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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:47 am +0000
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I just wanted to float this idea out there and see what kind of response you would have. There is a new social networking software available for people to create their own networks. Think of something like MySpace or Facebook and you're close to the mark. With this software, you can create your own network for your particular purpose and can keep it private and invite only those you want to join or make it public so anyone interested can join. My thought is to create a network like this for Urantia Book readers because I don't think there is anything out there quite like it at the moment.

It would be a central location available for all UB readers to connect, reconnect, share photos and videos, have discussions like here on Truthbook, have live chats, schedule events, create specialized groups for topics like study groups or readers from specific countries, create blogs, and more things I haven't even tapped into yet. Again, to put it simply, imagine a MySpace or Facebook but only for UB readers. The name I came up with for this social network is Urantia Book Readers Online Community Nexus (UBROCN for short) since it is intended to be a central point of connection for all UB readers. I'm open to suggestions on the name but that's what I'm working with for the moment. :)

Would any of you be interested in something like this? Do you think it would be a valuable service to the UB community? Do you think it has a chance in Hades of succeeding and drawing in large amounts of people from the UB community?

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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:07 pm +0000
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Hi Tony, Thanks for bringing this to our attention! I have some questions.

What is the difference between this "network" and an ordinary website?

What can this software do that a something like a Yahoo Group can't do? Yahoo is already in place, is free, requires no software, the "owner" or person who registers it can make it public or private ect... YG's uploads files, pictures, videos.

There are also a good handful of sites where you can construct a forum just like this that are also free and require no software.

Is this software free?

Would you need to pay a webhosting service to host the site? Would you have to obtain and pay for (yearly) a domain name?

Another situation is getting the word out to the masses. How will the masses learn that this network exists?

Thanks

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Vann wrote:
Hi Tony, Thanks for bringing this to our attention! I have some questions.

What is the difference between this "network" and an ordinary website?


Well technically speaking it is an ordinary website. It is just built with premade software via a web interface so there is no real technical knowledge needed to set it up.

Vann wrote:
What can this software do that a something like a Yahoo Group can't do? Yahoo is already in place, is free, requires no software, the "owner" or person who registers it can make it public or private ect... YG's uploads files, pictures, videos.


It's similar to the Yahoo Group option but it is much more configurable, expandable and robust. This one comes with 10GB storage and 100GB bandwidth for free and you can upgrade that for a monthly fee. It's more similar to MySpace or Facebook than a Yahoo Group. You can also add web widgets to further customize it and you can change the look of the site through premade templates or through your own customized CSS template.

Vann wrote:
There are also a good handful of sites where you can construct a forum just like this that are also free and require no software.

Is this software free?

Would you need to pay a webhosting service to host the site? Would you have to obtain and pay for (yearly) a domain name?


The software is free and configured via the web. There's nothing to download to your PC. It's all on the company's servers. You get a subdomain name for free, but you can pay a small monthly fee to change the routing to your own domain name. As I said above, the hosting is otherwise free up to the 10GB and 100GB limits if you don't choose any of the upgrade options. There are no changes to any of the basic functions if you choose not to upgrade. You can check it out here http://about.ning.com/product.php. The premium services are listed at the bottom of the page.

Vann wrote:
Another situation is getting the word out to the masses. How will the masses learn that this network exists?

Thanks


Well that would be mostly a viral effort. I would post the info on as many UB websites as I can find and send out emails to those UBers I know personally. The rest would be referrals from those who choose to join up. I'm open to other suggestions on getting the word out as well. That's assuming there is enough interest shown for me to move forward with it.

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"If a man places a gulf between himself and God, this gulf will bring fear. But if a man finds the support of the Invisible and Ineffable, he is free from fear." --from the Taittiriya Upanishad


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Hey Tony,

Thanks for all the fill. The problem may be generating the initial interest like you say. There are already a handful of UB readers sites like this one and participation isn't exactly overwhelming. Another problem is coming up with a moderation model that works extremely well. One model doesn't seem to fit all users. Liberal types may want an "anything goes" approach and let anyone post anything remotely related to the UB and it's associated teachings. The conservative crowd will run away fast from such a place claiming there's too many nutballs wanting to discuss fleets of spaceships that are working for God and getting ready next week to swoop in and save us. So if this site is kept more mainstream direct-UB discussions only....again the more liberal types whine that they can't express themselves the way they'd like. Some folks who ride in the middle have a hard time fitting in anywhere.

