The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 75 - 1/14/2002
So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web?
What changes did you see in the Pagan Web last year? Were these changes good or bad? What do you hope to see happen or evolve on-line this year? What would you recommended to budding Pagan web weavers?
| Reponses: There are 43 responses posted to this question.
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| I Agree With A Lot Of The Previous Posts. Let Me Add... ||Jan 7th. at 12:58:57 pm EST|
|UrthGuru (NYC, New York US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I agree with a lot of the previous posts. Let me add my two cents, if I may...
I think the quantity of pagan websites has exploded in the last few years. And I think it is a double edged sword. Nowadays, I only visit a handful of my favorite sites regularly.
For the most part I come across sites that have basic information and the same pics and gifs that every other site has. B-O-R-I-N-G. Also, I've seen sites that purport word of mouth half-truths as Wiccan Laws. And hey, to each his own, as long as they are not broadcast as movement-wide rules.
A majority of these sites are by newbies, and I am far enough along my path to find no good info on these sites. I think some people that are farther along the Pagan path should make some sites. These could have some really great insights on how to live a Pagan life.
What I would enjoy seeing on the Web would be some pagan sites that have original information on them. Sabbats that were actually written and performed by the site owner, instead of copied out of a book or off another website. Essays and thoughts about pagana and life in general. And maybe a message board where you could post feedback and have some good pagan conversation.
I feel that if you are going to have a website at all, it should be original. And if you're not going to update it regularly, take it off the web.
| As The Owner Of One Of Those 'original 25' Pagan Web Sites... ||Jan 7th. at 12:50:59 pm EST|
|Minerva Waters (Downers Grove, Illinois US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
As the owner of one of those 'original 25' Pagan web sites (finally broke down and got a domain -- http://www.lunarshadows.net -- two years ago), i've seen and noted and adjusted to the numerous changes and trends in the Pagan web. A few of my observations:
I think the single most enduring trend is the search for original content. Most sites have nothing more than the same few pieces of information (Rede, Charges, "we're not evil, " etc.) and leave it at that. To find a site with new content that updates regularly is rare treat, but even the majority of these putter out after a few months. Over the last year, what seems to be taking the place of these sites is commercial or portal sites (which link to the same few sites that have actual content). This may be all very well and good, but how many identical portal sites do we need?
It appears that boundaries have been established as to what is acceptible for content. Few (very few) sites go beyond 'Wicca 101.' Most site owners would rather die than admit they don't follow the Rede's ethics. I can count on one hand the number of site i've visited that have more than a line or two about the author's personal Pagan practices and/or tradition before claiming "it's a secret handed down from Great Aunt so-and-so, so it can't be shared with others." I would enjoy seeing more sites stretch these limits in the next year.
On a similar note, it would be delightful to see more specialty sites. It's tiring to keep coming across, for example, a site on Tarot that have a sprinkling of Wiccan Sabbats, ritual design, pictures of the owner's 12 cats, and some poetry. Choose a topic and write exhaustively on it; make it the best site on that topic. Trust me, visitors will flock to your site if you do.
One trend i've noticed especially this past year is large and/or popular sites whose owners have financial problems announcing this fact to all who visit their sites, and expecting donations to keep their sites afloat. Back in the early days of the Pagan web, if you put up a site, you were expected to have the resources to maintain it. After all, no one is forcing you to have the site; why should you expect them to fund it? If you could not afford to keep it, you either closed it or gave it to someone else to maintain. That no longer seems to be the case. Of course, given the number of sites that have disappeared over the last few months (Encyclopedia Mythica, for example), i'm guessing at least a few sites didn't have much luck finding sponsors.
| I Think The Witches Voice Staff Is As Credible As Any Other... ||Jan 7th. at 11:41:07 am EST|
|Wade Berlin (Jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I think the Witches Voice Staff is as credible as any other service on the web (more so in many, many cases) and should offer an outstanding website award.
Make it a community project like so many of the other things the witches voice does, and allow us to Vote on links for quality, usability, style, etceteras....
