The POCA forum is a place designed to be useful through the sharing of information and ideas. It also serves as a place for a geographically diverse group to meet up and get to know each other. The forum is a tool for building social capital, in this case relationships with one another, which are the glue of our organization and one of the means by which we more effectively organize ourselves towards achieving our stated mission.
Community Acupuncture would not be where it is today if it were not for the abundant activity on the CAN forum which was the predecessor of our current POCA forum. In fact there was so much valuable writing and discussing done on the CAN blog-forum (the original Prick, Prod, and Provoke) there is a whole section of the current forum where you can read archived blogs from 3, 4 and 5 years ago.
The forum is also a history of the movement itself, and it documents many of the ideas and systems we all rely on in our clinics everyday. The forum is immensely valuable; it’s like a treasure trove, and a repository of many good ideas, and some not so good ideas. The forum has been a place where punks have been able to work out the details of what it means to be a punk, and what it means to run, or work for a community acupuncture clinic.
Many of the conversations that can be had about running a community acupuncture clinic, covering details about space, location, pace, hiring, firing, ads, treatment plans, etc. have already been had on the forum. So much so the Mighty CA Wiki was created from these. This online document was organized to make these older archived conversations useful to new users, and searchable by established users. This living, editable document was put together a little over a year ago by a team of about 12 CA Punks who wanted to share the best of many, many posts on a wide range of subjects. Check it out please.
But it is still important that each new wave of Community Acu-punks consider, discover, and discuss for themselves, and with each other, all kinds of things about what it means to run a busy CA clinic, to work with and for your community, other punks, and to put systems and practices into place that will help sustain a long life, and living wage for the clinic and its workers. A balance needs to be struck between having newcomers be able to understand the concepts and ideas embedded in many of the existing CA clinic systems, and re-inventing these over and over again. Browse the different forum topic first to see if there are existing threads about your questions or ideas you have, before posting a new thread.
Get to know the Mighty CA Wiki before posting a question about the nuts and bolts of the CA model, or check out the forum topic by that name as well. It’s quite likely a topic you’re interested in has already been covered there. If you still have specifics you’d like to discuss regarding your particular situation, great, go ahead and post you’re sure to get lots of response. But keep in mind that it takes time and effort, social capital, to answer everyone’s questions– if you don’t get much response to an idea or question you may need to consider asking a Clinic Success mentor for more specific help, or you may be broaching a topic that has already been covered many times over, or one that is departing from the main thrust and collective pupose of POCA.
Because so many more POCA clinics have become busier in the last few years, the original cadre of people who regularly posted and responded to forum discussions, have less time to devote to these conversations. And there are only so many times that any individual can have the same conversation. Nonetheless waves of new members arrive at the POCA forum each week, and so it’s important that the forums remain a vital place, where relevant subjects are discussed and where punks can meet and exchange ideas and information with each other. If you mostly read the forum, but rarely respond- think about contributing to your coop in this way.
POCA culture, and POCA systems, as codified in part in the LOC guidelines and in the mission and aims of the organization, have to remain stable enough for us to move forward with our work to bring about many more clinics, provide affordable treatment options to many more people, and to find a way to get more punks trained and working at real jobs. We all can’t keep having the same discussions over and over AND have time and energy to get the work done to accomplish our organizational goals. So we need more of the newcomers to step up and help each other find the information in the site that is already there.
So we need a new group of folks let’s call them: Rockers, who will work with the forum moderators (the Mods- who are curerntly responsible for keeping an eye on the forum to make sure that discussions and postings remain within the domain of POCA’s posting policy of keeping things useful and relevant.) The Rockers will be volunteering to help new folks find the information they’re looking for, to answer their questions, to cheer people on.
If you are reading this and you are someone who regularly checks the forum, you could easily volunteer for this job. If you only read the forum occasionally and sometimes wish you caught conversations happening more in real time, here’s a chance for you to do that by volunteering to check-in here more frequently. Are you a veteran user of the site, able to locate old threads quickly, think of relevant conversations from the past that relate to a new user’s questions? and do you have the time or desire to be a part of the forum Rockers. If you are interested in rocking the forum, and working closely with the Mods, send me an email or private message through the site and we’ll get you going on this.