Social Network for Survivors and Supporters

posted in: Site News | 5

I’ve been spending some time coming up with this, and I think it’s finally ready to be unveiled. I’ve created a Social Network just for Survivors, and the folks who are trying to support and love survivors. To quote the “why” from the site:

You may be asking yourself why create another social networking site? I wonder about that myself.

The path to creating this started with a desire to find a way for spouses, significant others, friends and family of survivors to talk to each other, and find support for what they are going through as they try to support a survivor. Originally, I had planned to start an email list, but that just seemed so 1998. I felt like I wanted to do something more, something that would encourage interaction on a higher level. That’s when I remembered Ning, and came up with the idea of creating a full social network for those folks.

Of course, once I came to that realization, it was a short trip to wanting to create a network specifically for survivors as well. Why a new site as opposed to a Facebook group? A couple of reasons, one is safety. Nothing that is posted on this network will be viewable to anyone who is not registered with the site, and I have the ability to ban any user who does not treat others with respect at all times. Secondly, by having a separate network, users can create an anonymous profile that is not “tied” to a real profile, ala Facebook. So if you don’t want to be identified as an abuse survivor in places where you may have coworkers or family following you, this is a place for you to do that. The only piece of information you have to share is an email address, as part of the registration, but I’m the only one who sees that, aside from the folks who run the whole Ning network, and store the user information.

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What do I have planned? Well, that’s a tough one. Any social network is only as good as it’s members, so where it goes is pretty much up to you. Some of what I’ve considered when putting together the features were having the ability to form groups of special-interests, like the Supporters group that I created, to meet the original goal of finding that place for the people trying to support survivors to talk to each other. Certainly, I can think of other possible groups, but I’ll leave it up to the community as it grows, to determine what groups they need. Surely, you can create geographically based groups, a group just for male survivors, or any other interest you might have.

Another thought I have is finding a way for all those survivors who are blogging, and I can’t possibly keep track of all the folks who are doing that now, to work together. Want help with design, blog ideas, or just want to collaborate with other bloggers? This can be a place to do that. I’ve already reached out to Marj to consider using the site as a way for folks to work together and organize the blog carnival, and maybe take some of the organizational tasks off her plate. I think that’s possible, as are any other ideas you guys come up with for the blog community.

Of course, ultimately, the site is about coming together as a group of fellow survivors, and that should, and will be the focus always. As time goes on, and if people join up, it will take on a life and identity of it’s own that I probably can’t predict.

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For now though, join up, create a profile, start talking and making friends, start a group, share some photos, invite survivors, and supporters that you know, spread the word however you can, and let’s have some fun with this!

If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to send me a message.

5 Responses

  1. Enola

    I signed up but I’ll be honest. I lied about my zip code. I’m not comfortable having people know what city I live in. I hope that is okay. I just picked 5 numbers that worked.

  2. MikeM

    Enola, that’s not a problem at all, like I said the only information I require is an email address so I can keep track if someone starts acting inappropriately. Everything else is up to you as far as sharing what you want to. That’s also why I locked it so that you have to create a profile to see anything. That might keep some people rom signing up, I hope not, but it’s the choice I made to help people feel safe!

    Thanks for joining, hope you’ll feel free to contribute and spread the word!

  3. DoubleNine

    I was going to write something longer but suffice to say it’s time something like this (“Thrivebook”, anyone?) was set up by and for survivors because support worldwide ranges from patchy to non-existent. After a British website (Survivors Swindon) was copied and pasted so that an ex-partner could use the information posted about one survior against him, he finally passworded it and closed it to non-survivors and trolls and that’s the way it has to be. I posted on there with my real name but kept the details very general, and disconnected it from where I post about abuse issues.

    People don’t want to understand anymore, if you’re down they just want to keep you there. Cynical, but that’s my experience. If the ZipCode space is only five letters then as a Brit that suits me fine, can’t enter a postcode so don’t have to invent one šŸ™‚

  4. MikeM

    double 9, technically you don’t have to enter anything in the zip code field, none of the profile information is required. The only real requirements are an email address and password, and that’s just so you can log in. I don’t even care if it’s an email address you look at, but it will be used to send you updates that you are subscribed to, like replies to your post, for example, so giving a good address does increase the usability factor. Other than that, I’m recommending people share as much, or little as the are comfortable with. I don’t want there to be any problems like those that have plagued other sites, so I’m trying to keep a close eye on everything. If it grows too much, I’ll be recruiting others to hep with that!

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