You can see from all of this that it has been quite difficult to construct a content model that is successful at attracting and keeping a large number of participants. No one has succeeded so far. Any such site must have some sort of rules and guidelines structure and then those who monitor-manage-moderate have to be sharp and vigilant and actually do their volunteer jobs extremely well to keep the site true to its stated mission and try and keep everyone happy. It can morph into a full time job in no time. The fewer the rules and the less the control, then the sooner the nutballs come in a take over and the the serious UB students run away.

Also, most sincere UB students have a better measure of respect for a site run by an "official" UB organization. Sites run by private individuals receive much less respect and participation. The organizations already have their websites and probably aren't going to be interested in changing everything they're doing now to do this new thing.

So there's much more to a UB related site than the mere mechanics of what it looks like, what it can do, and how it functions.

I hope this is some help Tony. Not a bad idea at all. More a matter of practical workability and civil, sense-making performance.

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Well the purpose of this site would be mostly social in nature, not just another forum discussion type site, though it does have that functionality built in and available. There really wouldn't be need for a lot of rules. I'm not sure how much you've poked around in something like MySpace, but essentially you only "link up" with people you want to link up with. This would be similar, but the pool of people would be made up of UB readers. So if someone wanted to post something out of the UB mainstream on his or her "homepage" on the site, they'd certainly be allowed to do so, but nobody is forced to go to that homepage if they don't want to do so. The common areas would be kept to a stricter standard, however. I really don't see any danger of a "takeover" in the type of environment this provides.

However, perhaps you are right that it may not attract enough people to be a sustainable community center. I will keep thinking it over and wait for more input.

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"If a man places a gulf between himself and God, this gulf will bring fear. But if a man finds the support of the Invisible and Ineffable, he is free from fear." --from the Taittiriya Upanishad


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Good deal Tony,

This service will probably be desirable once there are much larger numbers of readers, especially for more populated areas. Right now we are really geographically spread out. It's hard to socialize-hook up when your bud is 500 miles away or on the other side on the country. It'll be needed later though.

take it easy

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Brother your are the future! Be Glad!

This is a great idea awesome on so many levels. See today there exists a certain gap or distance between most UB readers and there needs to be a way to group the whole thing together. Many are fighting for Churches or cults or whatever there are websites all over but none that one can share their own views individually as well as in a group. We have myspace and facebook groups I guess there are others but the content and public setting probably retards the person from all out UB expression. for example: myspace, Ok I have a site and its all dandy I have the UB site as number one and my book section has a link to the ub site but what good is that unless you find me on the UB page and then go to my site ask me questions and so on to find out what I do about what I know, what groups i may be involved with and what I personally think should be done. I'm not going to divulge all this info on myspace because my friends there will think ive lost my mind simply put, they don't understand (yet). Also as on facebook you really only have one page(place) to post anything, they keep it clean and you don't have a real chance at expressing your views. the whole community New, old, conservative, liberals all rely on the one page to show there allegiance to the teachings.

OK so a SN-site dedicated to UB users will be a new place for the individual reader to meet other individual readers and form groups and discussions, friendships etc with out needing to scour discussion boards, friends lists and so on to meet and communicate with other UB readers and get to know them. See the movement as a whole needs brotherhood we all believe in this, just there is no real center for getting to know the personal brother, you see. Maybe you can search the myspace pages of readers and go that route but there should be a better way a place where you can really see your brothers and sisters for there beliefs and pictures, blogs whatever. Great organizations are based on mutual understanding and mutual growth. The closer we bring the community ether online or real life you get a better outcome of understanding. I bet my views will change after i see what others are striving for and believe in and so on.

Also there is a phenomena that occurs when you read this book you suddenly understand so much more about the world in which we live that you need to express this joy. On sites like this you respond and what not to everyone's questions and try to create community with them but for the most part your waiting around for something new to happen you never really know anyone just talk to them every now and again. This is not good for a movement or community.

Community is essential to this endeavor of truth, if you will.

So in my view this is the best thing since this discussion board, modern, engaging, exciting, personal and the list goes on. Now the points previous writers mentioned are important, but not insurmountable. it says in the Bible "build it and they will come". the UB does not mention David much but so what, Build it anyway. In my view it would be one of the most important additions to the UB movement even if it starts off small over time it will grow and with careful management (like you mentioned) you won't scare off anyone actually you will attract more readers and new readers wont feel so alone or feel like they are just talking to a computer.

UBROCN is a great name i think, UB rockin hey it works and its catchy and fun da da da.

I will do more research on the site you listed but as far as I am concerned its a go.

