There has been a great deal of frustration regarding the transition from unlimited groups to limited nations within the Beta Test, but I think this change might have a positive impact on Vine interactions, if we can transform and adapt our previous world view (understanding of Newsvine.)
In classic Newsvine, we were essentially in a huge library with multiple reading rooms (groups) where we could choose to discuss specific themes with whomever happened to be in that room (group) with us. Sometimes it got crowded, and it was difficult to hear and understand what was being said.
In Beta, we are encouraged to both narrow and broaden our view. In a sense, we are being invited into a community (Newsvine) and interactions will take place in specific establishments (nations) which we choose.
Rather than viewing these establishments by topic, I find it easier to conceptualize the new environment as locations within a community. Where do I really want to spend my time?
Home: The place where we spend the most time, or in my case, Newsvine Photographers. This might often seem to be based on topic, but I would argue that it’s really dependent on whom we most enjoy interacting with.
School: A place where we learn about a range of issues, within specified guidelines, and keep our discussions on topic and respectful. There are many different specialty schools (topic groups) on the Vine, and I can’t study at all of them. I shall most likely choose mine by its teachers. Wherever Physicist Retired and Scar_Tissue will be teaching, that’s where I want to enroll.
Work: A primary area of interest to which we are committed. In my case, it would be photography. In Enoch’s case, it would Chaplaincy issues; Bore-head is committed to issues relating to the fishing industry.
Pub: A place we go to socialize and chat about anything and everything. Some are wild! (For goodness sakes, someone get Mrs. D off that table!) Some come with party tricks! (Did you know that Rottlady can balance a paper plate on her head?) Some people may want more than one choice depending on their mood; others are content to visit their local.
Government: A place to discuss politics and policy. Some may want a single party flavor; others will want broader options. Some want debate; some like a good, loud argument; some may only want to watch the spectacle without voicing their opinions. Some may want to deal with party issues, while others may be looking for a town meeting type of environment.
Church: A sanctuary or place of acceptance and comfort, where we can safely ask for help, or discuss personal and spiritual matters. Some may choose a single denomination; others are looking for something with less doctrine and more discussion.
Entertainment: Locations (nations) focusing on our favorite hobbies and activities: music, movies, photography, books, crafts, pets, gardening, etc. These are places to both contribute and converse.
There are many choices we will have to make, but I think the key is to change our thinking about the concept of groups. This may be difficult for Viners who are committed to the “work” aspects of their groups. I want to support my Vine friends in their work, but with only 15 nation allotments, I can no longer support everyone’s group. Compromises and merges will have to be made. Changes in group management will be needed.
It’s no longer just a question of what we want to talk about, but rather a choice of the environment in which we want to converse and interact. Viners will choose the nations that best meet their individual needs and preferences, so nation owners will have to focus more specifically on group dynamics, which reflect the feel of the environment they are trying to foster.
It may take some effort, but I am confident that we are capable of the change, if we work together and make an effort to support and assist each other during the transformation.