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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 28,344,008  

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Reponses: 50

Lurker/Post Ratio: 655 to 1

Question of the Week: 87 - 12/1/2002

The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes?

No other spiritual paths have embraced the web as dramatically, quickly and extensively as the Pagan communities [Link] have done.

So here we are some 8 years later... What do you look for in a Pagan Web site? What brings you back? What are you tired of? What is missing? Do you believe that the noise to signal ratio is out of whack? Too much chatter? Too Little?

What changes have you observed? What trends have you noticed? What do you see for the future of the Pagan web?

NOTE: Mean spirited attacks against specific Pagan Web sites will be promptly removed.

 Reponses:   There are 50 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Thoughts... Dec 1st. at 7:52:31 pm UTC

Agatha (Toronto) Age: 16 - Email - Web

What do I like on the Pagan side of the Internet? Obviously I love The Witches' Voice. On the Internet, Wiccans, Witches & Pagans can find everything about New Age and Paganism. But also, there are many web sites that are too commercial and/or full of nonsense. I really like personal web sites, built by Wiccans & other Pagans.
I expect any Pagan web site to provide general info about Paganism. I think that Pagans use the Net in a very useful way. I hope this will continue in the future.
Blessed Be.

Not Quite Balanced Dec 1st. at 8:01:23 pm UTC

Ithilwen MoonRaven (Brantford, ON) Age: 22 - Email - Web

I find that for every really good, comprehensive site that I find about Paganism, I find two or three that have broken links, are missing information, or have just simply gotten it wrong in places. Worse than this, I find way too many sites that are more interested in offering people spells than teaching them about everything else.

But, it is these good comprehensive sites that get the most traffic, and teach the most people about exactly what's going on. It's a site like this that I've been trying to build. I think that the reputable sites out there are excellent, and I think that we need more of them.

It worries me when someone has gone to a site that tells them "THIS is the way it is, and any other way makes the Gods angry!" Then they come to me and tell me I've got it wrong because such-and-such a site told them something else. We need more sites to say "Look, here's what we think," instead of "It's like this."

We need more sites like The Witches' Voice, and we need many more people to open up, take the time to write out what they know and believe and offer it to the world. After all, the more opinions and ideas one can take in, the better a chance they have at figuring out what's best for them. Most of all, we need those little sites that are full of great information to get more attention! And there's quite a few of them! All it takes is a little digging. It's a pity that some of the sites I used to really enjoy have gone down, and I can only hope that more sites of that caliber have been put up since.

Love, Hate And Boring... Dec 1st. at 8:25:17 pm UTC

Tom Southerland (Clara City) Age: 29 - Email

Most Pagan sites I hit are a labour of self interest that haven't been updated in months or years. the gold can be hard to find to find on the Pagan internet.

LOVE: Personal pagan sites IF they are keep fresh, Jounals and personal stories, attention to detail, pictures, orginality, a great design, Sites like this geet bookmarked in my house.
HATE: Broken links, never updated, Sites that try to shake me for cash for products and 'services' , Commericial sites that pretend to be for the community, private club sites that beat up newbies, Pagans *should* sites,
BORING: Most message board sites. They all seem to fall into the same trap and become private gathering places for a dozen folk. don't you dare to threaten their little world. All are welcome but NOT really.

Basically I like sites that are honest and sincere. Too many are pure BS.

I Come Here Dec 1st. at 8:52:07 pm UTC

Cec Thomas (Warwick, RI) Age: 37 - Email

I like the balance and caring nature of this site. Sorry but I measure all other sites against witchvox. Many try to copy it, no one has come close yet.

I agree Pagan online shops are only out to trick me for my paycheck. Pagans are greedy just like everyone else. I don't need them or their stuff. I get my stuff in the forrest.

I'm Tired Of How To Sites Dec 1st. at 11:03:39 pm UTC

Eskarina (Toronto) Age: 25 - Email

They're a dime a dozen. I'd like to see something along the lines of trouble shooting. If you run into a problem somewhere you get a whole load of "you must be evil, evil, evil because your results aren't picture perfect." That goes for *books* too. I can't take someone seriously if they don't even so much as anticipate a problem anywhere. It sugggests they're mocking Ritual and magic.

What I Like Is..... Dec 1st. at 11:31:29 pm UTC

Autumns_Embrace (Duluth, Minnesota) Age: 30 - Email

I like the caring and informative nature of this site... I feel I can trust the information I recieve here... I use this site as my own newspaper... I have learned a lot since my few weeks of coming to this site... I have also found other links to stores that I can get my wares from... I'm sorry... but since I'm a full time employee, wife, and mother of three without a car I can't get out to the woods as often as I like... Not to mention thet nine months out of the year it gets cold enough to crack an engine block out there... Indoor circle here I'm afraid... also, the only shop up here in this town closed... and this town has a church on every corner ... very conservative... not a lot of out spoken pagan/ wiccan groups here... When I visit this site I feel like I'm not a lone with my thoughts and beliefs.... and there is a possiblitly of connecting out there... Thanks Witchvox... and keep up the great work.... Goddess Bless....

