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An older otherkin getting on tumblr. I'm probably going to regret this.
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As some folks know, I’m working on adding every regional otherkin mailing list to AnOtherWiki so it’s easier for folks to find and connect with one another.  I’ve done a lot of work on this already, and we currently have 35 regional mailing lists listed.  But I’m running into something that may be a problem: chapter-based otherkin organizations.  There are several that have mailing lists for each of their chapters.  One, Bloodlines International, has 38.  More than all the rest of the regional mailing lists put together.

I’m worried that listing them along with the other regional lists may be giving the organizations undue weight in the community.  What do you think?  Should I add these lists to the regional mailing list section of AnOtherWiki or should there be another area created for them?  What would best serve the community?

This, therefore, is a faded dream of the time when I went down into the dust and noise of the Eastern market-place, and with my brain and muscles, with sweat and constant thinking, made others see my visions coming true. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.
-Thomas Edward Lawrence, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”

So, you’d like to make an otherkin community center, shelter, or “safe space” of some sort.  That’s your dream.  Ok, now, what would it take to actually make that happen?

Assuming people are serious about this idea, it’d be a good idea to start by looking at existing community centers, youth programs, shelters, etc.  There are a number of guides to starting them available online:

There are probably more, this is just a sampling to help get you started.  You’re also going to have to take into account the differences between the otherkin community and a general-use center.  Many such organizations are supported largely by grants, corporate donations, and major gifts from individual donors.  It’s unlikely that an otherkin organization will be able to count on these sources of income.  So you’re going to have to come up with a revenue model which can support your center.

I just got back from the Beltane festival at Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary.  They’ve done an amazing job with their own funds, just managing to pay off a 12 year mortgage in 7 years.  And they’ve never been able to support themselves with member dues or donations.  Instead, they have members who are tasked with creating businesses, from mead-making to an engineering consultancy and machine shop, which can generate revenue which goes to support the church.  Something similar might be a good way to support the community center if you’re serious about it.

Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting at 7pm EST, irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart Webclient here: http://ow.ly/9xCi4

There’s been a lot of talk about the community needing a place to list gathers, mini-gathers, meetups.  Something centralized, and that users can edit.  Thing is, there already is such a place.  A listing of upcoming events appears right on the front page of AnOtherWiki.  I’ve been adding to it, regularly… I just added a new gather and a couple of new meetups to the list, making 9 gathers and 7 meetups that are currently listed.  I’ll be adding more as I find them.  You guys can too.  It’s completely free to register, and any registered user can edit the wiki.

jarandhel:

Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting at 7pm EST, irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart Webclient here: http://ow.ly/9xCi4

Just a reminder about this week’s chat.

On Wednesday, April 4th I posted that we had reached 34 articles from a starting point of 17 on Monday, April 2nd.

Today I’m happy to announce that we have redoubled that number again, today reaching 69 articles.

As I said in my previous post, many of these articles are quite sparse. There’s a lot of work to be done to flesh them out, and a vast number of articles still to be added. So I’m putting out another request for help. Join us, help us reach our next milestone of 136 articles.

Share with us your websites, forums, chats. Your gathers, minigathers, and meetups. Share with us your knowledge of the community, its terms, and the people who make it up. As I’ve said before: This is our encyclopedia, written for our community by our community and about our community. Let’s make it everything it can be.

If you’d like to help with this project, please join us at http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org  

Including myself, we had 29 people in chat last night over the course of the evening, with a maximum of 15 in channel at any one time.  The chat lasted from 7pm EST until about 4am EST when admittedly I fell asleep at my computer.  There were still a few folks talking inchannel then, but it petered out fairly quickly.

So far there have been two complaints about the chat not being “safe” from verdepetit and the shatterpoint-system.  The former’s issue is with the “toxic” environment created by another member of the channel emoting a punch, while the latter’s issue was that they didn’t feel “safe” bringing up what they wanted to discuss and so didn’t try.

Quite frankly, I’m not out to coddle people.  I’m interested in mature, rational discussion with otherkin capable of functioning in the real world.  If you’re not capable of dealing with an emoted punch, you’re really too thin-skinned to be on the internet let alone IRC.  Quite a few IRC clients have built-in emotes such as /slap which produce output like “*John slaps Jim around a bit with a large trout”.  If that’s toxic in your opinion, I can only imagine you’ve never dealt with actual real world violence and can’t tell the difference.

Likewise, if you’re not capable of speaking up on your own and expressing that you’d like to discuss something else, chat rooms probably aren’t the place for you.  Because the idea that folks would react like you were screaming “I hate football” at the Superbowl isn’t based on reality.  It’s based on your own insecurities and fear.  The channel had quite a few people talking about a wide variety of things from Fae to Elenari elves to angels and demons to Shadows to gathers… way more than just one or two people talking about one or two things.  If you can’t join in the discussion on your own, without being led by the hand and told how welcome you are and how interested we all are in what you have to say and what a wonderful special snowflake you are, that’s on you.

Otherkin chats (or any otherkin forum really) are not nurseries.  They’re not about, as one other person termed it, “cuddlefluff”.  They’re not about sheltering you, telling you how amazing you are, or handing out cookies.  They’re places for serious discussion.  They’re part of a tradition that involves asking hard questions to get at spiritual or psychological truths.  They’re part of a wider community that has had lists like TNODungeon and Outlawkin devoted almost exclusively to no-holds-barred flamewars.  If you can’t handle a normal discussion that hasn’t even come close to becoming a flamewar, if you need spaces that are so “safe” they’re nothing but cuddles and fluff and rainbows and sparkles, then perhaps you’d do better in the My Little Pony fandom.  That’s not what you’ll find on any serious otherkin forum.

For those who aren’t looking for their online spaces to come baby-proofed, and do want serious discussion warts and all, we’ll be having our next chat on Thursday, April 19th at 7pm EST.  See  you then.

Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting at 7pm EST, irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart Webclient here: http://ow.ly/9xCi4

Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting at 7pm EST, irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart Webclient here: http://ow.ly/9xCi4

At 8pm on Monday, I posted an update about AnOtherWiki.  I said that we had 17 articles created in addition to the main page at that time, and I asked for help.  I said I’d like to see us double and redouble that number.  Well, I’m pleased to announce that a mere two days later we have in fact doubled that number to 34.  

Now, many of these articles are quite sparse.  There’s a lot of work to be done to flesh them out, and a vast number of articles still to be added.  So I’m putting out another request for help.  Join us, help us reach our next milestone of 68 articles.  Share with us your websites, forums, chats.  Your gathers, minigathers, and meetups.  Share with us your knowledge of the community, its terms, and the people who make it up.  

As I’ve said before: This is our encyclopedia, written for our community by our community and about our community. Let’s make it everything it can be. If you’d like to help with this project, please join us at http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org