Fundamentally, Integral has to get over its more-integral-than-thou attitude. Since Frank Visser’s fall from grace and the post-Wyatt Earpy days of individuals trying to out-integraling each other, there are segments of this movement that seem to be trying to corner the market and dictate how these ideas are to be interpreted and carried forward. Many people are making their livings off this so it’s understandable that they would want to find a way to receive a exchange of value for their efforts. But there is notable descension in the Integral ranks and not a clear feeling of desire for community. It often seems like an Us vs Them mentality. Maybe the desires for community are developing now, but actions towards that end are still far apart.
These turf issues will diminish as the Integral shadows are integrated and the collective Turquoise develops.
Until that happens, what can we do?
Before I continue I will concede that the internet and a computer/mobile device is a prerequisite and therefore a limitation to what I am discussing here. Brett Thomas (@IntegralLeader) has helped create the Monthly Integral Community Calls on Facebook which are a recent addition to this development of a collective ‘we’ space. But participants are wondering where is the collective integral archive or hub that is linking all this together.
Integral Life (@IntegralLife) would like to be that hub, but paid membership and $1300 USD conferences in Denver will only draw a small portion of the world community. The people I work with that make $227 USD a month are left with little from which to choose (or find). The Integral Trollz have further pointings-out on their FB posts and comments about the limitations of the current system. On a side note, Thomas Hubl (@thomashuebl_en) successfully builds a different virtual (offline) we space with his global meditations that allow everyone to participate at once for free.
There are many other sites out there in the Integral world; blogs, journals, groups, etc. If everyone was together in the same place/site, then others could make a choice to suit there interest, participation level, and price point.
How do we combine into a ‘we space’ online?
Where can we find everything all in one place? How do we create an interactive clearinghouse/meeting place? We could connect everyone in a webring like in the ’90s, where you could go from one site to the next like the porn sites (read the linked article). But there would be no community building or central location. Facebook pages and groups are good at community communication but not so useful displaying individuals content on their own sites.
A hub site would solve the central location issue, display individual’s contribution from their own sites (via RSS feeds), and (housed on a private site with the addition of a forum and commenting system) would allow community interaction. Not very elegant, but from what I’ve seen so far, a good incremental choice in the short term. If there is a better structure, let me know, otherwise we’re waiting for more web innovation.
We’re not using Web 2.0 correctly now either.
Before we can make the jump to a virtual collective, individuals and groups need to embrace Web 2.0 social media technology first. There are very few out there that effectively use RSS feeds, shared commenting systems (FB, Disqus, Intense Debate), pingbacks and trackbacks, or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
A couple pointing outs include:
- Integral Leadership Review, Integral Review, and Integral World do not have an RSS feeds to distribute their content or notify interested parties of new articles. They all rely on Web 1.0 mailing lists.
- IR and IW do not have onsite commenting to develop a discussion of the material and further understanding and relationship building.
- ILR allows comments but it does not link it to the greater community nor notify commenters that someone has responded to their input.
- None are using pingbacks and trackbacks to notify each other that someone else is talking about their content.
These are fairly simple fixes. If the Integral Community learned these (and more) social media tools and actively used them, there would be greater communication between the individuals and groups. Ideas, opinions, and plans would flow better and a deeper understanding would develop about who we are and what we want. Bridges could be build over the seeming chasms that have emerged between factions, which by all reports, share the same worldview. This is nowhere near what is needed, but it’s a start.
Maybe Web 2.0 is not where we need it yet. Siloed commenting, forums, and social networks keeps the exchange of information on separate sites. Even the communal comments (Discuss, FB, ID) that connect site running the software don’t even play nice together either. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are beginning to inter-operate and do show progress in co-community building.
Lack of communication (both by digital design or by individual intent) keeps integral groups from participating in meaningful discussions and decreasing fragmentation. There does not seem to be a obvious choice to tie this all together.
Before I start to get comments and emails extolling the virtues of the sites mentioned here, my object is to point out ways to increase the communication between the sites and resources we already have and continue to build community while we explore ways to connect it all together for long term sustainability and growth.
These are incremental and not transformational changes, but it gets us closer to the communal organization that would better ensure our long term success.