What we know about ‘Ben Steele’…

Ben Steele

Posted on Nov 14th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade

What we know about ‘Ben Steele’…

Top 5 Facts for this Name:


  1. How well envoweled is Ben Steele? 44% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 15.8% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are very well envoweled.
  2. In ASCII binary it is… 01000010 01100101 01101110 00100000 01010011 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101100 01100101
  3. Backwards, it is Neb Eleets… nice ring to it, huh?
  4. In Pig Latin, it is Enbay Eelestay.
  5. People with this first name are probably: Male. So, there’s a 98% likelihood you sweat just thinking of the price of shaver blades.

Like these 5 facts? Share them!

Name Origin and Meaning:


Forename:
Origin:
Hebrew (Root: Benjamin)
Meaning: Son of My Right Hand (favorite son)

Surname:
Origin:
A name given, in all probability, to a person who was inflexible, hard, firm, or enduring.

3 Things You Didn’t Know:


  1. Ben Steele, what is your power animal?Your personal power animal is the Greater Roadrunner
  2. Your ‘Numerology’ number is 6. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that you are responsible, careful, and compassionate. A giver, you are there to support and care for the most vulnerable.
  3. According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.078% of US residents have the first name ‘Ben’ and 0.0348% have the surname ‘Steele’. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 81 Americans who go by the name ‘Ben Steele’.
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Tagged with: Ben Steele, Ben, Steele

Nicole : wakingdreamer

about 6 hours later

Nicole said

http://www.howmanyofme.com/ claims there are 42 of your name 🙂

But only one Marmalade!

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 9 hours later

Marmalade said

I have some steep competition in the ‘Ben Steele’ department.  There is an athlete (NFL player) by that name that I came across in my searches and there used to be an athlete in Iowa by that name which I’m not sure is the same person.  I came across a Ben Steele who is an artist.  There is also someone by that name who posts videos on Youtube.  There is a WWII veteran who has my name.

I did another search on a site.  I can’t remember the site, but I got an interesting result.  It did pinpoint who I was.  It knew I lived in South Carolina and Iowa, but it also claimed I had lived in Abilene, Texas.  There has been another Ben Steele that lived in Iowa City.  Its a college town where many people pass through.  Maybe it confused our two lives together.  Either that or something more sinister.  Someone could have stolen my identity or its possible I have an evil twin.

But only one Marmalade!  Well, only one Marmalade on Gaia.  I’ve Googled Marmalade before and I’m not on the top of the list… not even close.  Besides the fruit preserve and the band, there are tons of people who go by variations of Marmalade online.  Fortunately, there appears to be only one Ben Steele who goes by Marmalade online or at least I top the Google search in that category.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

about 10 hours later

Marmalade said

At a site called Public Records Now, I did a search.  It gave me a hundred results for all Ben and Benjamin Steeles.  It also gave me seven results for ‘Benjamin D Steele’.  That site knows the main two places I’ve lived (but doesn’t show where I was born or the other states I’ve lived in) and the names of all my immediate family.  It knows that my real name is Benjamin and that my alias is Ben.  Who knows what I might find about myself if I just keep searching.  🙂

Some other interesting things are that about maybe a third of the Ben/Benjamin Steeles are approximately my age.  Of course, many of the people with my name have lived in the same states as I have and even some of the same cities, but it doesn’t show whether it was at the same time.

I did a similar search on the site Intelius.  It showed 119 results.  The one that applied to me had less info than the other site.  It listed me as Ben Steele and oddly listed Benjamin David Steele as my relative.

According to Linked In, there is a Benjamin Steele living nearby who is a financial consultant.  You don’t want to confuse me with him. Nor do you want to confuse me with the Benjamin Steele who is a sex offender from Florida.

Guess Who is the Gaia Networking Featured Member of August?

Guess Who is the Gaia Networking Featured Member of August?

Posted on Aug 5th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)
1Vector3 said Yesterday, 3:51 AM:

Joining our previous marvelous Featured Members ~KES, Sandy, and Bryan,
We are absolutely charm-a-laded to introduce you all to our Featured Member for August, Ben Steele, better known throughout the web as his “beloved childhood kitty,” Marmalade. (But I love the ring of his full name, Benjamin David Steele.)

This little intro can in no way do justice as any kind of portrait of Ben, so I, OM, will just share some of my personal impressions, and let the rest of the month speak for itself as we all get to know him better.

I’m sure Marmalade whispered this little metaphor in my ear, as I was searching for a single image to capture my impression of Ben. Imagine a wholesome delicious high-quality Mid-Western (USA) glass of milk. And then notice, it has a slice of lime perched on the edge !!!! Hmmm. A little extra zing there !!!

Though Ben has been in our community only since mid-March, it seems much longer because he has been very active and very contributory since then, meshing right in and helping us all feel at home with him.

The adjectives I would string together kinda sound like a Boy Scout [brave, clean, loyal, thrifty, reverent, etc.] but there are zings. For example, Ben not only likes superheroes, but anti-heroes. And his sense of humor is awesome; Marmalade as an alter-ego is a never-ending source of playful exchanges in the Community. He has that treasured quality which is appearing more and more in our community, for the upliftment of all – – silliness.

My list of adjectives would have to include: Open-minded, unfailing goodwill, helpful, considerate, straightforward, aiming to contribute and uplift, aiming to increase understanding and goodwill among all. Self-disclosing, honest, humble/modest. Balanced, peaceful, wholesome. Intelligent, intellectual, thinks about things, but doesn’t neglect feelings and action.

You’ll see that among his areas of special knowledge are online forums, Ken Wilber and Integral perspectives, the Meyers-Briggs personality typology, and movies. And I know we will discover more !!

And all that at the ripe old age of 32 !!! He calls himself a writer, reader, and learner. I say, “and a sharer of the wisdom he’s gained and always had.”

Don’t need to say more, read on, go read his interesting profile, check his awesome blogs, and enjoy this interesting delightful fellow – and ask him anything that pops into your head. If he can’t answer, Marmalade can !!! :))

Here are his answers to the first few questions in our standard list of questions we ask of all our Featured Members. More will be along in a few days.

1. Overall, on a scale of 1-10 how important is the Gaia community in your life?

A difficult question. It would be in the upper range. Depending on what I was comparing it to and how optimistic I was feeling, it could be as high as 9… maybe a 10 if I was in a really good mood. I still feel very new to Gaia and so its hard to make a rating. To tell you the truth I don’t even know how I’d rate my life in general. 🙂

What factors contribute to your scaling?

I came to Gaia for a couple of reasons. One reason was to blog. This has worked out and I have done the type of blogging I want to do, but not always as much as I’d like to do… no fault of Gaia. Another reason is that I wanted to connect with other bloggers. I didn’t have any clear standards for success in this area as I’ve never belonged to a blogging community before. Even so, I’m willing to bet that I’ve connected much easier and with much more interesting people here than I’d likely have done elsewhere.

There are other factors that are hard to calculate. My friends and family are very important to me, but they aren’t in competition with my time spent on Gaia. However, there are some factors that are competing for my time. The more time I spend on Gaia, the less time I have to read. The more time I spend on Gaia, the less time I have to spend outside such as going for walks. I often spend a lot of time on my posts and blogs and that eats up time quickly. I can easily spend hours working on a single blog post and sometimes I’ll work on a blog post over several days while researching about it … no joke. If I gave more weighting to the time factor, I might drop my score down to 8 or 7… which is still a decent rating.

All in all, it feels worth it. Writing is extremely important to me. I take my blogging seriously. If anything, I’d like to spend more time blogging and less time being generally distracted by other activity on Gaia. But I can’t blame Gaia for my easily distracted nature.

2. What do you most dislike about Gaia/wish would change?

Two things come to mind.

First, I dislike all of the inactive pods. There was a discussion about this where I made some comments (Joining Gaia and starting a group- does it work?), and I’ve seen it discussed elsewhere. It bothered me when I first joined because most of the pods that looked interesting were like ghost towns. It was a bit off-putting. And it makes the place feel a bit cluttered.

Second, I find Gaia difficult to navigate, but I’m getting better at it.

Partly, this relates to the first issue but goes beyond that. I’ve belonged to many discussion boards and many of them have better search functions than Gaia. I want to be able to do more specific searches, but so far I haven’t figured out how to do that around here. For instance, someone mentioned that if you did a search for a topic that was in the title of a pod, that pod might not come up in the top of the search. I’d like to see an advanced search function where I could choose the perameters of my search: in pods, blogs, and/or articles; by.title or post; by a specific member or not; according to a particular date or since a particular date; the number of results per page; etc.

