One of the original visions of the thealternativenow website is to create a new, massive website with an “Alternative Map of the World” lising all kinds of non-commercial alternatives, including anything from hairdressers offering a free haircut to self-sufficient Permaculture communities offering complete living solutions. I still believe in this vision but I am now much more focussed on Rainbow Crystal Land and the need for a specific website for this project. This blog post is only related to RCL.
At the RCL Community in Costa Rica we came up with some basic guidelines for an RCL Common Website and we chose our highly organised and experienced brother Santiago from Argentina as our Common Website Focalizer. We are aware that the community in Costa Rica is strictly speaking not empowered to make such decisions on behalf of the whole RCL Network, but we feel Costa Rica should have a strong voice in all matters as it’s so far the only RCL Community in the world! I will bring this issue to Canada for further discussions.
We envision the RCL Common Website primarily as a tool to facilitate communication, receive donations, make RCL Network Consensuses (more on this in another blog post soon) and to enable the transparancy of RCL Organizations. We believe in user-selectable privacy levels for most content. This website will respect the right of privacy of every individual and community.
Santiago will focalize the RCL Common Website in the true sense of the word – he will keep an overview of the project, direct the energy of other volunteers, set up domain name and hosting accounts and control server access. But this is a huge project and it would be impossible for a single volunteer to take on all the coding needed. And we believe the RCL Common Website is just as much a communal project as the RCL Network itself.
So if you have any experience of coding, web-design or web-developing, please give a hand!
Santiago has already set up a “collaboration platform” which, in his own words, will be used to:
* maintain the code online, allow everybody to see the progress of the overall project, read the code, make visible the current work to do (and how you could help) and to provide developers a space to discuss about implementation details.
* keep documentation for developers, designers or content writers and other people that would like to take a deeper look and start collaborating
To have a look and to offer your help, please join us here: https://github.com/RainbowCrystalLand/rcl-network/wiki#planing
Donations are also needed for domain name registration and web hosting; we estimate initial costs at around 150 USD per year. Any surplus received will be kept for future years. Santiago will receive and spend the donations in the best possible way to give us a common RCL web platform. If you have a Paypal account, please send money to firstname.lastname@example.org (please mark the payment “RCL Common Website”!) If you wish to pay with a credit card, please click here.
Santiago has already put in some good work but this process is at the starting point. In Costa Rica we made some decisions about what to include on the website and the order of priority of development, but future decisions about the website itself should be made communally in discussion forums on the actual website.
For my own part, I’m not much of a programmer but I see it as my part of the job to provide content for the website, including an “RCL Handbook” which will explain everything…
Thank you for your support!
Luz, paz y amor
Martin (in Mexico, on my way to the gathering in Canada)
PS! I will share with you some of my own thoughts about the RCL Common Website. What I will paste below is by no means consensed or decided, I only post it to trigger our imaginations and to give ourselves some ideas and a starting point from which to start discussions.
VISION OF RCL COMMON WEBSITE
Fundamental to the RCL Network is the creation of a global network of open communities which openly uses the internet as a tool to enable communication, the receiving of donations, the making of Organization and Global Consensuses and in keeping Organizations transparent. The idea is to do something very different to what communities are already doing – hiding, being closed, not receiving the human energy or donations needed, energy stagnating. We also want to get away from Facebook, etc. However, we respect the right of individuals not to be on the internet in any kind of media and of RCL Communities and Organizations to set their own Privacy Levels according to their own consensuses.
Each RCL Community elects an Internet Focalizer who will be given administrator rights to create and edit a profile and propose and respond to Organization and Global Consensus on behalf of their community.
ñ Purpose of the website:
◦ Presenting RCL to the world
◦ Receiving human energy and inspiring people of the world to find a way out of the system.
◦ Transparency of project and Organizations
◦ NOT a social network but a way to communicate safely
◦ Way to receive donations
◦ Way to make Organization and Global Consensuses
◦ Removing the need for each community to buy own domain name and make their own website
◦ Aiding in the process of setting up new RCL Organizations
◦ Optional internet tools for communities to be able to sell products online.
- Planning from the beginning that his could be a huge project with millions of users.
- As far as possible to offer protection from the system: Dedicated, free, ‘activist’, safe servers that can’t easily be shut down.
- Guaranteed ‘forever free’, no ads, full privacy protection, zero involvement in commerce, no selling of data, etc.
- Open source coding. Databases that CAN be reused in other websites / databases can be taken from other websites. All users and communities must of course have the choice not to have their information included on other website.
- Non-reliance on other web tools, such as google maps. Everything created from scratch if possible.
