zaadz, a fairy tale

Once upon a time,

after eons of repression,

the flowering

of  a connected


spirituality began

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

and feel

and see

their highest hopes

becoming their experiences.


The community became an expression

of  the complexity and brilliance

of humanity’s soul

that yearned

for passionate expansion






and just



One day,

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

new opportunities

was to    just    sign

on    this   itty      bitty      dotted      line

right here.



(-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?

Posted on Jan 16th, 2008 by lightenup : Leader lightenup

Where is the welcome from Gaiam?

Where is the welcome from GAIA?

A purple banner and a sneaky new TOU?


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.

?zaadz who?

(Insert sound of retching here.)



powered by zaadz

Posted on Jan 17th, 2008 by lightenup : Leader lightenup
How are conscious communities created?
Through conscious choice.
Not buying and selling.

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.



:intuitive navigation

Posted on Oct 3rd, 2008 by lightenup : Leader lightenup at Gaiaformerlyzaadz
So,  we’ve only lost a little bit of space.

Advertisting and revenue.

No choice.

Better navigation.

I disagree.


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?

No Choice?

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.

Better Navigation?

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.

Access_public Access: Public 4 Comments Print // Post this! views (268)
bookman : Zaadzter!!
about 15 hours later

bookman said

Excellent analysis Lightenup!
Zaadz used to be such a beautiful place…a home…now sadly it has the feeling of a ………a Walmart, if you will for new agers

…. There was a time when ZAADZ meant something of substance…now it appears to be a corporate entity with a smiley face…

The team?
What team?
Didnt a significant portion of the team “move on” to discover other ventures in life?
…I mean were they not fired? Terminated from employment…canned…given the boot after much hard work and dedication to building Zaadz….

Yes you are right…there must be something better…I hope they find it

otter : Spiritual Off-Roader
1 day later

otter said

This is what came to mind when I read this post.  Let’s imagine you are going to meet some dear friends.  You love being with them.  It would be ideal to meet them in a cozy little coffee shop or at the foot of a mountain trail.  But, alas, you have to meet in a crowded mall at the food-court.  The surroundings are a distraction for sure, but your friends make it wonderful all the same.

lightenup : Leader
2 days later

lightenup said

I agree otter, some place is better than no place and ideal places are hard to find. My point in this post is to hold the gaiam feet to the zaadz fire. What does powered by zaadz mean if not that the original passion for a beautiful community space is constantly in the forefront of our thoughts.

If someone put a flashy, intrusive, billboard in the middle of that same food court, it might become hard to carry on a quiet conversation. The “alas” part of it is the part I refuse to accept. If there was ever a communitity that had the potential to get rid of the alas, it was zaadz. I am dreaming of better things for gaia.

Ernie : Awakening Enity
5 days later

Ernie said

Gaia has become more and more like the gov. they made changes we did do want for the good of all they said, they promised ato get better, and they did not,
long ago, I said money was the absolute root cause of what they do regardless of what they say. ( sounding just like the gov – well except we don’t get any bail outs for out own lives – although if the world were the Zaadz we were building, perhaps not bail out would have been needed)

And those here miss the Zaadz aura that surrounded us all, and hence the world. No mater what Gaia does, that aura will surround us always, and Zaadz  continues to live in all of us and change the world.

We must remember, it is we who change the world, not Gaia. Gaia is vessel we choose to ride either with Great Joy and Love,,,,, or with Great Joy, Love and sadness at what it became as soon as it was bought.

Gaia is nothing without us, only just another place on the web, selling it self for the advertising money.  And like the govenment, telling us it is all for our own good and must be done.  No votes, only empty campaign promisses and their
forced agreement they can use whatever we post in any way they want.

I will always be the light I AM, no matter what Gaia does, is, or becomes.
I will always be the Love IAM, no mater what Gaia does, is, or becomes.
I will always be the Joy  IAM no matter what Gais does, is or becomes

Gaia only holds up a mirror trying to reflect our light and claim it is theirs.

We of Zaadz will continue to be that what we are, the love that God is.
All we need do is send that love to all those in Gaia and expecially to those
who “think they run Gaia” to re-connect them to all there is, where they will
find the Love they too are………. And Gaia will again become Zaadz.



Update on zaadznowgaia

Posted on Aug 28th, 2008 by lightenup : Leader lightenup

Over half a year since the assimilation, this is how I currently feel about zaadznowgaia.

zaadz  = spiritual community.

gaiam = commercial enterprise.

I see  the zaadz = gaia equation as one of two basic scenarios: an attempt to “commercialize” a spiritual community (zaadz) or an attempt to “spiritualize” a commercial enterprise by way of grafting zaadz on. Please do not read this as meaning overt attempts, but nevertheless the results are the same.

When I signed up on zaadz, neither  of those two options were my intention in becoming part of this community. When zaadz became gaia, neither of  those options became mine by osmosis.

For now I am still, waiting and seeing.


A Final Tribute:

zaadz wishes

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.

One thought on “zaadz

  1. OH, sadness. You projected the Demise of Gaia all along. I, too, wanted to give benefit of the doubt when my beautiful Zaadz became Gaia. If it weren’t for the community there, it would have been lost that day. But we all still believed, and yes, I felt like we were part of the “powered by Zaadz” equation.

    Today in a process of grieving Zaadz/Gaia, I have been exploring my new WordPress home, looking for other members of my old community. Hello! I am glad to see you here.

    Have a lovely last day of March,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s