📣 PROPOSAL & POLL: Forum Categories Remodel

I have a similar view. As a “platform” co-operative, we build and maintain a platform. That’s what we do. So I’m using it in what I imagine is a pretty literal sense. We build online tools, interfaces, and infrastructures. The Platform category is like “what’s currently on the menu at Resonate or is coming soon?”

In my mind, this was the distinction in the Platform category, is that it is a place to clearly lay out what Resonate is committed to building or is maintaining – and for members to give feedback and influence design.

I feel like a discussion between two people last week, ie Business v. Business Ethics was resolved at least between the two by a recognition that we mean above all to signal the place where business operating data is accessible and secondarily to discuss the manner and context of conducting business, ie Business Ethics and principles.

It should probably not be lost that the initial proposal was to call the Category ‘Economics and Ecology’ embracing the widely expressed view that the two must be always considered together. (Consistent with the co-op’s founding according to the ‘multi-stakeholder’ propositions of the ‘Fairshares’ organizational model.)

The Circle got to the Business Ethics / Business conversation through the desire to offer a single principle to signal a class of information and engagement.

As I say, the two advocates for the two suggestions ‘talked it out’ and resolved in a consensus at ‘Business’ after considering some other words. (Is that correct @LLK ?)

My purpose in running through this is to suggest that Circle may have found an adequate solution in ‘Business’, no one may be pressing for an alternative, unless that is in fact the feeling behind the suggestions offered by @Nick_M and @KallieMarie.

Probably the most important function of the category name is to signal the information likely to be presented and discussed, in this case Financial information. Having a transparent area for the discussion will be a demonstration of ethics in practice and declaring it as such should be redundant.

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… and, per the discussion at today’s call with @Hakanto and @sarinapl, I want to specify that I am NOT suggesting that we reconsider the current proposals.

I want to let the process continue to a resolution. Then, once categories are implemented, those of us who may want to appeal for a name change of any category will be free to make their case.

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@LLK @richjensen following up on the “Business Ethics / Business” comments above. During the Saturday meeting last week, there was worthy discussion about how to improve or rename this category. My takeaway from that meeting was that we hadn’t discovered an ideal name and were going to roll with a “good enough” name for the sake of the current proposal. “Business Ethics” was one the names those present had no hard objection to, so I went with it.

If “Business” had been settled on as preferable to “Business Ethics”, I apologize for missing that detail in this proposal.

As soon as the Business Ethics category is established, we could continue the discussion there for renaming it. By all means keep the convo going here and we can later move the relevant posts!

I still like the name Economy & Ecology btw :wink:

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And yeah, personal preference, I don’t like advertising ourselves as “ethical” or using the word “ethics” much. I think it is a stronger position to demonstrate ourselves as ethical rather than claiming as much. Mixed feelings on it. Kinda just have a distaste for it since so many companies are often proposing themselves as “ethical” as a way to distract from their unethical practices.

My experience is that the word is often used just for branding – “oh wow we are starbucks recycling our cups; buy a coffee and you can save the world” – “hi we are BP, we spill oil in the ocean but our beautiful logo is like a flower”.

Others may bring the same skeptical view that I do. I’m like, I don’t care if you brand yourselves as ethical, prove it.

Peripheral to naming the category itself, but on my mind.

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Perhaps the word ‘unnecessary’ is doing a lot of work here.

I believe that community rests in structural plurality and support for different and even sometimes contrary modalities. That is to say that support for self-definition and self-determination is a necessary quality of community.

I want to be a part of a community that allows collectivities within it to be themselves without having to explain themselves.

An artist, or group of artists, for example might chose among themselves how they might admit new members to a particular forum area or to whom or by what private or idiosyncratic criteria they offer resources.

I believe the success of the community as a whole is advanced precisely by its capacity to support the evolution of powerful particularities (think of spicy flavors) that may not be appealing or even comprehensible to many or even most of the other members of the community.

Let’s build a structure that supports these particularities with a universally applicable toolkit of community protocols.

[Leaving a placeholder here to flesh out the presentation of a structural model I call The Polyhedron, ie many individual faces connecting into one spherical body.]

Basically, everybody wins if all the superfreaks and nerds feel like they can find others like themselves here according to their own superfreaky ways.

