Otherkin Directory 2.0

As some of you may have already noticed, there has been a major update to the Otherkin Directory.  In all honesty, the old plugin we had been using to power the directory finally crapped itself beyond my ability to repair.  So I set out in search of a new plugin we could use, and found the very impressive Ultimate Member plugin for WordPress.  I’m still learning everything that it can do, but I think the new directory looks amazing and will serve us well.  The profiles it provides already give users more information than the old one, even some rudimentary integration with the forum to display a user’s recent forum posts.  It even provides privacy settings to opt out of being included in the directory and to hide one’s profile entirely.

The catch, of course, is that everyone who wishes to be included in the directory needs to go edit their profile and upload a cover photo.  If your account doesn’t have a cover photo (not just an avatar) you won’t appear in the directory even if you previously did.  I set it up this way so that no one, new or old, would accidentally be included in the directory against their wishes — it requires explicit action on your part to opt-in.

Dreamhart.org Forums

So, I just realized that I announced this on Dreamwidth and Livejournal and Twitter but I never said anything here. Sure, you might notice the new tab at the top of the page, or the new widget in the right-hand sidebar, but just in case you haven’t: Dreamhart.org now has discussion forums.

I’ve made these forums for a few reasons. First, most of the otherkin message boards, IRC channels, mailing lists, and other online venues that I used to frequent have gone silent. The members are still there, but they rarely say much of anything. Rarer still anything with actual content. I am looking around at other forums, hoping to find signs of life again, and I have found a few with some promise… but I’m hoping these forums might attract discussion from some of the people who already know me who aren’t active elsewhere in the community anymore.

Second, even in the days when online otherkin venues were more active, there was a lot of noise and comparatively little signal out there. Once you got past the off-topic posts, the one-liner replies, the onlist conversations that would better be handled privately offlist, the downright silly and intentionally fluffy posts, the trolls and flamewars and harassment, and all the other obvious noise you would find there just wasn’t a ton of substance left. People were trying, and there were sparks of something Real, but very seldom did those sparks ignite into a blaze. In many respects, we never really moved past Otherkin 101, even on lists that touted themselves as dealing with advanced concepts relating to otherkin and magic. I’d like to work on changing that, on getting somewhere deeper and seeing what we can bring back to work with.

Anyone else up for trying?