📣 PROPOSAL & POLL: Forum Categories Remodel

After many weeks of discussion and work at the Saturday Circle, here’s the most recent proposal for overhauling the category design of this forum. Thanks to the whole crew that created, discussed and reviewed the various proposals @Sam_Martyn @LLK @richjensen @tamimulcahy

IMPORTANT: This proposal is primarily focused on establishing new overarching “parent” categories for the forum, not setting in stone all subcategories that will be within those parent categories. Subcategories are more flexible and can change with time.

To check out all proposals, click here.

Proposal D

Help Desk

Would you like some help getting set up at Resonate? Wondering where something is or how something works? Get help here from trained member volunteers. Something broken or confusing? Post here!

examples of subcategories

  1. Completing Artist Profile
  2. Uploading Music
  3. Report a Bug


Chat about whatever you like.

examples of subcategories

  1. Anything Goes
  2. Stories
  3. Recommendations


Get to know Resonate members near you. Chat about your part of the world: local venues, shops, needs, culture, etc. Anyone can request a subcategory for their locality.

examples of subcategories

  1. España
  2. United Kingdom
  3. California


Share your music, your playlists, what you’re listening to. Talk about your process. Share inspiring work you’ve seen online. Discuss music communities, music industry, resources for artists and more.

examples of subcategories

  1. Listening Now
  2. Share Playlist
  3. New Release
  4. Music Industry
  5. Distribution
  6. Copyright
  7. Recording
  8. Mastering
  9. Collaborate
  10. Gear/Instruments
  11. Podcasting
  12. Artist Tools


Learn about what Resonate is building. Discuss and influence existing services and projects the co-op has taken on. Share feedback and propose features. Coordinators share updates here regularly.

examples of subcategories

  1. Player 7
  2. Player 6
  3. User Service
  4. Artist Service
  5. Forum Design
  6. Main Website
  7. Community Credentials: Social
  8. Community Credentials: Tech
  9. Social Media
  10. Aesthetics/Accessibility
  11. APIs/Infrastructure
  12. Open-Source

Business Ethics

Explore the economics of the co-op: its finances, resources, day-to-day operations. Discuss payment, resilience, growth, interdependence, transparency, ethics, ecological considerations, fundraising.

examples of subcategories

  1. Accounting
  2. Payment & Earnings
  3. Operations
  4. Finances
  5. Grants
  6. Stats
  7. Strategy
  8. Shares/Contributions
  9. Fundraising
  10. Environment
  11. Community
  12. Design Principles
  13. Co-op Network


Democratic practice. Co-educate about co-operatives & working well together. Study our governance processes & bylaws. Explore our mission & policies. Pitch potential projects/partnerships.

examples of subcategories

  1. Manifesto
  2. Goals & Vision
  3. Democratization
  4. Decision-making
  5. Economic Return
  6. Transparency
  7. Policy
  8. Individual Rights
  9. Audit Committee
  10. Workplace Health
  11. Co-op Open Study
  12. Open Boardroom
  13. Pitch a Project
  14. Pitch a Partnership


Discussion and initiative spaces for each member class: Music-makers, Fans, Collaborators. All members can read posts here, but you can only post and vote in your primary membership class’ area.

  1. Music-Makers
  2. Fans
  3. Collaborators


*The initial purpose of the Initiatives category would be to explore possibilities for how the category could function:

The idea: by a to-be-determined process, a Topic could become a point of action. It would be moved/rewritten and added to the Initiatives category. In this space it would have higher visibility and an opportunity to get the attention of all co-op members in the Forum. If an Initiative gets a certain degree of votes and/or measurable support from members (see political initiatives), then it would become a Resolution. Resolutions are presented to all co-op members for a vote to be formalized as co-op policy. Unlike most other categories, discussion and polls in this space would be limited to co-op members).

Shall we use Proposal D’s parent categories to rebuild the forum?
  • :tada: It’s a good foundation for the future; let’s do it!
  • :+1: It could be improved, but is worth implementing now rather than waiting.
  • :raised_hand: There are problems that must be addressed before implementation. [add explanation below]
  • :warning: There are problems with this design that will be hard to fix after implementation. [add explanation below]
  • :boom: This design is fundamentally flawed and will create more problems than it solves. [add explanation below]

0 voters


Awesome work everyone!

Thank you @Hakanto for posting.

I think it’s an awesome foundation that we can improve upon through the experience and feedback gained while this proposal is in place.

I am interested to hear others’ thoughts as well, but this sounds like a plan!



I like it!

It is true that I can easily see many discussions that can/will be in a confusing state between (two or several) categories and we’ll need to decide how we solve those, but I have seen thread reorganization happen in the current forum and I assume this will continue to happen.

I feel that categories do not need to be perfect, just useful enough to help us navigate and organise our thoughts. As long as they are working for us rather than the opposite, everything is ok on my side.


Some key info for why categories are important:

  1. Categories exist to invite users to start conversations on particular themes
  2. Categories exist so that users can control their degree of engagement with those themes using the Bell icon.

