Levels of Engagement

The @community team is working on levels of engagement for members as a structure to inform

  1. How we improve the forum UX
  2. How we improve member onboarding
  3. How we relate the community and membership to the rules and co-op democracy


We are thinking of three levels. The attributes of each level are cumulative.

Entry Level: Member

A member will be doing the following

  • Listening to music
  • Making playlists
  • Light forum interaction
  • Supplying music - artists or label*

A member will have access to / visibility of:

  • Knowledge base about the co-operative
  • Clarity on how to the work thats currently going on and the governance issues currently being decided

Intermediate Level: Engaged Member

An engaged member will be doing the following

  • Following a team on the forum
  • Engaging with proposals made by teams
  • High level of music engagement


  • Sam
  • LLK

High Level: Worker Member

A worker member does the following

  • An active member of a team
  • Devises and/or works on team proposals


  • Cristina
  • Timothee
Qualifying Contribution

Being a “worker member” is a class of membership under the Resonate rules. The “qualifying contribution” for a worker member needs be determined by an independent party or process. On that we propose:

  • Worker members do a self review each month
  • Teams grant worker member designation on a quarterly basis, based on their experience working with the other folks in the team and the worker member’s self reviews

Executive Team

There is also an executive team constituted by the team leads. The team leads are compensated (i.e. they’re staff). This is a different subject but it’s an important element in this structure. The team leads are responsible for the engagement, and assessment of engagement for their team.

Next steps

  1. Settle on the levels and their definitions
  2. Reflect the levels in the forum UX and onboarding
  3. Reflect the levels in the team operations

Here’s the article that introduced me to the term “levels of engagement”.

Trying to “engage everyone” is a Sisyphean task. In my experience it’s much easier to just make the different levels of engagement explicit, give each group of stakeholders a name and set of rights and responsibilities, and create transparent supported pathways for people to move in and out.


I’ve expected that our highest level of engagement will naturally be Staff (paid workers), Board Officers (Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer), and Executive roles. Part of what distinguishes this level is that these roles have engagement required of them.

Just below that level are Worker-Members and Directors – roles in which engagement is expected but not as consistently.

By comparison, we could have an Artist-Member who is generating significant revenue for the co-op – by one standard a high level of engagement. However, this member has much less engagement expected of them.

This should be part of how we clarify our levels of engagement: by thinking not just about what people volunteer to contribute at a certain level, but also by thinking about what each level expects of others at that level. What are our responsibilities? What information are you supposed to keep up with? What gatherings are you expected to attend? What decisions are you expected or required to participate in?

As someone who is highly engaged, I’m not only looking for others who will help build this co-op, I’m looking for who I can depend on. The highest level of engagement should reflect that your peers consider you dependable. This kind of engagement is very different from being some title that you can collect and then half a year away.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to be dependable if the co-op is helping you pay your bills. I think that money should be part of this discussion. And rights and responsibilities are the keywords.

I’ve taken these terms required, expected and encouraged from Enspiral’s agreements – I find them useful tools.


What does this entail?

Are they members of the Worker Member class?

It is often also contrary to awesome service.

We should also satisfy people that want an awesome listening, exploring and sharing experience that ‘just works’.

Below ‘encouraged’ is a level where engagement is ‘available if desired’.
I believe we should build for a majority that want to use the service at this level.

(Corresponds to Entry level above. Listeners and Artists at this level should have an awesome experience without feeling pressured to ‘move up’ or do anything other than share, explore and listen to music. If they do engage, it should be entirely on their own terms.)