Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Outline of a Social Meditation Application

Meditation

This is an outline of a social meditation application that I’ve been considering this morning as a brainstorming thing. The idea is to help those of us isolated without a local sangha with which we sit to sit together (in time) online. Potentially, there is also some support for gamification and peer support by treating it as a kind of social media. Think of Fitocracy for meditation.

This would be a website and an associtated mobile application. I’ll probably use the “sitnow.org” domain for this.

The following is just my initial notes during my thinking between security meetings at work.

Outline of Social Meditation Application

Whether to do this as an iOS (and possibly Android app) or just website application with facebook app extension/integration? I think people will want an application on their phones directly though. The website seems necessary though as at central gathering point for profiles, etc. on the web.

Features / Functionality Brainstorm

  1. User makes account via website or mobile app.
    • Gives Twitter and Facebook permissions explicitly, if wanted.
    • Sets their timezone and location (location optional)
  2. User enters friends from e-mail address, Twitter, Facebook, or site accounts friend them and prompt them to potentially make account on system.
    • Friends must opt in and make account on system to receive messages beyond “join us” email when friend enters their e-mail address.
  3. Users form arbritrary group(s) with selected friends (aka “My Buddhist Geeks conference friends” and “My Zen Sangha” as two example groups).
  4. Users can be members of an unlimited number of groups.
  5. Users can send messages to groups, individual friends on site, or all friends on site.
  6. Users can set up meditation session with specific group, an individual friend, multiple friends, or invite all friends.
    • select friends or group for meditation session
    • set time and date of session (derived from GMT so people all see their local time)
    • session can be a one-off individual sesions or reoccuring (day of week? dates?)
    • set length of session in minutes
    • application messages session start reminder to all sessions members a user selected minutes before session start.
  7. To join session, user connects to app and joins session before it starts or as it is going.
    • track time in session once it starts or is joined (meditation timer with countdown)
    • send message to subscribed session attendees when session is finished
    • optional tweet, facebook post, or app site post for completed session (“I just completed an online meditation session with my crew.”)
    • record attended sessions for running total of sessions attended, dates, total minutes for each user.
  8. Allow users to expose total sessions attended, total minutes sat as part of profile (or not)

If any of you reading this have additional thoughts, additions, criticisms, ideas, and so forth, please feel free to leave comments or otherwise contact me.