sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Online and offline’

Make Visible: Start Your Own Tribe

Please refer to my previous post Make Visible:  Find Your Tribe.

So you’ve checked out a few social networking sites and been to a few local meetings but don’t really feel comfortable with any of them.  Give it time!  Maybe you just need to hang around for awhile and get to know people better.  Or maybe, and this is very likely, the groups don’t address you specific interests.  What to do?  Why not start your own social networking site or offline group and find your tribe?

Wait.  Don’t abandon the sites and groups you’ve tried out.  They are good places to find people with similar or the same interests that you have.  Here are seven easy steps to starting your own tribe:

  1. Decide on the focus for your group. It should be something you are passionate about. You don’t need to know everything about your subject to start a group about it.
  1. Name your group. Find a name you can live with that sums up what your group is all about.
  1. Find a free (or paid) platform for your new tribe. Or find a meeting place for your offline group.  Here are some suggestions, by no means exhaustive.


Google Groups

Yahoo Groups



Churches or Synagogues

Community Centers or Convention Centers



  1. Then set up your site the way you want or consider topics for your first offline meeting.  Real world groups have slightly different considerations than online groups.  You will need to find out about refreshments, if you need a key, if they need to buy drinks or food (if in a café or restaurant), and if there’s a fee to use the room.  For online groups you may be able to design the site the way you want it to look, and set notification and membership settings. You can usually decide whether to let anyone join, join by invitation only, or to extend your membership to a select few.  For offline groups you also have a choice whether to have a public group or a private group where you handpick the members.
  1. Advertise!  This is where those previous networking sites and offline groups come in.  They are great places to post about your new group and find new members for your new tribe.  You can email and call your friends and post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Keep in mind whether or not you are inviting “everybody”, interested parties only, or a few select friends.  That will determine how and where you publicize your new group.
  1. Provide content.  Some people will come to your group and just chat, but it’s better to give them something to chat about.  For online groups you can provide your own content, photos, writing, and artwork.  Depending on whether your group is public or private, you can also share book excerpts.  Always when sharing, share who the author or artist is. For real world groups, you may just have the group members bring something to talk about, or you could bring in speakers or teach classes in your subject.  It may cost to hire speakers or teachers, so this is another opportunity to provide your own content or have group members take on these roles.
  1. Don’t let all this go to your head!  Sure you started the group and can decide who goes and who stays, but don’t be a dictator.  Let your new friends voice their opinions and post their own content.  Encourage dialogue and respect among equals.  As owner, you are in charge of getting rid of any spam accounts, sharing basic guidelines, and discouraging explicit photos and profanity (if that bothers you or becomes a problem).

One caveat:  Your group may start slowly, may be active at times and inactive at other times, or may grow exponentially.  You never know.

If you are interested in Divination subjects, like Tarot and the Runes, please join me at The Divine Life Google Group:

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Make Visible: Find Your Tribe

It is so important as creatives that we find a group of people that we feel comfortable with.  They share our values, our interest in creating and inspire and challenge us. Or maybe we just like to hang around with them, have fun and do fun things with them.  Groups offer us a chance to make friends, learn and share.  All this applies to both online and offline groups.

Online Groups:

Where do you start?

Tribe                                      many interests

Yahoo Groups                          many interests

Google Groups             many interests

Image representing Tribe as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

CoachCreativeSpace                all creative interests

Writer’s Digest Community       writers

Wet Canvas                             visual artists

For Tribe, Yahoo and Google groups there’s a box to put in your interest (keyword), a list of groups will come up that you may want to join.

Offline Groups:

Where do you start?

This depends on the size of your community.  You may be able to find groups through, your local newspaper, Weekly, or posted at your library or grocery store.  These groups may be related to interests, like writing, activities, like yoga, or church or self-help groups.

What next?

Join the group, post an introduction or go to the first meeting and introduce yourself, be friendly, become involved, participate.

It’s that simple.


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