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Sunday, December 28, 2008

FWBO Websites VII - Facebook

The FWBO has a growing presence on Facebook, the social networking site, and for this week’s featured FWBO website we’d like to introduce you to some of what’s on offer there.

First port of call is the FWBO Page which now boasts some 850 ‘fans’ (not our choice of label!) from around the world. The FWBO page is a one-stop stop to the main FWBO websites, photos, books – plus interactive features such as a ‘ Discussion Board’ and a ‘Wall’ for chat. It’s starting to list some worldwide FWBO events, such as the International Urban Retreat, to be held in June next year.

Besides the FWBO’s main Page on Facebook, there’s a number of groups, all of which have sprung up pretty spontaneously over the past year. One’s simply called “FWBO Friends of Western Buddhist Order” and is for any kind of general purpose networking among folk interested in the FWBO.

Others are more specialised – there’s thriving communities based around the Vajraloka Meditation Centre and Padmaloka groups, which both now have over 200 members, plus smaller groups for FWBO Sanghas in Finland, Scotland, and elsewhere

Buddhafield NZ are taking the Buddhafield spirit to – guess where – New Zealand! It’s a good time to check them out if you’re anywhere nearby, with their summer season just starting. The Buddhafield festival group itself is surprisingly small, at just 90 members, outnumbered by the Buddhafield Scotland group – consisting of people who’d love to see Buddhafield up in Scotland! An example of the power of Facebook to connect people up and get something happening in the ‘real world’.

In the same vein, Karuna Appeals (FWBO) exists to connect past and future volunteers with Karuna’s fundraising appeals – a great place to start if you’re thinking of a Karuna appeal.

A recent arrival is the Young People in the FWBO group, started after last month’s weekend on the same theme. They’re debating stuff like “What’s it like to be a young person practising in the FWBO – what’s attractive and what’s off-putting?”; “What’s a YOUNG person - what age limits, if any, should this group or activities for younger Buddhists have?” And “Communities and Team Based Right Livelihoods: Are these attractive to young Buddhists Today?” Answers on a postcard please – or join the group and get typing!

The FWBO presence on Facebook looks set to grow. But it's also got a presence on other sites around the web - the enthusiast will also find us on MySpace and Orkut – which has become TBMSG’s ‘social networking site of choice. And most recent of all is a Twitter feed – try following

The internet isn't for everyone, of course - if you're desparate for some real human contact, probably none of the above will 'do it' for you. In that case, just go to the FWBO Centres' Address List on our main site for a full listing of all FWBO Centres worldwide. Then log off, and go get on a bus!

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