'.

Elders
Elders are Experts who have been part of the community for numerous years. They are highly knowledgeable and have almost seen it all. Elders are even more knowledgable and experienced than Experts, and should be protected even more, especially due to their fragility in their interest to stay and continue contributing to the community.

Retired
The Retired are usually Elders or Experts who have become disinterested with the community—either due to personal reasons, from the general state of the community, or how it is run. Some will leave the community altogether, but some still read topics occasionally or post from time to time.

Moderators
Moderators are the few members who run the community. They are the ones who decide on the way the community is run and how members must behave. They are as important as Experts and Elders and should be valued and respected. Moderators should at all times remember that their role and influence have significant effects on the community—Moderators can either make or break a community.

Monastics
In the context of DhammaWheel, some of the most valuable members of the community are monastics. Like Experts and Elders, they should be valued and protected as best as is possible.

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samseva
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by samseva » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:16 am

Personally, since more than a year now, I've become disinterested with DhammaWheel—partly for personal reasons, and partly from how DhammaWheel currently is. (I came out of hiatus to post a few files, and then to express my frustration with the addition of the time-limit for editing posts, after I couldn't edit the post in question—which I think is another reason why DhammaWheel will decrease in quality and be of lesser interest for serious members.)

From having actively participated for a long time, I've found that DhammaWheel has become more of a 'Colosseum for debate', rather than a place to share/discuss Dhamma. Sadly, it's as if Dhamma is simply the topic used to debate, while any other topic would serve the same purpose (SuttaCentral isn't much better though, as there are considerable biases and agendas going on in the background).

Mind you, I'm not saying this to complain, but more because I appreciate DhammaWheel and would much rather see it thrive. I still read Ven. Dhammanando's posts though, which I am highly grateful for.

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Keith
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by Keith » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:37 am

My participation in Dhammawheel diminished because, as I studied more, I put more emphasis on practice and less on textual study. Dhammawheel became less relevant to my daily practice, so I left it behind. I pop back occasionally to see what's what, but usually the discussion is at an academically high level and my practice shifted away from theory and towards experience through meditation and ethical conduct. I didn't have the time to learn about the nuisances of doctrine, and didn't see the advantage of doing so at that point in my development. I still don't, this is one of those 'what's what' visits.

I'm tremendously grateful for Dhammawheel, which (along with e-sangha before it) helped me a tremendous amount in my early years.

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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by SarathW » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:01 am

Keith wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:37 am
My participation in Dhammawheel diminished because, as I studied more, I put more emphasis on practice and less on textual study. Dhammawheel became less relevant to my daily practice, so I left it behind. I pop back occasionally to see what's what, but usually the discussion is at an academically high level and my practice shifted away from theory and towards experience through meditation and ethical conduct. I didn't have the time to learn about the nuisances of doctrine, and didn't see the advantage of doing so at that point in my development. I still don't, this is one of those 'what's what' visits.

I'm tremendously grateful for Dhammawheel, which (along with e-sangha before it) helped me a tremendous amount in my early years.
:goodpost:
Perhaps this could be one of the major reasons.
People are growing out of Dhamma Wheel over time.
I do not visit my old primary school or the university anymore.
:D
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:05 am

Greetings,

This direction this topic is going is reminding me of a topic I started in February called Drop in, drop out, drop in, drop out....

The topic was started in the Lounge, but in light of this discussion and the fact the Lounge forum is archived, I'll shift it across to Personal Experience so that if anyone wishes to revive it, they can.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 am

samseva wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:07 am
The problem is not with participation, or "growing" (a forum with only low-quality members does not survive), but much rather with having and keeping knowledgable members, whom are the backbone of a community.

How a community is structured, whether online or offline—based on a classic on community-building by Amy Jo Kim (who also happens to have a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience), called Community Building on the Web—is the following:


Community2.jpg


Thanks for this - a lot of food for thought here. It's an interesting typology but I'm left wondering what the role is for people displaying virtues other than knowledge. One might subsume all virtues under knowledge of course, given that the Buddha often blamed ignorance as the root problem afflicting us. But the absence of other qualities would seem to be more of an issue on a Buddhist forum. What about patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and so on?

If I go to a site for (say) cyclists, I can tolerate any number of bad attitudes providing there are knowledgeable people who can explain how to fix my brakes or where to find cheap equipment. But for an interested visitor to go on to to a Buddhist site and see people with a lot of knowledge, but who still bear grudges, needlessly provoke one another, grumble incessantly, are dismissive, arrogant, or are just wishing to display their superiority in some particular field; they might think that this Buddhism stuff was not worth bothering with. "If that's what knowledgeable Buddhists are like, then forget it!!"

Of course, it's best if we have a balance of the virtues, and become consummate in all parami. But let's hear it for the sweet and humble and kind and unassuming people here - regardless of their knowledge - because they make DW a wonderful place!

SarathW
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by SarathW » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:47 am

:goodpost:
SV
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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samseva
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by samseva » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:54 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 am
It's an interesting typology but I'm left wondering what the role is for people displaying virtues other than knowledge. One might subsume all virtues under knowledge of course, given that the Buddha often blamed ignorance as the root problem afflicting us. But the absence of other qualities would seem to be more of an issue on a Buddhist forum. What about patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and so on?
Of course. Like the Buddha says with the brahma-vihāras, these qualities are crucial for social interaction and harmony. Still, knowledge (or more precisely wisdom) and development are usually the main reasons for the formation and continuation of a community.

I'm sure a lot of people benefit solely from being a member of a supportive group, which is great. I'd say this is also an integral part of what makes a healthy community and that it can have positive impacts on people's lives. My post could be expounded on, but I don't see how this negates the major portion of what a community is based on?

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DNS
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by DNS » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:57 pm

Good (recent) posts, on this page. :thumbsup:

And with that, I think it's time to close this topic. It is clear and agreed, at least by most posting here that DW is actually doing fine, and the 3rd party traffic sites indeed show that there was only a decline when lounge, politics, news was closed and moved to DWE and then there was all the hubbub in politics around the 2016 election year, but the overall trend is showing a stable or actually increasing traffic-line for DW.
dw stat trends.png
(black line added by me showing the overall statistical trend, ignoring the outlier situation of the hubbub in 2016 which spiked traffic)

If anyone wants to continue discussion regarding things that they like, make them stay, things that they don't like, make them go away, can do so in the personal experience topic retro recommended:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=31178

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why Dhammawheel is not growing?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:20 pm

samseva wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:54 pm
My post could be expounded on, but I don't see how this negates the major portion of what a community is based on?
It doesn't negate it at all, and nor was it intended to.

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