Also, Gaia feels a bit amorphous and unwieldy. As its a large community, maybe that is just the nature of the beast. I love all that Gaia has to offer, but I’m still trying to figure out what is available. There is a steep learning curve in finding one’s way around this site. Most of the basic functions are very obvious and user friendly, but a lot of useful information is scattered all over the place. When I first joined, this site in general felt more intimdating and overwhelming than any site I’ve ever belonged to. Of course, if it didn’t also seem very interesting and full of potential, I wouldn’t have spent so much time exploring. Fortunately, there are plenty of friendly and knowledgable people around to help guide and advise the newbies. Soon after I joined, I met Nicole and OM who helped me out quite a bit.

How are you helping to change that?

I thought about starting my own pod, but I wanted to get a feel for the place before deciding. I don’t want to add another pod to the mix unless I feel it adds genuine value, and I definitely don’t want to add another inactive pod. I’m tempted to revive a pod if I found one that interested me enough. However, I probably won’t do that because I don’t want to be further distracted from my original purpose of blogging. So, there really isn’t much I can do about the inactive pods if I’m not willing to try to reactivate them… which sounds like a lot of work. This isn’t a big issue for me anyways. It only bothered me when I first joined and I was looking around at all of the pods.

The difficulty to navigate is something I can’t directly have an influence on because I can’t personally change how the search function is designed. Indirectly, though, there are things that I can do. I love to connect people with information. If someone asks me about something, I’m likely to give them a bunch of carefully chosen links (this is one of those things that I can spend hours doing). I scour the web for info and I do the same with Gaia. If I see something interesting in one place, then I’ll link it to another place. I love linking between blogs and pods. The internet (and a site like this) is only as good as the links that hold it together.

I don’t see that my goal here is to directly help change anything about Gaia, but I’d like to be helpful. If someone new to the site seems confused or asks for advice, I’ll do whatever I can to help them. I’ve thought about the whole Ambassador thing, but I don’t think I want to be one right now. I’d rather keep my helpfulness more informal. If I end up being here long enough, then maybe I’ll formalize the role I play in some manner. Until then, being a mod on the God Pod is enough for me.

3. What do you most like about Gaia?

I’m sure I could make a long list here, but let me focus on the most significant aspects that I like.

I love that its a very active and large community. I appreciate that people actually want to connect with and get to know one another. I enjoy that it feels like a vibrant community that is still growing and changing. Despite my complaint about the search function, I’m impressed by how much Gaia offers its members. There are so many ways of contributing and participating. The resonance engine is really nice, and I especially like how most people fill out profiles with quite a bit of detail. At first, I didn’t know what to think of the whole ‘friend’ thingy, but its grown on me and I see the advantages to it now. I’m not big on the Q&R, but I have met new people by commenting on the blogs I’ve found that way.

The one thing that impresses me the most is the interconnection of the different aspects of Gaia. Blogs respond to blogs which link to pods and a discussion from one pod gets carried over to another. I make a comment on a blog which someone notices and checks out my profile and from there decides to join a pod I’m active in. I don’t get much sense of isolated groups of people or cliques. The relationships between various people and pods seems mostly open and fluid.

Beyond all of this, people are generally friendly and caring around here. People go out of their way to be nice, and I see very few conflicts. Quite impressive! I can think of only one other site that has a similar feel, but even its not nearly as nice as this place.

How are you helping to maintain it?

I’m just here to be a team player. Just doing my thing, and connecting with others as the opportunity arises. I go out of my way to be active around here. I’m a mod in the God Pod, I take the time to comment on other people’s blogs, and I try to add something meaningful to the milieu. If I had more time, I would be even more active.

4. What is the ONE thing you most enjoy about Gaia?

I came for the blogging, and that is what I enjoy the best. Some of the best discussions happen in blogs and not in pods. I think of myself as a writer and blogging is how I satisfy this part of myself at the moment. The main reason I don’t blog more is because most of the time I put so much effort into any single blog. I need to learn how to do more quick blogs in between the longer ones.

5. What would you advise someone who is joining Gaia today?

There is all kinds of advice I could give about navigating the site which takes a while to get the knack for. But there is some advice even more important than that. I’d tell them to focus on what interests, excites, inspires them… and don’t get too distracted by everything else. Just focus on your own thing and any contribution you make adds to the whole. Even if you don’t actively participate much at all, don’t worry about it. At the same time, there is no need to be overly shy because this is a safe and friendly place.

In anticipation of a super month,
OM Bastet, Moderator, Gaia Networking Group

Access_public Access: Public 2 Comments Print Post this!views (229)  

about 1 hour later

Centria said

It’s delightful to read these comments that Ben has contributed, giving us a better notion of who our Marmaldade might be.   He is a very special person and it’s been a joy to get to know him better over the past few months.  Sometimes I can be a bit intimidated by how thoughtful and knowledgeable he is about so many subjects (due to his incredible research abilities!) but he is nonetheless a genuine, caring, beautiful individual.  I am so glad he’s being highlighted here on Gaia….because he’s such a darn nice guy!

1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"

about 9 hours later

1Vector3 said

Amen, Sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And glad you blogged it, Marmy !!!

OM

 – – –

Further discussion:

  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 5, 2008, 2:43 PM:

  Thanks for the intro, OM. 

The universe works in mysterious ways.  On the day you posted this thread, my computer became a bit non-functional.  So, here I am at a coffee house which is near my house.  I might not be able to respond as quickly, but I will respond.

Marmalade

ps feel free to call me Marmalade or Ben or almost any other nickname you can think of… just don’t call me late to dinner.  🙂

Spinner
  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 5, 2008, 2:56 PM:

  One other thing… something I wrote is no longer valid.  A week or so ago, Jessica asked me if I wanted to be an Ambassador.  As I said above, I was uncertain about being an Ambassador, but she said that it wouldn’t mean doing anything different than I was already doing.  I was convinced and so apparently I’m now an Ambassador.

Help!  Gaia is slowly sucking me in.  Resistance is futile…

Marmalade

Spinner
  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 5, 2008, 5:59 PM:

  As they say:

Bwwwwaaaahhaaahahahahaha !!!

OM

(Though “they” hardly ever say both together……)

Spinner
  Amber : Smilemaker  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Amber said Aug 6, 2008, 12:40 AM:

  Yay Ben!

I’m sorry that I’m so fashionably late to the party but I’ve just gotten back from the Oregon  Gathering of Gaians or O.G.G… and am just now getting back on-line. Did you know there are places in the world were there is no cell phone service and no place to get your computer talking to the rest of the world? Well, there is and it’s where we held the meet up!

With that said my first burning questions are…

How long are you actually on Gaia each day? I ask because I have heard of people being here for hours and you made mention of the fight between reading and blogging… I have to say I’ve dropped reading altogether as I have a Gaia addiction… can’t say I’m working on that!

Have you met people here on Gaia who live in your area and whom you’ve met in real life yet? I’m asking this because of the success we just had with a large group of Gaian’s… it takes the feel of the site to another level.

Now I’m off to see your lastest and greatest blog and I’ll be back with more ‘burning quesitons’! Glad to see your name up in lights on Gaia Networking! This is going to be a fun month!

Amber

Spinner
  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

~Kes said Aug 6, 2008, 3:04 AM:

  Welcome Ben ~

What a cool surprise!  I went over and began reading your New Age series. your blogs from here     The experience is exponential…so worth reading!  You have a beautiful following of comments that bring even more richness to your blogs. Musically speaking its like reading a virtuoso of blogs! 
You’ve always taken the time to help me so anything I can do to make this month fun for you just ask!  Meantime I am checking back to discover more.  Its great to get to know you.  I enjoy the layers you present that not all is sweet and light and its great to see other viewpoints.  Your writing has me looking and observing areas I wasn’t seeing.  Thanks Marmalade!  I’ll check back soon.
I hope things are safe in Iowa once again.
Kathy

[mod note: ‘blogging’ sub-title added- meenakshi 8/26]

 

Spinner
  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 6, 2008, 2:30 PM:

  Hey Kathy – Did you find this thread through my blog?  I blogged OM’s intro in order to draw more people to the thread.  I’m happy that you liked the New Age series.  I was planning on blogging about that eventually, but it seemed like a good time to do it right before this thread started.  There are nice comments in the blogs, but there are also just as many comments in the thread I started in the God Pod.

Yep, everything is fine in Iowa… although everything is far from being fixed.

