As a Peter Block fan, I get that building "social fabric" is a prerequisite for anything truly transformational to emerge from a group.  I also believe that we have only scratched the surface process-wise of what might be possible in terms of doing this in an "asynchronous" space like a social network (as opposed to a phone call or face to face gathering).

What are some ways we might began to support that here at

Two ideas I have are:

  1. Randomly pair people up to conduct "appreciative interviews" of one another and then have them post the results for all to read.
  2. An "asynchronous world cafe:" randomly assign people who express an interest in connecting up into small groups--six seems like a good number to me--that are then invited to connect via email (and perhaps also conference calls or one-one calls) to discuss a generative question we provide and to post their harvest to this site.

Any other thoughts out there among the "meet and greeters?"  We could test these among ourselves first, then host it for the rest of the network.

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Arrgh!  I just accidentally erased my message about not having to "reinvent the wheel" since many other online communities have been created using the platform.  (Oh, well -- I'll try again.)

Join (45.000 members) so that you can see the prompting questions for joining.  (You don't have to be a government employee to join.)  Almost everyone's personal profile on GovLoop provides some background information to show potential connections with each other.  However, I have noticed that relatively few profiles on OccupyCafe provide that same type of information.  I think the application questions are the key for the difference there.

As a bonus, you will find information on "public engagement" and "open government" on GovLoop.  Here's a link for a blog-post by Sandy Heierbacher, who is a member here on OccupyCafe:

And, Ben, if you see a feature or approach from GovLoop that you want to try out, then let us know here so that we can keep track of what you have (and have not) tweaked, so that we can provide feedback on how it works. 

Yes, some more profile questions would be good. Suggestions?

First, it would be nice if that "join" box would open when I click "Please JOIN this group and help us to start building some "social fabric" here at Occupy Cafe" on the home page of Meet and Greet.  And, second, ...well, I can't think of a second, yet ;-)

Don't fret, I know that this is a process - and it takes all of us to create the best community tools.


I am very interested in "appreciative interviews."  The process resembles the "informational interviews" I did in the '70's, when I was looking for jobs, using "What Color is My Parachute" suggestions.  They provided extraordinary access to, and hours with, almost anyone I wanted to talk to - authors, CEO's, university presidents, mayors, etc...  The interviewees were, uniformly, reluctant to let me go.  Unfortunately, I perceived myself as an intrusion into any meaningful person's life.  Instead of following the suggestion that I organize a gathering of all the people I had interviewed. Mercy, am I grateful that Life is lived forward, and out of those demoralizing periods. 

Glad you like this idea, pat. One thing about the appreciative interview model--typically you each take turns as interviewer and interviewee so you really get to know each other. The when the results are posted to this site, all in one place, they can be easily reviewed by everyone (vs profile info, where you have to go to each members page to read it--not that I think getting more info there wouldn't be a good idea as well, mind you!).

I think it would be cool to co-mentor each other, or have a buddy.  I know I would like a mentor and i am sure I have something to offer as well...


I love both ideas, so creative, and will go a long way to helping overcome the surreal nature of relating in cyberspace.

I like the interview idea and the mentor idea too, but it would also be nice to meet other local occupy members.The title here says Global group, then I got a little confused because all the first conversations I read all seemed to be conversations pertaining to and only referring and referencing the US.  Perhaps satellite maps of each country accessed from our profile where we can pin our position and then see others who are local to our area. I believe both, local groups - feeding into global groups are necessary. I am in the UK and at the moment the nearest occupy groups seem to be Brighton and London, I can't get that far because I have responsibilities as a full time carer. I would love to be more involved, learn more and share skills I have too, so far I have had to be content to be active on the internet.

Gael: You can do searches in the "members" section by geography to find people near you.  Our membership is much more international than our dialogue is right now.  Something I would like to help shift.  Any ideas?


Ben Roberts

Thank you Ben, I will check it out. I suggest cross countries interviews perhaps? , Then hopefully horizons will expand a bit, I have friends on the internet accross the globe, though I choose not to travel and gave up my car because I want to keep my emissions low. I want to be able to look my many grandchildren in the eye as global warming escalates.

I'd be willing to be matched up for appreciative interviews etc.  as long as we had an understanding about time windows and it did not feel too pressured.  I'm particularly interested in support & mentorship opportunities.

I'm just learning how to use google Plus Hang out and enjoying the possibility for group video conferencing and would welcome that option as well.

I have participated in a few phone conferences but would probably not spend a ton of time on that on a regular basis if video chats were available & effective, or perhaps there is a combo option?   


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