Networking
A system of communication praised by many in the New Age
movement as the best means of organizing people horizontally
around common concerns (rather than veritically around leadership
structures) and of data sharing. Networking of one kind
or another has been practiced for many decades by means of
directories, yearbooks, encyclopedias, specialized magazines,
and groups, but with the development of modern computer resources,
the facilities for accumulating, storing, and disseminating
data on a wide scale have been greatly enhanced
and accelerated. R. Buckminster Fuller observed,
‘‘The new human networks emergence represents the natural
evolutionary expansion into the just completed, thirty-years-inits-building,
world-embracing, physical communications network.
The new reorienting of human ‘networking’ constitutes
the heart and mind pumped flow of life and intellect into the
world arteries.’’
The concept of rapid access to topical information has special
value in relation to New Age beliefs and practices, since so
many groups and centers flourish for a while, then change
name or address or disappear, sometimes giving rise to splinter
movements. Many networking guides are presented in magazine
format for distribution at occult and holistic health shops.
Some have related publications in different countries through
international networking. Many such publications have diaries
of forthcoming events, exhibitions, and lectures. Other networking
publications appear in a more traditional directory
format, regularly updated.
Networking makes it possible to accumulate and disseminate
New Age information in a variety of formats and at local,
state, or city levels. Typical networking publications in magazine
andor tabloid newspaper format include Common Ground
(San Francisco), PhenomeNews (Detroit), Whole Life (New York),
and Whole Life Times (Los Angeles). Such publications tend to
have a relatively short life, though these mentioned have lasted
for more than a decade.
The Whole Life World Fair Expo, organized annually by the
Whole Life Times, publishes a catalog that includes networking
information on related events, individuals, and publications.
The comparable British annual Festival for Mind-Body-Spirit
has a special networking feature, inviting the public to ‘‘play
the Networking Game,’’ i.e., join a network to exchange information
with other people, to keep track of meetings and contacts,
and to benefit from the use of computers for exchange of
information.
The Networking Game charges a small fee and provides
guidance notes, a personal networking diary, a networking
badge, personal address labels, and information on contacts in
one’s local area, as well as information on such facilities as Net
Workshops, Playshops, a Networking Market for goods and
services, and a computer conferencing network for ‘‘screen-toscreen’’
meetings. The Networking Game may be contacted co
Sabine Kurjo, 21A Goldhurst Terrace, London, NW6 3HD, England.
Sources
Lipnack, Jessica, and Jeffrey Stamps. The Networking Book
People Connecting with People. New York Methuen; London
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986

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