zaadz, a fairy tale
Once upon a time,
after eons of repression,
of a connected
in an online community
Intending freedom for individuals
and the entire world
they actually succeeded
in creating a new one;
allowing awesomely abundant potentials
to begin to expand
into manifested beauty.
They created virtual places
where people could gather
and begin to believe
their highest hopes
becoming their experiences.
The community became an expression
of the complexity and brilliance
of humanity’s soul
for passionate expansion
the forces of control showed up
at zaadz’s brilliant, light filled doorstep.
With them they brought dazzlingly powerful tools
and even larger, grander vistas for expansion,
All that was needed, they said with a smile,
to gain these wonderful
was to just sign
on this itty bitty dotted line
(-to be continued.)
The continuation of this lovely fairytale did not have a happy ending. The entire social networking site was sold to GAIAM, given a new name, GAIA, and eventually GAIAM claimed it had become a financial deadweight and by March 31, 2010, had shut the whole site down .The devolution happened in steps I have chronicled from my personal perspective below. These were entries I copied from my own blog there. The zaadz mascot was a dandelion, hence the pic.
Where is the welcome from Gaiam?
Where is the welcome from GAIA?
A purple banner and a sneaky new TOU?
NOT ONE WORD OF WELCOME?
Not one word for this glorious community of light
on its first day of assimilation?
just ….a tiny “Powered by zaadz.”
……as though zaadz was a new widget
no celebration, no joy, just “business” as usual.
(Insert sound of retching here.)
W e individually will craft this new relationship to gaiam. My understanding of how the creation of things work is simple. You have an idea, you set an intention. Others join as their intentions resonate, and together you make the dreams and ideas real. In this case, zaadz was created with a certain set of intentions, ones we all loved and proceeded to use as tools to create our own niches and content. Now, how can you sell/buy those intentions? You absolutely can not. This is where the zaadz team lost their greatest opportunity imo, to clarify intentions, dreams, goals about the new “company” we would keep.
So now, I feel I must start at the beginning again, and decide, whether I can align, attune, agree, with the intentions and ideas of gaiam. It is my opinion that the terms of “use” of zaadz, should have been adopted by gaiam for their whole company, instead of the other way around.
Powered by zaadz? Use our original intentions.
Advertisting and revenue.
It is not just a little bit of space that has been lost here. It is a beautiful space that has been lost here. Doesn’t Gaiam even consider what powered by zaadz means? When advertising first came to zaadz, it was non-obtrusive. The ads were color coordinated to not blare in your face, to maintain a pleasant space for the community we were creating. I clicked on a lot of those ads. I have not clicked on any lately.
Advertising and Revenue?
What is the very nature of advertising? To get your attention. How? Millions, nay billions, are spent on answering that question. So what is the highest answer that Gaiam can give us? BIGGER ADS? Is that the best that we can do? Big honking billboards in the midst of the fields of flowering connections?
If I was new to this site, I would not give it a second glance. I see nothing that draws people in anymore to spend time here. Our beautiful blogs are now lost in this sea of change. How would anyone know that this site offers them anything out of the ordinary?
I remember how wonderfully open to suggestions, how daring and creative the team was. They worked together with us, to create something wonderful for all. Bigger Ads can not be the only solution. You can’t annoy me and then expect me to look into your business. We all know that as soon as a popup pops up, we can’t find the close button fast enough. I never read them. Must we settle for “business as usual” ? Sad to say, that would be powered by business, not zaadz.
One thing that gives a social site character is its navigation. The zaadz seed theme was awesome needless to say. Now, there is absolutetly nothing that offers any sort of community identity in this new navigation. I find it plain and lifeless. I would like to see site navigation flow from the sites purpose and draw people intuitively to the areas that make Gaia great.
My intuition tells me there must be something better.
A Final Tribute:
I wish …..all to know that the beauty and goodness and sweetness of what zaadz was ,
will ever be shining within the hearts of those who loved it into life.
I wish …..all to know that any plan started with such immense, audacious hopes,
will continue to have consequences of unimaginable joy and blessing
rippling out into the universe forever.
I wish …..that no matter what becomes of this merging and morphing
of the two entities known as gaiam and zaadz,
that we remember our highest dreams will manifest
if we still desire them.
I wish …..that everyone who has had a part in the creation of this community
sees the worth of all that they have done,
the beauty outside a reflection of the beauty within themselves.
thanks to Dries Buytaert for the use of the creative commons licensed photo of the dandelion.