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Discussion: Joining The Great Tree
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dcos
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatcha talking about Prof? We're all serious about The Great Shrub... uh... I mean tree *chews gum and leans against the forum's wall nonchalently for effect*
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Professor Askew
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*pops Dan's gum in several directions and sprays Formula 409 on the forum wall*
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dcos
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aww shucks *wanders off shuffling his feet and gets consumed by typo demons*
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Marten
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Joined: 29 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proposal:

First, Let's come up with some general methods about how to join the Great Tree.

Second, unsticky this thread and retitle it. There really isn't that much in this existing discussion about how to join the Great Tree. There's too much banter.

Third, create a new thread, and put the instructions in it. Sticky and lock it. That way, newcomers can find the information and don't have to wade through pages of "Ooh! Ooh! Me me me!" and the ensuing discussion.

Here is a quick stab that most certainly could use some polishing to avoid controversial or ambiguous language.

The Cause
We are not pro-Yeesha. We are not anti-Yeesha.
Some of us have embraced the journey; others may have not.

We are not pro-DRC. We are not anti-DRC.
We would like to see a DRC that is more pro-explorer.

Our cause is open exploration, and open dialogue. Our cause is to break down barriers, physical or perceived. Our cause is to question the way things are rather than to accept them. Our cause is to embrace the diversity of the Great Tree, and within it, to look for truth.

Our cause may put us at odds with other interests in the Cavern. The Great Tree is unafraid to oppose those who would place safety before freedom. Members of The Great Tree are not afraid of exclusion from groups whose ideologies are perpendicular to ours. We recognize that all choices bring both consequences and rewards. We are not looking to pick a fight, but we will stand for what we believe.

Guidelines for Great Tree Membership
1. Embrace the Cause.

2. Participate in our forum. Demonstrate interest in the politics of the Cavern. If all you do is leave your KI number, nobody's going to take a second look. We like people who are proactive and like to get involved.

3. Learn the history of the Great Tree. Discuss it. Speculate on how The Great Tree can get involved in the Second Restoration. How would you like to see the Tree grow?

4. Demonstrate Patience (one of Phil Henderson's lessons). The Great Tree does not delegate membership frivolously. We're a bit clannish. We like to know that prospective members' attitudes fit in with our existing chemistry. If you've followed the previous three guidelines, and become a familiar and welcome face at our forum, you will be invited.
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dcos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be happy to put my name to that. Although perhaps a small addition about Douglas? He effectively constituated the third side during the first restoration and might be worthy of mention.

The DRC associate Douglas Sharper and his actions in the first restorationg had a great impact upon the founding members of The Great Tree. While he is always welcome here his actions and views are not above scrutiny and just like the DRC and Yeesha may differ greatly from that of The Great Tree.

Or perhaps something more simple along the same lines as the Yeesha nad DRC mentions.

We are not pro-Sharper. We are not anti-Sharper.
While he has in the past had a great impact upon our community his views may still differ greatly from that of our group.


While I'm at it:Do we owe him any loyalty? Its not like he's been particularly cosy with us since he got back. I realise some of us consider him as a friend but as a community has he actually contributed anything these last few years?[/i]
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Cycreim
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Joined: 22 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa, whoa, slow down. Guidelines?

Here's a way of phrasing it that I think is more casual and closer to what we actually want, in the form of questions asked to the person who wants to join:

1. Do you agree that the DRC needs to be more forthcoming?

2. Do you enjoy getting involved in the story of the Cavern?

3. How would you like to see the new restoration go?

4. Do you think you'll get along with the existing members?

Our cause needs to be separate from our acceptance of membership because really, how much time do we actually SPEND in the Cavern fighting for our cause, vs. just hanging out in Gira telling ghost stories etc.?
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dcos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually think that the guidelilnes wording comes across better. Somehow the questions seem a bit more formal to me /shrug

Also I'm not sure about the wisdom of seperating membership and "our cause" sure it would make TGT into an even larger exclussive social club than it is now but what happens when something happens that causes folks to choose sides?

Normally I can see where your coming from Cyc and I usually agree with you but I'm not quite sure I follow with that post, sorry Confused
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Marten
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As dcos intuited, I'm trying to get away from a grilling or an interview style of bringing members into The Great Tree.

What I have observed thus far is that the question and answer style (a) does not fit us, and (b) does not work. It puts people off. They don't pursue it. Questions, unfortunately, are not far removed from accusations.

Remember that the same definition applies here as with the IC/OOC guidelines put forth by the DRC liaisons. They're just guidelines. They aren't rules. They don't tell you what you have to do. They simply offer a path.

Choosing to take that path or not is up to the individual.

