Sunday, July 26, 2009

Open Forum

Thanks for taking a few minutes out from your day of rest and joining our open forum.  

If you're new to the community, we don't normally meet up on Sunday's.  It's our day of rejuvenation - the day we use to recharge and to enjoy our family and friends. 

Today we're meeting, though, because we want to continue a discussion that started about our Highlowaha community.  Last week readers commented on changes to our blog that they have been experiencing over the past couple of months.  Some like the changes, some don't.  Some demand more tangible ideas, others like the inspiration/think pieces.  Some cry fewer Rays, saying you don't "get" him.  Others say Ray actually makes you laugh until you cry.  Some suggest longer posts, yet others support shorter posts.  

You get the picture.

Opening the floor to feedback could be dangerous... not to mention humbling.  

Thing of it is, I have to.  Highlowaha is not just a web site of ideas or a daily blog where we talk AT you.  Our space is a community - each member entering into some kind of relationship or agreement with the rest of us.  You show up every day to read and (ideally contribute) and we're here waiting.  We're friends, expecting to meet up and to catch up. 

Communities are caring, safe, and responsive places where members feel valued and heard.  But, they are also places of great civility.  So, as you provide Heather, Cheryl, Katie, and me feedback, be constructive.  Tell us about your experience with Highlowaha and, if it's less than satisfactory, be sure to include some suggestions for improvement.

We'll check in throughout the day - looking, listening, and if appropriate, replying.

Thank again for showing up and giving us some of your time.

Signing off until tomorrow...


Chaotic said...

when I showed up here, I was looking for a place where I was more than just another artist. I was looking for a living breathing community of folks. Here, I have that. And I know that communities change according to the people ACTIVE in them. I think HLA is just fine the way it is.

Peggy said...

Since no one else has written, I feel compelled to fill this space!!!

I love the fun!!
The ideas, new, old, revamping, revising, revisiting.

I love the challenges (don't really need to WIN anything but I guess a prize is FUN Challenge yourself, challenge others, challenge the community!!

Don't always like Anonymous's negative digs...I came here because of the positive 'spin' and twist of things, thinking inside and outside the bun (box). But I guess A-non.... keeps you on your toes.

Oooh, I like Chaotic's words... Communities change according to the people ACTIVE in them!!!! Ding, Ding, Ding!!!.... but I think you can change... change is good, right??

I like Ray! Great images! But after the comment about him being snarky... more and more.... maybe we need RAY to shine more, be the positive.... and HAL (ogen) (High Aha LOW) be his counterpart, the snarky one!!

LOVE, love Claudia's writing style and how she brings in elements of people I never even heard of, Whacking, Free for Alling etc.... LOVE the perspectives of H, C & K when they present their personalities and SHINE when the opportunity rises for them to write, share & expose their experiences!!

Did anyone WIN from the bakesale??? I thought that was a great way to bring people in... but did any NEW people come our way because of it?

And lastly, thanks for all being friends... even if it's cyber friends... the REAL community I live in has been quite a challenge for me to find people who really love life, want to take the gusto and grab it, be silly and make life the great thing that it is!!!

KUDOS to HLA!!!!!!

Heather said...

Thanks for the feedback so far this morning Chaotic and Peggy.

Sounds like this community is meeting your needs but I see your point Peggy regarding Ray and Hal...we'll discuss as a group.

Peggy, unfortunately no one from the bake sale checked in...we'll keep on trying to filter in new readers/posters and encourage each of you to spread the word when you meet someone who really shines and you think would be a positive addition to our community.

How about the rest of you? Anon? What can we do to make things better?

Here are some specific things I'd love to know:

Do you like the Free For All Friday format?
If not what would you change?

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

What would you like to see less of on the blog?

What types of prizes motivate you?

What types of activities should we be engaging in?

What do you want to learn more about?

What should we do at Taste of USA?

How's that for some food for thought.

Checking out until later, keep the feedback flowing!

b.k.root said...

So, I guess I'll chime in with my thoughts...

First off, some general thoughts. I love the HLA community. Good enough for me to check in at least 2-3 times a week for the past year or more. So, obviously you all are doing something right. It'd be very easy for me to dismiss the group as a bunch of ladies who are into these crazy ideas and projects.

However, I joined initally because I was hoping to come across more concrete ideas. I tend to walk away with a few of those concrete ideas each month, but not as many as I'd hoped for.

I think you all need to decide what the purpose of the community is. Is it to grow and attract other participants? Or is it to remain a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows each other and is an active participant. The two concepts don't mesh well with one another.

One thing I have difficulty with - and I would guess that other "newbies" might be scared away by - is the level of commitment it seems to take to be involved in this community.

Some people may be using HLA like a grocery store. Coming in to only get what they need and only every so often. But, if they see that they need to check in every day and as early as possible and commit to this and commit to that, it could cause them to lose interest. If you truly want to attract more readers, you may want to reconsider that.

b.k.root said...

Do you like the Free For All Friday format?

-I personally like the Free for All Friday concept. It gives me an outlet to pose questions to a small community if I need some creative input. One thought, though. Although I like the video, it takes a different level of commitment to want to sit and watch a 5 minute video.

What would you like to see more of on the blog?
-I'd like to see more concrete creative ideas every so often.-

What would you like to see less of on the blog?
-I like Ray as a character, but I am less engaged when I see a post from him. Not sure why, because I do like Ray as a mascot/character.

What types of prizes motivate you?
-Anything, really.

What should we do at Taste of USA?
-Taste of USA - in all actuality - sounds like awesome fun. But, I don't know that I'll ever be able to make that sort of commitment to HLA. I don't want that to sound harsh. I love that you do a fabulous job updating us on the happenings of HLA, though.

Ashley Benz said...

Here's my 2 cents - I love HLA. I am enjoying getting to know other creative people and seeing their ideas, even if I don't always have time to be creative and do all of the things I want. With that in mind, though, I miss out on a lot because I'm busy keeping up with an infant and in order to get the meaning of some of the posts I have to dedicate a lot of time and mental energy. Sometimes I read something and then have to consult with Robin to figure out what I missed (she's better at this than I am.) So, maybe I'm the only one dealing with this but I just sometimes feel like I can't keep up. ?

Robin said...

Do you like the Free For All Friday format?
If not what would you change?

Originally I was very anti-video. It's hard to do something loud when I usually read/post in the quiet minutes before the morning rush. The video wakes ppl up. I think shorter works better and the bulleted action points at the end are helpful. So I now do watch every week and don't get fussy.

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

What would you like to see less of on the blog?

See, I think of HLA as something for everyone. So, some posts really speak to me and some don't. I take what works and leave the rest.

What types of prizes motivate you?

The sad truth is I'd probably do goofy stuff to get gold stars. LOL

What types of activities should we be engaging in?
I think we're on the right track with the Gift of 218.

What should we do at Taste of USA?
Play and socialize!

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