texto de Cómo montar un grupo (polyamor o de otro tipo) – VI21 noviembre, 2008 a las 7:00/ por moscacojonera
Cómo empezar un grupo
¿No has encontrado un grupo cerca de donde vives en el que meterte? Bueno, aquí está la receta para empezar grupos que he comprobado me ha funcionado muy bien y no requiere mucho esfuerzo:
Crea una web.
No tiene que ser muy elaborada, pero necesita que cuente un poco qué tipo de grupo es que vas a arrancar, ciudad en la que se reune y cómo unirse al grupo. [Crear un blog es todavía más sencillo. Sin tener que actualizarlo, sólo con la información más básica].
Crea una lista de correo
Tener una lista de correo es importante para avisar de las reuniones y para hablar de temas que interesen a los miembros. Una idea es usar YahooGroups (http://groups.yahoo.com), que son muy fáciles de iniciar. Estas listas dan calendarios, foros, albumes de fotos, encuestas,…
Hay dos maneras de plantear tu lista de correo:
1. Have one mailing list that serves as both an announcement list for your meetings and as a discussion list. If you do this, I highly recommend that you don’t have your group completely open for joining and require some sort of membership process (YahooGroups provides this option). This helps keep spammers out, people who are just cruising for sex and anyone else you might consider outside of your group’s scope. (In the group I run like this, I require that folks be located locally or state their connection to the area, be over 18, and demonstrate some understanding of polyamory before joining.) This is easier to manage, however in time you may find you want to convert to the below option.
2. Set up an announce-only list where members cannot post, just receive your announcements about meetings. This keeps list volume low, and is less intimidating for folks to join. Set up a separate e-mail list for just for discussions. You may even want to restrict it to just those folks who have been to a meeting before. This encourages folks to come to a meeting, and creates a ‘safe’ place to continue meeting topics online – as everyone knows that everyone on the list has made the effort to come to a meeting and isn’t a lurker. (It’s not uncommon for only about 10-20% of those on an announcement list to make it out to a meeting.)
Advertise your group.
Make sure your site gets in search engines. Get your group listed with the various poly resources online – www.lovemore.com and www.polymatchmaker.com are great places to ask to be listed with a link to your site. A lot of other sites will start listing you once they find out about you, but don’t be afraid to ask any poly group directory to list you. Also, if there are larger groups in metro areas near you, ask them to make an announcement to their announce list about your group. If there’s any Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgender center in your area, ask them to list you as well. Put up flyers in alterative venues – such as bookshops catering to metaphysical topics, pagan, GLBT, etc.
Set a meeting up!
Pick a date, time and location… and announce it to your group. It’s a good idea to give at least a week or two advance notice so that people can plan their schedules. You may want to solicit the opinions of your group members.. but ultimately, pick something that works for you and that you can commit to, after all – you’re the one who has to be there. ‘Plan it and they will come’ is my motto.
Considerations for locations:
- Public places to consider:
- Restaurants – Getting people to come out for a meal makes it a lot of fun, and gives a bit of a social aspect to a meeting. If you can, find a place that offers a private meeting room and reserve it. This will make people feel more comfortable attending a poly meeting that is held in public (they know their conversations won’t be overheard, and don’t have to worry about their co-workers or neighbor seeing them). A lot of places offer this for free or for a small fee. Make sure the management knows the nature of your meeting so they can properly warn your servers of the conversations they might overhear. You may encounter resistance here (although, I’ve personally never had a problem with it), but better to be upfront than to upset your wait staff. If you can’t find a private meeting room, pick a restaurant that can handle larger groups. Places where you order your meals at a counter are great, so that people can show up at varying times and then just join your table. But don’t be surprised if you don’t have indepth poly conversations if you’re in a public place.
- Coffee Shops – This makes for a nice casual meeting without a lot of financial commitment on attendees. Unfortunately, because they are usually in public this doesn’t tend to lead to a lot of poly related conversations if you have anyone who is shy about their poly nature.
- Community Centers – Libraries, churches (check your local UU church, they’re sometimes poly-friendly), colleges, GLBT centers, apartment complexes and neighborhoods sometimes offer free, donation based or low-cost meeting rooms.
- Private Homes
- If you or any of your members is comfortable doing so, you can hold meetings in private homes. However, here are some considerations and drawbacks of this:
- The host needs to be very very comfortable with inviting unknown people into their home.
- Be sure to very clearly state the agenda of the meeting in your announcement. With confusion over poly and swing, it’s easy for folks who aren’t clear on the differences to assume that a meeting held in a home is a rouse for some sort of sex party. I’ve been at home poly discussion meetings where during the break people literally asked ‘So, when do we take off our clothes?’. Also, keep in mind that HBO’s Real Sex series once profiled a tantra session given for polys as a Polyamory meeting.. which leads to further confusion over what a poly meeting is.
Make sure to make newcomers feel welcomed and safe. It’s scary coming to a first meeting. People who feel comfortable on the first meeting, almost always come back.
Specifically greet newcomers when they arrive. Best if this is done individually.
Start meetings out stating what is coming up. If you’re doing a check-in, explain the process and what the expectations are. Don’t force newcomers to go first, and make it clear that it’s optional.
If you have a handout about the group or about poly in general – give it to newcomers. Check out my Essays section for a draft of such a document our local groups use.
Stating a confidentiality rule that says ‘What is said here, stays here’ can help folks feel more comfortable discussing personal information.
To establish a group, it’s important to establish regularity in meeting. For example, pick a day each month and try to keep the location consistent. (First Saturday of every month at 2pm). This makes it easy for members to remember and plan around. You must be dedicated to attending every meeting… even if you go for a couple of months with no one or few people showing up. This is why it’s important to pick a location you enjoy… because if you view it as a set time each month to do something you would enjoy doing anyway… then it’s a lot less disappointing if you have no-shows. Once you have a core group of people who are regularly attending, it becomes even easier.
You need someone who takes a leadership role – organizes meeting times and places, gets the word out, greets newcomers, answers group e-mail. It’s usually best if you have a couple of core members who help out with this role. If you’re finding yourself taking this on yourself, ask others to help. A lot of folks are willing to volunteer, but they like to feel asked to do so. It’s very easy the leader to get burnt out after a while.. having others who can take over is very important.