Blessings,
Marmalade

Spinner
  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 6, 2008, 2:01 PM:

  Hello Amber!  Yay back atcha…

Did you know there are places in the world were there is no cell phone service and no place to get your computer talking to the rest of the world?

Well, they may exist in some basic way… but are they really in the world?

How long are you actually on Gaia each day? I ask because I have heard of people being here for hours and you made mention of the fight between reading and blogging… I have to say I’ve dropped reading altogether as I have a Gaia addiction… can’t say I’m working on that!

Its hard to say how long I’m on Gaia each day.  I’m on the computer for hours at a time, but only some of that is Gaia.  I do a lot of research online… which means that something captures my attention and hours disappear while I roam around the web.  I’m not so much addicted to the internet per se.  I’m just addicted to information… where ever I can find it.  I spend a lot of time on the net, but I spend equal time reading and writing offline. 

I have a job that allows lots of free time, and so that is when I do much of my offline reading and writing.  Also, my lifelong bestfriend is as interested in reading and writing as I am.  My friend and I will hang out together and read our separate books, and talk about them.  Also, we’re both aspiring writers and have collaborated on stories.

There is some conflict between my online and offline reading, but they mostly contribute to eachother.  If you check out my blog, you’ll see I often reference the books I’m reading.  Before getting internet at home, I used to read books voraciously and this has slowed down.  My reading at work is inefficient as I occasionally have to work.

Have you met people here on Gaia who live in your area and whom you’ve met in real life yet? I’m asking this because of the success we just had with a large group of Gaian’s… it takes the feel of the site to another level.

No, I haven’t.  I can imagine that it would change one’s view of Gaia… make it more personal.  I did do a search for someone I knew and found he had joined here long ago, but he never was active. 

I’ve tried to get people I know to join here, but no one seems too interested.  Its strange how reluctant many people are to the internet.  I’ve told all of my friends and family about my blog, and none of them has even mentioned to me that they’ve even visited it.

So, I’ve never met offline anyone I’ve known online.  And I’ve never interacted online (besides email) with anyone I know offline.  This creates a slight disconnect in my reality.

Blessings,
Marmalade

Spinner
  jeepdog : Warrior Poet  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

jeepdog said Aug 6, 2008, 2:53 PM:

  Ben –

well done on this featured member stuff, and my condolences on the whole “ambassador” thing. 

Anyhoo – congratulation’s.  The tuna is on me, brother.

purr purr

Spinner
  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 6, 2008, 3:09 PM:

  Appreciate the condolences… and the tuna… mmmm…

Spinner
  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 8, 2008, 10:24 PM:

  While Marmalade is chomping his tuna treat, I will post more of Ben’s intriguing answers to our Featured Member questions:

6.  How has being on Gaia changed your off-line life?
 
So far, I’m not sure.  I haven’t been a member that long.  I’m still getting used to the place and finding my groove.  The major way that its changed my off-line life is that I’m addicted to Gaia.  I’m sure, given enough time, I’ll meet some of the members in person.  I don’t try to keep my off-line an on-line lives separate, but it seems to mostly work out that way.  Even though I’ve told all of my friends and family about my blog, I don’t know that any of them have even visited Gaia.
 
7.  How does your life off-line impacted your presence on Gaia?
 
My moods certainly impact my presence on Gaia.  Otherwise, I can’t think of much else that has a direct impact.  I read a whole lot off-line (what is known as a book), and what I learn from my reading ends up in my blog posts and pod posts.  I have posted some about my personal life, but my personal life is mostly uneventful and so it only comes up sporadically.
 
8.  What do you think has been your main contribution to the Community?
 
My life is dedicated to learning, and I’m full of accumulated knowledge and maybe a bit of personal insight.  I love sharing what I know and linking to information.  I have a mind that can connect almost anything.  Whatever I’m reading or thinking about at the moment will end up in about every discussion I have.  As for the personal insight, what I contribute is my very personal explorations and experiences.  I’ve been a spiritual seeker and occasional practitioner for most of my life.  The knowledge I accumulate isn’t limited to factoids and abstractions.  My learning is mixed up with my seeking and with my way of being in the world. 
 
I have some understanding of struggle and suffering, and the ways of dealing with difficult experiences  So, I try to contribute with compassion and acceptance in mind… not that I’m always successful.  Suffering relates to my sense of spiritual longing and passion.  I contribute best when I come from a spiritual perspective.  I can be apathetic sometimes, but I try to keep myself focused on what inspires me… and hopefully others might be inspired.
 
My purpose in life is to be a voice.  I’m a voice for what I’ve learned and I’m a voice for what I’ve experienced.  In particular, I’m a voice for whatever doesn’t normally have a voice.  I’m a voice for ideas and perspectives that often don’t get spoken about.  And I’m a voice for experiences that people would rather ignore and not talk about.  I’m a writer.  I want to communicate.  That is why I’m here.  I’d like to think that all my years of study and struggle serve some purpose.
 
My other way of contributing is by being a voice of silliness.  🙂
 
9.  What’s the biggest benefit you have received from the community?
 
I think that my answers to some of the other questions also apply here.  Simply put, Gaia is a place to voice my perspective and be heard, and a place to learn from the perspectives of others.  The benefit I’ve gained is in the connections I’ve made with other people.
 
10.  What do you see the community doing one year from now?
 
Its hard for me to imagine the community being different a year from now.  I really don’t know what is going on with this community, but I am slowly getting a better sense of it.  Changes seem to be happening all of the time, but I don’t know what they add up to.  I’m hoping that the powers that be here at Gaia will improve the ease of navigating the site, and I’d like to see easy access to smileys for posting.  I might start a protest about the lack of smileys.  I’ve belonged to foums that had hundreds of smileys available on the same page that posts were written on.  You just clicked on a smiley and it appeared where ever your cursor was.  In this next year, I want smileys!  Don’t make me start a ruckus.  🙂
 
Five years from now?
 
Now, five years is a different story.  Much could happen in that time. 
 
I do see the potential for the site to become more interconnected which would include easier navigation and an even stronger sense/vision of a collective identity.  I suspect the community will keep growing and changing which some will welcome and some won’t.  Gaia has so much potential that it would be a shame if it didn’t become something greater.  Communites like Gaia will be major players in the future (socially and politically). 
I’d like to see Gaia become more connected not only internally but also connected more fully to other related on-line communities and sites.  Also, maybe become more connected with the off-line world such as what was attempted with the integral salons (local groups meeting on a regular basis) or even finding ways to attract local groups to participate on Gaia.  Possibly, Gaia could emphasize the social networking aspect by creating ways that people could easily find and connect with people who live near them.
 
Another way I’d like to see Gaia become more connected is by becoming more international.  I suppose it would need to become multi-lingual to accomplish this.  This issue was brought up by Albert in a discussion about Integral theory.  He was saying that there is an active community discussing Integral in Europe, but its just not on Gaia.  There is an international presence here as there are members from all over, but many (maybe most?) seem to come from Canada and the US.  Nicole said that Americans aren’t aware of how American Gaia is.  I’m not sure what she meant, but she made me curious.
 
One other thing is that Gaia could include a more formal side where there would be more serious articles and and news.  Maybe there could be some kind of a journal/magazine.  Also, a calendar of member’s events might be nice.  I’ve heard someone suggest a page where Gaian members could advertise separately from the regular advertising on the site; it would be something like buying local. 
 
The difficulty with all of this is how to organize all of this in such a way that its easy to navigate.  Several examples of well organized websites come to mind (all of which have or had discussion boards). 
 
Beliefnet (check it out here on their home page and here in Wikipedia) has articles by major writers and they invite well-known people to have blog debates.  Beliefnet also has a common discussion area that creates a more official space than the indpendent discussion groups.  When one joins Beliefnet, one automatically is able to post on this main forum, and only the independent discussion groups need to be joined separately.  Gaia combined with Beliefnet would be an amazing community.
 
Integral World used to be connected with the now defunct Lightmind forum and it has a very extensive selection of essays.  I’d say that its the best web resources for the diversity of integral theory.  I was sad to see the Lightmind forum closed down as it was a very old and popular forum.  A great community was lost, but I suppose many of them just moved into communities such as Gaia.  Anyways, as Integral World has a large collection of articles on Integral, Gaia could do something similar with having a collection of articles on how to change the world.  The nice thing about Integral World back when Lightmind was still operational is that these really great articles would get discussed in the forums.
 