Good Question Dec 2nd. at 1:42:19 am UTC

Perrin (Hades) Age: 26 - Email

Blessed Be,
I have looked at numerous web sites over the last few years, and found that there are two basic sites, the first devoted purely to money, and the other kind, like this one, devoted to research, and people. The merchant sites will probably never change, but on occasion they should. Group oriented sites should change in character with the merchant sites. I do think that sometimes these two groups work together, perhaps to boost sales, or "consumer Confidence". Personally I think that should not happen, but it does.
If I had a web site similar to this one, I would use a green, or maybe a red background, instead of this hospital white you're all so fond of. Other than that I would not require Email addresses from our fellow practicioners, or the occasional visitor. I might also throw in a section that had some media of our events, video tapes of a soltice celebration, weddings, funereals, that type of thing, but then thats' just me, you obviously have other more mundane ideas.

Blessed Be,

Books Are The Basis Dec 2nd. at 4:28:16 am UTC

Hippie2u2 (Netherlands, Utrecht) Age: 26 - Email

Most of the time I do a search for sites afther reading a book I liked. I then have names to search on. Makes it all a lot more specific.

To find a very informative site is still hard. The most value is in plundering the favorite list of friends. So it's not always needed to find that needle in the haystack yourself.

What I Like Dec 2nd. at 8:11:18 am UTC

Arial (London, UK) Age: 21 - Email

It's simple... I book sites that show an interest in the surfer. It's pretty obvious on most sites by what they speak on this main page.

Sites that want to sell sell sell are everywhere. I also agree that chatter sites are private clubs so mostly I just lurk.

I don't like preachy sites or ones that are ugly.

My Thoughts On The 'Pagan Web' Dec 2nd. at 8:27:29 am UTC

Beth Laurel (London, UK) Age: 24 - Email

Over the past years, I've been a practicing pagan and a budding anthropologist. One of the things I've looked at through fieldwork is the roles the internet holds within a specific community. Some of these are on my like list. Similarly, some of the things that have come up in my conversations with those whom I was working with have popped up on my dislike list.

My Like List:
1. Community. The 'web,' and the internet as a whole, provides an amazing way to form a cohesive community. Many of us are spread out across countries in small pockets, where being what we are (countercultural) is not particularly welcome. Defining oneself as a witch always has its negative responders. The internet, and the web, have provided ways of screaming "I'm here" into the wilderness and getting a reply instead of an echo. It is our way of shouting back, "Me too." Friendships have been formed and broken based on some of the information posted on web sites, web logs (blogs), bulletien boards, and live journals. Real conversations have been held, lives and loves shared, and perhaps our lonelinesses alleviated for a short span of time.

2. Creativity - The web may give ideas to people as to how they might want to do things, but it often just gives them a jumping off point - a starting model to work with rather than starting from whole cloth. Rituals have been written based on someone's idea - in Iowa a coven found a website from Canada, based on the teaching of someone from the UK and modified a ritual they found there, to pass on to others. It's also one of the last great forums of the independent poets, authors, songsters and artists. For those whose subject is not considered socially acceptable, this is a wonderful outlet of talent and voice.

3. Communication - We (pagans, neo-pagans, druids, witches) are all part of a greater community to some degree - whether we like it or not. Sometimes there are nasty things being said - calling one another "tree huggers" or "crystal wavers" or "pretentious" - and that saddens me. I do, however, understand that when people feel they are in a position of weakness, it often seems wise to strike out at those around you. However, one of the very things I like about the 'net - and mostly the web - is it allows us to get a better glimpse of other traditions that we may never have been exposed to otherwise. Perhaps sometimes they can be comfusing, or even contradictory, but they are always enlightening and often lead to new paths of exploration.

4. Cohesiveness - one of the things that has amazed me about the new uses of the web are the abilities of a group that is seperated by distance to create a cohesive community and Tradition. Songs are shared, rites are compared, and community actions are planned. That astonishes me. If we could learn to tap this sort of community spirit, can you imagine what we could do?

Blessed Be,
Beth Laurel

Diversity Dec 2nd. at 11:33:54 am UTC

Hearthstone (Michigan) Age: 40 - Email

I'm especially happy with the increasing number of sites which are not oriented toward Wicca or witchcraft. The web has been a great resource, albeit one of varying quality, for Wiccans and witches, and I'm very happy to see that it is becoming the same for pagans of other sorts. There are some excellent heathen and reconstructionist websites out there (and, of course, some not-so-great ones :)) and the number is growing. It's great that folks who are searching for a spiritual path or religion now have a wider information base to draw on.

As for what I look for in general?
- A web design that's easy to read (no tiny print or impossible purple-on-black text), without too many slow-loading images, and I must admit that I do find it distracting if there are too many mispellings or typos, or if the grammar is terrible (you don't have to be an English major, but a spellchecker and a bit of proofreading can go a long way :)).
- Content is important, particularly original content; if I've seen it somewhere else before, I won't be back. And, of course, outright plagiarism is beyond the pale.
- Frequent updates are nice if it's a site for which timely information is important.
- I enjoy sites which are, to some extent, interactive (thus my fondness for this section of The Witches' Voice, and for the message boards at Beliefnet) but only if it's done well. Not every site needs a message board!
- Finally, I like sites that offer something unique--information on an aspect of Paganism that hasn't been covered elsewhere, a new angle on a known topic, etc.

Opinion Dec 2nd. at 1:46:58 pm UTC

Danielle & James (Tx) Age: 21 - Email

Well, there are too many "fluffy" sites out there that profess the most unorthodox of things. I.e: Pagans HARM NONE. Wiccans were burned in the inquisition, blah blah. But where there are "unfluffy" sites, the "fluffs" all go and sign up their guestbook with "you're not a real pagan" junk. So the pagan web, in my opinion, is trash.

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