Would a simple statement at the front solve your worries, Cycreim? Something like, "These are just guidelines. These suggesions are not the only way to become a member. In general, members are our friends."
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Rils
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Marten's and Cyc's ideas are mutually exclusive, actually. Marten's "guidelines" indicate that you need to be pro-active about your membership here - show us that you want to be part of the group, rather than a tag-along roadie. Cyc's questions are valid, and are the sort of thing that come up in conversation, particularly if we're considering someone for membership. I would want to know those answers, or something like them, from our new folks, just to make sure they're on board.

I'm not sure that filling out a questionnaire is the way to go though. The Great Tree has always been about a "cause", and early membership was based on having like-minded ideals and wanting to do something about them. I'm hesitant to instutue a formal application procedure.

People want to be part of an active group; they want to know they are, in some small way, a part of Whats Going On. If we are active as a group, they will see that, see what we stand for, and people of similar minds will want to be part of it. To avoid past "personality clashes" we'll want to ask questions of them like Cyc's, certainly. But I don't know that it needs to be a formal procedure. Personally I would encourage people to first get involved in whatever we're doing so we can get to know them, along the lines of what Marten proposed, and embrace all those whos ideals coincide with what we've got going here.

~Rils $.02

PS - Marten, I really like the paragraphs that start with "Our cause". They are very well written, and sum up succinctly what we think here. Nice work! For my part, I am fine with that proposal.
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Daedalus
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think both Cyc and Marten have excellent ideas. Marten's are much more direct while Cyc's more laid back -- a balancing act that's been going on at TGT for years. Here's where they collide and create some great fudge fondue.

We often consider why TGT has been so inactive as of late. There's a few reasons for this, but it mainly lies in the indifference to today's cavern events. I agree that new faces bring new challenges to the group, and without this--just like a real tree without water--we stagnate. The major problem has been, as Marten said, finding people who

a) Seriously want to contribute to the group (rather than just hang out/join and disappear) and
b) Finding those who fit the awesomely awesome TGT chemistry.

[Insert a ton of cheesy tree metaphors Smile]
The "clannish" behavior stems from what's been said before about having bad seeds in the past. Some people have the totally wrong idea about us, and it is those people that we sorely turn away. TGT isn't for everyone. We're not a social club or a party circuit. Once you throw words like "cause" and "reason" into the mix you're bound to get some controversy.

For me TGT has always kept me grounded to the cavern--it would be a far less personal experience without it. Very Happy
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Marten
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one more thought to add:

I think if newcomers participate in our forums... we'll learn the answer to Cycreim's questions quickly enough, without forcing the issues into the forefront.
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Rils
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering if we really need to include the term "clannish". While it is certainly true, I know it has discouraged a number of people from being involved here. I can't even remember how many people I've talked to about us that say "yeah, I check your forums from time to time, but yer all so tight, it feels like I'm interupting something if I post..."

That's something we need to work on, is perhaps being a little less "clannish", if we want to attract new people.
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dcos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its hard to think how we could do that though. We are all really welcoming to new folks when they say "Hi!" and unless they do we can't very well just start arguing just for the sake of it. Its yet another difficult problem to fix in the work of Uru.

Clannish is a very specific choice of word though. Although that tight clannishness does have its virtues as well as its problems... although its hard to extoll its benifits without coming across as elitest.
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Lord Chaos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can leave the "clannish" description in there. Be honest. The Great Tree IS clannish. Smile And why not? Trees grow as they do, from where they start, and become themselves.

If someone wants to join I think they'll show their interest by sticking around. My own experience is illustrative; I sort of felt as if I'd been welcomed, but then ran into a glass door. This is partly because of how TGT operates and partly because of how I perceive things, and my desire not to inveigle my way into someplace I'm not really welcome. Over time, we reach accommodation.

Here's an idea: how about some gentle outreach? Just have a TGT person hanging out in the GT 'hood. Eventually people will wander in, and perhaps ask.

Or you could have a "Meet the Great Tree" meeting or party or informal gathering. Invite folks to come in and learn about the Great Tree. Some will probably become interested, start participating in the forum and then perhaps want to join.

In other words, give TGT a somewhat stronger and more regular appearance in the Cavern as a group, and see what develops. I think that the Great Tree might help heal some of the rifts by giving people a longer view of the story. There might perhaps be some resistance, too. Some will argue with anything. Only those who do nothing never see resistance.
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Cycreim
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, sorry, I might have jumped the gun a bit. I don't think any potential members should have to fill out a questionaire. That's preposterous and would indeed turn people off. My opinion is that people who aren't necessarily active, proactive explorers may yet make good members of TGT. In fact, membership might give them the boost they need to get really involved. I don't want to make new members feel that they need to adhere to guidelines so much as to know what they're getting into, you know?
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