A New “Convergent” Mapping Project hits the Web

Martin Kelley isn’t the only one really excited about the new Quakermaps.com project from Micah Bales and Jon Watts. While there are other quaker maps out there this is by far the coolest (IMO) because it is fully DIY, looks great, and is simple to use. As Martin writes over at his blog Quaker Ranter:

Two people working a series of long days inputting information and embedding it on WordPress have created the coolest Meeting directory going. There’s no six-figure grants from Quaker foundations, no certified programmers, no series of organizing consultations. No Salesforce account, Drupal installations, Vertical Response signups. No high paid consultants yakking in whatever consultant-speak is trendy this year.

While neither Micah nor Jon have named this a “convergent project” per se, it’s the thought that counts. Martin writes:

Convergent Friends isn’t a theology or a specific group of people, but a different way of relating and working together. The way I see it, Quakermaps.com proves that QuakerQuaker.org is not a fluke. The internet exposes us to people outside our natural comfort zones and provides us ways to meet, work together and publish collaborations with minimal investment. The quick response, flexibility and off-the-clock ethos can come up with truly innovated work. I think the Religious Society of Friends is entering a new era of DIY organizing and I’m very excited.

This is something all our meetings, and yearly meetings can learn from. And for that matter, this is a project that other faith groups, from emerging communities to entrenched ones, can take tips from.

I’ve included the link to Quaker maps on our meeting’s blog, and Bruce Bishop, the administrator and mastermind behind Northwest Yearly Meeting has even posted it on the front page of NW Yearly Meetings webpage for the week. This collaboration, DIY, networking and sharing is something that can inspire all of us, not to mention it’s just downright useful.

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

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