Ming the Mechanic:
Where are the people it works for?

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Where are the people it works for?2002-05-30 13:23
by Flemming Funch

The New Civilization Network is intended to be a place where useful connections form, where people find the collaborators and resources they need to manifest the things they dream about doing. Or, shall we say, NCN is an exploration towards creating structures that accomplish that, and that allows such teams of people to inter-connect productively with each other.

Now, as to people finding what they're looking for, there appears to be a problem. I know that some people do find important things they were looking for. But the tendendency is to leave after you do so.

That might or might not be bad, but I want to mention that it isn't how I thought it would work. What I'd most of all like to see happen is that there's visible connectivity between a bunch of teams of people who are doing important work. I.e. they stay in touch, and they report on their successes and failures. They share in their process so we can all learn from it.

But that isn't happening very much. There's a lot of successful people doing important things on the member list of NCN. But most of them are not in touch. They're busy doing what they're doing.

So, I'm looking for the keys to making it meaningful to stay connected, even when you're really busy with important work.

Sometimes it seems like nothing really works. NCN is just some people hanging out and chatting about things. And some people do that for a while and then leave in disappointment or disgust, declaring that nothing ever got done.

But at the same time many people have come up to me and told me about crucial connections they formed here. However, the kicker is that these are usually people who aren't visible now and who don't participate in any discussions and don't post anything. And usually it happens in person. I.e. I meet somebody at a conference. Sometimes people I already know, but just as often people I had no clue of. And they come up and tell me that they're members of NCN and they casually mention some important and crucial connection they found in NCN. "This is where I found so-and-so, and we started this company doing so-and-so, and it is going really well". And I maybe hadn't heard about any of it. The weird thing is that it often seems like it is a secret. Somebody sort of whispers this in my ear, only because I happen to be standing next to them.

So, there seems to be a phenomenon of it seeming natural to leave and get busy the moment one finds what one looks for. Or, some people never really participated in much of anything, but just searched through the member database, found the people they needed, contacted them, and went and did something with them.

I would love to keep the spotlight on the stuff that works. I want to know who forged connections that became productive. I want to know how they did it, and what they're doing now.

Doesn't have to have anything to do with NCN. I'd also like to hear from the people who're already doing it. How did they find the right people to work with, how did they get the right resources together, what is motivating them, and what are their successes and failures along the way?

For the people who are most active in NCN, in the sense of posting things and participating in discussions, etc., there seems to be a phenomenon that often ends in disappointment. I.e. if you come in hoping to do something with NCN, or trying to make NCN do something, then you might end up having spent a lot of energy on it, but might eventually be disappointed that "nothing happened". But if you can manage to not have very many fixed expections, you might find it very stimulating and productive to be here. And many people do well with that, don't get me wrong.

But, one way or another, I think it is about how to keep the energy, and channel the energy, so that the successful activities can stimulate the environment that makes it work for more people.

If all the people who are successful in getting their team together and working on their life dream are then LEAVING or don't have time to show up in the first place, it obviously doesn't help much in the rest of us learning something from it.

It is quite natural if people who are busy, and who already are doing what they know they need to do, don't have a lot of time to hang around and talk smalltalk about many different things. If you're working around the clock to cure cancer, you might not want to spend half your day arguing about politics or why this person doesn't get along with that person.

So, I'm looking for the stuff that it WOULD be meaningful for such people to connect with. I.e. a mechanism by which they can stay in touch with a bigger network, and at least let us know what they're doing, without distracting them unnecessarily.

And I'm looking for the factors that makes the energy dissipate, rather than channel into something productive. If the answer is in something I'm doing wrong, or haven't thought of, I'd certainly like to hear it, because I don't know.

