In November, I announced the launch of The LSP Society, my independent membership platform to help fund the project — all part of my continuing moves away from any reliance on big platforms.
Then I went a step further and started working out how to integrate an independent social platform within The LSP Society, so that I can easily connect with all my patrons, they can connect with me and we can all be connected to each other!
Yesterday was another proud moment when I announced to my patrons that it was up and running.
This is what I wrote:
I’ve come to learn over the last six years that phrases like these are intrinsic to the lexicon of lifeboat life:
“I’m just popping down to the boathouse.”
“We’ll meet you at the boathouse for a cuppa.”
“See you at the boathouse in half an hour.”
The boathouse is more than just a place for lifeboat crew to don their all-weather kit before launching headlong into stormy seas.
It’s the hub of their community. A place to chat, laugh, learn, welcome guests, host meetings and, of course, put the kettle on.
So, when I started working out how to integrate a social platform into The LSP Society back in November, the name for it was never in question: The Boathouse.
After a lot of research, thinking, tinkering and a helping hand from Jamie (friend and web guy) to add the vital finishing touches, I’m very excited to tell you that The Boathouse is now live and ready to use!
Finally, a straight forward, no frills way for us all to be connected.
Please bear in mind that it’s very much a work in progress and I’m learning as I go. It currently works best on a laptop/desktop but now that we’ve laid the foundations, an app is within easy logistical reach.
However, there’s an ongoing financial cost attached to running the app, so it’s a case of small steps for the moment.
That said, this certainly feels like an enormous leap forward on the timeline of The Lifeboat Station Project.
Because I trust you all and I see it as a safe haven, everything is unmoderated at the moment, so please post freely but with kindness and consideration to others.
You’ll find that you can choose to be ‘connected to’ and ‘follow’ other members of The LSP Society, and those posts will appear on your personal Timeline within your newly-enhanced Profile and Account page (but you may prefer to use The Boathouse to see all the latest activity).
Furthermore, you can now add a profile photo and send each other direct messages, just as you can on other platforms. Head to your new and improved account page to see what I mean.
Speaking of which, we are aware of a navigational sticking point with the latter: Once on your profile page, it’s a little tricky to know how to get swiftly back to The Boathouse or the Members’ Area — please use the links in the side drawer menu for the moment until we work out a neater way.
Basically, have an explore and if you run into any problems, please let me know by sending me a message via your preferred comms method.
On a final note, when I stopped using Facebook-owned platforms last June, a couple of you suggested that I should build my own social platform.
I laughed it off at the time because it seemed like madness. But now, I can’t believe that I’m announcing this news just 9 months after those conversations.
So, here’s to many years of ad-free connectivity, kind words, straight talking and good times ahead…
…see you at The Boathouse!
As ever, I’ll look forward to reading your comments wherever they may land.
Cheerio for now,
If you fancy joining us, we’d love to see you there — full membership starts from £1 per month:
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3. This is a public blog post — there’s much more to see in the Members’ Area of The LSP Society.
4. If you know somebody else who would enjoy being a member of The LSP Society, you can now gift them membership here!
5. If you haven’t perused the website for a while, head to the homepage for a fresh look.
6. Head to The LSP Shop for prints, posters, postcards, the famous With Courage keyring and more.
7. Finally, if you have any questions about my work, please feel free to contact me.