The Secular Web is a very well organized site that offers a whole lot.  Gaia seems like Chaos in comparison.  The only criticism I have of it is that its presentation is a bit plain.  BTW a poll on that site shows that its filled with mostly INTJs with INTPs as a close second… that would explain its being highly organized. 

[Here are some links to explain these terms:
http://pods.gaia.com/is_there_a_god/discussions/view/297615

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ ]

The Secular Web has articles by scholars and the site is a great resource of information, and they host formal debates.  The discussion forums there have in the past attracted many scholars in the field of Biblical studies and so there is at times a very high level of discussion.
 
Another well organized and very popular site is RichardDawkins.net.  There is a lot of information clearly presented on the homepage, and still manages to feel aesthetically pleasing.  That site also hosts formal debates.
 
At the moment, Gaia feels a bit haphazard in its somewhat decentralized structure, but I realize that is probably what many like about it.  Maybe Gaia’s structure originated with its roots in Zaadz.  I don’t know to what extent Gaia can be compared to other on-line communities.  Gaia seems quite unique in many ways.
 
Gaia is a nice place as it is and I would be fine with it if it didn’t change much at all in the next 5 years. Gaia is a successful community.  It doesn’t need to do anything differently.  However, this is a community of people who are very focused on change. 

Along with many others around here, I see that Gaia has a lot of potential.  And, like many others, I see that its potential will only manifest if its invested in.  I think the community and the team are investing quite a bit, but I think the deciding factor of whether Gaia ever becomes something greater probably has more to do with whether Gaiam invests more money into it.  As for now, I suppose its not a priority for Gaiam and so the community is unlikely to change in any drastic ways. 

I think that Gaia not only has a lot of potential to grow as a community, but also a lot of potential as a source of revenue for Gaiam.  Right now, this community might seem minor in the big scheme of Gaiam’s business, but I hope they eventually see the immense potential that lies fallow here.  Many of the wonderful changes that could happen on Gaia would involve money, and that is the way of the world.

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging symposium

Marmalade said Aug 11, 2008, 3:29 PM:

  In case anyone is interested, I’m participating in a blogging symposium here on Gaia.  It would be nice if these symposiums were promoted on Gaia’s community page.  These symposiums are related to integral theory, but Gaia could have symposiums about many other subjects.  Anyways, here is my blog entry introducing the symposium.

Symposium 4: Enactivism and Integral Theory

Posted on Aug 9th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade On Wednesday August 13, there will be a blogging symposium here on Gaia.  This symposium will be about the relationship between enactivism and integral theory.  I don’t know if there is an official title for the present symposium, but Matt/Buddhacious has entitled it Enactivism, Integral Theory, and 21st Century Spirituality.  There were three previous symposia (formerly called zymposia): Integrative Spirituality, Riding the Kundalini Dragon, Eco Business and Conscious Capitalism.

Here is the line-up for the upcoming event of a lifetime:

Wednesday August 13: Bruce
Thursday August 14: James
Friday August 15: Adam

Monday August 18: Matt
Tuesday August 19: Julian
Wednesday August 20: Erin
Thursday August 21: Ben (Me!)

Each day, one person will present their view on the subject.  In the comments, the other participants will respond, but anyone else is more than welcome to respond.  Come and join in the exciting action!  🙂

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 11, 2008, 3:35 PM:

  I mentioned earlier that my computer is a bit non-functional.  That is an understatement.  The truth is that I killed it… it had it coming I tell ya.  🙂

It’d been acting funky for a while anyways.  The fan wasn’t working or something and it would occasionally turn itself off without warning.  I was planning to get it fixed eventually, but then I spilled some liquid on it.  At first it seemed fine, but after a while it became clear that i had done some damage.  Certain keys wouldn’t work, and so I thought maybe the keyboard just needed replacing.  However, other problems started showing up.  The whole thing would need an overhaul, and for the time being I think it would be easier (and maybe cheaper) just to buy a new one.

So, I’m looking around right now.  I was considering computers that would allow me to access Second Life.  In researching this, I could not find anything under a $1,000.  Does anyone know a decent cheap computer that will work for Second Life?

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 11, 2008, 6:30 PM:

  How old was the dear departed, hahaha???

~C4Chaos is your best bet to ask about a cheap computer for Second Life. I think he’s active in SL, and also knowledgeable about computers, at least some aspects. If he doesn’t know, he could probably suggest someone here in the community.
 
You are quite handicapped without good access. Hope you get your new computer SOOOOOON !!

The laptop I use for Internet access is 8 years old, but she (she told me her name is Sarah, and told me the significance of that name for her for me) is still doing well, just a mite fussy about a few things !!!! 🙂

Blessings, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 12, 2008, 10:59 AM:

  You have an 8 yr old laptop that works?  That is impressive!  How often has it needed repair?  My computer was just around 2 yrs old.  If it weren’t for the spillage incident, it could’ve had many more years.  I still might fix it up eventually, but I don’t feel like messing around with it at the moment.

I had thought about C4Chaos, but he always seems like such a busy bloke with all his constant blogging.  I’ll send him a message.  I’m sure he could give me a quick answer.  All I need is some directions in which to look. 

I was checking out Dells yesterday.  My dear departed was a Dell, and overall they’re a good computer for the price.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging symposium

1Vector3 said Aug 11, 2008, 6:52 PM:

  Whew, after reading about Enactivism, I would say the symposium is not for the faint at heart when it comes to philosophy, biology, epistemology, etc. And integral viewpoints (I hate hate the term Integral Theory because it is a worldview, not a theory of anything.) But throwing the topic of spirituality into the mix means I will make the struggle to follow what is being said, at least for awhile.

Never heard of this kind of symposium before. Very 21st-century, Web 2.0 stuff. And as you say, could be any topic. Love the format !!!!!

Will be interested in your experience of it, independent of the content of it, though if you care to translate any of the insights or learnings for laypeople, all the better..

Namaste, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging symposium

Marmalade said Aug 12, 2008, 11:11 AM:

  I’m not much different than you in this matter, Om.  I just recently found out about the symposiums and I’ve only begun to understand enactivism.  I connects to so much that I’m having a hard time of figuring out where to focus for my symposium presentation.

I agree about Integral Theory being a misnomer.  The major problem I see with Integralism is that people can forget that its a worldview.

I’m not entirely sure about the spirituality being thrown into the mix.  Varela is a proponent of Buddhism and I’m fine with that, but I’m wondering if a larger context of spirituality can be included.  In particular, my mind has been focused on depth psychology and the liminal.  Those both relate to spirituality and I can see potential links to enactivism.

I’ll share my experience of it as it goes along.  I’ll try to translate for the laypeople, but at the moment I feel like I’m a part of the laypeople.  I’m glad I’m the last because I can figure out enactivism as people present.  I wish I had more time to do research on the internet, but that is the way life goes.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 12, 2008, 12:32 PM:

  I got my laptop from a geek, they always seem to have “something lying around in my closet I haven’t used for awhile.” I’ve only had it a few months. So I don’t know the repair history, but I think it might be nil. It’s in Inspiron 3800, but the booting up screen says Dell.

I was going to suggest ways to keep your computer out of the landfill, but that’s moot if you will be holding onto it. They should last more than two years, does sound as if turning itself off was a specific problem. Wasn’t it still under warranty? (But of course, spilling something on it, ah, bye-bye warranty, even if the problem started earlier….)

~C4 is very approachable, he lives less than a mile from me and I have met him twice, at our local Gaia Community gatherings, and he seems to cover a lot of ground, so I don’t think he’d be too busy to helpyou.

But that brings me to Second Life. Would you care to describe what it is, briefly, and perhaps your interest in it, and perhaps how you see it as a social and cyber-space phenomenon?? I think a lot of readers here might be intrigued and not yet have heard of it.

Oh, good to hear you’re not a “geek” wrt the symposium topics !!! So maybe we stand a chance of understanding it; “Beginner’s mind” is challenging for those folks, in my experience. And you can kinda evolve your topic as you hear what others say, but the dance will speed up as your day gets closer, LOL !!!
You can be in gratitude that you have more research time than several other folks put together, even if it doesn’t seem like as much as you want !! We in turn are grateful that you share the results of what you find, in ways that enrich us all.
 
Blessings, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 12, 2008, 1:17 PM:

  I just messaged C4Chaos.  I’ll see what he says.

