Joining the FARN


The power of the FARN is in three things: speed, micro-volunteering, and people’s networks. Imagine that we have 200 FARN volunteers. Then imagine we need two things today: We need to find a guitarist for a video, and we need 30 pages of a new self-help program proofread. We email out our requests, and usually within the day we’d probably have leads on a few quality guitarists, and maybe 5 people who would each be willing to do 10 minutes of proofreading.



The really important thing about the FARN is this:  It matters a great deal. We firmly believe it will eventually make a life-or-death difference to millions of people, when we deploy multi-billion dollar projects like Helper’s Helper or projects that could change the course of history like Proof Through the Night. We don’t ask a lot, but your efforts will always count. Even when you just reply that you can’t help, it helps us tell others that we have 30, 50, or 100+ volunteers that are tuned in. So please never ignore a request, by assuming that others will answer it. If you find that you are always too busy, just email us asking to be dropped from the list. We will thank you for doing what you could!

By the way, success builds on success. Some early successes with the network will help inspire others to take it seriously.


Here’s the Process

1. When the genies have a request, they email the FARN members. It will always be a short email, usually 25-30 words. If more background is needed, there will be a link.

2. You read the email as soon as you can. This usually takes less than a minutes.

3. You decide if you can help or not. If you can’t help, you just hit reply, and type  “r” or “read” to show that you took the time to read it. If you can help, you type “y” or “yes” to signify that you’re willing to help.  Then, depending on the situation you either follow-through, or wait for additional information.  For instance, using the above examples, we might send you five pages to proof-read.  Or else, you try to contact the guitarist to see if he or she might be interested, and then email us the results.

4. Three days later we email something we call the FARN Echo. It tells all the FARN members what happened. A FARN Echo might be titled  “FARN ECHO #134:  GUITARIST SEARCH-SUCCESS!” and the text of the email might read:

When we requested help finding a guitarist, we received 21 instant replies of people who weren’t able to help but took the time to read the request. (Thank you!)  Three people [Sam A., Randi R. and Blue Eagle.]  replied with contact information. We spoke with the contacts and think we’ve found a good guitarist! Thanks to all who replied!

[Note that you can use a screen name like”Blue Eagle” for privacy or for fun.]

5. You might be thanked a second time in one of our video “Action Signals.”  The Action Signals are the name of our Progress Updates.

6.  Later on, if we get extremely active, we may create separate FARN lists for each project. At that time, we’ll ask you which projects you are interested in, and how many FARN Requests would be your upper limit.


To Join or Unsubscribe

You email to join. Just write that you’d like to “join the FARN”. You can unsubscribe at any time, also by email. Let us know if you want to use an alias.  It’s also recommended, but not required that you subscribe to the Group Genie blog. This helps keep you tuned in to the Group Genie drama.  (To subscribe, look for the place to put your email in the right-hand column of any webpage.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *