The following is a summary of my experience on the internet in the last four years. I would be interested in anyone's comments--critical and otherwise.-Ron Price, Tasmania
By May 21st 2005 the process of searching out sites, mostly forums for posting and publishing various items of my writing, responding to issues raised on the sites by others and engaging with specific individuals at these sites, had developed far more than I had anticipated on May 21st 2001 and in the winter of 2001 that followed, at the start of this site and internet searching process four years ago. My own website went into its second edition on May 21st 2001. Its 1st edition went from 1997 to 2001. In the embryonic years of my internet life, the decade 1991 to 2001, I had no idea of the potential for placing the name of the Cause or my writings on this world wide web. In those years the internet was essentially a source of information.
And so now as the 5th year of searching out sites for posting or publishing items has opened it has become difficult to keep a detailed and accurate record of my postings at sites where I am a registered member or, indeed, to even service or log-in to all the sites at a greater rate than once/month. Indeed once a month is only possible if I devote virtually all of my waking hours(i.e. about 10 to 12 out of the 16 that I am not in bed). This activity, of acquiring and servicing sites, came to occupy my time intensively in 2004. Early in 2004, after completing my third book, the fourth edition of my autobiography Pioneering Over Four Epochs, I began seeking a writing outlet and the internet satisfied this search. I keep going back to it when I am unable to work on my book or books, when I get tired of reading and when I want “little writing and posting jobs” that I know will contribute in its own way to the teaching work. During these ‘internet-posting-days’ I usually spend from 2 to 8 hours; the variation is large. It is virtually impossible to quantify the time I spend posting poems, essays and comments of various kinds. It is more accurate to say I have three main activities: writing, posting and reading and I alter them to preserve my sanity and because I simply get tired of any one activity.
2. Developmental Background:
The first edition of this particular list of sites, sites especially devoted to publishing and posting(1), in 2001/2 was a very short list consisting of only a small handful of locations. A second edition in 2003 became a third edition in April 2004. That original list of a few sites in 2001 had burgeoned to over 800 sites by January 1st 2005 and to over 1000 by May 21st 2005. The contents of what became eleven files(6 arch-lever files and 5 two-ring binders) and 1000 sites is now divided into nine parts, a division that evolved naturally and was not based on any inherent system. As the sites were contacted and their forum outlines copied, filed and used for recording my postings, the collection of resource/site information, et cetera was brought together into these several volumes.
This list, as I say, became too lengthy a list to really service properly. It required the work of other Baha’is and so I placed a notice/article in the Australian Baha’i Bulletin which appeared on October 12th 2004 across Australia and presented a workshop at the Tasmanian Summer School on “The Art of Using the Internet.” There was no response to my notice in The Bulletin and no evidence of any increased presence of Baha’is other than myself at any of the sites, except of course at specifically Baha’i sites, ten months after the advertisement. Of course the participation of Baha’is at websites is difficult to assess when one is talking about 2000 sites. The sheer magnitude of the task/process, the number of sites and the vast quantity of participants over all these sites is simply beyond any one person to assess participation levels by the 100,000s of thousands of Baha’is on the internet.
I have given this entire package of eleven volumes(or 9 parts) the label Volume 12: Publishing because the total exercise is one of publication in some form or another on the Internet. I made several copies of the list of sites for those attending the workshop on “the use of the internet” at the Tasmania Baha’i summer school in February 2005. Volumes 1 to 11: Publishing contain a body of another 1000 sites on: Australian Poetry, Canadian Poetry, Cinema/Media Studies and several other collections like The Baha’i Faith and the Arts. These subjects contain this burgeoning list of sites, sites which I acquired and serviced during the first three developmental years 2001 to 20042 but which, at least for the most part and at least since Ridvan 2004, I have come to service or contact relatively infrequently. This latter category of 1000 sites, while being devoted to posting and publishing as well, as the titles on that list indicate, was significantly devoted to obtaining information. At this stage of development, these other 1000 sites are an archival base that I service only very rarely, except for (a) Canadian Poetry, (b) American poetry, (c) diary/journal sites and (d) cinema/media sites which I try to service more frequently.
3. Future Development
In the months and years that lie ahead I’m sure this base of nine parts/11 volumes will be extended into further parts and volumes. I hope, too that the other 1000 more ‘archival’ sites will find my presence there more extensively than thusfar. But, as anyone can appreciate, 2000 sites is too much of a bite to chew, as one might put it colloquially. This activity is clearly a publishing and teaching device in its own right. Perhaps, too, I will develop a system for servicing the sites with more frequency and thoroughness, especially if others become involved in this activity which I am confident they will in the years ahead. There is necessarily a life other than posting stuff on the internet. It could be argued that I spread myself too thin and should aim for depth and not breadth and that may be true. Posting at sites has a certain serendipitous quality just like teaching the Cause in everyday life. And on the internet, so in life, I have scattered seeds far and wide-but not necessarily deep/in one place. Depth, of course, is always difficult to measure and all I want to do in this brief outline is give readers a general picture of my website activity.
