Last night I wandered down to my favorite bookstore (Browser Books on Fillmore & Sacramento) where I discovered Adventure Divas, written by Holly Morris. I've been suffering from a bit of existential angst lately, feeling like there should be more to my life than this soft complacency that seems to infect much of western civilization. I've been itching for an adventure, so the title called to me.
And so I read about Holly, who chucked her day job in established media to create a television series about real-life heroines making a difference in places like Cuba, India and Brazil. Holly's on a mission to find like-minded, risk-taking women around the globe, and perhaps unite them all into a new model of power and leadership. Her tales include hunting wild boar in Bornio; visiting a brothel in Mumbai where 8-year old sex slaves service up to 20 clients per day; bonding with wild orangutan infants while their native habitat is being methodically destroyed by 24/7 mechanized logging and palm-oil plantations.
I was hooked. I wanted to join the cause.
I put the book down in the middle of the first chapter and rushed to my computer to visit their web site. I wanted to read Holly's blog. I wanted to connect with women around the world who were living their passions. I wanted to meet other self-proclaimed and unapologetic nomads and free spirits (which somehow makes my own nomad tendencies more acceptable to myself). In short, I was looking to belong to a community of adventure divas.
Yet despite AD's lofty ambitions and objectives, the web site is pure 'traditional establishment': a static site, no interactivity, no blog, no community. Just a place for them to promote their show and their books. What an incredible disappointment. I filled out a form (a form!) to express my hope that they would create a community for this global affinity group, and volunteered some time to chat with them about how they could do it. So many possibilities! What about a destination that allows people to contribute funds to help local divas make a difference in their corners of the world? A mere $100 would probably emancipate some little girl from a life of slavery in the sex trade. What about a community that connects mentors with those who want to discover their adventurous, passionate sides? The web is viral; TV is not. TV certainly gets exposure, but it doesn't support grassroots efforts to change the world.
I am anxious for the day when static web sites are ancient history. Static web sites are dead, musty things. What gives them life is a sense of community, of contribution, of connection. Chances are, there are plenty of volunteers who can inject some life into your web presence... if, that is, you're in a business that inspires some passion. And if you can't find anything in (or related to) your business that a customer could get passionate about, you might start wondering why this particular outlet is where you've chosen to pour 40+ hours per week of your life's energy.