This applies to all categories, whether parent categories or subcategories. So this is one of the key considerations for how to organize categories relative to each other. Maybe someone wants to be notified about everything that happens in Music (or only a couple subcategories within Music), but prefers to check the other categories at their leisure without getting notifications. Our design should allow for users to customize their own notifications and engagement with the forum.

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The Bell Icon: lets users customize their notifications for Categories and Topics in the forum.



Thoughts on Platform subcategories:

Player 6 and 7 split not needed at the top level… have separate projects (in GitHub for the detail)

Need a subcat for Technology Principles … as they should guide all our choices. There is a list of our top 10 (draft) technology goals and principles in here (slide 6 and 7):

They should be a separate heading for ‘architecture’ or ‘design’. API’s belong as a part of that, alongside other architectural elements like data services, clients, frameworks and tools.

I think I’d not give community creds so much prominence… put it under ‘architecture’ For project aspects of it, have a separate projects category?

Social Media - ok… includes chat, publication/subscriptions, email, fediverse and so on?

‘Infrastructure’ good as a separate topic (including ethical cloud and any decentralised IT services we are using)… as it underpins everything above it.

Aesthetics, Accessibility …add Localisation

Open Source could be covered under a broader discussion heading, like Technology News / ‘Radar’ / Roadmap

There are a couple of 'boring" ones that we need to add back in from the list below - particularly Accounting and Reporting and Security and Management.
(first column)

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@datafruits @onapoli @brndnkng @melis_tailored @zetto.plus @auggod @KallieMarie @CPacaud @dogmaskmusic @terry @tamimulcahy @chriswhittenmusic @NachoB @Trill51738 @sarinapl @Timothee @SolarDesalination @Aniela @MorAir @nphilmasiakowski @sganesh @chazzmatazz @blakelumpkins


At the last meeting I think we left looking for a word to replace ‘Business Ethics’. After some discussion, at least @LLK and I came to consensus around the word ‘Business’ after their objections.

I believe this is a much stronger identifier for this Category and also addresses part of @Nick_M’ s comment.

Re: Security and Management, perhaps “Security” and ‘Administration’ are additional subcategories within ‘Platform’

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@aforeigncar.cabral @cosmichighness @abdulmhamid @Fabsozlo @zarahlii

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Yeah I would tend to agree that the simple fact @Nick_M didn’t naturally interpret the Business Ethics section as encompassing “accounting and reporting” is proof enough we should dial it down to business and just go with the fact it will deter some people to talk there and so be it. I’ll try to figure out a way we could make it clear that they can ALSO be a part of that, it could be in the description, it could be through some well thought out thumbnails that picture what’s in there I don’t know.


I think it’s fine to have accounting and reporting under ‘Business’ AND under Platform, because we need important automated service components to support those ‘Business’ services and components and they need to be selected, adapted or built and integrated to do it.

How about ‘Co-operative Delivery’ as a substitute for ‘Business’ or ‘Business Ethics’?

…and everything under that needs to be supported by tech services provided by our ‘platform’ to some degree. There’s mapping and alignment implied.

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I think coop-delivery is unclear and it’s the kind of things I tried to leave behind in my proposal. More or less : in my view, category names don’t need to be super precise or original because that might come at the detriment of being enticing and inclusive.

I know my first thought about cooperative delivery would be “well what’s that now”. And I guess a lot of people would feel the same.

So the category names need to be broad and capable to both sort out AND encompass many things. Or actually as you said : a bit boring. It’ll inevitably mean we’ll get some potential cross posting and things that can be discussed in two categories, in which case the moderator’s work will be to see if it’s falling more into one or another.

Taking your accounting example :

Is the discussion about how technically make accounting reports, building an API, some code problem that prevents easy retrieval of data > platform

Is the discussion about the actual content of the accounting reports, about how often we should publish them, about how much of the code/api we want to be available to all > business.

It’s effectively the same topic debated under different circumstances and it’s under commonly understood umbrellas so that if people seek for just what they feel comfortable with, they can find it quickly. Doesn’t mean Businnes and Platform are super clear as to what they describe but they’re clear and inviting enough that you get a good look at first glance.

Edit: because I didn’t quite answer that aspect but, there’s platform as we (and especially you and the coding team) understand it, and there’s platform as the general audience will understand it. For them it’s more or less “Resonate the music platform/player where I listen to stuff” and then the forum is a sepatate entity where the community lives beyond it. So for us, we’re aware both are intertwined and require to be powered into one ecosystem, but for the public, I think these will be two separate entities.

I know this because even on some websites I know with strong communities and where comment sections are actually just an embedded instance of the discourse forum of the website, you can still see that people don’t see the forum and the “website/platform” as the same space and interract differently depending on if they only reply a comment or use the forum frequently separated from the website.


@LLK @agaitaarino great points. Leave the sub heads as they are, let’s just get on with using them and see what happens.

Everyone comes to a community meeting place or thread, like this one, bringing their own context and taxonomy, making their own assumptions about what’s meant by the signposting there.

