(Click here if you want to see the full list of website additions).
Let's be honest with each other here: The psionics communities as a whole have been hurting for awhile. This has many causes including but not limited to: bad leadership, no leadership, no content, inaccurate content, and the rise of social media versus IRC or forums. Politics has been getting in the way of progress for years. Those who practice daily decided the community wasn't for them and practice in solitude. The thought that remains is simply: Why?
Further, What does it take to make a successful community again?
Back in September of 2011 I did a survey of my own community and found out some things which where unexpected(at least to me).
1. Users could not figure out where to start.
2. Users desired a better lesson plan for beginners.
3. Users wished the community was more active.
4. Difficult to Find / Confusing Navigation
5. People want more videos (this is still a problem)
After these results, I decided to do something drastic about it. I thought maybe that if I solved some of the common problems, people would be more likely to want to be part of a psionic community. Some of the changes I have made are:
1. I have fixed the forums so that people could vote on each others posts. A common complaint from experienced practitioners is that there is a lot of low quality posts in forums. I hope that there will be higher quality posts with the rating system.
2. I have allowed guests to post on the forums. Maybe if guests post on the forums (at least in the beginning), they will become more active.
3. I have lessoned the number of categories in the forums. All categories are displayed by default, and you are able to filter by ability. I thought perhaps this can be a temporary solution to the community seeming more active. It encourages people to participate in the available active topics.
1. Most importantly, I decided to change from the article format to a course format. What this means is that users will be guided through the lessons and be told what they can practice next. The lessons are practical in nature, and give the user/practitioner exercises to complete in a step-by-step fashion.
2. I am allowing voting on the content so that we can get rid of the articles and courses that aren't working for people.
3. I have put "difficulty stars" on all of the content so that beginners know which things to practice.
4. I have extended greatly the step-by-step content in the beginners section because people were confused.
5. I have added a very lengthy step-by-step telekinesis course because people have indicated in the survey that they are most interested in new content for telekinesis(as well as the beginners section).
6. I have almost doubled our content offerings.
1. I have decided to cultivate a sense of community by again giving users their own blogs. Users can press a button at the bottom of each article which allows them to tell everyone else how their practices in a particular section are going.
2. I have decided to advertise other communities events on the front page. You just have to press the "submit event" button to advertise your event.
3. I have allowed the community to vote up/down content as a form of quality control.
1. I have changed the layout to be more navigationally friendly.
2. I have made long reading easier on the eyes.
3. I will be advertising the website in order to bring in more traffic.
4. I have made the website compatible with mobile.
5. I have made the website findable from facebook by providing "like" buttons on all content.
I hope that some of the changes I have made to the website will cultivate the online energy community once more. I will be conducing a follow-up survey in a few weeks to see where we have improved and not improved. We can bring the community back together.
For a list of all of the content additions, go here.