What is Second Life?  I only know of it secondhand.  I’ve never been on it, but I can share my vague knowledge about the matter.  Second Life is a 3-D virtual world.  You can design an avatar and you can move through the virtual world.  There are buildings and cities.  Some businesses have set up virtual shops.  You can buy land and build on it.  People meet with others they know, and there are open gatherings such as concerts and art shows.
Second Life is somewhere between an online community like Gaia and a multiplayer online role-playing game.  Plus, there is the added bonus of in-world political activism and terrorism… oh my!

If anyone is interested in further info, here is the Second Life site and the Second Life wiki.  Also, Gaia has a Second Life pod, but it hasn’t been active for a while.  There are a number of people involved with Second Life here on Gaia.  I did a blog search and came up with 208 results (which I couldn’t figure a way to link to).

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  Amber : Smilemaker  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Amber said Aug 12, 2008, 4:01 PM:

  Hey there!

Sorry to be out of the loop a bit here… I’ve been moving my stuff from one place to another… my little girl iguana is tearing up my arms and legs trying to get used to her new home… she has been using me for a security blanket for the last three days and I’m not about to put on a long sleeve shirt to protect my skin in the 90 degree weather we’ve been having…

Ben, if you’ve been over to Second Life I’m amazed we haven’t lost you there! I know of several of my friends, here at Gaia and personal friends who get sucked in and don’t come back out!

OM Second Life is quite the experiment in on-line community… You can even teach classes and have your students on-line at Second Life…I don’t get how it works exactly but Budding Spritelet is going to teach a class and she has create exactly how she wants to look, who she wants to be… it sounds very intriguing!

How’s Ambassadorship going Ben?! Same as usual? ~grin~ I’ve been going over to the Gaia Lounge and welcoming newcomers as part of my evening Gaia ritual… Other then that, I open my mouth in my Real Life to tell people about Gaia.com and how wonderful it is to be here!

Off to unpack a box or two and settle myself in a bit more!

Smiles!
Amber Smilemaker

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 13, 2008, 12:19 PM:

  Hey Amber!

So, moving has brought you and your iguana closer together?  How sweet.  🙂

Where did you move to?  Are you at your new location now?
I hope it all works out for you and Princess Boots.

I haven’t been to Second Life yet, but I suppose I’ll eventually visit the place.  I doubt you’d lose me to it.  I’m a word person, and I need a regular outlet for my writing.
How is Ambassadorship?  I don’t really know.  I’ve been to busy to think about it yet.  After the Symposium and when I have a computer again, I’ll give it some thought.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 12, 2008, 10:01 PM:

  Wow, the part about teaching and classes is intriguing, Amber, you caught my Gemini ear, but I don’t have time enough for all I want in my First Life, let alone a Second, LOL !!!!!!! And anything I might want to add to my First Life that I think I might like more of, can’t be done in cyberspace, hahahaha.

I wish you the joy of your transition, Amber.

Blessings, OM Bastet

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  sandy : Activist and Ambassador  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

sandy said Aug 12, 2008, 11:46 PM:

  It is a pleasure to know you Ben Marmalade!
Am just back myself, after being on Hols -so am just catching
up on all the posts.

I really dig your sense of humour-as well as all your great thoughts,
and look forward to reading through your blogs over the next few days.

sandy

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 13, 2008, 12:27 PM:

  Welcome back, Sandy!

Going to look through my blogs?  That’s swell.  Anyone who clicks on my blog right now will be confronted by ninja cheerleaders.  Consider yourself warned.  🙂

I’ve got a question for you Sandy and for everyone else also:

What do you look for in a blog?
Which blogs do you read closely and which ones do you skip over?

The reason I ask is that I always consider my audience when blogging.  I blog for myself, but I also blog to interact with others.  I’d like to hear what anyone likes or dislikes about my blog.

Do my blogs feel welcoming and open?

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  sandy : Activist and Ambassador  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

sandy said Aug 14, 2008, 11:17 PM:

  Well,I have just started reading your blogs Ben Marmalade,
and I enjoyed New Age 3 very much -and sent you some hugs,
as hugs were mentioned!

In answer to your question regarding blogs-
I am only just getting into blogs as I tend to get more
carried away with pod postings.

I am a spasmodic blogger myself -never knowing quite
what format to use-eg for me or for everyone?

But -yes -I like the feel of your blogs and shall read one each day
till I have read them all.
I endevour to read many more of my friends blogs too and am always
grateful when they Grapevine me to let me know of a new one,they
think I will be interested in and make a point of reading them.

peace to you -“cool cat”” !!

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 15, 2008, 1:48 PM:

  Hi Sandy,

A blog a day?  I don’t have too many, but I do have 56 of them at the moment.  They’re not all equally interesting and some are nothing more than pictures or videos.  I don’t know if you like the discussions in the comments, but there are a few really nice comment discussions.  Nicole and I had some really nice discussions in my blogs a while back.  In the comments of at least one blog, I was in a complainig mood and so you can ignore that one.  🙂

I’d be glad to grapevine people who might find my blogs interesting, but I’d have to get to know you better in order to do that.  Tell me what are your favorite blogs of mine or even give me some examples of other people’s blogs that you’ve liked a lot.  Every so often, I post my more interesting blogs in the God Pod just so they’ll be noticed by others who may enjoy them.

Also, if you comment on my blogs a lot, I’m more likely to cater to what interests you.  I just enjoy interesting discussion.  I’ve blogged a few times with Nicole in mind because I know she’ll respond… as long as she isn’t too busy with other things.

Since I started my online writing with years of forums before coming around to blogs, I still think in terms of discussion.  I’m not one of those people who blog without much interest in responding to comments.  I don’t blog with too many expectations beyond my my own enjoyment of writing, but I’m always game for discussion.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  sandy : Activist and Ambassador  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

sandy said Aug 19, 2008, 12:06 AM:

  Hi Marmalade-
well, I have to tell you -I am struggling a little to get through
your blogs-
and for one reason only-
although they are quite brilliant -they are also quite long!

I shall however,continue to read on a daily basis!

And I always welcome a message to my Grapevine,
letting me know of a new one?

P.S -I don’t mid reading a bit of compaining either-if it  gets
something off your chest!

S

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

1Vector3 said Aug 14, 2008, 2:14 AM:

  Aha, I thought long and hard about what makes me interested in reading any blog, but now I see you asked just about yours, which seems like a better question.

I do find your blogs welcoming and open. What I like about them is

1. I understand most of what you say. haha.
2. You are often talking about subjects that interest me.
3. You are usually saying things that make sense to me.
4. You are often expanding my knowledge or understandings.
5. You throw in humor and zingers that keep me delightedly surprised and always looking for the next one. Included here is the personal stuff. You are not just abstractions, you are sharing your real self, your real person.
6. You are open to my views, and you respond thoughtfully to what I comment.
7. You think about things, and care about things, and the combo of those two is valuable to me.
8. You make an effort to write clearly and you aim to be understood.
9. You have the same basic approach to writing, the same basic motivation, reason, values, as I do: improving the world. 
10. You often do more research on subjects I like than I would ever be willing to do. Hey, Bud, thanks for the free research assistance !!!!!! 

What don’t I like about your blogs?

Well, there’s….. and then there’s ….. hmmmm…..and……

Well, when I think of something, I’ll let you know. There must be SOMEthing. Hmmmm……

LOL,
OM Bastet

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  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

~Kes said Aug 14, 2008, 2:50 AM:

  Hi Ben,

Your blogs are received as if they are written to either one person or an audience.  You always keep the reality in all of your writings making the scriblings easy to understand, especially on topics that are from areas I have not studied.  So that we can all find common threads of understanding, you are the guru of writing in a “101” style for me.
You grant others importance in a way that doesn’t diminish your own strength and you are just an overall great guy.  Thanks for doing all you do.
Even on other pods like the God Pod, you never come across biased or makey wrongey if we aren’t at your level, and that is a very cool thing as a reader.

 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 14, 2008, 1:05 PM:

  I honed my online writing skills from forums.  I learned that in starting a thread, it was important how you presented info in order to draw people in, especially in a busy forum where a whole lot of other threads may have been started on the same day.  Thread discussions are different than blogs, but they’re not really that different. 

Blogging took my writing skill to a new level as it gave more dimensions to how to present info.  I’ve tried to use more pictures and videos, and I try to format it in a clear way using bold and slant to break things up.  I often blog quickly and so I don’t always present as well as I could.  One thing I love about online writing is the ability to link.  I love links.