The UB Officials will join and make it official in time if you got right messages and true interest of a finished and working site they wouldn't denounce you or this effort they would embrace it and join your site maybe even take it over.

Full time work? I work 5-6hours a day have good computer knowledge and would volunteer to do this I'm dieing to get behind something i believe in like this. I'll donate whatever is necessary to the growth of our understandings and brotherhood, it must be done.

send me a PM, email whatever I'm excited and ready to start working on this NOW. ttyl

Chris

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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:11 pm +0000
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Chris

Jess here, I too would like to welcome you, welcome brother. You sound just as excited as me about this wonderful UB. we've both been reading it for years and it feels just like yesterday. I got on this forum in February of 2009 because I had been using my computer for writing wonderful stories from this glorious Book. 12 years of writing. Since then I've joined other sites. This is about the best one with The Urantia Family running a close second. Ubron allows more varity. But to find most of the recommended sites, log on to www.thespiritualfellowship.org. There are 14 links there to other UB websites.

Welcome again ...Jess


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Hello! Thanks for the welcome and I found your site informing, thank you for showing it to me. My point really with the social network's legitimacy is really for interpersonal relations. I am new here and excited and glad to be a part of this but really there is a gap between each of us that can only be expressed or bridged if we could know each other more personally. a lack of leaders except for local groups is probably do to the fact that there is no way to reach everyone in one main grouping. a social network would allow us to get to know each other personally and rally support for ideas and the like freely and in one central location a main frame if you will of the personalities evolved here on Urantia. Important to any movement. I'm of a school of thought that we should spread the word and by linking up together on a platform like a facebook there allows for better exchange of ideas. I mean its not a "solve all" but one big problem I have is reaching other readers and making UB friends where do I find these people really. The UBF gives me reader names numbers but says that it can't vouch for the character of the names it gives. Not very inviting, to a new reader to just call a random name from a list to make communion. This is a better way to put our collective best foot forward and show our selves to the world for both new and old readers. Like you who are you what do you look like what do you do everyday whats up in your daily life that i can learn from to better show the father to the world or how can I help. besides social networking tends to be more creative and attract more use since you can check one place for all your interests. like you can get blog updates, announcements, pictures and news from one source, UBROCN. its a daily thing that only requires you to log in check you messages and that is it really. maybe search around but you should get any updates right there on your page like facebook. it would make this a daily thing vs a once a week or I'm bored lets see whats on the board. Like Tony is been 24hrs and he was here only once or twice over the last month how do I find this guy?!

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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:01 am +0000
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Hi North American Brazilian and Brother Jess,

Welcome to TruthBook and hope you come back often to share with us. You might try sending Tony a Private Message to get a prompt response from him. Here are a couple of links to websites that may help you find people or study groups in your area and to other UB related websites that may be of interest.

http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=10

http://urantiabook.org/study_groups/dom ... groups.htm

http://www.theurantiaboard.com/StudyGroups-America.htm

http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=2314

http://www.ubwebsites.com/


Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

God Bless O:)

Jim


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I would be interested in a map/tracking app that would tell me if I was near another registered reader.
- Doug
Simpsonville, SC


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I just realized that this thread was started in 2008 and I find it hard to believe that what I'm about to explain is not already in use by Urantia Book readers. Since 2008, social networking technology has matured and numerous applications now include social group member location as a feature.

Googling around, I found several "location based social networking" application and a collection of links to several such applications at:

http://bdnooz.com/lbsn-location-based-s ... z23l2cy1np

The list of applications is overwhelming and I am posting to this group to learn: if members of this group are already using such technology to find other Urantia Book readers, and if not then perhaps someone with experience with these applications has a recommendation for this group.

For clarity, I'll explain in more detail: I would like a smartphone app that would enable me to see if any other Urantina Book readers are near me. For example, I'm at a park at lunch time and I'm in the mood to talk. I assume that everyone who would want to participate in this find-a-Urantia-Reader-near-me-now application would register their smartphone at a web site and each participant would turn on/off and otherwise limit and block when they could be located. I understand there are privacy issues.

I have seen people using an application called Foursquare on Facebook, but I don't think this would be the best solution
because it appears that your location is broadcast to an audience unrestricted by proximity or interest.

So, I'm curious to know if this is a good idea and if people are doing this what they are using.

Thinking "Ichthys"

- Doug


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I have met over 200 urantia readers on urantia facebook groups. If you search the urantia facebook groups you will find a ton of readers. There are some who actually are putting together directories of urantia book readers as well. I think Paula Thompson may be involved in something like that as well.

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