Sustainer Conferencing System
Joining the Z Sustainer Program gets you as a premium not only the ZNet Daily Commentaries, but also access to the ZNet Commentary Conferencing System where you can interact with your fellow recipients and also with many of the involved authors who host their own forums to answer your queries and react to your criticisms.
A conference is a "threaded" discussion -- the threads being topics or subjects around which posts and replies accumulate. You can easily and congenially access the material anytime -- by your browser, by email, or by News Reader. There are many powerful features including searches, an excellent interface that makes seeing only new messages trivially easy, and so on. It is cutting edge software for the purpose.
And here is a list of Current Forum Names
Each forum has a set of threaded discussions , the right hand column of forums are all hosted by commentary writers. Any user can post or read accumulated messages or reply to any message in any forum at any time.
But what's really unique is the content. Serious people discuss matters of social change, ideas, vision, commentary content or Z content, activism, culture, lifestyle -- pretty much anything you can think of, all with a left edge informing their contributions. And there is no incivility...none.
For some sample messages, please click: Old Forum Messages
Finally, also unique. the conferences are divided into major focuses -- so there is one for economic vision, say, and one for government/polity, another for ecology, and for books/mags, gender/kinship/sexuality, race/community, activism, strategy, and so on and so forth. But then there are also personally hosted conferences in which a commentary writer fields queries and comments and reacts.
Commentary writers participating include Michael Albert, Elaine Bernard, Peter Bohmer, Leslie Cagan, Sandy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Brian Dominick, Barbara Ehrenreich, Sean Gonsalves, Robin Hahnel, Mokhiber and Weissman, Cynthia Peters, Tanya Reinhart, Stephen Shalom, Tim Wise, and Howard Zinn. Thus you can post a query to any of these folks, about a commentary they just wrote, about other work of theirs, or just about concerns of yours that you think they may be able to help with...and back comes a reply, a few times a week. To see the kinds of content that characterizes conference exchanges please check out:
Some Sample Conference Messages
To give a feeling for scale, as of July 1st there are 3,400 people who have accounts, with over 10,400 messages online in over 2300 threads. Messages have been read over 1,300,000 times.