Blogging is a challenge.  To do it really well, you need to put the time in.  I’ve sometimes have spent too much time looking for the right picture, and the time I spend/waste doing the research legwork for OM.  Hey, OM, I might have to start charging you.  🙂

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

1Vector3 said Aug 14, 2008, 2:40 PM:

  Ditto all that Kathy said !!!

Well if you start charging me, I will suddenly and mysteriously become an incurious cat !!!! :))

And I was mistooken, you did ask what we look for in blogs in general, and what turns us off.

So I will share my general thoughts:

For a blog to catch me, it has to serve at least one of these purposes for me:

1. I want to be taught, or informed – about something I am interested in, or discover a new interest in because of the blog. Included here is, I want to be challenged to deepen my understandings, or make my own ideas more precise, or take actions I believe are useful.
2. I want to be entertained, amused.
3. I want to be uplifted, inspired, expanded.
4. I want to be heart-warmed, which is slightly different from “inspired.”

5. I want it to be about stuff I think is important.
6. I like blogs which have a co-creative project focus.

I read more closely the ones that tend to do more than one of these things!

What makes me click on past is complaints, trivia, reality-show types of reports, trivial subjects, attacks, nonconstructive criticism.

Does that help?

I appreciate your description of the ways you consciously approach your blogging. I love links, but ya know, I actually often skip them, being impatient, unless they seem really valuable/essential. Videos I rarely look at, same reason, but pictures are always appreciated.

Yeah, it would sure be great if we had more formatting for our blogs. Imagine not just bold and italics, but different fonts, text colors, emoticons, glittery images….. Some folks can do this, but I haven’t figured it all out yet. And of course, not everyone can see it, and all nontext items add to loading time…. It’s a trade-off.

Blessings, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 14, 2008, 5:21 PM:

  That picture was so staged.  Aren’t kitties cute enought without needing to set them up in a little snuggle-fest?  I’m outraged.  Kitties are always being manipulated and abused for our entertainment.  And yet, and yet, I can’t help myself… they’re so darn cute.  Dang it, you nefarious OM, you!  My heart has been warmed.  You’ve manipulated my emotions with your silly photos for the last time.  Now, I’ll have to go to work with the image of those kitties stuck in my head.  I hope you’re happy!  🙂

Oh well… you were saying something about blogs?  Ah, yes… you bring up some good points.  I’d agree with those purposes. 

As for the linking, the beauty of a hyperlink is that its unobtrusive and can be easily ignored if a reader prefers.  And, yet, it makes for easy and quick access to relevant info.  My links often represent hours of online searching.  I’m not one of those who link to random info just to link.  I will link to basic info to give definitions, but many of my links are to whole other directions one can take in learning more about whatever I’m speaking about. 

Also, links are partly for my own benefit.  I like to remember the context behind my writing, and so that way I can return to it later to mine for even more info.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

~Kes said Aug 14, 2008, 6:45 PM:

  OM~~~~~

That picture wreaks through my computer screen of love and wads of fur.  Now we have blog and smile at the same time.  No seriousity goin’ on here.
KittyHug.jpg THANKS FOR NOT POISONING THE YARD picture by EZGardens
Hugs to OM for such a delicious picture.
lion_s_gaze.jpg TRAIN TODAY ON ORGANICS PLEASE picture by EZGardens
Marmalade,
Your blogs are grown up cats…I will be one of your fans!
I like the structure and something that grabs all – sometimes with the idea that it is being read by someone that doesn’t understand fully but writing in a way that they can use the dictionary and hyperlinks to attain full conceptual value.
Much love to both of you, 🙂
Kathy
I have to mention ~ I went back to some of my first blogs and spot read some of them from 2006 to present and it is true that we become much better writers as we exercise this skill.  I actually had to edit some of my stuff as it was over the top showing my illiteracy level.  No apologies…it proves that change does happen in the best of ways when we hang with Gaia.

 

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  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

~Kes said Aug 14, 2008, 10:41 PM:

  OMcat.jpg OM cat picture by EZGardens

OK…You know this was staged…I call it OM Cat… I made it from stuff I found on Google.  You guys are so inspiring for the artist.

 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 15, 2008, 1:29 PM:

  Kathy – I bet that cat is about to eat those flowers.  Then he’ll go into his house and barf them up on the floor where his human will step in it.  Trust me… I know from personal experience.

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  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

~Kes said Aug 16, 2008, 1:46 PM:

  tee hee…no!  He’s smelling them for OM spreading her BEAUTY! 🙂

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 18, 2008, 10:08 PM:

  Ben, that is downright cynical and highly probable, LOL !!!!!!!

Kathy, thank you for the sweet and so-creative acknowledgment !! They might be black-eyed Susans, which also turn me on like sunflowers do, and I also relate to calendulas, and even daisies, though not quite as strongly.

Nearest I have ever been able to figure out is I am remembering the Great Central Sun, from a past life, but not consciously. I had a neighbor recently who was obsessed by sunflowers, she painted tons of them on various items including her walls, and she too thought it was a space thing, and not a relationship to the flower itself. We really resonated !!!!!
Ben, we are having fun yet over at the Symposium, yes? (You told us about it a week ago, above, with links to the various blogs. I can’t access the permalink of that post easily right now, it’s very late.)

Everyone needs to know though that the danged thing is absorbing inordinate amounts of your time and mine…..

Blessings to all, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 19, 2008, 7:49 AM:

  I’ve been very busy with the symposium.  I’ve been doing almost nothing else for the past week.  I was researching various things trying to come to grasp with it so that I could write about it, and that was an enormous task… now finished.  I’ve written parts of my presentation, but it needs to be finished by Thursday.  The deadline pressure is on.

It’d be easier if I’d just keep it simple, but that’s not my style.  I have finally figured out how to organize my thoughts which is a major accomplishment.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 19, 2008, 11:45 AM:

  Well we gotta make the best of our own style, huh !!!

I know what you mean, getting the organization, the skeleton, the framework, is the major creative piece, or one anyway. After that, the flow is easier. Kinda like putting the decorations on the Christmas tree, haha. Well, a trifle more effort than that !!!!

Had we known the symposium was coming up for you, we might have put your Featured Member month later, but I think you were here before the symposium invite, so it’s a moot point, so it’s just turned out to be a busy month for you. Keep you off the streets, you know, tomcats on the loose….. (haha because that is so NOT you, Ben !!)

May your participation in the symposium bring you all your heart’s desires re results, and some delightful surprises even beyond that !!

Blessings, OM Bastet

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  ~Kes : be cause  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

~Kes said Aug 20, 2008, 4:17 AM:

  I read parts of your blog and research.  This is MBA stuff!  Very intellectual!  I know you will do great with the materials.  That is a lot of data but you have the gift of writing it in a way others can understand.  thanks again for what you have been doing Ben.

 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 20, 2008, 9:51 AM:

  I’m not completely satisfied with what I’ve written so far, but it might have to do because I don’t know if I’ll have much time today or tomorrow.  Part of my problem is that I’m writing for a very diverse audience and I doubt anyone in the audience shares my view on the subject.  If I wasn’t considering audience, I’d go off in more interesting directions with it.  I’ll have to blog more about it after the symposium to clarify the larger framework of my thoughts.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 21, 2008, 4:58 PM:

  I just posted my blog for the symposium.  I received some positive input.  Maybe I was wrong about others not sharing my view.  I was worried that I might be stretching the enactivist ideas a bit too far, but maybe the connections I made are solid enough.  Everyone is more than welcome to join in any of the other presentations in  the symposium, but here is my entry.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 21, 2008, 6:03 PM:

  Dang, I’m about to go out for the evening, will read later. Care to place a small wager on my actually agreeing with a LOT you say? I bet on that. IMO odds are about 7/10, maybe 8/10, in favor of my agreeing, so I wouldn’t take the bet if I were you!!!!

Blessings, OM Bastet

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Aug 21, 2008, 6:25 PM:

  Here are Ben’s (or Marmalade’s I forgot to ask which, LOL) answers to the rest of the standard Featured Member interview. But don’t let this post distract you from reading his symposium contribution that he mentioned one post above here. !! I’m betting even those who don’t fully understand it would be able to appreciate it.

OM Bastet

11.  *What are your impressions of the  Gaia Networking [was  Z-NETWORK} pod?
 
I’ve participated in a few threads on Gaia Networking.  It feels like a good space for discussion.  I haven’t been as active recently because I’ve been trying to regain some focus on my blogging.  I inentionally took most of the pods I belong to off of e-mail notification because I was being swamped.  I don’t think I have enough experience on Gaia Networking to be able to give a very clear impression of it.  I will say I’ve learned a lot from some of the threads, and so it does seem to be a good resource for the community.
 
