Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dogwood Local Council Goes Digital

Dogwood Local Council, the Atlanta-based Covenant of the Goddess affiliate, gives the green-light to digital-media magick.

Atlanta-The Dogwood Local Council (DLC), a southern affiliate of the national organization Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), launched a new, interactive website – marking the beginning of its digital-media initiative. With this modern approach to communication and outreach, the small organization is hoping to expand its membership base, facilitate communication with current supporters and build bridges with other CoG local councils.

“As a religion, our followers value ancient practices and natural processes. ‘Going digital’ seems contrary to our world view. However, this is not the case when one considers that digital communication eliminates our excessive use of paper and speeds up our work processes allowing us to spend more time on our traditional hobbies,“ notes Hawk, First Officer of Dogwood Local Council and High Priestess of GryphonSong Clan.

The Dogwood Local Council became interested in revamping its digital media footprint after Grand Council 2010, the Covenant of the Goddess’ yearly national meeting. Within the Pagan community, there has been a major push for organizations to recognize the benefits of digital communication and social media. For years, there have been countless websites that profess some type of connection to Paganism, Witchcraft, Wicca, Druidism and other related practices. However, most of these sites were and are currently managed by individuals or commercial entities.

Pagan leaders and organizations, such as the Covenant of the Goddess and her affiliates, are now finally beginning to follow suit. CoG, as the center point for the greater Pagan community in the United States, recently updated its own website and launched a successful Facebook account. If organizations like CoG and DLC don’t maintain an outspoken digital voice, they risk being left behind and forgotten.

“Not only do we have to ‘go digital’ for ourselves; we have to go digital to communicate with the younger generations of seekers and Pagans. These newer folks are unfamiliar with communicating via the post-office or even the analog telephone. Everything is texting, email, Facebook and Twitter. To be a positive point of support for them, we have to operate in that world,” remarks Lady Miraselena, Public Information Officer for DLC.

The Dogwood Local Council began its own digital initiative with the launch of a brand-new website containing two distinct areas: a public front with a private, members-only arena. Sporting a new look, the public pages still provide detailed information about DLC and CoG. In addition, there is a link to the new DLC Twitter account for use by those Pagans who prefer the social media venues.Completely new for 2011 is the private section where DLC members can monitor Council activities, such as: meetings, events and local news. Furthermore, members can request a personal login ID for use in community-style moderated forums.

With the ever changing and flexible nature of the digital world, the DLC website will remain a ‘work in progress’ for quite some time as the Council adapts and integrates the technology into their current processes. In the next few months, DLC is planning to launch a public blog and begin an area-wide membership drive via email. Yet, with all of these pending changes, the Council’s board is highly optimistic about its prospects for the future. For these Southern witches, the future of the Old Ways is now resting on a path paved with pixels.

For more information about Dogwood Local Council,please visit http://www.dogwoodlc.org/  or follow @dogwoodlc on Twitter.