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30 May 2002 @ 14:20 by magical_melody : Ideas-Feedback
This is a good opening Flemming. It is time that members give more input into this system, as it is a co-creative venture we are all on. It is too much to expect that you alone will carry the co-creation and be burdened with the many tasks yet to come in implementing some of the ideas presented. Community is about sharing the vision and subsequent responsibilities, and each one bringing their ideas, skills and know-how together to collaborate on projects. So maybe this is spring cleaning, and the rooms are needing to be refurnished to make better use of the whole system, and for the system to make better use of us. I see a place or a form where people can easily log in what projects came together and the hows of that process, etc. answering questions like you have posed, and if people want more info about that project, they can list it or not, link their website or any resources they came across through their participation in NCN. I think having a simple form or space where this info can track the negatives and positives re: NCN, would be so incredibly valuable to all. Is it possible to have it built into system with regular reminders visible to the whole, to please give feedback? Periodic articles and updates to the larger community would feed the information back akin to a neighborhood newsletter giving people a greater sense or feel of what NCN is, has been and could be as it evolves. I would be willing to assist with updates - in terms of writing a piece now and again in that regard to inspire and share important feedback to it's members. Is there a way of investigating who is active in the system? Perhaps a group email going out to see who is available - and once you have the form or space available for NCN feedback, a request to come by and give feedback with an adjoining article to inspire such feedback and how it can enrich all. Just some thoughts for now. Perhaps at some point the purpose and face of NCN will, in fact evolve to be quite different than what you or others now hold in vision for it. Until that becomes very strong and apparent-This feedback is something that can help us all to see what has been built and what has evolved, while holding it as a space to evolve into what is yet to become. Thanks, Magical Melody  

30 May 2002 @ 16:57 by jazzolog : 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward
I consider myself a newcomer. I guess I got brought into membership some 6 months ago or so---I don't know---but really have only a little over 3 months' "active" participation. I don't even know whether I'm active or not. The real action may be somewhere to which I am not privy. I'm in 5 Workgroups I think, but there has been absolutely no activity in any of them in many days. Occasionally I chat. I got talked into putting up a Log, and for a while I have tried to think of it as something that might contribute to NCN. Mostly only the Logwriters themselves make comments---and there are fewer of them active every day it seems. I'm too new to know if this is a phase the network goes through from time to time.

However, I feel that in these few weeks the site has lost significant people to the disappointment addressed in this entry. Not everyone who left was my friend, but I mourn their going almost as much as I miss the people whose posts brightened my every day. The percentage of active people taking off is too high for this little bit of time. I know of none who has said, "Eureka! I found what I was looking for, and now I'm leaving." Some have better stuff to do, it's true. But as one becomes disappointed, almost anything looks better to do.

Ming, you ask, "If the answer is in something I'm doing wrong, or haven't thought of, I'd certainly like to hear it, because I don't know." Allow me respectfully to suggest something. I've read entries and posts like this from you a number of times now, and nearly every one has sentences like these: "It is quite natural if people who are busy, and who already are doing what they know they need to do, don't have a lot of time to hang around and talk smalltalk about many different things. If you're working around the clock to cure cancer, you might not want to spend half your day arguing about politics or why this person doesn't get along with that person."

I read all the Logs because I think there's good writing there. I don't think there's smalltalk in them at all. Such a description is relative I suppose, and to a really huge brain maybe our creativities are small; but I think it's demeaning to describe this work as hanging around and arguing. It may be that the thousands of people who do not appear active in the Member Area are the significant NCN participants---but I'm not ready to buy that until I see proof. Even if you really believe that if the people in the Workgroups and the Logs were truly busy in their lives they wouldn't be here, I think you should stop saying it. People can get discouraged...and leave---disappointed.  

30 May 2002 @ 17:09 by ming : Smalltalk
I didn't mean to discourage or denigrate what is going on in terms of posting and commenting. But I'm trying to find the right levers here somewhere, and there is quite a range of different viewpoints. Some of people who leave, and some of the people who are here, give comments to the effect that there's just a lot of idle talk going on, not leading anywhere. I don't agree with them that it is idle and of no use, even if it is not directed. And at the same time, none of it currently accomplishes the main thing I that I personally am looking for - which is the connections between viable projects and teams.