Maybe even show us a popularity on the number of referrals the Witches voice sends to sites....
| The Problem Is, You See, We're All "spoilt" From Having Such A... ||Jan 7th. at 10:53:38 am EST|
|Jools (Rhyl, England UK) ||Age: 35 - Email |
The problem is, you see, we're all "spoilt" from having such a wonderful website as TWV, and we expect the same high standard from everyone else. Having said that, there are few things more disheartening than finding a website while on the ever-present search for info, and then finding that it's not been updated since 1995! Come on, guys - are you expecting us to believe that you haven't had time to add anything to your website for six years or more?! Expecting anyone to put in the dedication and hard work we've come to respect and appreciate from Fritz and Wren is, perhaps, expecting a bit too much - but an update every six months or so surely wouldn't harm?! If Wren can update the Nest daily, why can't others update their sites too? If nothing else, it would show a bit of appreciation for the number of "hits", and indicate that at least the webcrafter responsible for the site showed a little bit of interest in it, having launched it upon the world in the first place. To plagiarise a phrase used by the RSPCA, " a website is for life, not just for Giftmas!".
| I Think That The Pagan Web Has Come A Long Way, But... ||Jan 7th. at 9:44:33 am EST|
|Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I think that the Pagan Web has come a long way, but still has quite a way to go. For those of us who, for whatever reason, are isolated from the rest of our communities, the Pagan Web has been a real godsend- with The Witches Voice at the very top.
I noted that after the initial start up flurry, many sites are what I call 'cobwebs', with no updating since '97 or so. This is sad, because our community is still growing. I also noted a lot of common graphics and content, like the authors of some sites just 'pinched' stuff they liked and slapped it on their sites. This is sad too.
Although I am a Net-vet with nearly ten years online, I only put up my own personal website a year ago in March. I took a look at everyone else's sites, and decided that mine would be different. All original content, graphics, look and feel. No ads or popups, regular updates. Sunfell.com is a work in progress, and I regularly rip it to pieces and rebuild it from scratch. And I also try to update it regularly, because I dislike 'cobwebs'.
I hope to see the Pagan web continue to evolve and grow. Perhaps the creators of the 'me-too' sites can write some original content and build a site that is unique to their tradition. It doesn't HAVE to be black backgrounds, Halloween graphics, spinning pentagrams and rinky-dink music. Lose the music. Those of us who use the web at work will be grateful for the silence. If you HAVE to have music on your site, make the default OFF, and give the user the choice to listen or not.
Pay sites... an interesting problem. I am willing to pay for good content (Salon Premium, for example), but are there writers out there who are consistent and prolific enough to generate something new every week? Every month? Many Pagans I know aren't rich, and the nickel-dime aspects of the Web get irritating. It's a tough decision.
The Pagan community is beginning to mature. Sure, there are still many more beginners than there are more advanced members, but those of us who have been on board awhile want something more than Pagan and Witchcraft 101 sites. I try to serve that need for advanced studies with my own site, but our more advanced web weavers also need to contribute and build sites for the more advanced people. We can't stay in elementary school forever! Perhaps Fritz and Wren should create a search category for advanced studies sites.
Beliefnet is a thriving community of various religions, and they have expressed their desire to grow the Pagan segment of their site. In order to do this, we need contributions and participation from our various traditions. And we need to put our differences aside and step into the religious community as a diverse, but coherent whole. We could stand to benefit from positive exposure. People of many faiths read the various boards there, and look there to learn about us. It is an excellent opportunity for positive exposure to the world at large. Starhawk and Margot Adler contribute regularly- perhaps some of our other writers can step in with articles, too. We have eight major opportunities each year to say 'here we are'. Let's use them.
My hope is that the Pagan online community as a whole can put their differences behind them, and use the Internet as the wonderful global tool that it is. Building up and maintaining our community is vital in this uncertain time. Let's do what we can to support our online web weavers- by putting a dollar into their 'kitties' (if they have one) or purchasing books from their sites (which will help them build their own libraries). And let's not forget to thank the staff at The Witches Voice for their years of solid community building and support of the Pagan community. Without them, we'd all be ships passing in the night.
| Merry Meet, As A Pagan Webmaster Myself I Don't Get As Much... ||Jan 7th. at 9:36:42 am EST|
|The Fluid Druid (Dade City, Florida US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
As a Pagan webmaster myself I don't get as much time as I would like to surf the net, but I have noticed a few things over the past year.
First of all the number of ORIGANAL personal Pagan websites has drastically declined.
It seems that most people just post the basics, the information that is on almost everyones homepage, and adds their Bio. to it.
I have noticed an increase in multi-media, especially Flash.
I have found that the best way to get traffic is to have 2 things;
1) Fresh information, info that isn't on almost every Pagan website.
2)Interactivity. The more there is to do at a website, the more traffic you will get.
Witches Voice is a perfict example of this.
Lots of great content, as well as plenty of services.
Another developement over the last year is the increase in Pagan Internet Communities.
