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Dear forums,
 
You may have noticed that item #23 in the “Overview of Changes” thread mentioned that one Bring4th_GLB is relinquishing his moderator duties. I had intended to write a note of explanation with the relaunch of the forums, but time was at a premium – Austin and I were preparing to head out of state to help develop a potential retreat center for L/L, and the day following the relaunch was my one-year wedding anniversary! (Short story: marrying your best friend is a solid idea.)
 
I don’t have too much to write on the matter (I say now, at the start of this letter, expecting to be contradicted by future me in a matter of minutes).
 
Eight years ago, Carla supplied a seed vision of a community-oriented website. She tasked me, and the new guy on the scene with the technical chops and a similar vision for a website, Steve E. – not the Steve currently co-channeling with Jim (there multiple Steves in the L/L universe) – to fulfill that seed vision. Steve designed the website’s programming and coding, its aesthetics, and its ability to make the various components of the site “talk” to one another. I designed much of the front-end content, including the forums. We collaborated and got the green light from Carla. The result: the sophisticated and pretty decent website you see before you.
 
Though it took some time to arrive to where we are now. The original version of the forums had just seven forums (Strictly, Wanderer, Life, Olio, Harvest, Science, Meet-Up) compared to our current full roster of twenty-one forums.
 
Along the way, a lot of learning, growth, connection, and occasional fun. I’ve had the great privilege of working closely with Steve, Monica, Aaron, Austin, Garry, and very recently, Jade, on the development of the website, each person contributing to the growth of the Bring4th complex.
 
The changes of the Restructuring Project represent a maturation of the forums, I think. The project is the fruit of a good deal of learning about how to host an online community built upon the work of L/L Research.
 
The Divine Cosmos forums are the only forums similar to our own, similar because they devote space to the Law of One material, but they have otherwise taken a fundamentally different approach to membership and moderation than we have at L/L Research. Beyond their operation, we have no other forum to compare to ours. There are many forums, of course, which focus on spiritual seeking and information, but none that are a conscious attempt to so thoroughly manifest the Law of One principles in an online community through the challenges and practicalities of our physical and digital worlds. Bring4th is truly one of a kind. We did something new here, and found our way on our own.
 
Eight years later, we’re still kicking. And growing, even. Not only as evidenced in the restructuring project, but also in sheer size. At the moment Bring4th has received almost 188,000 posts! The occasional slowness of using the site is symptomatic of those growing pains. Steve E., L/L’s volunteer webmaster, struggles to cope with the technical management of an ever growing website.
 
The past years of growth have also been eight years of my serving on the moderator team. That service has contained both positive and negative catalyst, as I would describe it. When I or the team have been able to assist members, it’s been rewarding. When we get the opportunity to collaborate, it is always a joy, as common-purpose teamwork usually is for me. But there is the flip side of receiving ire, scorn, or having to be the face of an unpopular decision; of being alienated, at times, from a community that I’ve invested mountains of effort in to build, preserve, and secure.
 
Because of my intimacy with this project, I have, at times, felt very acutely the disharmony on the forums, more than you might imagine. Losing sleep and knot-tied stomachs have been a recurrence through my relationship with and work for Bring4th.
 
In short, it has provided catalyst aplenty. To be a really effective moderator, though, requires greater presence in the community. My own presence has waxed and waned over the years. There is interest on my end, but often not matching time and energy. The time that I give to L/L, both in and out of the office, is spent consumed in what Plenum called a “ferris wheel of responsibilities” for L/L Research. When I’m not doing L/L work there is, as is true for everyone, a laundry load of personal tasks and responsibilities. (I don’t know how you who have kids or dependents do it!) And when all responsibilities are at an end, I don’t want to be on a computer! As I wrote Jade recently, I’ve seen more electronic screen than I have sky.
 
Except when I was flying solo for a bit after Monica retired, I’ve relied heavily on other moderators with a more on-the-ground perspective to offer, and have acted in accordance with their perspective. We’ve done excellent work together and, through teamwork, I was able to fulfill my duty to Carla and L/L. But with Austin a fully integrated member of L/L, his balance between wisdom and compassion, and his knack for tact and diplomacy abundantly evident, and Plenum’s outstanding example of dedicated, stable service and spot-on analysis, and with Jade’s strong-hearted addition to the team, I know that I can step aside and trust that the moderating function, for whatever part it may play in the overall forum experience, is in excellent hands.
 
There is so much to do for L/L Research, and somehow that workload continues to grow over the years. Moderating requires a lot of time. What you as members see on the forums is the tip of a large iceberg of invested time and energy. Thusly in order to devote myself to L/L’s other needs, I am relinquishing the moderator duties.
 