And, no, the point is not whether I can convince you that it is really working or not. I'm not playing that game. I'm exploring, looking for what works. So don't wait around for me to try to convince you that the status quo is perfect.  

30 May 2002 @ 17:34 by jazzolog : OK
You want us to tell YOU it's working. Here---come into this corridor...let me whisper in your ear: it's working.  

30 May 2002 @ 17:40 by ming : Feedback Ideas
Alana, yes, great ideas! So, yeah, it could be as simple as some forms for giving feedback, both for what works and what doesn't work. And periodic articles and updates to both present the results, and call for people to give more feedback. So, let's keep in touch on that.

That is also something that might be sent out to the membership at large, in order to involve the people who aren't active in the web area. Some people just aren't very comfortable with online places like this, so even though most NCN members joined from the website, the majority are probably more inclined towards e-mail than interactive websites.

The database keeps good track of who's active in terms of the online area. But it doesn't give the whole picture. There are still some e-mail mailing lists that people are active on, but with almost no overlap to the web area.  

30 May 2002 @ 17:57 by jazzolog : Good Stuff, Ming
Let's get started. Who here do you want to help you? Alana offers. Scott offers.  

30 May 2002 @ 21:20 by magical_melody : I see it and then I don't!
Flemming, I read your article from earlier in the month where you shared your sense of vision, and how people are often loading lots of faults onto you, etc. Disappearing its called. How come I see it and then I don't? Did you hide it? I told Swan to read it as I found it really valuable and commented on it today. I felt in part that the reason these corridors and rooms are not filled, is due to a timing issue. Many networks and projects are simply in formatives stages and I feel that the mainstream will be entering into more profound changes in the next couple years, and that is when perhaps the connectivity will flourish. What can we do now, just what we are discussing. Tracking input, and getting this site as functional as possible to handle what I feel will be coming in terms of high activity. I trust in your vision as I have seen it too. Many of us have been involved in a profoundly long process of preparing ourselves as facilitators for what will be emerging in the coming days. The energy changes alone are amazing to me. I believe that we are just on the edge of stepping into it soon. I have been feeling that structures are truly dissipating, and in my own life, I am feeling such profound acceleration now that I am literally feeling more consistently as though I am living in the higher dimension energetically. So brother, keep the faith and trust alive, and let's talk about what to do next. Love, Magical Melody  

30 May 2002 @ 22:35 by ming : Preparing for the future
The "Disappearing" article is till there. I generally never hide anything, so it probably just dropped off the list that is most visible. You can see a link to it just below here, actually.

And, yes, it might well be that we're simply practicing for a time in the future when something like NCN would really be needed. Possibly when other things break down, or when larger numbers of people suddenly sense a need for working together.

I experience a sense of urgency on that. It kind of matters less to me whether or not it is working perfectly right now. But I'd really like to see something move into place that connects many groups, many people, many websites, and that by its nature is virtually indestructible. I.e. no central control, no single communication medium that can be unplugged.  

31 May 2002 @ 00:42 by scottj : This is very exciting!
From what you say about significant numbers of people using NCN as a source for vital contacts leading to real world achievments it would appear that NCN is being very effective as a skills accessing / swopping network. This is vital work and really should be on the front page so that more people can access it. I would suggest, if possible, contacting all the signed up members with a feedback form along the lines Alana suggests. The info could be edited into a "Look what NCN has helped to facilitate page".

I believe this on its own could be like adding a turbo to the whole project.

Another concrete idea is to set up a work group somewhere to look at re-designing the front end of the site. Whether this should be done first I don't know but I do know that if one adds a turbo to 1985 engine with 200,000 km on the clock you better watch out for those flying pistons!

Final thought for the day - NCN is effective at allowing people to input and process other people's input but it is not effective at allowing people to output. This explains the turnover. Whether or not it is possible for NCN or any on line facility to do more than this is an open question. There are at the very least limitations to what can be achieved in cyber space and at some point things have got to "go real". Perhaps looking at the boundaries to what is possible would be a useful way of avoiding frustrations. Having defined those boundaries the obvious thing to do is to provide doors (swing doors?) where people can go out and "get real".  

