The Timawa forum community: Rebuilding a cyber-institution

The process of rebuilding the oldest, active, defense-oriented social media community in the Philippines is fully underway. (Proper credit to the now defunct Kawal Pilipino forum for being first).

 Photo credit to Ludo38

We are taking things slow, making sure to re-establish the posting culture that made the Timawa community what it was, before completely opening the forum up for general membership. For those waiting on membership approval, we ask for your patience. We want to do this right and ask for your patience.

“Building new” often presents an opportunity to re-think how things are structured and organized. As we rebuild the community and its infrastructure, one area that has undergone a make-over is the forum’s front-end: a blog

This blog is hosted on a completely different database and therefore will stay up if the forum ever goes down for maintenance. It will also serve as a source of service bulletins, along with the forum’s Facebook extension:

The blog also allows the community to showcase specific threads. Whereas the original forum only had a static Webpage, the blog will allow forum members who take the time to write extensive — reference quality — posts to have their posts not only on the forum, but also showcase them on the blog for wider circulation. Think Horge and Ignatius level posts.

Here is an example how this would work and tie-back to the forum:

Since posting on the blog itself is disabled, the forum would be the place for comments. Where they can be preserved and further discussed.

It’ll also be a place for updates about the community itself as well as summaries of the discussions within. Admittedly, one issue the forum had was that a lot of the nuggets of information were often buried in years worth of discussions that new members were expected to sift through. That gave rise to a “secondary market” of bloggers who data-mined Timawa discussions. While some were conscientious enough to give credit to the community — since these ideas were often synthesized through the contributions of many individuals and not just one person — as the source of insight, others have not been . . . to the lament and consternation of long-time community members.

The blog, and the forum, will be managed by a moderating team composed of veteran Timawa forum members. This broadening of both access and control of information shared on the forum ensures that no one individual can make far-reaching decisions that can affect the efforts of dozens of individuals who put pro-bono time and effort to making the community what it is. We are here to stay, and we will stay by our efforts as a community.