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January 24th, 2005


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08:55 am - Some good news
Well, ADF is obviously doing something right.

We just topped 900 members. We've been growing quite a bit since June/July, I think. Or thereabouts.

Here's hoping that we'll be able to bring them the quality services and training they're looking for.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: "Truckstop Salvation", -JB
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From:tlachtga
Date:January 24th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
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Here's hoping that we'll be able to bring them the quality services and training they're looking for.

Yep. We may have hit 900, but let's see if we can keep 'em. For one, I think you're right that Oak Leaves needs more articles dealing with the DP. Now--how would we go about doing that? Maybe articles exploring the Virtues, or people submitting their book reviews (isn't there one in the latest?). Other stuff--gotta think on this.

Need more mentors, maybe. Or encourage groves to have DP study groups, things like that. I'm hopefully starting one at ROG soon. (Of course, I haven't passed mine yet--still stuck on those extra questions Bardd Dafydd gave me).
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From:chronarchy
Date:January 24th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
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I think that improving our mentoring will be a big step in the right direction. I spent last weekend working on that, as did romandruid. At the moment, between the two of us, we're restructuring the mentorship program.

I think OL coming out on time is a big part of the boost, actually. There's also the really good press we're getting that's finally starting to drown out the bad press.

Regarding submissions to OL, though, I don't think that just submitting book reviews is going to do it. . . those have been in every issue of OL that I can remember, and they don't really help Dedicants all that often. I think very much that if we want to help a Dedicant, the articles we need are more like supplemental items to the DP.

Your article on the Urban Druid is an excellent example, in that it supplements the DP beautifully. I have one appearing in #28 about where to put your Home Shrine. Basically, elaborating things that bring up questions on the ADF-Dedicants list. We should probably get something in there about offerings, or about finding your hearth culture, or being bi-cultural. . . That stuff's useful to a Dedicant who has no idea where to start or where she'll end up.

Exploring the virtues, actually, would be very helpful, and would give Vedis about 2 years worth of submissions :)

I'm hoping that we can get at least one article relating to the DP in each issue. As I create mentoring materials, I'm hunting for supplemental reading. . . The more stuff that's in OL, the more they'll want to subscribe. . . The more they subscribe, the more tangible connections they have with ADF. . . The better the connection, the bigger the chance that they'll stick around.
[User Picture]
From:romandruid
Date:January 24th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, one thing I *don't* particularly want to see on the website are reviews from folks' DPs of books on the recommended reading list -- mainly because then we always have to be concerned about plagarism. Not that it's been a problem, but it's just one more thing I don't want to have to keep checking.

As for the virtues, I've found that that's pretty much the one "freebie" of the DP requirements -- it's pretty difficult to do the virtue essays "wrong," unless you don't meet the recommended word length or totally miss the boat on your interpretation of a virtue. I haven't seen that happen yet, but I have seen folks leave out a virtue. N.B.: You can ADD virtues, but at a minimum, you need to write something about each of the nine that are required.

One of the things that's on my to-do list is a list of potential problems with DPs that might cause the Preceptor to tell students they need to go back and do some extra work. I think a precautionary sort of list like that would really help set DP students' minds at ease quite a bit -- especially if they have good and bad samples to illustrate the point.

We're working on it...
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From:weya
Date:January 24th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
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I like the idea of the mentoring program being more ... I dunno, more people having one I guess.

Another idea that might be cool would be DP-Buddies. Pair people up with someone else. People always seem to stick with things longer if they have a buddy system in place to help support, nurture, peer pressure to keep going, two heads are better than one, etc.

In this way, you could have someone mentor a pair of people (twofer!). The buddies could bounce ideas & questions between themselves and if neither of them have the answer they can turn to the mentor (or the lists) for help.

I could see this being especially helpful for solitairies or people without a nearby DP study group.
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From:chirael
Date:January 27th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
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You can create something like this by creating a page called DedicantBuddies in the Wiki and then inviting people who want to pair up to list themselves on the page, and people who want to pair with those listed, to put their names next to someone.
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From:hearthstone
Date:January 24th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC)
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That's great! I had no idea there had been so much growth lately :).
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From:chronarchy
Date:January 24th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
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In 1999, we topped out at 725. Last time I heard membership numbers was back in March 2004, in which we had 725 again, which was our highest number ever. In 2002, though, we were down to 560 around the end of the year. Membership climbed pretty steadily for a while (average is about 11 members/month), and at the moment it's rising faster than it was (around 17.5 members/month).

I don't know, though, if it's just member retention, or whether these are all new members.

Either way, I'm really thinking about membership retention over getting new members. What can ADF do for them to keep them interested and coming back for more? We can do better than just retaining 50%, which is what we were doing in March of 2004.
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From:bean_drui
Date:January 24th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
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wow. i thought we had a lot more than that. huh.
not that its a bad thing we have 900. hey.
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From:chirael
Date:January 28th, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
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I think ADF can seem bigger than it really is sometimes because a lot of our groves serve a bigger community.

So you can have a grove with five or six ADF members who have 20 or 30 area pagans show up at their ritual just because it's the best (or only) pagan celebration in town.

Also, it doesn't hurt that our website talks like we're 10,000 members, or will be any day now. I credit Isaac with aiming big :)

But we've never topped 1000, and in fact if you look back at old copies of Oak Leaves you'll a few cases where people are excited we had 450 members! Hey, there's a reason one of our slogans is "as fast as a speeding oak" :)
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From:rhiannon76
Date:January 24th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
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woot! both of our newest grove members have joined (now to work on the two holdouts... ;)
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From:chronarchy
Date:January 24th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Heh, and here I thought I was the only person who actually looked through that anymore :) It's definitely not all it could be, and I've been thinking about updating it, but now I might just leave it as it is. . .

Do you think that the "training" section of the ADF website should reflect that a bit?

More to the point, would you feel qualified to write up a little bit about how the DP doesn't expect that level of "direction" or "drive" that we could put on the site?

Me? Draft people? Never!
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From:hekatatia
Date:January 24th, 2005 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Excellent news!

I look forward to hearing about the new structure of mentoring when you guys are done.

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From:chronarchy
Date:January 24th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
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I look forward to finishing it :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:January 24th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I'm the last person to push someone into joining. While I can't hide the fact that I think ADF is a great organization, it isn't for everyone, so you have to make sure it's right for you. Take your time, and make the decision carefully.

But there's a Grove here waiting for you if you are interested.
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From:qorinda
Date:January 25th, 2005 06:05 am (UTC)
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*grin* and Grove of the Rising Phoenix is responsible for about 1% of that growth in the past 6 months (something like 9 new members!)
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From:smithing_chick
Date:January 25th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
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I have to take a look at the new version of the meditation requirement. That one thing was always my biggest hold up-- largely because typical meditation is outright physically impossible for me to do. Anyone who's Manic/Hypomanic (or just ADD) simply can not accomplish it. HEll, I haven't even figured out how to relax, let alone meditate. But I seem to have developed strong relationships with my Goddesses & Gods just fine anyways.
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From:chronarchy
Date:January 25th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
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I agree that this is a fundamental issue.

And you just topped my list of people to bug for an article on this. What should you do if you have those disorders?

Oak Leaves needs articles. . .

Because, you know, you aren't busy enough as it is, and you get far too much sleep.

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