- Community project! Open for anyone who wants to participate in maintenance / coding / developing / authoring etc. While responsibility will of course fall on a few dedicated shoulders, the sense of openness and horizontality should be maintained. Big decisions about website-changes taken in discussion forums / voting
- Privacy levels:
- Public: Information available to all / all registered users of the website?
- Residents: Information available to all past and present residents of all RCLs, all Observers, all Internet Focalizers and the Common Website Focalizer. A user can register themselves as a past or present resident, which must be confirmed by the Internet Focalizer of the RCL before coming into effect.
- Focalizers: Information available to all Internet Focalizers of all RCL Communities, all Observers and the Common Website Focalizer.
- Specific: A selection of Residents and / or Focalizers from any specific RCL(s) or RCL Organization(s). Such as: “All past and present residents in all RCL Communities within RCL Organization X” – in addition to all Observers.
- Observers: Information only available to Observers and the Common Website Focalizer.
- Common Website Focalizer: Information only available to the Common Website Focalizer, such as server access. The Common Website Focalizer is elected and removed by Global Consensus. Suggested CWF: Santiago.
The Common Website Focalizer can set up workgroups of trusted volunteers with access to specific areas of the website.
The can be different levels of Privacy for reading and writing.
Each page, personal profile, RCL Community / Scouting Mission / RCL Organization profiles, discussion thread and calendar event have their independent privacy level settings. If a user has a status below the level required:
ñ Pages do not appear
ñ Personal profiles show only user names, country and contact email.
ñ RCL Community / Scouting Mission / RCL Organization profiles show only name, contact emails for the Internet Focalizer and the Observer, and country, state / county and nearest town or city.
ñ Calendar events do not appear.
ñ Discussion thread do not appear or appear as read-only.
There are several kinds of user accounts:
ñ User (only needs to register with name and email)
ñ Resident (past or present residents of RCLs need to be confirmed by the Internet Focalizer of the RCL)
ñ Director (consensed Director of an RCL Organization that have administrator access to the profile of the RCL Organization where they can blog all their actions and post founding documents and bank statements.)
ñ Internet Focalizer (consensed Focalizer for one specific RCL with adminitrator access to the RCL Community’s profile and to the Organization and Global Consensus pages. Can give such access to others in the community.
ñ Scouting Focalizer (consensed Focalizer for one specific Scouting Mission with administrator access to the Scouting Mission profile.
ñ Observer (consensed by RCL community, access to all information except server-level.)
ñ Workgroup (volunteer developer with access to code of specific areas of website as decided by Common Website Focalizer)
ñ Common Website Focalizer (full access… and owner of domain?)
Internet Focalizers communicate identity of new Internet Focalizers, Scouting Focalizers, Directors of RCL Organizations and Observers to Common Website Focalizer who will grant specific type of user account.
Each user logs into their ‘home’ page where they receive notifications according to their notification settings, can edit their profile and receive and send private messages.
FRONT PAGE / HOME (privacy – public):
- Choice of languages which will display the whole website in the chosen language or in English if a page is not yet available in that language.
- Small non-interactive map populated with placemarks as specified on MAP SEARCH page. Only a link to the MAP SEARCH page.
- Short description of project.
- Background / Information / whateveryouwannacallit
- Full RCL Handbook
- DCI Part I
- DCI Part II
- DCI Part II Compact Version
- Guidelines To Accept A New RCL Into The RCL Network
- Guidelines To Accept A New Organization Into The RCL Network
- Global Legal Blueprint
- Country-specific Legal Blueprints
- The Alternative Article
- How to join
- How to donate land or homes
- Map Search
- Database of profiles for RCL Communities, RCL Caravans, RCL Organizations and Scouting Missions.
- Global Consensus
- Scouting Missions
- Web Development
ABOUT (privacy – public)
History of rainbow gatherings and Rainbow Crystal Land.
BACKGROUND / INFO / Whatever (privacy – public)
More in-depth description of project with links to all articles in menu.
Text search and map search. For text search, a row of 3-4 drop-down boxes with type of element and location, and also a free text search box.
Big map of the world with different types of placemarks for the different elements. Check-box filter for:
ñ Houses / apartments
ñ With Permanent Community
ñ RCL Caravans
ñ RCL Organizations
ñ Scouting Missions
Each community can have a setting for ‘more energy needed’ which makes their placemark bigger, pulsating, etc.
