The membership database is an essential element in the preparation for and future smooth running of the International Dzogchen Community.
The database, located in the http://dzogchen.me site of International DC, currently has more than 8500 entries, many of which still do not correspond to present members. This is a stratification of the “old” (2007-2009) Community Database (Shang Shung Institute – Luigi Ottaviani) and recently uploaded excel files for 2012 and some 2013, supplied by Gar and Lings worldwide (some are still totally missing like China).
The project to create a new Database was an initiative of Merigar West Gakyil. It was compiled by Thinley Koblensky (till version June 2013) with contributions from Enrico Dell’Angelo and Roberto Zamparo (and maybe others). It was technically realized by Artur Żółkowski (Admin) and his staff. The project, which was begun in October 2012, has suffered some delays, partly for checking entries and also making sure it aligns to the new IDC.
This database project now has a threefold purpose:
1. As a record of all International Dzogchen Community members, with their name, contact details, membership level, and Gar and/or ling affiliation. This information can be accessed and revised by each members him or herself, or by the Responsible person nominated by the Gakyil of a particular Gar or Ling
2. As a central place for the provision of services to members, including the Mirror, closed Webcasts, webcast files and replays, other Community publications eg Merigar Letter, Event registration (including a dedicated section for SMS booking and paperwork) and communications to members.
3. As a SkillSeek resource, where members can choose to register the particular skills they can make available to the Community from time to time, either as Karma Yoga or on some other basis.
To be successful this system will need to be fully used and implemented by the Gars and Lings as their primary membership database, and sole site for taking registrations for all retreats and events.
It is not intended to be a duplication of what already exists in the local organisations, but rather is intended to become fully available to replace existing systems.
In effect, each Gar and Ling has its share of one common resource which at the same time provides all members with essential services.
After uploading the majority of members and cleaning up major mistakes, we can say we are still in phase 2 of the plan, being in communication with the DB Responsible person from nearly all Gar/Lings.
The DB or Membership Responsibles who are themselves present in the database as members are already authorized to access their files; that is, Merigar W & E, Namgyalgar, Singapore and Japan.
Data entry has not yet been completed by all Gars; data for the American Gars has not been revised since 2008. There is no data for China, and Taiwan. Kunsangar has its own DB and should be linked soon.
The Gars and Lings who have supplied new data could now be given access to correct and update the information they have supplied.
The underlying logic is a geographical coverage of Gars, with Lings referring to Gars (but not with their own precise geographical borders) accordingly to the shared excel file available to Gars and declared Lings.
Gar Responsibles (=Gar Admin) can be given access to their own Gar members’ data for local check and modification and Ling Responsibles (=Ling Admin) can also be given access to their own Ling members’ data for local check and updating.
The responsibility of managing the database ID remains with the local Gakyils for privacy reasons.
The Courses and Events and Skill Seek sections are still empty.
After the check by Gars and Lings, aimed mainly to ensure correct membership type and presence of correct members in the Database, the system will be open to all members to log in to self-correct and complete their own personal data and, possibly, complete the Skill Seek section, making their skills somehow available to the Community.
In parallel, the link with Services will be developed.
The formal passage to IDC membership is not precisely defined in time yet (legal and organizational aspects have to be settled), but the system can already be used.
This is future website for international gakyil The new website is going to be released soon, so please, stay tuned .