Since the completion of my autobiography by Ridvan 2004, I have had no specific idea/plan for another book, although intimations of one have occurred from time to time. I do not seem to have the inspiration, the specific direction to take on a book. I spend some time occasionally, as I said above, working on the fifth edition of my autobiography and developing ideas for other books. But, in the main, I now work in this milieux of some 2000 sites3 when the spirit moves me. These sites provide enough to keep a marathon runner-writer busy into perpetuity, well into several more Olympic games or, in terms of the Baha’i calendar, at least to the end of the first century of the Formative Age in 2021 or even the end of my own first century in 2044 and two Baha’i centuries.4
1 The term ‘publishing’ refers to systematic posting of essays and, indeed, a variety of other material on the internet, material like: emails/letters, parts/chapters of books, poems, prose-poems, reviews of films/books/inter alia. In addition this List #2 is comprehensive but not absolutely accurate due to the sheer number of sites involved.
2 In the six year period before the first edition of my own website, from 1991 to 1997, and the four years after the creation of the 1st edition of my website, from 1997 to 2001, I began to search out and contact websites. This was the first decade of my use of the email facility as well. These were embryonic years and I have no record of any results, any sites listed from this decade of beginnings. Of course I was still employed professionally as a teacher in Tafe until 1999 and as a volunteer teacher with a School for Seniors until 2004 or actively engaged in community work of different kinds until May 2005. As I dropped these various involvements in the years 1999 to 2005, I increasingly spent my time on the interent and in writing books generally.
From 1999 to 2001, during the first two years of my retirement, I began to set up my systems here in George Town for future writing and work on the internet. In these first two years I really only began to see, insensibly for the most part, the potential for publication and teaching on the internet. But as the 2nd edition of my website went on-line in May 2001 I began to see the internet potential for ‘seed planting.’
3 A team of at least five, six or even more people, especially/only people with skills at writing and depending on the time they could devote to this exercise, could be kept happily employed servicing these sites with a minimum of regularity and a periodicity of once a week, fortnight, month or whatever frequency, depth and breadth they were able to accomplish and what was required by their site involvement. No coordination would be required for such an exercise. It would be too onerous and complex a task to engage in, at least for me, and one I would not be interested in doing anyway—coordinating the writing activity of participants that is. There are many more sites which could be added to this list and will as time goes on.
4 I hope this brief essay provides a useful base of information, a useful outline, to anyone expressing interest in this activity of internet posting. I have written this introduction partly for my own use simply to outline just how this activity has developed in recent years and partly for interested others who think they might like to give their writing skills and their interest in teaching the Cause on the internet a good workout.
IN 9 PARTS/11 VOLUMES:
A SUMMARY STATEMENT
Most of the internet site information below was gathered after I stopped writing the 4th edition of my autobiography, Pioneering Over Four Epochs at Ridvan 2004. In late May 2004 I initiated the 5th edition of that book and a copy was placed in the Baha’i World Centre Library. Work on that 5th edition has continued from time to time as inspiration and relevant content has come to mind. Posting on internet sites came centre stage in 2004, but after several months of posting the spirit became exhausted with the process and had to move on to other activity. What is found here on this list below in these 9 parts/11 volumes was initiated in 2004 and completed in May 2005 four years after the opening of The Terraces. The internet site titles/ headings from over 1000 sites can be found here below. As the months and years go on, of course, more sites, will be added.
I have a second list of some 1000 sites, put together from 2001 to 2004. It is significantly a Baha’i site list for information and publication and I have not included it here.1 I should add, though, that it is not just a Baha’i list of Baha’i sites, perhaps half of it is a non-Baha’i site list. Each Baha’i who makes the effort to register and post at internet sites will obviously do so on the basis of his or her own interests and capacities. My list, inevitably, will not be another person’s list. But the following list of sites will give anyone who is interested in posting Baha’i material and what for them is ‘Baha’i related material’ an idea of what sites I am ‘working’ on. Feel free to write to me for more advice on how you might take advantage of this immense teaching opportunity. -Ron Price, 21/5/’05.
1 There are several lists of sites which taken together come to over 1000. Some are Baha’i information sites and some useful sites for posting Baha’i related material. I have not included them here; they are available to anyone who is interested.
2 Note: Given the range and extent of the internet sites I have posted at, some 1000 above and another 1000 in other files and lists; and given the limitations of time and energy, the presence of the Baha’i Faith at most of these sites is still (a) embryonic, (b) slight and (c) requires much more development/interaction/postings to be noticeable or significant in any quantifiable sense. To put it another way, the Baha’i presence at these sites is still ‘coming out of obscurity.’ But, for the most part, the history of these sites is coextensive with my own involvement. The years 2000/2001 were in many ways beginning years for many, if not most, of the sites. I am pleased that I was able to get in in the foundation years. :arrow:
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- Posts: 22
- Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:35 am
- Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
I have been married for 44 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 13, and a Baha'i for 53(in 2012). I have lived in Australia since 1971 & am now retired and on a pension.