Finally! The long awaited new World Cafe online community has taken wing! We've been working on it for several months now, starting with an extensive comparison of features, costs, ease of use, etc. on over 15 platforms. We finally decided on NING, a popular social media platform which met our needs and more.
Once the site was designed and built, we invited a "beta" team of experienced World Cafe hosts to seed the community with their wisdom - the stories, ideas, images, and sounds that inspire them, the questions that keep them up at night. This period was very sweet, and I was touched to see people who were new to the technology willing to overcome their fears and jump in to share their knowledge and dreams.
With the ground thus firmly laid, we invited the rest of the community to join us. And boy, did they come! In the 11 days since we've been launched, over 700 people have arrived and registered. It's been fascinating to watch the numbers rise. You can literally sit there with the "People" page open and see a new person join every few minutes. The real thrill, though, is to see where they're from.
They are coming from Brazil, Israel, Italy, Finland, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, the United States, Russia, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Chile, Mexico, Portugal, the Phillipines, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Columbia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Yukraine, Poland, Switzerland, Peru, Dubai, Slovenia, Tahiti, Venezula, Jamaica, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Bolivia and Austria. Watching this confluence you get a palpable sense of a new kind of community - a truly global World Café - taking form before our eyes.
I'm very excited about it all, and deeply appreciative of the generosity which has been called forth from this diverse and dynamic group of people. I can't wait to see what evolves there.