Explorations in Storytelling

On Writing

Writing about writing

Digital Community - 4 The Community Leaders dive in


Well the email has gone out inviting some 17 brave souls from around the world (yes, literally, one from Australia and one from New Zealand; Canada, England and Ireland also represented) to jump into yapnet.org to poke around, share, comment and respond to some exercises or challenges to get people to think about how to build this community — how it’s defined, how will we maintain and grow it and what we want to get from it. Little things. :) Most are, or will be, the site’s Community Leaders, though I imagine we’ll be putting out the call for others.

If you are interested in becoming a Community Leader on yapnet — a place for artists, teachers and other creators to get feedback on unfinished work — please fill out the contact form on this site and I’ll get in touch with you.

It’s exciting.

The first online community I launched was back in 2006. Before Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. Before social media. And it turned out that youngwritersproject.org was exactly what young writers wanted, needed and within three months it was out of control. Check that, it was out of my control, but it very much was in control of the community’s young leaders. I was along for the ride. And ride I did for some 13 years, 40,000+ participants and 450,000 posts and comments along the way. All civil and respectful.

So I have high hopes for this community, this YAPNET — a place for people with “young” art, that is unfinished creations be they words or photographs or research papers or music or digital art or 3-dimensional art or installations or whatever. We see this as a place for creators who want to get a little perspective on their work — some feedback, fresh eyes. Or maybe they want to see what others are doing. Or, even, create something new, right on the site.

As with all the projects I embark upon, I’m scared shitless. First I’m scared about what I’ve gotten myself into. Then I’m afraid it will fail. And then, well, I worry that it might be too successful.

My hope? 25 solid Communty Leaders. 1000 consistent participants. And I will have found a few people to tell me whether my writing — or some of my photo projects — are on track or, well, not. Always good to know.