When I arrived at the thread I brought some of those assumptions with me and didn’t read the context of the thread enough, (or show up at the meeting that discussed it… Sorry!) Rather too quickly I made the assumption that the suggested ‘Platform’ category was a place for engineers or architects out there who may have a ‘trade or guild’ perspective on the word ‘Platform’ rather than a ‘customer or layperson’ non-trade view. Of course tradespeople are also ‘laypeople’ - we are all part of the Resonate Community, but sometimes, for efficiency and effectiveness it helps to have sub-communities, circles of practice and groups with their own specialisations, taxonomies and even rituals. But that can be dangerous.

Personally I’d like to be part of a Community that avoids unnecessary or inadvertent or malicious creation of exclusive cliques with their own language. Examples:

  • the use of Latin by the priesthood of the Roman church to protect its privilege and power as an intermediary in worship… countered by the efforts of the Reformation to have a bible translated into the languages of the common folk.

  • Plumbing: when a client says they want an extra radiator and a pipe that goes neatly round a corner, they won’t be interested in the detail. I will run 15mm copper pipe to an end feed elbow solder joint. I understood enough from the conversation with the client about the use and aesthetics to make the right technical choice, within the regulations and good practice of the trade. The client should not need to speak ‘trade’.

  • Perhaps a visitor to an Inuit community will be unaware of the different types of ‘snow’ but will say what they want to do on their visit and will be guided by special knowledge if they care to listen to locals.

So please feel free to use whatever sub categories you think will work for the widest possible audience under the ‘Platform’ heading, and let’s accept that the subcats will change and evolve in use as more folks engage.

I accept I have a geeky excitement about the word ‘Platform’ because to me it implies a sense of engineering and architecturual design that is not just ‘technology’, but powered by systems thinking and learning from the patterns, successes and failures of other platforms, whether co-operative or capitalist. It recognises the multi-stakeholder, ‘multi-sided’ nature of the platform economics and the need to focus on the needs of all the stakeholders, providing a place for valuable interaction between them. Some people call that the ‘magnet’. I think our magnet is more than the player… It’s a fusion of player, community interaction and maybe in future, economic exchange … All within the ethics, values and principles that help us make the right design choices.

On the Business Ethics heading:

I accept there are possible objections to the word ‘Business’ presumably because of its possible connection to now almost universally reviled ‘big business’ or its petty bourgeois association with capitalist entrepreneurship. Replacing ‘Business’ with ‘Co-operative’ doesn’t seem to help if you find that confusing. Attaching ‘delivery’ ( as in delivering on the promise to stakeholders) or ‘operations’ (as in ‘running this thing’) smells of ‘consulting’ too.

‘Business’ is otherwise so universally used. It’s fine if somewhere we have a Resonate taxonomy or footnote that acknowledges the sense in which we use it. The only other name I could suggest would be ‘Running Resonate’?

Sorry for the long reply: please archive this off somewhere if it’s not helpful in your discussion!


No no it’s ok it’s actually exactly the type of conversations / discussions I was eager to have because I wanted to make sure we all knew what to expect of the “categories”, what they should do, who they should speak to, what limitations we accept, what limitations we don’t etc.

I think we’re at a good point where we can go with that and try it out, and iterate from there incrementally if we so wish.

Yes I think that’s kind of the thing here, business is universal as a word and widely agreed upon (even if I’d personally say few people really understand it as a deeper concept), let’s leverage this aspect which in most cases is bad, and use it for good, ie. it’s only quality really : it speaks to all.

I’m thinking more and more, if we want to kind of “pacify” it a bit, and actually use this problem to think of a tool we can user elsewhere, that maybe the “description” of the categories could also be under the form of thumbnails with logo and words, so that the description is visually as striking as the title when you discover the forum.

In this case, title would be “business”, but then you’d have a visually striking small thumbnail with elegant logos still in the visual style of the website and words like “accounting / reports / business ethics / ecology policy” or whatever we want to put in there?


Would something using the terms ‘Experience or Services’ be useful for terming it?

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I love the graphical representation idea.

Our own icon set is growing and there are some great libraries available that we could adapt or borrow from too.

For representing structure and ‘trades/guilds’ maybe we could also invoke the house or building metaphor? … In our case it’s more like a Community Housing project or land trust, where we all invest in common in the foundations we build on… With some common spaces and some private ones.

It’s an often-used metaphor and @hakanto has used it more than once in our Basecamp… ‘Town Hall’ etc. ?

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Heads up! In an hour we’ll be having the regular Saturday videocall: https://meet.jit.si/ResonateCommunity

Folks are invited to come by to share refinements or objections to this redesign proposal.

I love this discussion. Grateful for the perspectives pitching in on it and for those who shared in the poll.

I see the goal of the current proposal as being primarily about putting the overarching “parent category” boundaries in the right place relative to each other. Secondarily, the proposal is about what they should be named.

However, discussing the names is a good technique for us to analyze those boundaries and check if they are indeed a decent foundation for future building!

This would be version 2.0 of the forum. Beyond that point, I’m really looking forward to iterative improvements, re-namings of categories – even for individuals to make pitches for dramatic aesthetic overhauls or ways to theme the names relative to each other to great a sense of place. 2.1, 2.2 and onward!