How do you feel it can contribute to your community experience, and what improvements could you suggest?
 
Its just generally a good place to connect with others and to hear what others think about Gaia.  I have no suggestions for improvement as I don’t see anything wrong with it.  Its seems to be serving its purpose.
 
12.  What do you think is the community’s greatest contribution to your ideal world, so far?
 
One of the major problems I see with the world is a lack of healthy community.  The traditional style of community don’t seem to work as well as it used to, and unless civilization collapses we won’t likely return to the way things used to be.  We need to learn from the old while trying to create a new model.  Gaia is an experiment along with the whole internet.  I’m happy to be a part of the grand experiment.  I don’t know that I’m hopeful exactly, but I’m not unhopeful.  I’m sure humans will figure something out.
 
13.  What do you believe the community could contribute more, to your ideal world?
 
I’d just like to see the experiment continue.  I hope that Gaia never stops growing and changing.  In the long run, I see great potential to how this community can contribute to my ideal world.  I want to feel a part of the larger world and communites like this make me feel less isolated and less powerless.  I have a strong desire for community that hasn’t been fully satisfied by the local community in which I live.  If I ever met and befriended some Gaians who live near me, then that might be a nice experience.  I’d like it if my on-line life and my off-line life were more integrated.
 
14.  Which pods are you involved in, and what is your role in them?
 
I belong to a bunch of pods, but I’m not acitve in most of them.  Of course, I’d be active in more pods if I had more time.  The pod I spend the most time in is the God Pod.  I’m a mod there, a very active poster, a greeter of new members, and an occasional goofball.  I think I might have first participated there when Nicole linked to one of my blog posts. 

Another pod I’ve been posting on lately is the Integral Post-metaphysical Spirituality Pod started by Balder.  My role there is just as a member.  I have started a couple of threads there, but I haven’t posted much so far. 

I’ve also posted a fair amount in zFilms which is kept alive singlehandedly by OM. 

Another pod I’d like to mention is Collective Wisdom: The Library for Community Threads.  I’ve found some nice discussions that were linked on that pod.
 
What do you see as the special value of each for the community? 
 
On the God Pod, I enjoy the atmosphere that Nicole has created.  She has a way of making the pod feel like a collaborative effort which she does partly by having lots of mods.  Its one of the more active pods and it seems to fill a niche.  Despite it being called the God Pod, its value is largely because its a very general pod where many different types of discussions can occur.  It has a little bit of everything and Nicole is a tireless starter of threads.  Many of the threads are based on blog entries or threads from other pods.  The discussions are a good balance of seriousness and silliness, intellectuality and spirituality.
 
The Integral Post-metaphysical Spirituality Pod is a different type of group.  Its less active and more focused on a confined set of topics.  The active discussions about Integral theory were a big factor in my joining Gaia.  I feel that Integral adds a lot to Gaia, but it can also add conflict.  Its a challenging perspective and some of its proponents like to be purposefully challenging to others.  🙂
 
I really like the zFilms Pod.  Its not an active pod and so it doesn’t add as much to the community as I wish it did… or rather the community doesn’t add to it as much as I wish.  If there was one pod I’d like to help out with, it probably would be zFilms.  I did some long blog posts about the movie Blade Runner (here and here) which I posted on that pod.  I love a good movie and I wish more people were interested in discussing them.  I know that I got a lot more out of Blade Runner because I thought about it deeply.  If I can persuade people to do one thing, then it would be to join and post on zFilms!!!
 
The Collective Wisdom pod is valuable because its where wisdom is collected.  🙂
 
Anything else you want to say about any of them?
 
I’ll just end with saying how much I enjoy blogging.  Its why I joined.  I looked around at many blogging communities and Gaia stood out from all of them.  There is a higher quality of membership here than on more general communities such as networking sites.  And at the same time this community isn’t too specific in that it allows a wider variety of discussion than communities that are focused on a single topic.
 
I encourage everyone to visit my blog and comment if so inspired.  I’m a blogger who loves comments especially when they turn into discussions.  Some of the best discussions happen in blogs, and some discussions end up being more interesting than the blog that started them.  My original reason for joining pods and networking was simply to connect with other bloggers.

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Aug 22, 2008, 12:24 PM:

  Thanks for the further installment, OM. 

For some reason my Blade Runner blog links didn’t show up. 
Here they are:

Blade Runner: Rick Deckard

Blade Runner: Roy Batty

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  sandy : Activist and Ambassador  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

sandy said Aug 25, 2008, 11:54 PM:

  I reckon you deserve the “top blogger” award Ben Marmalade!
Your writings are so in depth and prolific I can barely keep up with them!

Have you entered the Blogger’s Awards? I feel you would do very well there.

You “cool cat” you -I am glad you are our featured member this month,
as it has given us all a chance to get to know you.

Peace,

Sandy

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 26, 2008, 10:53 AM:

  I don’t know about “top blogger”, but I try my best.   What is the blogger awards?

Communicating in writing is a challenge, and I can get frustrated when I feel I don’t fully connect with the audience.  Most often, I’m just writing for myself, but with the symposium I was directing what I was writing towards a specific group of people.  Maybe I should stick to just writing for myself, and avoid such things as symposiums where too many people have their separate agendas.

I have a hard enough time communicating my thoughts to my bestfriend in person  and I’ve known him almost my whole life.  Expecting actual connection online is probably asking too much.  At least, I connect on occasion with some people such as you Sandy.  Maybe I should just be satisfied with those occasional connections.

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   Meenakshi : ~  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade – -blogging

Meenakshi said Aug 26, 2008, 11:43 AM:

  When I became a college teacher, the Principal told me that even if I reached ONE student during my entire teaching career, I should count myself successful. I did, and I know her, and so I do feel that way!!!

But to get back to blogging, Ben, have you considered who you’d like to be your audience? And then ask them what they like or don’t about your blogs? Or rather, what they’d like to see more or less of?

I’m a researcher, as you can tell; and there’s nothing like asking the questions that are in your mind, to get the answers. Of course, you’ve to be open to getting answers too; sometimes we may feel vulnerable and not able to hear what others like about our work, or don’t. In which case, I would say it’s best to enjoy one’s own writing and be thankful when others write as well….

Would you consider putting any new thoughts you have on this on the discussion we had back in June? Or just put your thoughts here….

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   Meenakshi : ~  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade – -blogging

Meenakshi said Aug 26, 2008, 12:02 PM:

  Now I really have egg on my face…or perhaps just very sleepy eye lids!! I see that you had already asked and been answered about your blogging styleon this thread. As I was putting in the subtitles on some of the posts here, I realized that I was preaching to the choir. 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade – -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 26, 2008, 12:16 PM:

  No worries.  Maybe I should do a blog asking my audience for feedback.  That could be interesting.

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  sandy : Activist and Ambassador  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

sandy said Aug 26, 2008, 10:47 PM:

  This is the bloggers site, dear Ben Marmalade!

One of our Global Peace friends blogs here and is nominated for 
the best Political Blog award.
 http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/

Although I haven’t joined up yet (looks like I may have to set
up gmail to do so?) -I believe you can even get paid for blogs!!!

I think yours would be most worthy of entry here and would reach
a far bigger audience.

But don’t leave us here -I am getting to like our “occasional connections” !!
And your blogs are a very important part of our Gaia History, as it grows.

Blog on…

Sandy

P.S -For further coverage of your blogs -you can add the link back to your
page here, all over the Net -in all other groups you belong to?or
web pages you may have.
Even email the link around to your friends and anyone else you think
may be interested.

Submit, submit, submit!

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -blogging

Marmalade said Aug 27, 2008, 3:17 PM:

  I doubt I’m going to leave Gaia or certainly not any time soon.  I’ve looked around at other blogging sites, and I like it here.  I guess I’d accept payment for my blogs if someone offered it to me, but I certainly don’t blog with money in mind.  If I was going to be paid for my writing, I would prefer that it be for having something published.  That’d be cool!

Blessings,
Marmalade

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   Meenakshi : ~  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade- exploring Gaia

Meenakshi said Aug 23, 2008, 7:19 PM:

  Ben, in the first post on this thread, you are quoted as writing:

 “When I first joined, this site in general felt more intimdating and overwhelming than any site I’ve ever belonged to.  Of course, if it didn’t also seem very interesting and full of potential, I wouldn’t have spent so much time exploring.  Fortunately, there are plenty of friendly and knowledgable people around to help guide and advise the newbies. ”

Question: what are the different ways you used then and use now, to explore the site? The different ways are outlined as discussion board names on this pod. Perhaps you could amplify based on that?

