Why The Kindling Publishes Its Infrastructure
Why bother (and why bother Readers with) publishing posts about Infrastructure?
Well, at the very least, if Phoenix is hit by a meteorite (there is some precedent for this kind of thing) and eventually rebuilt, the site could be restarted, even if all the current Contributors were vaporized in the impact. Memento meteori.
But even if there is no meteorite (I hope I haven't made anyone too uneasy before the weekend), the project should probably be replicated elsewhere, assuming it's a good idea (and we're still waiting on the lab results for that).
A good idea should be stolen and put to use elsewhere. (I stole that idea from this book.)
And the idea behind The Kindling seems to be (at the very least) not obviously a bad one: Catholics use the internet to share their thoughts, and they get together in-person every so often to make sure that those thoughts get aired out in the salutary breezes of real life and actual human community.
But like I said: the experiment isn't finished. The project might not work. (And that's OK. The Balrog was scary only because it could really have killed Gandalf and totally screwed the adventure. An adventure is only an adventure if the risk is real.)
The experiment needs to run, and for it to run successfully people need to be able to understand, as much as possible, what the experiment actually is: what we're trying to do and what we're not trying to do. They also need to understand, as much as possible, why we do what we do.
Which is why I try to talk out loud in these Infrastructure posts about what's happening behind the scenes at The Kindling and why it's happening that way.
And if The Kindling turns out to be a good idea, if it works and people are having a good time and benefitting from participating (whether as direct Contributors or as Readers), then the Infrastructure posts are there for other communities to steal from.
But I suppose it's not "stealing" if we permit them to take it.
So let's think of The Kindling as an open-source Catholic social network and see where that takes us (if anywhere).