Database list of results below map based on current selection / filter / search. Information displayed depending on Privacy Setting but could include
ñ Short description
ñ Legal status
ñ Contact email of Internet Focalizer
ñ Carrying Capacity / current amount of residents
ñ Link to profile page
PROFILE PAGES (privacy – varying)
Each element can choose which pages to include and what privacy level each page has. These are functional and flexible ‘websites within the website’ and could have individual subdomains, such as http://www.hogar.rainbowcrystalland.org
ñ RCL COMMUNITY and RCL CARAVAN pages:
ñ Front page with small map location (approximate or exact location), name, location, short description, legal status (link to RCL Organization), carrying capacity / current amount of residents.
ñ List of past and present residents
ñ Blog (with photos / videos)
ñ Forum (with subcategories including ‘all discussions from master forum currently involved in’ and ‘private discussions for past and present residents’ etc.)
ñ Calendar (private for community and more public for all calendar events in master calendar created or joined)
ñ Donations (direct donations to community through paypal button, then donation history)
ñ Shop (selling products from community)
ñ Guestbook (like references from visitors and residents)
ñ RCL SCOUTING MISSION pages:
ñ Front page with small map location of approximate area of scouting, name, short description, link to RCL Organization
ñ Donations (direct donations channelled through its RCL Organization), with paypal button and history of donations (anonymous).
ñ RCL ORGANIZATION pages:
ñ Front page with small map location (approximate or exact location) of registered address in one colour and of constituent communities in another, name, location, short description, type of organization
ñ Consensus history
ñ Current consensuses (to follow the format of ‘global consensus’, below)
ñ Founding documents
ñ List of constituent communities
ñ List of Directors
ñ Directors’ Blog (for transparency)
ñ Bank / Paypal statements
ñ Donations (direct donations to organization)
ñ PERSONAL PROFILE OF USERS:
ñ No pages, just boxes for photo, user name, real name, description, type of user account, list of past or present residency, email, link to discussions (link to all forum posts involved in), link to calendar events (link to all calendar events created or joined). Notification settings. Private messages.
GLOBAL CONSENSUS (suggested privacy – read: all past and present residents, write: internet focalizers and observers)
‘History’ tab for old, closed consensuses.
‘Active’ tab for consensuses under discussion.
Tabs for each current consensus proposal.
On each current proposal:
ñ Proposal text box followed by ‘by whom’ – RCL Permanent Community or Observer
ñ Then list of eligible parties to participate in consensus with check boxes ‘consense”, ‘block’ or ‘stand aside’. An Observer can propose a consensus which is not blockable by a certain community, selectable by the Observer.
ñ An Observer or Internet Focalizer cannot block on their own but can state a consern or request for clarification in a text box below the proposal. A new proposal can then be posted.
ñ If ‘blocked’, a ‘Concerns’ text box appears which has to be filled in by community blocking.
ñ A community’s response defaults to ‘stand aside’ if no response within 3 weeks.
When all communities consense the proposal, an automatic message with the consensus text is sent out to all observers, directors and internet focalizers.
NEWSLETTER (privacy – public)
An RCL Network blog written by a Blog Focalizer with news from the whole network and individual communities who want to share their stories or events with everyone. Option to subscribe to blog, have it sent via email.
FORUM (privacy – varying)
A master discussion forum with different subforums for different privacy levels. Each thread has a different privacy level. Tagging of user names in messages to draw attention through notifications.
Would it be possible to have an option to automatically create new topics in a master forum when other content is posted? Such as blog posts, calendar events, organization and global consensuses, etc.
Web development forum with discussions and voting on changes to website.
CALENDAR (privacy – varying)
Editable by Internet Focalizers, Directors, Observers and Common Website Focalizer. A master calendar with all events, but viewable depending on privacy level – each event has a separate privacy level.
DONATIONS (privacy – public)
Master list of ALL possible places to donate money through Paypal button, info taken from the Donate page of profiles. Divided into parts:
- Website donations to support domain name registration, hosting and other web tools. To be managed by the Common Website Focalizer. Where to publish these donations?
- RCL Communities – direct donations to all RCL Communities, list randomized for each click.
- RCL Organizations – direct donations to all RCL Organizations, list randomized for each click.
- Scouting Mission – direct donations to all Scouting Missions, list randomized for each click. To go into RCL Organization account.
SHOP (privacy – public)
Master list of all products sold by all RCL Communities, taken from the Shop page of RCL Community profiles. List randomized. Searchable.
RESOURCES (privacy – public)
Library of documents, books, photos, videos on alternative living. Like a wiki.
WEB DEVELOPMENT (privacy – varying)
Section controlled by Common Website Focalizer – listing, categorizing and delegating work to volunteers, creating ‘workgroups’ etc.
USERS (privacy – public but content controlled by each user)
Searchable master list of all users of the Common Website. Displaying info only according to privacy level.