cultivating the roots

wi-fiHowdy. I’m currently reporting from the Cultivating the Roots conference at Bosch Baha’i School in Santa Cruz, California. So far, the sharing has been awesome. Everyone has has amazing insights and ideas for different types of projects and collaboration tools—all to help Baha’is develop better ways of interacting, collaborating, and channeling their energy into systematic action. I’m currently posting up a bunch of photos from the conference; check them out on flickr. Big ups to prema for letting me use her laptop.

It’s fascinating to ponder the holes out there in the Baha’i community that could be filled by judiciously chosen and developed IT initiatives. Throughout the day today, we’ve been talking about the needs out there—from tools to benefit Baha’i Institutions (for example, accounting software that operates according to the 19-month Baha’i calendar, or geomatics software to aid in planning various types of community campaigns) to software to sift through the Sacred Writings of the Baha’i Faith, to collaboration software to help Baha’i institutions, communities, and individuals to work together more effectively… there are so many ways that computers and the Internet can help us do our work better, yet there’s so little time to accomplish them all. A few projects that were put forth in one of the last workshops this afternoon: a functional Baha’i events database (similar to that can be used by Baha’i communities throughout the world to track their core activities, holy days, and various gatherings; an online presentation platform (similar to webconferencing) for holding formal or informal talks and “fireside chats”; and a process for providing technical and material support for Baha’i communities throughout the world who wish to develop their first websites.

So yeah, some really intense consultation here. The workshops have been the best—that’s why I really came to this conference. This morning, I attended a workshop on blogging by the authors of, the growing online portal to Baha’i blogs everywhere. That was awesome, just to be there and to be able to talk shop with them about blogging software, search engine optimization, content management systems, and miscellaneous Web 2.0 hobbledyhoy. The whole project is really interesting—creating an online portal to basically aggregate all the Baha’i-related content on the Internet, giving the “Baha’i blogosphere” a friendly face. The current site just contains a map and a searchable index of Baha’i blogs, but there’s a lot more in the works—photos, videos, full tagging capability, and so on. Speaking with the team that’s working on this mammoth task is immensely uplifting and exciting, and the possibilities are endless. I’ll be sure to post more later; remember to check back—apart from photos, there’ll also be videos (and/or mashups) for your enjoyment and upliftment.

5 thoughts on “cultivating the roots

  1. I am SO JEALOUS that you’re at this conference. Thank you so much for the report (and yay that you got to meet Prema, and Devon, and Artis, and Na’im!) haha. Looking at the pictures, it seems that there is still a huge gap between men & women in this field…or at least between who attends these types of conferences. Ah well. This is all very exciting.

  2. I’m so jealous! Thanks for blogging from the conference and give my regards to David Diehl if you get a chance. I’d like to hear more specifically about the blogging training. Any pointers for born-again Baha’i bloggers like me?

  3. hobbledyhoy!

    Philip, I think they didn’t so much train people to blog as they did encourage. Basically just suggestions on easy-to-use technology, guidelines from the Bahai Internet Agency on online communication, and of course, to use

    Sholeh, Na’im is awesome. As was Artis, and oh everyone there. Dan rocks as unofficial but most ubiquitious photographer!

    Things are going to change so quickly in the next six months. YAY!

  4. i wish i could have gone to this conference, do they do this annually? i would imagine that information is grow so fast that there would be so much more to learn every year.

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