There are several Pagan Portals out there now, as well as a few full fledged Ccomminity websites, like mine at http://www.thefluiddruid.net .
| It Goes Without Saying That The Witches' Voice Is The Ultimate Voice... ||Jan 7th. at 9:34:08 am EST|
|Ciarrai (PISCATAWAY, New Jersey US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
It goes without saying that The Witches' Voice is THE ultimate voice on the Pagan web hands down. Wren's writing power and conception coupled with Fritz's computer know how make this site a pleasure to work with. It is truly an informational work of art. And I have to say, yes, I am glad that we're going without the black background!
My best friend's sister-in-law issues a seasonal Pagan parenting page -- musicforthegoddess.com -- check out the Pagan parenting section. It is really a work of art. She is a very smart witch (that's an understatement; she's probably a member of MENSA and doesn't admit to it...), and I learned a lot from reading articles about Pagan parenting. It has truly been an inspiration to me as far as my studies are concerned. She also is a seasoned musican. I haven't checked out any of her Pagan performances but I have seen her sing in one of her husband's bands one night and I was just in awe of her incredible talent.
I learned much from Patricia Morrison's site, lizardqueen.com, especially since she was raised Roman Catholic, and yes, she made it out. I appreciate her knowledge of the Celtic culture and even though there much to be said about her husband it is more of an educational site to me than just a Jim Morrison fan club (even though I AM a fan!) Mrs. Morrison is another inspirational writer, and yes, a member of MENSA for real. This made me learn that there a lot of smart Pagans out there.
I have to say that I have purchased almost all of the books recommended by Peg Aloi on TWV in my studies, so I don't do a whole lot of research about Paganism on the web. If I do, I get disappointed because there are unfortunately a lot of negative people out there of all faiths, and that too includes Paganism. I hate the Christian bashing sites. I even managed to find myself a Wicca bashing site which really though me for a loop. I hate all of the large purple pentagrams screaming at me on the screen with the Rede flashing in front of my face. It reminds me of a bad Pagan/Vegas lounge act. I also managed to find someone that posted to TWV after 911 and I thought he wrote a nice editorial come to find out that he was one of the most foul mouthed people that I ever had to deal with in my life. I was drawn to Paganism for some PEACE in my life.
I have been supporting Pagan merchants and I have been impressed with quite a few of them. The nice people at theblessedbee.com were the first people in my life to call to make sure that I really intended to spend as much money as I did (they thought perhaps a kid got a hold of my card). I just explained that I'm your typical girly-girl shop-a-holic regardless of that it is I am buying. My boyfriend even said how ironic that a Pagan would call me on this, but the rest of the conventional world would just charge my card, and he's agnostic. It was a good observation.
I have to give big kudos to the folks at Lytha Studios because I can rely on them for many of my needs. I also have to give my best to the people at abaxion.com for making the absolute best incense that I have ever tried as well as so many other indulgences that I have on my "wish lists." The folks at Spiral in the UK put together a lovely newsletter when they announce their latest specials. Capricorns Liar also does a fine job of keeping me posted and always noting that if you want off their list, that's fine, because they don't want to offend anyone.
Why people curse Pagans is beyond me.
The big thrill of last year was the Gerald Gardner site.
I think it would be really interesting to see one big happy family with TWV running the show. Not as if TWV would be the dictators of Paganism, but they really are THE SOURCE of the Pagan web, and that's what I really like to see.
Peace, Light, Love - Ciarrai
| I Only Go To A Few Sites. I Log-on To Www.modernwiccan.com Daily... ||Jan 6th. at 10:32:46 pm EST|
|Lazerus (Fort Wayne, Indiana US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I only go to a few sites. I log-on to www.modernwiccan.com daily. It is one of the first sites that amounted to anything when I first made the leap to Paganism in 2001. From there I found TWV and stop by once or twice a week to see what is going on and to read what Wren and Ftitz has to say (Mostly on Sunday Night).
I do have to say that over the past year I have seen a decline in personal Pagan sites and an increase in comercial Pagan siltes (www.witchschool.com ect)
I am sick of places selling "crap" and wanting a subscription fee to read their "crap". That is why TWV and Modern Wiccan are my favorite sites. Quality content for a price you can't beat anywhere.
This has also inspired me to work with ColdFusion (Yes Fritz I like Microsoft, please don't curse me LOL) to make a site that can be used for free also. Start up mid 2002.
We scream that nobody is getting our message but so many of us have the resources, time and energy to make a WEB site that is quality asured. We don't have to post BOS' and other personal information but we all know something about Paganism that can contribute to a better understanding and help the new people looking for answers. I know when I started this path the first place I want to was the NET. I was disapointed.
Thans you Wren and Fritz for being there in the begining whe I made the step to a better spiritual path and I know I will be thanking you for years.
If you can't be proactive in reality be proactive in virtual reality (The WEB).
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