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.
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.
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.