The Collective consists of 45 ning networks that work cooperatively for the purposes of benefiting each other and the Collective as a whole.
The way we do this is first by splitting the collective into a number of "neighborhoods", each with a different area of interest. Then in each neighbourhood, the member sites are organised into a webring.
Some people have asked why there is a charge for membership in our webrings. There are two very good reasons:
Firstly, setting up a site in the Ring takes a LOT of work.
1. First, the site in question needs to be checked out to verify it conforms to our Ring Site Policy.
2. Then placement of that site in the ring needs to be discussed and decided and the creators of the proposed neighbor sites checked with for approval.
3. If that is ok, then the 3 site creators need to be introduced to each other.
4. Then the ring menu items need to be added.
5. Then a collective group needs to be made in that site and connected to the menu and shared.
6. Then a "What is the Ring" discussion has to be posted in that group, welcoming the new site to the Ring. This discussion then needs sharing.
7. After that, the neighbour sites' Ring menu items need to be updated to point to the new site.
8. Then the ring listings have to be updated in all Ring sites (currently, 30 of them!) and on this site.
9. Then another welcome message for the new site needs to be published to inform the other site creators.
10. Finally, I do an invite to all my friends to the new site.
This usually results in an influx of 50-200 members who all need
Items 1 to 9 usually take me a full day's work and sometimes longer if
the neighbour site creators are not prompt in answering the requests.
Then, item 10 can take a few days extra to complete, as you could well
imagine. On top of that, new ring members continually join the ring
sites and they need welcoming as well.
Now, regardless of all this, for members that wish to have their site
in our ring, but cannot afford it, I offer to waive the charge and do
the whole thing for free,because I understand only too well what it is
like not to have money. I have done this for over a dozen members. All
I ask is that the site creator re-share the Ring Welcome post every
month or two to keep new members informed of its presence.
I spend about 12 hours a day, often longer, just maintaining this Ring
and end up, in MOST cases, giving away free membership because so many site creators claim they are too poor to afford it. But I
do it for the benefit of us all, because I believe that "no effort for
good is ever wasted". As you can imagine, I cannot help but feel a
little hurt when some people complain about the Ring
membership fee, especially since it is NOT mandatory and I offer them
free membership as an alternative anyway. I get no *personal* benefit
from any of this, except for the satisfaction of knowing that our
message of Love is being propagated to the masses.
For those who say they cannot afford the normal fee (and I trust them
if they say they cannot), then I am happy to do it free. I cannot do
Secondly, when Ring membership was free, we had SO many sites wishing to be aprt of it that did NOT comply with the policy that it was getting ridiculous. The introduction of the fee was successful in discouraging these types, but had NO effect on sincere applicants.
Now, before membership is granted to a Ring member, they MUST agree with our Collective policy statement:
In all cases, membership in the Collective, or its Ring, is limited to sites that:
1. Spread a message of Goodwill and/or Hope and/or Love.
2. Share positive, useful information
3. Express beauty in the form of music and/or art
4. Are demonstrably working for a worthy cause (eg to stop child abuse)
5. Are business-oriented, offering honest and reputable goods and/or services
Membership in the Collective is denied to sites that:
1. Contain nudity, pornographic, violent or otherwise offensive material
2. Peddle MLM or "Get Rich Quick Schemes" or spam their members
3. Attempt to earn revenue from their members through anything other than honest product or service.
4. Are not tolerant of all religions or belief systems
5. Allow distasteful member profile pictures
6. Are not willing to contain groups pointing to other Collective sites
7. Force, coerce or in any way require members to bring in new members in order to be approved.
The 'keynote' we wish to be maintained here is "Uplifting" and the spirit - one of Cooperation.
All Collective Members are encouraged to get to introduce themselves and get to know each other.
In the spirit of sharing, note that members of your site may be
occasionally invited to join other companion sites, however, these will be limited to sites in your own neighborhood. If you wish additional invites to be carried from/to other neighborhoods, please contact me and we will see what we can do for you. Alternatively, if you wish you site to remain private, then please let me know - however, note that we cannot invite new members to your site if this is the case
We look forward to seeing you in the ring!