Phase 1 of the development of rainbowcrystalland.org has been completed and a basic form of the website is ready to be used. Everything related to RCL will now move from thealternativenow.wordpress.com to rainbowcrystalland.org, meaning that thealternativenow.wordpress.com is no longer the official communication channel for RCL! Rainbowcrystalland.org is the fulfillment of our vision for a “Common RCL Website”, consensed at the RCL in Costa Rica two years ago.
I urge everyone to start making use of the new website right now.
It has been developed by a team of volunteers, most notably Santi from Argentina and Henri in Poland. I have written the content for it, based on the content of The RCL Handbook. The domain name is registered to Henri’s land foundation in Poland, which is the closest thing we so far have to an “RCL Organization” and therefore the safest bet, and the site lives on Henri’s own server. You can donate money to Henri for the upkeep of the website through the donation page on rainbowcrystalland.org.
As of right now, Henri is the main administrator for the site. I might stay on as an admin for a while. This is not ideal, the vision of this website is that it should be as communal as possible. How do we do this? By having ‘wiki-style’ editing of pages by any user? By letting any admin add other admins that are personally known to them? (Which might leave the website very vulnerable to attacks.) Or could we develop an ‘admin-light’ type of user account that allows invited users to edit the site without having access to the most critical server settings? Whatever the solution, let’s find it together in the forum of rainbowcrystalland.org.
Right now, rainbowcrystalland.org gives us:
- A basic display of information, such as the Declaration of Common Intention.
- A donation page that accepted RCL communities / Scouting Missions can use to receive donations.
- A “News” blog, much like the one you are reading now. All RCL-related blog posts from thealternativenow.wordpress.com have been imported into “News” on rainbowcrystalland.org in order to keep the (web) history of this project intact. (In the forum, go to “Common Website” and then “News” to discuss what should be published here.)
- Most importantly, a real forum! This will no doubt help us in our communication. The forum has been divided into categories and subcategories, such as “RCL Communities” > “RCL Costa Rica”, to give each land a new way to communicate. Right now the display of the categories is not very intuitive, this will hopefully be improved in a future update. I suggest that any further decisions about the website should happen through discussions in the forums (or, of course, in circles in the RCL Communities – the RCLs should get whatever web solution they want! This website has been made to support the communities and they are ultimately in charge of whatever happens on the internet!)
In the future, rainbowcrystalland.org might give us:
- A database of RCL Communities around the world
- Profile pages for Communities and Scouting Missions
- User-selectable privacy levels
- User-editable pages?
- Translation tools (the website currently only exists in English, unfortunately)
- A Global Consensus tool
- Enhanced communication capabilities
- A user-created Knowledge Base
- A web shop for the communities
- …and whatever else we can dream up!
This will not be done BY some people FOR others, it should be a real communal effort. Whether or not you have any technical skills, your input in the forums will be highly appreciated. If you DO have web development skills, please go to the “Common Website” > “Volunteer Developers Portal” to help implement the changes and new features the community wants. All admins and developers should always act in the best interest of 1) all RCL Communities and 2) the community of users on the website.
After 2 years of RCL learning experiences we may want to start a discussion on the future of RCL in the RCL > Vision/DCI forum?
So what will happen with thealternativenow.wordpress.com?
The website was set up in 2012 to publish the article The Alternative, which, from my personal perspective, was a precursor to RCL. The website was consensed as the official communication channel for RCL at the talking circles in Palenque in 2012. From my point of view the creation of RCL was a fulfilment of one of the aspects of the vision of The Alternative. The other part of the vision of The Alternative is the creation of a huge website which would include The Alternative Map of the World, an example of which can be found on the Map page of thealternativenow. So I suppose the only reason for the continued existence of thealternativenow would be to support the fulfilment of this second part of the vision.
Looking at the map now, two years later, I must say I am quite surprised at the usefulness of it and I see that it has a great potential if developed properly. There is a lot of interesting information on it, but also some junk, such as tourist sites. It could be cleaned up if anyone feels like it. I will for now leave the map as it is, it is completely open and editable by anyone with a google account, though I am playing with the idea of making it static in order to protect what is already there, in the future. The password of thealternativenow, which was shared with many people, has now been changed.
I offer the idea of The Alternative Map of the World as an open source and non-copyrighted idea for the benefit of the world. If anyone seriously feels like developing it, I can offer a limited amount of energy to it. Contact me or leave a comment on the Contact page of thealternativenow.
I created a facebook group as a “Forum” for thealternativenow, it now has 2000 members and has become a bit of a mess. Now that we have forums on rainbowcrystalland.org I strongly suggest closing down the facebook group, it is not needed anymore. I believe the only information that should be rescued from that group and perhaps collected in the RCL Costa Rica forum on rainbowcrystalland.org, are photos from the RCL in Costa Rica. Volunteers?
If we close the FB group, The Alternative Map of the World would no longer have a forum, but it is probably not necessary. Could anyone host The Alternative Map of the World forum? Could a “Non-RCL” category be created on rainbowcrystalland.org with the subcategory “The Alternative Map of the World”, or would that distract from the real purpose behind rainbowcrystalland.org?
It is my intention that this is my last RCL blog post on thealternativenow. I wish for rainbowcrystalland.org to somehow be completely community-run and I wish to remove myself as some kind of “RCL spokesman”. Thank you for following this blog, all the feedback and interest has been truly inspiring. See you on rainbowcrystalland.org!
(This will be cross-posted on rainbowcrystalland.org. A Spanish translation would be very helpful.)