Austin will head up the mod team – though the team operates almost completely on a consensus basis –  and work closely with Garry on issues of moderation, with help from Jade as a forum organizer. Though I don’t suspect that many of you will be terribly interested in this, for the few who may, I will still exercise a level of oversight, still be able to take action if needed, be available if one of the team is away, and be involved with anything pertaining to changes in structure and guidelines, but will otherwise generally be uninvolved with member issues that fall under the purview of the moderator.
 
Hopefully, as well, this will free up some pockets of time to spend with the forums now and then. (Lucky you guys!) Hopefully I can share a bit more of myself in coming months, and dive into your amazing thoughts. I’ve seriously told many people over the years how impressed I am with the insight shared on Bring4th. So many of you are intelligent in ways I’ll never be, or have insights/information to bring to the table that I hadn’t known or generated, or find different ways to strike inspiration in me simply by shining your lights.
 
Truly, I personally appreciate all the great contributions to the community, especially those of you who see your work here as a service, who approach it with a measure of responsibility, and who maintain an atmosphere of respect and dignity, even when disagreeing, and especially when having a good laugh.
 
Lots of love!
GLB
Well done Gary. Are you going to change your username to GLB?
(10-28-2015, 11:17 AM)IndigoGeminiWolf Wrote: [ -> ]Well done Gary. Are you going to change your username to GLB?

Thanks, GW. If I wasn't involved with Bring4th on any level, I definitely would. That won't be the case though.
Excited to get to know the more "intimate" Gary over the coming months. We are all unique, we all have our own insights to share, that's why it's so great that we come together to share them! Now it's your turn to insert more of your philosophical presence into the forums. Big Grin Teach us what you've learned, Gary!
Thank you, Jade.

(10-28-2015, 11:38 AM)Bring4th_Jade Wrote: [ -> ]Now it's your turn to insert more of your philosophical presence into the forums. Big Grin Teach us what you've learned, Gary!

Will do! Do you have ten seconds in that case?

: )
I've got a napkin and pen ready to take notes, go for it! Big Grin
(10-28-2015, 11:45 AM)Bring4th_Jade Wrote: [ -> ]I've got a napkin and pen ready to take notes, go for it! Big Grin

Now you've got the idea! You'll only need half a napkin, though. Save the other half for dinner please. Smile


Also a fuller reply for IndigoGeminiWolf that might be clarifying:

The prefix denotes a staff member, not specifically a moderator.

We've chosen colors and user titles to help convey each person's role on the staff to help serve the community. Also, these two pages differentiate each person's function:

http://www.bring4th.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=11937&pid=195875#pid195875
http://www.bring4th.org/forums/showteam.php
Thanks for writing that up, Gary. It probably seems callous and cold, but as much stress as moderating a similar kind of community caused me, I never really thought about not just the similar stress it would place on you, but the fact that you're a different person than me. You're much more compassionate, thoughtful, and eager to make peace than I ever was in my mod days. And it suddenly occurs to me how much more of a toll this must have taken on you.

It makes me all the more grateful and just flat-out stunned at how much you're willing to do for us and the Great Work here. Thank you so much.

P.S. Enquiring minds want to know the story behind the new avatar. SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH
(10-28-2015, 05:48 PM)jeremy6d Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for writing that up, Gary.  It probably seems callous and cold, but as much stress as moderating a similar kind of community caused me, I never really thought about not just the similar stress it would place on you, but the fact that you're a different person than me.  You're much more compassionate, thoughtful, and eager to make peace than I ever was in my mod days.  And it suddenly occurs to me how much more of a toll this must have taken on you.

I dunno about all that my friend. You know the catalyst of the downtrodden moderator. Smile Though if I were able to compare, I would say our methods at Bring4th are more time/energy-intensive than those (that were at least formerly) employed at Asc2k. There the moderator is more or less David's enforcer. Here there is so much more discussion, so much more attempt to accommodate, to work with the member, and to not interfere. Plus several other hundred variable and factors to consider and navigate that are probably true of any moderator position.

We've heard from members who have served as moderators elsewhere on the net and have received sympathy cards from them. : )

Quote:It makes me all the more grateful and just flat-out stunned at how much you're willing to do for us and the Great Work here.  Thank you so much.

Jeremy, shhhhh! You'll get me in trouble talking like that in these parts.

Quote:P.S. Enquiring minds want to know the story behind the new avatar.

Oh, you didn't know?

I'm a famous artist outside of my work for L/L.

Or, I found an image on the net of some guy painting that I liked.

Or, Ra was channeling the next Ra Contact through my paintbrush. This time in pictographs.

Or, on a return trip to my childhood home my cousin had me and my wife over and set us up for painting in the living room. I am the least artistic person in the world, and haven't painted since I was in middle school probably. We painted a still life. Mine was not pretty, but I was actually a bit proud of the piece. It was fun nevertheless.

One of those is true. Wink
(10-29-2015, 03:48 PM)Bring4th_GLB Wrote: [ -> ]I'm a famous artist outside of my work for L/L.

I knew it! 

Thank you for the service in the past, present and future.