Heart2Heart Online

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After participating in some on-line communities’ asynchronous discussions and synchronous sessions I have seen a whole bunch of people who are highly transactional and impersonal in approach. On the other hand, I have also observed that there are those who are reaching out to connect on a deeper level other than that of simply being utilitarian. My focus is the latter.

In the physical world there are communities that facilitate gatherings that are targeted on being able to connect deeply. One is the popular Heart Talk developed by Cliff Durfee or Mutual Support Groups popularized by Arnold Patent. I wish to learn how to make the same phenomenon (of simply being ourselves and open with our feelings in support of one another) happen online.

Please join my wife, Ivy (guest), and I explore the extent to which we can continue being our true selves even in the virtual world.

What issues should we consider?

What challenges should we be anticipating?

What can we do in order to overcome potential risks in such sessions, if any?

Servant02 (talk)20:01, 3 October 2008

I'm intrigued by this session and interested in the "pattern language" or elements that would go into creating environments in which people are able to relax and "be themselves", to create deep connections with each other and explore conversations that are truly meaningful.

What kinds of things are important in the creation of this kind of space? Are the aesthetics of the environment in which you gather of key import or value? The presence of imagery and color? The options available or ease with which you can navigate the communication tools? The warmth of your welcome as you enter the space as a newcomer? The frequency and/or tenor of the conversation itself? Does having a clear purpose for being there make a difference? Do agreed-upon "rules" for interaction help or hinder? What are the intangibles and the things you can't plan for that either support depth connections or inhibit them?

What are the elements that contribute to a space where "authenticity" is no more of an issue online than it is if you are not online? Does sharing your "real name" make it easier or harder to be "yourself"? What kind of possibilities does the online medium allow that are not available in face to face interactions? Are there things that are impossible online?

What kinds of dialogic models, either online or off, support depth of connection and heart-felt sharing? Where do we go for models? What are the specific challenges of the online medium, and how do we translate what we know in one medium into another?

My own most interesting work is in creating the online environments that can hold and support these kinds of deeper connections between people. I'd love to share what I know and learn from what others are doing.

Please let me know where this session will be held and I will be there.

Amy Lenzo: amy@beautydialogues.com

AmyLenzo (talk)19:04, 29 October 2008