31 May 2002 @ 00:52 by scottj : Footnote to Ming's last post above
Ming, the fact that we are talking about these issues may be the strongest indicator that the need is now. I also believe that we are already in a process of rapid breakdown. This would certainly be the conclusion a visitor to our planet would come to if she was looking from a 1000 year type of perspective. (As opposed to our 10 year one)

If a real sense of urgency has to wait until after the shit has already hit the fan big time with nuclear war, environmental collapse, collapse of communication, distribution networks etc it may be too late to avoid Gaia having to recycle the whole experiment and start over.

As it is even if the momentum for a new civilisation started to really build over the whole planet (and I believe that is a real possibility) the outcome will remain uncertain as the present system's own momentum is considerable and heading towards a really bad place.  

31 May 2002 @ 01:46 by jazzolog : Headlines Scott
I've been tempted for a week to put these 2 or 3 most recent thoughts about NCN out on the Front Page. It's a tough call for me, but I still feel we have only a few people tossing around formative ideas internally. If a decision happens and the work begins, maybe that will be news to share with the general public. Naturally, the "publisher" can overrule me on this and that would be OK by me.

Of course, I don't know whether there are lots of people in the readership. It would be nice if there were a feedback about that feature in the tracking devices, as long as we're talking about such. All I can do is presume the Logs are successful to the Network in some way, and the stuff out on the splash page too, since they're still here.  

31 May 2002 @ 02:02 by ming : Turbo
Yeah, Scott, it could make excellent sense to position NCN much more strongly as the place to go find people and resources so you can go and do things. But it would certainly have to go with some actual success stories, and some more precise step by step way of getting there.

And I'm still not really sure to what degree it is being effective and to what degree it is not working for people. So we need the surveying at the same time, to get a more honest picture of what is really going on.  

31 May 2002 @ 02:17 by jazzolog : Is NCN Just a Search Page?
If NCN is a click on the Net to find something to do at another site, we thank you very much and it's a lovely collection of links. But there seems to a small settlement here, an oasis, for folks passing through. A couple people even stay---to run the little refreshment stand and provide entertainment. Do we need any facilities, utilities?  

31 May 2002 @ 03:32 by ming : Oasis
NCN is all of it. It is not a matter of it being one thing and not the other. Yeah, there's an oasis here, and I think that's great. Maybe it is to help out the people passing through. I don't really know what it IS yet. But I do know that some people need an effective mechanism to help them find something they're looking for, whether they knew it or not. That's not all. Other people need other things.  

31 May 2002 @ 03:39 by scottj : Ming, I would deffo say send out
a questioinnaire to all members to find out how NCN has helped them. If the compiling of this info went in tandem and interactively with updating the design maybe the two would be ready around the same time? The only bummer for me personally is that I am very limited as to what I can do until around the Autumn. This makes me a bit reluctant just throwing these ideas out without any real capacity to back them up. After that time I would be more than willing to have a bigger practical input in whatever way was helpful.  

31 May 2002 @ 03:59 by istvan : Survey
Yes a survey could be useful toward getting us unstuck. Specific questions could be asked from the membership about their intent,purpose,abilities,expertise,needs,resources,etc,etc. than the structure of the network would/could be formatted to possible fullfillment of some of the main visions for change. There are so many treasures of wisdom lost in on the web, that it boggles my limited mind as how to try to preserve the fragments.
Example: i have at least a trillion megabytes of data on zip disks and harddrives. piles of printouts on my floor waiting to be used for something i am unable to define.
I joined NCN in the hope of finding people who would need my humble talents to help us to be less confused about what we are doing on this beautiful hostile planet, but found none.
Aside from joking, i think we need to get more specific of what needs to be done instead of what we feel like doing or saying. LOL  

31 May 2002 @ 04:17 by ming : Surveying
Let me mention that I brought up a general surveying idea to the whole membership a couple of years ago. Along the lines of - let's get a better picture of who we are, what we want, how we want it, etc. And I got a very positive response back. At the time, that meant 50-60 e-mails voicing their interest and support, and zero against it. I got a lot of suggestions for survey questions as well.

