If interested, here's our predicament and perspective:
As some of you may have learned through the forums, the website has exhibited growing pains since its September, 2021 upgrade. As time revealed, our volunteer Webmaster Steve became increasingly overwhelmed with the technical needs of the forums. Along with the technical hurdles of merging the original forum system into a newer mobile-friendly version, Steve's personal availability had also changed dramatically since launching Bring4th in 2008. No matter how strong an intention to be of service to the forums, his efforts were ultimately not enough to resolve an outcropping of upgrade bugs and to sustain the ongoing evolution of the Bring4th platform, as he lamented about in the forums.
We presently have no means to replace him. The Bring4th Webmaster position is one that not only requires a highly trained skill set due to the complicated merging of two code bases and disjointed database systems, but also requires an administrative acuity to maintain servers and security protocols to minimize the possibility of destructive incidents from hackers and bots. This requires a strong foundation of trust, and it's not something we can outsource to an uninterested third party. It is a big ask from a volunteer and we do not currently know anyone with the combination of available time, skill, and an established relationship of trust. Also, the means are not in the budget for bringing on a paid webmaster for Bring4th.
While being unable to resolve technical challenges and replace the webmaster is a significant part of the decision, there have been other challenges that have influenced the need for this announcement.
- We love giving people space. We love reading the postings here (especially the wanderer stories). We love contributing posts. But despite our sincerest-best intentions to give Bring4th energy, participation or even reading Bring4th is consistently prioritized at the bottom of the stack. (The ton of effort contributed to the development of the CSC starting in Oct, 2020 notwithstanding.) We have over a decade of empirical evidence that leads to one conclusion: We simply, unfortunately don't have time/energy for Bring4th.
- There are limited metrics we have available to examine the success and effectiveness of the various services L/L Research provides. While an imperfect measure, reader feedback is among the most helpful. Simply put, compared to the other services and projects that we invest time and resources into, the feedback we receive regarding Bring4th skews consistently more negative. This indicates to us that we lack the necessary knowledge or skills (technological or social) to provide this service in a positive and meaningful way.
- Only a tiny sliver of the readership ever seems to use it. This doesn't mean that it isn't of value, it only highlights the question of whether it is proportionally worth all the investment of time/energy/money/stress given how few people use it. In other words, it seems to yield a relatively limited amount of service for an inordinate amount of effort.
- The landscape of online communities has shifted dramatically. Since Bring4th was launched, the online world has evolved in ways that society itself has yet to come to terms with. Responsibly managing an online community amidst such an environment is simply beyond our ability.
- When Bring4th was launched in 2008, there was very little in the way of online meeting spaces to discuss the Law of One. That has changed a great deal since then. There are now a variety of independent study and community spaces that have sprung up to discuss and share the Law of One.
- Making Bring4th a read-only website will free up energy to focus on other L/L Research priorities as a means of service to others, including but not limited to huge projects like:
- developing the library site
- developing our channeling circles
- developing our publication efforts
- focusing on content creation
- fostering community by holding more in-person and online events
The Community Stewardship Circle
The experiment of the CSC has been a success. They have done a magnificent job in serving the Bring4th community. We are impressed and astounded by them. The consistency of their unwavering radiance and presence makes us bow in admiration and gratitude.
And thanks to the CSC, we have been able to trust that the forums are being run with great care on a day-to-day basis. That took a huge load off our shoulders. However, even if the CSC were staffed with a gang of Jesuses (and sometimes we wonder if it already is), there is still oversight needed from our level—in terms of check-ins, two-way communication, and regular awareness of what's happening in the forums. Ideally there should be some level of participation from us, yet we are regularly absent from our own forums.
Like the webmaster, we want to be able to offer a service, but we must be realistic about how much of that service our bodies can fulfill, given the above challenges. After almost 14 years of experience, it doesn't seem like continuing to maintain an online membership community is in our wheelhouse any longer, at least in its current permutation.
Nonetheless, Bring4th has been gifted with thousands of posts and threads from a multitude of readers over the years, a good portion of which are focused on study of the Law of One and the spiritual path in general. This is a valuable resource and ought to be kept available. Toward that end we will continue paying for the server and maintenance so it remains available as a read-only site.
Starting today (July 22, 2022), it will not be possible to create new accounts on the website. And in half a month from now on August 5th, Bring4th will close its login feature, so please feel free to gather up your PM's and exchange any contact info with your fellow Bring4thians. And one day, should resources again become available, we hope to launch a new version of a community membership platform for the purpose of focused study.
We are genuinely sorry to everyone who continues to enjoy participating here. Bring4th is simply a service we can no longer responsibly fulfill in balance with the larger mission of L/L Research, at least for the present.
Anyone is welcome to try their hand at forming some sort of large online Law of One study group. If you should succeed, we would be happy to add your group to the Community Generated Resources page; or if you form a more local study group, then our Study Group Directory. There are also a couple of existing unaffiliated large groups with whom you may find some comradery, including the Facebook LOO Study Group and LOO Subreddit.
And if you have any ideas for another sort of online community space that L/L Research could help maintain in a balanced way sometime down the road, we're all ears.
Thank you to everyone for every ounce of contribution you've made. While members of L/L Research have contributed content over the years, our role has mostly been that of space holders as we have sought to sustain a safe and stable container. The life blood of Bring4th has been the daily gift of your contributions and effort.
Love & Light,
All at L/L Research