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- An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. Ecosystems come in various sizes but usually encompass specific, limited spaces (although it is sometimes said that the entire planet is an ecosystem)'
- An economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals.
real world[edit | edit source]
Environmental consciousnesses is high these days so the original definition of ecosystem is quite real to most people.
The newer application of the term to business and technology is not so familiar but every bit as important to the leaders of industry and particularly so for High-tech enterprises.
Companies such as Cisco Systems, Google and Microsoft depend on the concept for their survival and dominant positions. Cisco with networking gear that drives the information super highway, Microsoft with business desktop applications and Google with just about everything else...all seek to create an environment wherein the user or customer is kept inside their particular environment.
Facebook would be another example of this principal. Once there, users never want to leave. Groups, Pages, Wall, email and all your friends there...captivate you and hold you there. Why go anywhere else? It's an ecosystem that has propelled it to the number two ranked site on the Internet and made billions for its founder(s) and investors.
And think of the Apple ecosystem of Ipods, Ipads, Iphones, Istores, Itunes, MAC's etc.. They could even be said to have gone beyond an ecosystem and into cult status. :-)
So the concept of an ecosystem is powerful and should be understood by Scientologists interested in advancing their religious and philosophical beliefs and freedoms.
our world[edit | edit source]
Field Scientologists use Facebook and other Internet sites but do not have a 'real world' ecosystem anymore. The 'Central Organizations' which once provided a Scientology ecosystem are gone - lost to the whims of a corrupt management - with no replacement in sight.
Since the early 1980's when the first cracks in the brick-and-mortar Scientology ecosystem began to spread, up to current day widespread disaffection and abandonment of that once vaunted LRH dream of a dominant "oasis of sanity in a sea of a chaotic world", Scientologists have increasingly found themselves homeless, adrift and in many ways dispersed without a central hub or gathering spot where they could thrive and enjoy each others' company and the benefits of community.
The husks of the Central Orgs are a mere shadow of what they once represented.
The hopes and dreams of tens of thousands who invested their labors and love into what those buildings represented - shelter, nurture, and hope for mankind - are gone with them.
The Internet has begun to offer a replacement.
Scientologists are finding a virtual replacement for the Brick-and-Mortar amongst the myriad of websites that have sprung up in recent times. But even this substitute communications vehicle is fragmented and includes such a broad spectrum of opinions and conflict that any true sense of cohesive community is elusive or non-existent.
There are no borders or walls to the Internet. Its wide open freedom has the liability of leaving one adrift at times and the need to create a new ecosystem within that border-less, untamed free-for-all known collectively as "The Internet" seems obvious.
scientolipedia[edit | edit source]
The links at the bottom of this article lead to videos and articles describing what this website is all about. Since we knew that merely describing it would not be enough, we launched the site prematurely to try to demonstrate the software. This has had the liability of also displaying an unpolished and somewhat rough-around-the-edges look to the layout. People are used to going to more "finished" or polished looking sites they are already familiar with like blogs. Even a novice Internet user can put up a Wordpress blog site today and chose from a large number of pre-designed templates and present a nice look in minutes.
The wiki is a different beast. The very fact of it's power and versatility do not work in its favor when it comes to slick, out-of-the-box, user-friendly and simple deployment. Mediawiki.org, (the same software Wikipedia uses) gives us a bare-bones powerhouse and leaves it up to the administrator(s) to do the design and development...a work-in-progress for scientolipedia.org since it has been a small volunteer team effort thus far. (July 2012, one year after publishing the first information about the project)
To do a project of this type elsewhere, (corporate, not-for-profit or governmental) and considering the scope and size of the subject matter and community, it would be normal to expect that a development team with a budget in the hundreds of thousands should be a more correct "order of magnitude" and sufficient resource allocation to pull it together.
Lacking broad agreement or understanding about what could and should be done with this technology and the subject of Scientology, we decided to launch the site on a shoestring in order to try to develop that agreement and resources.
Although you may be intrigued by the depth and complexity of the various areas of the site as a "viewer" or "visitor", moving over to being a "contributor" to the site is a bit more challenging for most.
This is a known challenge we face in the process of creating our own "ecosystem".
Yes, this is a Scientology ecosystem for the following reasons:
- Internal communication system. Users can message each other and send email to other users without leaving the site or even knowing the receivers' email address. (see FAQ's for details)
- Community Bulletin Board for notices and discussion.
- A Global Calendar where anyone can post information about a get-together of any kind.
- A Blog Page where Scientology related topics can be discussed.
- Every page on the site acts as a Blog as well because there is a "Discussion" tab for each individual page where people can carry on threaded discussions about the topic of that particular page. (see example here or click on the Discussion tab at top of this page)
- ANYONE CAN CREATE OR EDIT PAGES ON THE SITE. This is the only software that will allow this and it is key to the success of the site, key to high search rankings and why, like Wikipedia, it can be an ecosystem all to itself.
- Organized presentation of data by Categories and through Semantic Properties contained within articles. this provides a logical presentation of information, you could say encyclopedic presentation of information unlike any other website.
- Many different types of pages organized by Category e.g. Articles, Success Stories, Auditor pages, Groups pages, Anthology & Biography, Professional Associations and others...with more to be added as the site matures.
- Dynamic content: Wiki pages are more dynamic than regular website pages. It is easy to add elements like links, pictures, videos and references so that articles are more compelling and educate to a higher degree than regular websites.
- Pop-up Glossary: Knowing the importance of handling misunderstood words, this site has the pop-up glossary to handle that phenomena instantly with Source references for the terms, abbreviations and acronyms used in Scientology. (mouse over the word auditor here)
- Ability to present ALL the usual media and editing elements found on other websites like pictures, video, audio, bold, italics, special characters and many other elements.
- Maps - This site can present maps like any other website but it can also make use of the Semantic capabilities to automatically place page information into maps.
- Graphs - the site can present several different types of graphic representations of data on individual pages. (click the link for examples)
- Advanced Search: The semantic capabilities of the site allow for advance searching on the data contained within it. It also allows for a wide variety of ways to display the data as in table, charts, lists, graphs and such..not possible with traditional websites. See an example below.
Al of the above factors make the semantic wiki, scientolipedia.org, the ideal platform to use in creating our own ecosystem.
Some of the challenges we face in accomplishing this are listed here.
challenges to success[edit | edit source]
- As mentioned above, ease of use of site elements and educating people on how to create and edit pages.
- Software/wiki developers to fully implement the software.
- Financial resources to maintain growth.
- People seeing the site is a "good idea" and rather than understanding the Wikipedia model and the need for consolidated, shared effort on a single project, instead create competitive projects and thereby dilute and obstruct the initiative.
- Factional differences within the Scientology community which obstruct cooperation and collaboration.
- CoS operatives undermining efforts to get the Field focused on disseminating, coordinating and delivering.
[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy Wales
- The Field Advantage
- About This Site
- Purpose and Videos about ScientoliPedia
- The Freedom To Help Others
- Tim Berners-Lee