Introduction & Guidelines

Below you will find an overview of what this forum is and interaction guidelines. For a more step by step introduction on how to to get started see this post:

What is this discussion forum?

  • This is a place where people go from dreaming about community to doing it. Whether that looks like urban cohousing, an ecovillage, a collective farm, or something we’ve never seen before, this forum space will help you get there.
  • This is where communities thrive. This is where we share our knowledge, our resources, and our experiences to grow and strengthen communities – our own and others.
  • This is a place where we find joy in the process – we celebrate our struggles and our victories and honor our failures and starting-overs. We remind each other that we are engaged in good work, and sometimes the work is best when it is hardest.

Core Beliefs:

  • We believe that community is an abundant resource, and that together we can nourish and develop opportunities for everyone to be a part of the home that is right for them.
  • We believe that everyone has lived in community at some point and has insights to share from that experience. We believe that information about what hasn’t worked is just as important as information about what does work, or what might work. No matter what your experience is, there is someone here who can learn from your journey.
  • We believe that dreaming, building, and maintaining big things is hard work, and that it is made lighter when we connect with others engaged in that and similar kinds of work.
  • We believe that challenges and struggles in our path to community are opportunities for us to build stronger connections with our neighbors in community.
  • We believe that community is built together – no one person builds a community in isolation from other people, and no group of people builds a community in isolation from other communities.

“Our gift is to care about each other. It’s to build rafts of mutual care, and have faith that they will float.”

How should I participate here?

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules. They are guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a kind, friendly place for public discourse.

Create Welcoming and Respectful Discussion

There’s a lot you can do to make people with all different experiences feel at home here!

  • Use welcoming and inclusive language
  • Be curious about people’s experiences and reflections
  • Gracefully accept constructive criticism
  • Lead with empathy for other community members
  • Post with respect and compassion to your fellow posters, even if you disagree with what is being said.

Help Each Other

Help comes in many forms - asking questions, responding to questions, sharing your experience, connecting people, and more. We all have resources to share, and we all need help at some point along the way. Sometimes the best way to offer help is to ask: “What’s something that would be helpful to you here?”

Improve the Discussion

Always add something positive to the discussion, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

Set the Tone

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not. Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, watching, muting and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Post topics in the correct category; please read the category definitions
  • Use relevant tags to mark your posts
  • Post your comments in the topic where it is most relevant
  • Keep the topic on-topic; if you see the subject splitting or shifting, tag a moderator to split the topic

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. Replying encourages bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Powered by You

This site is operated by your friendly local staff and you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the Meta category and tag it feedback! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a meta topic or flag, contact us via the staff page.

Terms of Service

Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.