Welcome

Welcome to Druid.org, a site dedicated to helping people find and explore the best pagan-related literature, online and offline.

The inspiration for the site came from conversations between various bloggers and authors who felt that too much great writing was being lost in the transient, popularity-driven character of the blogosphere:

The idea we’ve been playing with for the druid.org site is to take advantage of both the blog carnival/aggregate blogging approach (a la Pax’s Pagan Values Month) and Jeff‘s background with recommendation engines and related content searches through his work for Amazon.com… making it easier to find related blogs and websites within the Pagan blogosphere based not just on popularity and intracommunity cliques, but on the actual content of the writing and readers that blogs might have in common…

A site that serves as a focal point for a kind of monthly “magazine”/blog carnival that gathers together posts and links from all over the Pagan blogosphere and creates a single monthly issue. Just like with the Pagan Values Month blog carnival, people would write and publish posts on their own individual blogs around a given topic and then submit links, which would be re-shared along with an excerpt or brief summary, as well as older posts that might be recruited by an acquisitions editor…

I’m imagining it much like a magazine’s table of contents: submitted posts would be organized into related categories (such as news, opinion, personal memoir, how-to, etc.)… There would also be an opportunity for writers to write new content specifically for the site… I think that’s where we could really highlight contemplative/experiential writing. – Alison Leigh Lilly

Something we’ve always wanted to do with druid.org is have a site that’s a bit of a hub for all things pagan-related — a place where people could go to find out general things about Druidry, Wicca, etc., as well as links to in-depth articles or other resources, organized in some intuitive, easily-searchable / discoverable way. We’d host some things on the site, but mostly we’d link to things elsewhere.

Taking this ‘vision’ together with the blog carnival, it would end up being something like a library that has a monthly magazine associated with it…

We can recommend articles and links to people based on what they’re currently reading, but, if we also store user-specific data (like what they’ve read before, what authors they like, what they’ve indicated they would like to read more of, etc.) we have a whole battery of powerful recommendation algorithms we can use…

We could organize the articles and links by a simple hierarchy (e.g. under “Druidry” we find “Reconstruction” and “Revival”, etc.) and / or tags, but I would also like to explore various ways of using machine learning to automatically group and link articles. When you view an article, you might see that it’s in the “Druid” and “Revival” category, and tagged “Music” and “Hellenic” or whatever, but there might be some automatically generated categories as well (like “Contemplative”, “Trickster”, etc.). We’ll have to see what the algorithms come up with!

An advantage of this kind of automatic organization / search / discovery is, of course, that we won’t have to do it ourselves. We can point our system at Witchvox, for example, and let it organize the whole site for us. People could then use our site to find things to read on Witchvox. I think that’s pretty exciting. – Jeff Lilly

Presently we’re under construction. Feel free to explore the site and check back regularly for updates. You can also send an email (use the contact form) if you want to participate or subscribe to the Trello project board to see how things are progressing.