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How you can help build the elephant community.

Elephant is not only an online magazine and blog hub.  It’s also a vibrant participative community, connected to many other communities.  (See A More “User-friendly” elephant: the Dream Becomes a Reality.)  Here’s an FAQ:

What can I do to help build the elephant community?  I’d like to get more involved.

It depends on what you like to do. You should do what’s most enjoyable and satisfying for you.

Here are the range of things things to consider doing. You can see it’s all about simply getting involved and making connections. (Feel free to invent your own, too):

Invite Writers & Write

Invite the best writers you know to post their favorite work on elephant and browse the internet for other great writers.  It’s easy to invite them. See How to invite writers to elephant.

Interview people you admire for elephant. See: How to do great interviews on elephant.

–If you are an excellent writer, write great articles for elephant about things that inspire you. See How to become an elephant writer.

–Even if you are not a writer, you can still contribute articles to elephant by simply finding and posting great videos, photos, infographs, or posters along with a short introduction or some personal comments.  These kinds of articles are often among our most popular.

Write reviews and retrospectives of other writers’ articles and books.

Discuss

Get involved in all the web discussions you can find for topics that interest you the most. Contribute to the discussion.

Draw people into interesting elephant discussions.

Search for other sites and discussions about your interests, and get involved there.

Share

–When you see elephant articles that relate to discussions you’re involved in, tell everyone about it in your comments to the discussions, along with your own commentary.

–Likewise, bring links to other articles into your comments on elephant, tell the author you’ve done so, and invite him or her to join the discussion.

Post events for your community on elephant Mindful Events & Causes.

–We can consider creating an elephant facebook page or group for your special interest.

Network

–When you see people who might enjoy knowing each other, introduce them.

–Create an e-mail list of key people in your community and on elephant.

Befriend everyone on Facebook and Twitter, and use them as tools to do all of the above.

–Encourage members of you community to “like” related elephant facebook pages.

–Do whatever else you can to spread the word about elephant and to make elephant readers aware of your community.

What is an ele-ambassador?

An ele-ambassador is a volunteer who acts as a liaison between elephant and a given community (topic, website, or geography), either one they are already close to, or one they would like to be close to.

You simply get involved in all discussions on the Internet about your community, and trade relevant information back and forth with elephant, as explained above.

(If you are a writer, this also happens to be the best way to increase readership for your articles.)

A “community” can be anything you define it to be—a topic, a website, a geography, or any other special interest group.  Examples:

–a Topic, like Ashtanga Yoga or Education.
–a Website, like Huffington Post or Treehugger
–a Geography, like Vancouver or New Zealand

It’s a two way street.  A community ambassador helps get elephant involved in the community , but equally important, they get the community involved in elephant.

What should I call myself and how should I sign my name to comments?

This depends on your preference and on the context.  But some of the possibilities are:

No title at all
ele-ambassador
elephant journal
team elephant
elephant coordinator
community correspondent

Use whatever you feel personally comfortable with and fits the situation.

Can you give me some examples of communities we would like to have ambassadors for,  just to give me an idea?

Sure.  Here  are some examples of some communities.  But you can define your own community that’s just right for you.  “Community” is completely flexible and personalizable.  (You can even just be “ele-ambassador at large”):

Topics

Bikram Yoga, Alternative Energy, Mental Health, Christianity, Occupy Wall Street,
Vegan-ism, Movies, Mindful Dating, Childhood Education, Career Skills, etc.

Websites

Huffington Post, New York Times, Google+, Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Pinterest,
Yoganonymous, MindBodySoul, Green Living, Real Clear Politics, Shambhala, Eating Well, etc.

Geography

Any city, state or country

And of course you can cross any of these to form communities like “Spirituality articles on Huffington Post” or “Yoga in Denver”, etc.

Who do I talk to when I need help and support?

That’s easy.  You talk to me, Bob Weisenberg.  I’ll give you my personal e-mail, and you can also reach me easily on facebook or Skype.

We’ll also be communicating regularly on the elephant social media team facebook group.

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