I have gained the impression the Buddhist on-line community has been scattered due to sectarianism.
For beginners or newcomers, there is no net to catch them (apart from E-Sangha).
All of these various new sites such as DhammaWheel do not rate highly on the Google list.
How can beginners start with the right steps?
What do we think?
Variety and diversity is a good thing. The Dhamma is spread through right speech and mindfulness. You can only control your own right speech and your own right mindfulness. Trying to spread the Dhamma through propaganda and proselytizing is like the story of the king who wanted to cover the world with leather to protect his feet. What he should do, his counsel suggested, was wear shoes (the point of contact between him and the ground).
I do not think Buddhists should be trying to trap people in nets of any kind. That is a subtle form of proselytizing. It's what could be called "passive" or "passive aggressive" proselytizing. An active or aggressive proselytizer is one who goes door-to-door, stands on the street corner, goes on radio and TV, and belittles and attacks every view he disagrees with, whenever he comes across it, like a hunter with a gun or a bow & arrow. A passive aggressive proselytizer instead sets up communities and organizations (both online and offline) where they can gather with like-minded people, and while they are respectful or ambivalent towards other views outside of these gatherings, maybe even within the gatherings to some extent, in the cases where they gather, they do not allow freedom of opinion, the types of views critical of theirs, and will tend to attack and belittling views they disagree with. This is like a hunter who lays traps. In either case, the activity is the same, whether actively hunting or laying traps, but the manner in which it is done is slightly different, more subtle.
It has often been said that Buddhists are not dogmatic or sectarian, and it isn't true. The way they are dogmatic is simply very cute, compared with western religion. In western religion, dogmatics and sectarians simply blatantly say to your face, "You're an idiot, a heretic, and you're going to hell." With Buddhist dogmatics and sectarians, they might hold the same view, but don't explicitly state it, and it's simply subtly implied by what they say they believe... In the open, they are respectful to one another, but in private
circles, among like-minded people, or hidden within the literature they publish, suddenly the respect for other views ceases to exist.
For a similar mindset, as an analogy: I once told my father of a psychology experiment where researchers intentionally bumped into people in major cities to see how they reacted (apologetically or rudely). They found a sharp contrast between New York City and London, whereas New Yorkers tended to react more rudely, Londoners tended to react more apologetically. I told my father of this (who is British), and he said that doesn't mean English people are nicer, only superficially more polite. They'll be deeply apologetic, then walk 10 feet and mutter to themselves, "Friggin' clumsy idiot". When it comes to religious dogmatism, western religion has more of the mindset of the New Yorker, but Buddhist dogmatics tend to have the mindset of the superficially polite English.