But it is not just like that. Constructing a well-functioning survey is not necessarily easy. But, OK, I'm sure we can start with something that is simple, like listings of successes and failures.

I'd like to have some simple surveying software ready for it. Just so that there's the facility of recording people's answers to several different questions online. I'm sort of 80% done with that. I worked on it a couple of months ago, but haven't had time to work much on the NCN software since then.

Without that, or even with that, it is still a bit of a task to tabulate it and figure out what it means. The stuff that can't be covered by multiple-choice questions will of course require a person to tabulate it.  

31 May 2002 @ 04:43 by swan : Is it working?
As Shakti mentioned in her recent reflection about NCN, some of what is happening here, and the part that works for me is the Creative Dance. Creativity is what makes the bigger things happen, it is life force energy. I come to be a part of the Creative Dance and mingle with good people around the world. It is comforting to me to see so many people passionate about seeing a better world. We are a microcosm of the larger world. We are not alone, there are people all over the planet holding the vision for a better world creating a greater energy so that that very thing can happen. In my world outside of NCN I do the same. I try to hold vision and be a model for how a better world would look to me.
( Love, joy, beauty and harmony are the attribute I strive for.) I enter into relationships which each person I meet from that prospective. In terms of the work for Earth, I volunteer at the Raptor Center in Mpls, helping to rehabilitate injured raptors so they can go back into the environment to do their part. Small things. That ripple out in big ways. I believe one person can have a big impact and that things can change in an instant. And I know that each one of you is doing something similiar. There is group energy here that may not be concrete and measurable but it is real just the same. That is what I see. Swan  

31 May 2002 @ 06:48 by shawa : I feel the group energy, too -
... sort of hovering over the place, and it may be one of the most important factors of walking towards the "new". Thanks, Swan, for mentioning that. That´s one of my main points of interest in here, and perhaps the very reason why I´m still here, and contributing.  

31 May 2002 @ 10:12 by magical_melody : Yes, Swan and Shakti, and Guys!
YES to the Survey. Let's getting it going. Flemming, what is the tabulating you mention? You could post a page of things you need help on perhaps, so that you are not the lone ranger with all of this.
I believe we are all here to live as the new expression of Spiritual Essence shining more brightly, and to consciously co-create new ways of living more humanely with others and the Earth in sharing our resources and gifts. To me, that is the new civilization. I am interested in supporting and being more supported in ways that has integrity artistically, economically, in relationships, and in right work. Currently, I am in need of more direct support economically and feel that all is falling away in my life to move me into that new space. I have been attracted here because I resonate with Flemming's vision of being the hub of connectivity for people. I have always been a person that helps connect people. I also see myself combining my talents for writing, speaking, singing and facilitating, in support of the changes taking place as we move into and through the transition physically, emotionally and spiritually in ways that are graceful and loving. My feeling is this: I think currently, as a core group, we are holding energy together to magnetize people, resources and connectivity here at present. Over the past month, I have been feeling strong purpose emerging here. At first I was simply posting in my newslog, and then I felt this deeper pulse, and I am listening, watching and responding to that.  

31 May 2002 @ 20:16 by ming : Getting going
OK, Alana, so let you and I work out the surveying stuff, probably by messaging to keep it focused. What I need help on, and which I think you would be perfect for, would be for somebody to take a look at what we get back, sort it out, draw some conclusions about it, and writing a bit about that, both to present the results and to inspire more people to provide feedback. I in turn will work on some facilities for typing one's feedback into, and I'll think about how we can integrate it into something that goes out to all members.  

31 May 2002 @ 22:21 by magical_melody : Sounds good Flemming!
Keep me posted and send me emails with information. I will be here. Yep! I think I can do that! We will pull it together!! Peace...Alana  

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2002-12-18 18:16: Comments

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