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yeah… my bad… we discussed in DMs and didn’t bring it back into the thread before Proposal D was offered.

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Hello All,

As promised on the call today, here is a visual proposed initiative on implementation of the “Forum Design - Principles & Proposals” document, once that document is in final in consensus.

See here:

Sarina

p.s. Been listening to this Tiny Desk today by Sampha, one of my favorite artists. https://youtu.be/fnIu25lXXY8?t=27

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Interpretation

In my analysis, Proposal D has passed by a standard of Lazy Consensus.

Next Steps

I am going to start the looking at the process of creating the new parent categories, moving Topics, and disbanding the old parent categories.

On Thursday, @richjensen and I will be meeting with a developer from Pavilion, a co-operative with expertise in Discourse, our forum software. We’ll be presenting this proposal and hearing (from an expert) whether it will accomplish what we hope it will, and how it could be improved or best implemented.

@sarinapl pitched a compelling vision for how to implement our proposal. After the Thursday meeting with Pavilion, Rich and I will have a clearer sense of where to go from here in the forum; we will reach out to Sarina to discuss.

Note: A new category “Projects” has recently been created by @peter in order to pitch a NFT-esque idea to members. I’m not sure if our proposal has a clear place for these kinds of “big ideas for the future” posts, so for now I’ll be leaving this category as it is. However, I’ve changed the name of this category to Possibilities, to make explicit that it is for big theoretical projects, in contrast with Platform which is for our existing projects. If anyone has ideas on where these Topics would instead fit into Proposal D’s structure, please comment.

How we made this decision together

As an exercise, I want to offer a retrospective on how we got to this Lazy Consensus decision and what some of the positives and negatives have been. My own interpretation.

Good practices:

  • Since February, recurring open-door meetings on Saturdays about the Forum maintained a space where members could show up and share ideas and feedback about Forum Design and governance.
  • Prior notice was given about upcoming changes, both from the one-week length of the poll, but also indirectly via updates on the Saturday Circle Topic.
  • Efforts were made to tag active forum members and bring the proposal to their attention.
  • The poll invited members to state objections to the proposal and to explain any harm they felt it may cause.
  • Active forum members had opportunities to present their own proposals for the redesign, although perhaps this could have been stated more explicitly.
  • Using Paul Bernstein’s democratization models, I’d rank the decision above the threshold for democratic participation. But there’s a lot of room to grow in this area; excited for further democratization and co-education around it!

Mixed feelings:

  • It could have been made clearer to members why the Forum is so important to Resonate’s development and how the Categories play a key role in that. Without knowing this, members may not see this as an important decision and thus not care too much to get involved in forum Design.
  • There are pros and cons to face-to-face meetups like the Saturday Circle. On the plus side, it is great (and arguably essential) to have a guaranteed time and place where those being affected by a decision have an opportunity to show up and share their ideas or concerns. On the downside, this may favor the views of those who have time to spare or who live in parts of the world that the elected time favors. I’m enthusiastic that the new forum design will address some of these downsides. Ideally, it will allow for better asynchronous communication about what’s going on at Resonate, make it clearer to members how they can get involved in decisions, and highlight important decisions that are coming up.
  • While the poll did invite members to state objections to the proposal, it wasn’t made clear what would happen in the case of an objection. Would an objection be treated as a firm block? The way I’ve approached collective decisions in this kind of context at Resonate is to follow consent models like those practiced in sociocracy. In the case that they objections did arise, I assure everyone that they would be taken seriously and efforts would be made to integrate them into the proposal.

Notes:

  • Very low participation in poll (0.023%) relative to number of users who have access to the Forum: 14 voters / 546 users
  • Decent participation in poll (38%) relative to number of users active within the last week while the poll was live: 14 voters / 36 users this week
  • As an aside, I have a hunch that part of why forum participation is so low is because of how disorganized the forum has been! So this should change as we get organized and reach out to more members to join.
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This is definitely what brought me to this thread, had me read up and vote.

