Idealist Network

What’s happening now

In the two weeks since we launched this network, much has happened:

  • 1,700 people have joined us, and they—you!—are engaged and responsive
  • You’ve helped test all the software we launched two weeks ago, and with your collective suggestions and bug reports our developers have already made it much better.
  • Together, you’ve started more than 500 discussion topics across dozens of teams, and some of you—in the US, Romania, Mexico, and other places—have already enjoyed meeting each other in person.
  • Lastly, through all of your questions and comments, you’ve helped sharpen all the concepts we’re using, while also highlighting the spots that still need some more clarity.

And all of this is exactly what was needed.

On March 11, I was was a bit disappointed that after 20,000 people had signed up to attend the live presentations, only 4,000 or 5,000 showed up .

But a few days later I realized that 1,000-2,000 Connectors was a perfect number to start with: enough to test and improve the ideas and the tools, but not too many that we’d be overwhelmed before everything was working as it should.

I know that some of you have been alone in your team, and we are working to change this, both by consolidating smaller teams and by sending more people your way. Please bear with us.

Here’s what we hope to accomplish—with you—over the next 2-3 weeks:

1. Update the FAQ with answers to all the questions you’ve asked.

2. Produce a series of materials—from short videos to flyers and posters—that we can all use to reach out to more people.

3. Add more Tools and Tactics for Connectors, and make them fully interactive.

4. Launch Groups—possibly renamed Action Groups—to complement the Teams we have now, which should probably be called Connector Teams.

(Groups, started and facilitated by Connectors, will be for people everywhere to share their ideas and intentions, and take action on any issue of common concern. Teams are for Connectors to support one another in this work. This distinction will become much clearer once both are live.)

So this is where we are right now. We are eager to reach out to many more people, but before we do that we want to get this model right. Once we have the model and the tools—and this won’t take more than a few weeks—we’ll be able to grow very quickly.

The first New York City Marathon was run in 1970, with 150 runners doing ten loops around Central Park. And once upon a time the Web consisted of a few dozen sites, Wikipedia had a couple of hundred entries, and YouTube contained no cat videos at all.

But in each case the *model* was there, and with some time and some work they became what they are now.

The same thing will happen here. As soon as we nail down the details—and that’s what we are doing with you right now—we’ll build something wonderful together.

Thanks again, for everything. And please stay in touch; we are always here.