You write:

“Fortunately, there are plenty of friendly and knowledgable people around to help guide and advise the newbies.  Soon after I joined, I met Nicole and OM who helped me out quite a bit.”

I’d love you to add that as a tip here: Networking on little-known areas of Gaia This may be a surprise, but there are other ways to network on Gaia..Share them here!

Finally, late in the month as I’m just back from vacation, meowww for being such a wonderful featured member of our pod!

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade -exploring Gaia

Marmalade said Aug 26, 2008, 11:17 AM:

  Meenkashi,

The ways I used then to explore Gaia was a combination of methods.  I’d systematically search through the vast number of pods and check out the various links, but its a vast site and I’m still discovering new areas of Gaia.  The other method was just following my curiosity and following the hyperlinks people would provide between pods and blogs.  I was particularly looking for blogs.  When I found one I liked I’d comment and I wouldn’t be shy about hyperlinking back to a relevant blog of my own.

I still use the curiosity method, but I tend to be more focused in my explorations now.  I’m more likely to do specific searches of subjects that interest me.  I would comment on blogs more, but it takes a lot of time to keep up with others blogs.  Even though I’ve tried networking, I’ve found it difficult to actually connect with people and too often its frustrating.  Most people just seem to be doing there own thing and only a few really reach out.

I’d say that I probably use most of the ways outlined as discussion board names on this pod.  I’ve tried many different methods.

As for the tip you’d love me to add, I’m not sure exactly what the tip is.  I didn’t search out Nicole or OM.  I don’t even remember what caused them to notice me.  I was just blogging a lot and commenting in different pods.  Maybe the tip would be to act like a helpless newbie in need of guidance until some long-term Gaia member happens to notice you.  I’m not sure if that would be a very helpful tip.  🙂

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Sep 1, 2008, 12:25 AM:

  Ha, I don’t remember exactly what caused me to notice you, Ben, but I did read half a dozen posts from you in various places, about which I said to myself “Who in heck is this guy writing all my *wise and insightful* thoughts all over the place here???!!!  I think I’ll notice him !!!!”

LOL !!!!!

Well, this is that mixed-emotions calendar time which says we are about to switch focus from our August Featured Member and launch our September Featured Member for this Group. This has been a beautiful time of sharings around a beautiful and very special cat/person, Marmalade/Ben, and I think we made a really fine choice for August, don’t you all agree !!!!?

Thank you Ben for all the time and energy you put into sharing and engaging with us so openly and interestingly. We are all better folks for the interactions here. We have been expanded, and given food for thought, and been inspired and informed !! Blog on, illustrious feline !!!

We wish you the very best in all your endeavors on behalf of the world and in your personal life as well.

And thank you to all who have contributed thoughts, insights, resources, your marvelous selves, during Ben’s month as Featured Member.

And, as we welcome our new Featured Member for September, this thread will remain open for anyone’s participation and contributions, and I am lookin’ forward to MORE here !!!! Yaaay !!!!

We’ll be sending a small token of our thanks to Marmalade via etheric-dimensional mail, a small bit of other-worldly catnip, to express our gratitude for his participating and for his allowing you Ben to spend so much time here instead of playing with him. Most generous of him !!!!!

Blessings to all,
OM Bastet, along with Amber and Meenakshi, your friendly local Gaia Networking pod mods

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Sep 1, 2008, 12:13 PM:

  I just responded to you, Om, but the coffeehouse computer I’m using decided to close out the window precisely at the moment I was about to save it before hitting the send button.  Apparently, this computer is possessed by an evil demon.  😦

Thanks for the month of attention.  Its been a difficult month.  I’ve been busy with the symposium and that was frustrating because I lacked a computer.  And, because I was busy with the symposium, I didn’t have the time to look carefully around for a new computer.  The symposium ended and I finally got around to ordering a computer.  My computer came in at the end of the month, but I’m still waiting on my keyboard and mouse that were shipped separately.  So, I spent the whole month of being a featured member without a computer, and I’m getting really unexcited about using coffeehouse computers.  I’ve hardly been on Gaia this past week.

I can’t wait to get my keyboard.  Presently, I can’t do anything with my new computer without a keyboard, and my old laptop works decently except for the keyboard.  I have two working computers but not a working keyboard between them.  If the keyboard had come in first, I could’ve hooked it into my laptop.  This past week, I’ve been reading various posts on Gaia but I couldn’t respond and didn’t feel overly motivated to go to a coffeehouse in order to respond.

Just a few more days and my computer shall be set up.  I will be a happy man.  In the upcoming weeks, I shall be posting many new blogs that I’ve had on my mind.

Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread.  Despite the minor frustrations of the month, I’ve enjoyed being a featured member.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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   Meenakshi : ~  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Meenakshi said Sep 1, 2008, 11:33 AM:

  Ben I’ve got to know you better this month; and hope that you will continue to add what you learn about community building on this pod. We’ll be setting up a featured pods section as Kathy / ~KES had recommended some time back; and would ask that you look out for it so that you can describe your pod[s] there once we do.

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Sep 1, 2008, 12:20 PM:

  Hi Meenkashi!

I’ll try to keep up with this pod and several other pods as much as I can, but I am a mere mortal.  lol  I’ll keep my eyes out for the featured pods section and I’ll surely post there.

As soon as I catch up with everything, I’m going to help OM out with the zFilms pod.  Anyone who wants to help out there, feel free to join.  I plan on writing a blog review about the recent Batman movie and will be posting it on that pod.

Blessings,
Marmalade

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  1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

1Vector3 said Sep 1, 2008, 4:37 PM:

  What an apparently mixed-blessings month for you, Marmalade !! Such an opportunity, or series of opportunities, to breathe and practice dis-identification, equanimity, etc.

So glad you will finally be cyber-space-suited up nicely soon !!!!

And YAYYYYY!!! re zFilms. Thanks !!!!! You can write your own “helper” job description for there !!

As of today or tomorrow I am going to be emailing the members that the name is now Community Film Picks (zFilms) Group. I posted about the proposed new name for Ambassadors and Team, and no one objected on any of the various grounds I suggested might pertain, so we’ll go with that name. No name was perfect IMO, and there was not unanimity amongst those who weighed in from the Group, but what else is new, unanimity is not natcheral or at least not common in a human group !!!!!!

So, getting closer to official “launch” of the group by emailing all my Friends about it and announcing in the Lounge and perhaps other places. I guess umpteen months of beta-testing are now over !!!! Very worthwhile period, though, lots of tweaks made. And a substantial body of existing posts for folks to browse.

Your blogs and posts are treasures, and we look forward to more !!!!!!!!

And Meenakshi, Featured Pods is gonna be so GREAT here, I so appreciate ~KES  who suggested the idea.

Namaste, OM Bastet

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: August’s Featured Member: Marmalade (and his person, Ben)

Marmalade said Sep 1, 2008, 5:10 PM:

  Yes, OM, opportunities to practice dis-identification.  I have been blessed with opportunities.  lolol

Sometimes I get frustrated and I don’t know why.  But this past month I think it has been mostly the factor of not having a computer at home.  Maybe I shouldn’t have agreed to the symposium because that gave me more opportunities for dis-identification than I could handle.  🙂

The last time I felt frustrated on Gaia was when my parents were visiting and I didn’t have the time to reply to people here.  I have a strong need to express myself somehow, and when I don’t I feel frustrated overall.  My mind is always churning with ideas and feelings that most people in my life aren’t overly interested in, and so journalling or blogging gives me a way to get all of that off my mind and give it external form.

Om, I’ll get a hold of you sometime in the next week or so… whenever I get my computer set up.  You had some things you wanted to do with the pod besides give it a new name… I’m fine with that name you’ve chosen, it works, its clear in communicating what the pod is.

Blessings,
Marmalade

My Blog: “Marmalade” & “I’ve just pissed in my pants”

Here are two recent websearches that led people to my blog:

“factors leading to failure in marmalade”

“is marmalade dying out”

I wonder what this means.  If I got these in a fortune cookie, I’d be a bit worried.

On a similar note, the most popular blog post I’ve ever written seems to be the following:

I’ve just pissed in my pants…

If anyone ever did a combined search of “marmalade” and “I’ve just pissed in my pants”, there is a high probability that they’d find my blog at the top of the search results.  I think I should focus on trying to corner this niche of the websearch market.