This rings true for me. I consider myself a lurker, I do not participate in the meetings so I’m not aware of the discussions taking place, so I may be missing part of the bigger picture. I get glimpses of it here and there as I read up on the latest discussions here, but I miss quite a lot of it. This does not mean I am not interested in how Resonate develops, quite the contrary - and aside from how I understand these forums’ value just by the quality of discussion happening here, I’m not entirely sure how it fits in Resonate’s development as a platform, and it’s importance relative to that. Hence, I was not following the going-ons, and I would’ve missed the poll had you not tagged me directly to get my attention.

I agree with your assessment here too. The important number here to me seems to be the 38% participation from the currently active base. From the 546 users, many of those are probably entirely inactive, or haven’t found an interest in using or following the going-ons of the forums. That being said, you touched a point when talking about the clarity of what would happen after voicing an objection - I know I would’ve probably just refrained from voting if I had seen a point I was in disagreement with, but with no time or desire to develop on the reasons why. I’m not sure what that means in the bigger picture as far as voting goes, but just offering it up in case there’s a useful takeaway to be had here.

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I feel like I missed a boat somewhere here. Was there a poll? I remember the last time I logged in I saw that there was going to be one, and couldn’t find it. So I had hoped that I would get to participate. This points to my comments from when we had a meeting a few weeks back; important things like when a meeting is, a poll-and when it starts and finishes is, and what work-I feel like its very hard to find things here from time to time, as well intentioned as I am to participate.

I hope that the organization updates will help. I would love to see some key landing areas at the top of the page that always have: Work buckets, Meetings Listings, and Polls if (active or results). This will get me up to speed when I arrive. Theres a lot of information here, and I need to be able to constantly get to the top of the surface material that is present on the hive mind, and dive deeper into areas based on applicability or interest, or time resources at hand.
Looking forward to seeing how the re-structuring goes. :slight_smile:

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I agree that this is super important if not the most important thing about the forum to help structure everyone’s energy so that they can allocate it where they want or feel they can contribute while also being easily up to speed.

I hope I can help with that a bit, right now @Hakanto is doing a lot of work it seems, but I know I see it as a priority.

Easier way to see meetings, easier way to check advancement of the roadmap, easier way to see propositions, easier access to wikis etc. These can seem mundane and a bit boring but they’re everything to federate people around common goals through common knowledge.

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That part! I agree.

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I’m thinking about starting a ‘contributor journal’, a place where I check-in with daily personal notes that may be relevant to the co-op and its communities. Perhaps others would also be interested to participate in such a practice?

Under the new (forth-coming?) category regime, where would such a place land? Perhaps as topics within a ‘Journals’ Sub-Category of the General Category, or…?

@Hakanto do you have a timeline in mind for implementing the new Category structure? Are you comfortable doing this task? Do you want to delegate any part of this to others?

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Thanks @KallieMarie (and all readers here) for your civility regarding this imperfect process.

I am heartened by the advice from friend-of-the-forum & certified-discourse Wizard @Eli made made in a recent meet-up with @Hakanto and I:

“It is very simple technically to make changes. The best policy is to make the changes. See if it works. Listen to what people think about it and then keep improving based on what people want.”

What that means to me is that the version that came out of the Saturday GovCircles should be implemented, used for a while (a month?), feedback and issues collected and then a new experimental iteration offered, a new feedback cycle, etc.

This might stand as a model for co-op implementations in general.

(Sorry if I’m stating the obvious here. I go slowly. The obvious things are often the most difficult for me to see. )

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I want to start a journal too! I think General is as good a place as any for the Journals area.

Yup, as @richjensen said, we’ve received advice from our forum consultants at Pavilion to go ahead and implement the new parent categories soon so that folks can start playing around with it.

I think it would be a lot of fun to have a “remodeling” videocall during which everyone there splits up the work of reading through Topics and re-categorizing them into the new structure. And if you have a question about where something should go, you can ask the other folks. Bring a coffee or a glass of wine and have a reading party.

If so, I’d set up the new categories in advance, and we’d hang out and move everything. Anybody want to have a moving party for the new setup? It would be a somewhat quiet and studious party, but nevertheless!

This Saturday 1pm central at the Forum Circle would be as good a time as any! Would be nice to celebrate the contributions that went into this.

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Alternatively, if if brings everyone more joy to simply have the category move done – I’m down to tackle the task myself or delegate out parts of the work to a crew. :hammer_and_wrench:

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I’m down with this!

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Have I missed this???