February 15, 2021

It’s easy to flame on Facebook (for me, too). It’s more fulfilling to communicate.

Elephant is indie media, devoted to “the mindful life.”

We eff up every day. We’ve never been perfect. Cults are perfect…until they aren’t.

On our worst day, we’re a messy, sweet, community.

I love Elephant.

I’m proud of those who contribute to Elephant, and those who serve as editors and staff, often for less $ than they could make elsewhere. Because we “believe.” We believe folks want—and society needs—more than Big Tech’s Medium, Twitter, Facebook, Insta, WhatsApp.

So to those who kick Elephant when it’s down, publicly, without DMing first—enjoy. To those who offer criticism, if your criticism isn’t 1) critical 2) helpful, constructive & 3) informed, or inquisitive—it ain’t criticism. Criticism is a craft. It’s hard, not easy.

I, too, fail to comment respectfully, sometimes. We all do. But doubling down on our invective, rather than taking blame, is the way to hateful division, and we’ve seen what that does to even the proudest (and imperfect) democracies around our world.

There’s another way. Invest in community. Invest in community that isn’t loyal to Big Tech, or quarterly returns, or cynical algorithms that encourage invective. Write on Elephant. Share. Comment. We can create a huge, worldwide community for tough, gentle conversations.

If you don’t want to write on Elephant, don’t write on Elephant. That’s fine. Write on your own blog. Write on Medium. Write on Facebook, or Instagram. But know that, whatever our (many) failings, you won’t find another community like ours. May it be of benefit!

But if you do want to write on Elephant, know that our editors, while overwhelmed, care. And we try, try, try to get your articles to our readers, & beyond our respective choirs. We’re aligned in that. Our common “enemy”? The Algorithms. That’s why we invest in our own community.

And as we build up our community, through the Ecosystem (readers vote for the top articles on elephantjournal.com, each week, & we then use your subscriptions to pay those writers), our world will have a mindful alternative, finally, to Big Tech & their algorithms.

Original article follows:

We’re one of the few remaining of what little is left of indie media. We’re small. We’re huge. We’re full of faults. We’re full of virtues. We’re overwhelmed. We show up genuinely, every day, trying, caring. Communicate with us—critically, constructively, openly, inquisitively—any time.

Today, a dear occasional-writer, Academy graduate, two-day hire at Elephant, criticized Elephant and our editors and mission and a writer on Facebook. Facebook probably made 10s of 1000s of bucks off the ensuing comment storm, 90% of which were critical of Elephant.

Critical is not just fine, but helpful. But for it to be helpful, our criticism must be a craft, treated with dignity. It must be coupled with being informed, or, that failing, being inquisitive. And it must be coupled with care—not just general “I care,” but thoughtfulness, fairness.

Please, always, feel free to DM me, message me, or our editors, and we’re happy to talk. I talked with writers for 2 hours following that thread on FB.

Comment here, and let me know what you want, what you don’t want, ask questions, I’ll answer every one I see (and I’ll check for the first few days).

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