In 2008, 3 separate "nonheterocentric" groups were started. None of them had a different agenda or different demographics from the others. The "Gay Atheist" group was actually started by a Lesbian, so it was clearly not designated as just for gay men. The "Gaytheist" group never really got off the ground. Despite the more inclusive name, the "GLBT" group did not attract as many members as the "Gay Atheist" group.
Meanwhile, all three of the group originators went AWOL, and did not respond to multiple repeated emails, and quit contributing to the groups that they formed. That meant, the appearance of the front page, and the number of discussions that appear on the front page, could not be changed. Any added features that we might want, or that might make the group more attractive, could not be added. There was no one designated to welcome new members. There was no one designated to monitor discussions for safety (ie, trolling) and to try to build community.
As stated elsewhere, over the past 7 months, I spent a significant amount of effort to see if we could consolidate the groups into one. We can't, on our own, designate that one of the existing groups go to one sub-community, and another to another subcommunity. Each of those efforts would take a new submission for a new group. So if we want a group just for the Lesbian community, fine, it can be submitted - just has to go thorough the approval process. Same with, if gay men want their own group, or transgendered people, or Intersex people, or bears, or drag community, or guppies.
Since there was substantial effort involved, and interest appeared to wane, I took it upon myself to work toward getting the umbrella group consolidated. Without that, I don't think we would ahve gotten this far, although anyone is free to disagree. That process is underway. My personal goal is to make it easier for people to communicate in a larger group, make it more interesting, more active, and hopefully build more community, than was the case before. I would like to help keep people informed, have interesting conversations, and make online friends. I don't get paid, I don't get kudos or symbolic pat on the back, and I don't get anything else positive. Despite one person's comment ("I know what your doing" - I mean, what the fuck does that mean?), this is my entire motivation for efforts so far.
The plan, so that is is explicitly seen by all, is as follows:
1. Encourage the members of the non-moderated groups to join into one group. This group was selected as by far the largest. Some functions (comment wall) of the other groups have been removed, and the logos greyed out, to remind people that one group is the active one. It was too confusing otherwise, and even with encouraging posting in one group, new members kept coming into atheist nexus, and joining groups without knowing that they needed to join all 3 in order to gat all of the information.
2. Once people have a reasonable chance (I'm thinking mid November), to migrate to one group, the others will be closed. That will avoid confusion. In fact, that was the consensus of active members when members were polled earlier this year, with months to provide input.
3. Once the group is merged into one group, the name can be changed to whatever the consensus is. I think that I can put in a poll that is compatible with the Ning software, so that everyone who wants a vote, will have a vote. I will avoid, from this point forward, stating anything about my own preference for a group name. I will continue to encourage people to give input regarding their preference, and I hope that we get a broad base of ideas. My own intent is to change the name to whatever is chosen by the majority on the poll, based on names that have been submitted. Even those submitted names are up to the group members. If I can get a poll going, it will be in mid November after the other groups are closed.
4. Once the other groups are closed, and this is the umbrella group for "GLBTQI..." persons (whatever name we give it), then I will submit to the group, the preference for group administrator. If other members have a strong preference to do so, and that is what the group decides, that is fine with me and I will quit that role. I am not aware of any other group on A|N that has a democratic process - there are over 500 groups so I may be way off base here. The efforts here are the most democratic for group name, group member input, and administrator, and content.