Wineskins Discussion Forums – Seeking Input

As Wineskins.org gets closer to launching we are wanting to make sure the things we have in place are adequate to facilitate helpful discussions on relevant issues. In order to do that we are going to provide discussion forums on various topics and ministries for people to go and talk with others who are facing similar situations and to help connect people with helpful content and resources. What discussion forums would you be likely to participate in? 

19 Responses to Wineskins Discussion Forums – Seeking Input

  1. James T Wood says:

    I would love to discuss theology, practical ministry, small group ministry, preaching, teaching, and just about anything else.

    I would suggest tying the discussion forum in to Facebook since most forums don’t really garner much of a community, but the community already exists on Facebook.

  2. Philip III says:

    Please don’t connect it to Facebook. I don’t want everything I post on a forum to be viewable by all of my ‘Friends.’ Also– that web site is enough of a time-suck & hard to disconnect from anyway.

    My two recommendations that I’ve seen work on message boards:

    – Allow people to have aliases, but make them set up profiles with real names. People generally are more civil when they’re not anonymous. And the way you enforce this is…

    – People may only join if they have a reference. Someone on the site/forum must vouch for the person joining. And anyone who joins may refer any number of others. It’s just another layer of accountability for people. And it has the added value of bringing cachet/prestige to the forum. It seems to have worked well for Google.

    ——

    I endorse each of the forum categories that James suggested. Plus would add “Book Discussion.”

    And probably should have some generic off-topic forums (e.g. one for networking, one for nonsense). Maybe even one for news / current events / politics so they don’t clutter up other forums.

  3. BobBob bliss says:

    I concur with Phillip’s suggestions. I do have one question. How is having an alias different than being anonymous? Are they anonymous to the discussion but known to the administrators through the profile?

  4. Paul Smith says:

    Ditto what Philip says about Facebook. I will not post if there is an automatic link to FB. I like James’ suggestions as to topics – and to add one – a “books being read” or book review section. In terms of anonymous/alias – negatory Pig Pen (obscure CW McCall reference). If you want to post – own your comments with name and response ability (email not posted, but a “reply” button to comments.

  5. Philip III says:

    It’s different if folks have a profile page that lists their name. Or even something as simple as a little bubble that lists their name & general info when you hover your mouse over their screen name.

    Perhaps I’m asking a lot. But I’m on a forum that does it this way & it’s pretty civilized for the internet.

  6. Jim Campbell says:

    Surely the alias thing is a no-brainer for a Christian. Would the Lord want us to go around in cognito re fellow Christians? We’re supposed to be part of the One Body of Christ: are parts of a body oblivious to their shared identity with other parts? Obviously not – they have a common nervous system – otherwise the body wouldn’t work together. Besides, isn’t an alias a form of deception – a not putting all your cards on the table – a divisive device of the Deceiver?

    With regard to Facebook, I’ve heard that any info you provide is no longer private between those you intend it for, but becomes informational currency in the public domain. You might think that you are totally transparent in that respect, but it surely depends on the context in which such information is set. So, Facebook can become a lever to force compliance re how you want to be seen by others. Besides, Facebook is surely a trendy unlooked-for complication -some people might be uncomfortable with it, and we are supposed to be mindful of our fellows in the Lord. [I suppose I could uplink my passport photo, but I’d rather spare those who haven’t done me any harm that ordeal :-)]

  7. Matt Dabbs says:

    We have a lot of the forums that have been mentioned already in place. I like the idea of an area to just talk about whatever…a watercooler of sorts…to keep all the random political stuff out of the other forums.

    Facebook – we won’t be tying comments into facebook. We want the conversation to be happening at wineskins.org rather than at facebook.com. I am confident it will work out and not hinder the discussion.

    Identity – we are going to encourage people to use their real name. I think that only makes sense.

    • James T Wood says:

      I understand wanting to keep things on your own domain, but in my experience it reduces interaction and dialog.

      I know that for me I have a limited amount of time to spend in online activities — and I’m a freelance writer who works from home — I can’t imagine the limits of people who only have a few hours a day to even look at social media.

      So the result is likely to be reducing the pool of people who have the time and energy to make it over to wineskins.org which will reduce the voices and reduce the diversity of the dialog.

  8. betty says:

    I would be interested in any topic you might put up to read. I do like the idea of labels so that you could make a choice. Will they be kept in file for reading back on an a discussion you did not get to? I do wish they would be printable as I can not read a long time on the computer because of eye problems.

    Thanks to all of you who have worked and are working to make this avenue open to us. I have learned so much from the different discussions.

  9. Adam Legler says:

    Something about connecting church planters or those looking for progressive churches because staying in a traditional C of C became too toxic.

  10. Bledi says:

    I like the idea about “books I am reading” or “books read”. Books are not cheap these days and good reviews could help to decide on what to spend the money.

  11. Jim Campbell says:

    How about one on church songs? We live at a time when we’ve never had such a wide range of available music in our society. Given that Jesus tells us that the Father is seeking those who worship Him in spirit and in truth, why is it that our songs to Him are usually the reverent songs of earlier generations, and not the songs that come out of our lifes today? Yes, you can give me the pat answer that these songs of earlier generations embody your deepest feelings, and can’t be surpassed, and maybe in many instances there might be some truth in that. But, can you honestly say that when you sing to yourself, that the songs that are in tune with your spirit or get under your skin, are church songs of earlier generations? Maybe, I should also be asking the other side of the question: given the range of music available today, why is the vast part of the soul-searching part of it, humanist and secular with little or no reference to the Author of our Salvation? It doesn’t seem to be like that in earlier times.

    • Matt Dabbs says:

      Jim, there will be a worship forum on Wineskins. Also, what you are describing reflects a generational difference where the older prefered (generally speaking) songs about God’s transcendence and the younger songs about God’s immanence. We need both.

  12. mark says:

    You need a forum on doubt about G-d, organized religion, etc.

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