I was on Zaadz – an
interactive platform dedicated to fostering collective spiritual
conversation – last night and found myself wondering about the value of these forums… 

Zaadz is an innovative idea, the only public forum of its size and popularity (they’ve had a lot of media support from friends at What is Enlightenment magazine and their colleagues at Ken Wilbur’s Integral Institute). They are dedicated to ideological principles I share and have a spiritual (rather than religious) viewpoint. These alone make it worthy of my support.

If that isn’t enough, I found a wonderful new ‘design’ discussion group
there, where I was turned on to this inspiring video by industrial designer Ross Lovegrove. The video (taped at the 2006 TED conference – I’d LOVE to attend TED
one year, but haven’t yet managed to pony up the $4,400 it takes to do
so) is brilliant; absolutely inspiring and informative. Another Zaadz design post turned me on to a design blog I really liked, too, one that will excite me creatively and help inform my work in solid, practical ways.

Ideological solidarity and these kinds of creative ‘finds’ should be ample justification for my participation on forums like Zaadz, and there would be no question here if I had more ‘free’ time in my life, but as it is I’m afraid I often don’t give myself that time. This, even though I work alone and know that this kind interaction with others offers essential creative/intellectual stimulation. I clearly benefit from my engagement with these forums (including the wonderful array of relevant blogs) – why don’t I make more time for the unexpected discoveries and opportunities for conversation & connection available to me out here in cyberspace?

Perhaps because there are just SO MANY of them, and I tend to be so gluttonous in my absorbtion of information and ideas that I don’t have any sense of sobriety once I get started.

What about you? Do any of you reading this blog participate in one or more online conversations somewhere (this is a trick question since if
you respond, you are part of an online conversation! :-)? If do, how do you make the time and necessary distinctions, and what do you find truly valuable in the experience?


  1. first of, thanks for the shout out. and thanks for pointing out that although Zaadz is deeply spiritual (and proud of it), it’s also a source of useful and intelligent information made possible by the passion of the people in the Zaadz network.

    to answer your question: “If do, how do you make the time and necessary distinctions, and what do you find truly valuable in the experience?”

    i don’t know how to make time. i can easily get absorbed into information surfing all day. however i find it useful using tools such as RSS reader, GMail, and blog search engines. most of the time the information i found are relevant to my task at hand. most of the time even if i’m not searching for them. i call this serendipity. so i depend on a combination of tools and serendipity for consuming relevant and meaningful information πŸ™‚

  2. C4Chaos,

    What fun to hear from you! Sometimes one imagines writing these things out into empty space & it’s exciting to know there are folks actually reading them. πŸ™‚

    I hope it was clear from my piece that I absolutely find these kinds of forums, and Zaadz in particular, well worth the (sometimes considerable πŸ™‚ time I invest in them.

    My question was meant to provoke response & get a sense of what other people are doing with the feeling of online ‘overwhelm’ I think many of us experience, in spite of our attraction to this interactive medium.

    I love your evoking the implicit value of ‘serendipity’. This evocation is not only deeply spiritual, :-), but also quite practical & intelligent, especially to an artist/ designer like myself to whom it is clear the really useful things are often unexpectedly bestowed, given as ‘grace’.

    Thanks again for your contribution.


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