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May 20
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New Network Features Connect Shambhala


By Cameron Wenaus 

What online features do you wish were available to work, play and share ideas and inspiration with other Shambhalians? In response to broad feedback from Shambhala members regarding these questions, this summer the Shambhala IT team will launch the Shambhala Network. Please read below for a sample of features that are under development

If you share common goals and interests with any group in Shambhala, now you will be able to easily share files and photos, have discussions, collaboratively work on documents, use a shared planning calendar, and more. You will be easily able to join public groups to take part in the conversation. There will be private groups based on your practice level as well, to keep you in the loop and a part of the ongoing practice discussions we all share. Features under development include:

Events Calendar: each group can have its own planning and events calendar. This will be an asset for regional programming, coordinating Acharya visits, or even potlucks.

Discussion Forum: Easily start a new conversation topic and let others join in. Discussion topics that are hot – frequently joined – will always come to the top of the list.

Document Library: Upload your PDF, word docs, html files etc. and share them with the group. Now all your shared documents can be effortlessly uploaded with titles and descriptions.

Wiki (document collaboration tool): Need to work on a document together? Tired of having 6 versions of one document? Well, the Wiki is a place where all of the group members can work on one document together and there is only ever one copy!

Lists of members: Need to contact someone in your group? Find them easily in your group member list with their name and photo.

Blog: Get the message out! Now each group can have its own blog connected to the Shambhala Times. This is a great way to send news blasts to the mandala about what your group is up to.

Photo / video / audio gallery: Share photos, videos and audio clips with your group. Enjoy a common photo library – after a program, such as a seminary, share photos with all of your program participants. Or upload online video and audio teachings to your group. As groups can be private or practice-based, this is an ideal way for us to share teachings in a protected space.

Anyone can create a group! Grass roots at its best. Anyone on the Shambhala Network will be able to create their own group.

Friends: Like Facebook (and real life), we are connected to each other though our friendship. Invite a person to be your friend on the Shambhala Network and you will see them in your list of friends. With your friends you can see their profile page, send them messages, share photos with them and ask them to join in any groups you create.

Training and Support: Although we feel the Shambhala Network is extremely user-friendly, the Shambhala IT team will provide training videos as well as a “Help Desk” for user questions and support.

Cameron Wenaus

[email protected]

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9 responses to “ New Network Features Connect Shambhala ”
  1. Hi Richard,

    There will be two ways to send out global notices. One is specifically for global program announcements and is moderated, and the other is for any global announcements and is open – meaning anyone can post to it. You could send yours to either one.

    By default everyone will receive all these emails as a *weekly summary*. If you don’t want the weekly summary, there is a link in the email to turn it off. If you want the emails more often, you can choose a daily digest or get them live, as they come. User choice is paramount in the new system.

    In case your announcement is more regionally based, you could send it out to the new regional groups. The new system is going to have a strong regional component. (Akron Shambhala will be part of the Great Lakes geographical region). Members and Friends, and others with a Shambhala ID, will be subscribed by default to a moderated regional announcement group. Only center directors and publicity coordinators will be able to post to this group, and emails will go out immediately.

    There will be other regional groups as well where anyone can post, for example: regional classifieds, regional ride-board, regional open notices, and regional discussion. The number and type of regional groups that are created is up to the region’s governance (if it exists). By default, everyone in the region is subscribed via email to all of these groups as a weekly summary.

    I should mention that the weekly summary is combined, so no matter how many group summaries you are subscribed to, you only ever get one weekly summary.

  2. Kristine, the answer is maybe. We can create groups where people are auto-joined based on fields in the Shambhala Database, however we are mainly using that for large groups such as regions, practices and centers. if the group is a small one, lets say less than 30 or 40 people, it is probably easier to simply create the group yourself and invite the relevant people to join. How many chöpons are here mandala-wide?

    Remember, anyone can create any group at any time for any purpose – and then invite people to join. In that way, the system is very grass-roots.

  3. Marita, for online teachings you should probably check out http://www.shambhalaonline.org/ or even http://nelson.shambhala.org/.

  4. Richard Weiner
    May 25, 2010

    So– does this replace sangha-talk/ sangha announce? If so, how would a center send out an announcement to the entire worldwide sangha? Like we (Akron Shambhala) will soon be announcing a Golden Key out to the entire sangha through sangha- announce, as well as a Rigden Weekend. Is there a comparable function in the new interface? Thanks.

  5. Kristine McCutcheon
    May 24, 2010

    Great –
    An integrated Calander – WOW

    I would love to also have the Chopon corps have a wiki. Is there anyway that that could be restricted to people who are listed as a chopon in the Shambhala database? and could it also be restricted by what practices people have received? or is that me just asking for the impossible from mr. miracle worker :)

    Thank you – this all sounds GREAT.

  6. I would like to see teacher talks, discussions etc from all over, available online. I live in the arctic; it would help those of us in remote areas to have access to same, to stay in the loop, so to speak.

  7. Please, iCalendar feeds for the events calendars!

  8. Travis May
    May 20, 2010

    Sweet! Great job!

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