Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Join the Discussion Workshop

Register here for the Discussion Workshop Blog

This blog on Facilitating Online Discussions is an open circuit introduction to our subject matter. If you are interested in applying democratic forms to community organization, you may register for our closed circuit Discussion Workshop meetings. Expect lots of experimenting with communication and leadership techniques as we build small groups into a unified community.

What's the Discussion Workshop?

In the workshops we meet for short one hour meetings and apply ourselves to learning ordinal forms together. The Discussion Workshop is where we apply all of the ideas and principles that you have read about in the Facilitating Online Communities blog.

We engage in practical dialogue while thoroughly learning the technical and ethical aspects of a given platform.

The Workshop exhibits all of the traditional attributes of a group. Groups are associated into one community through a constitution. Meetings are organized and presented by the members.

A practical workshop

Apply for membership and acquire all of these benefits:

Access to a wide variety of training programs in practical democratic arts.

Attend the weekly business meeting where your voice is heard and you have a right to vote and have your vote counted correctly in relation to a whole number which is the membership.

Serve as an elected officer.

Coordinate workshops.

Simplest way to understand is to think about how you use the telephone and google chat or yahoo or AIM chat. Does everyone talk at the same time? No. You take turns, whether it's 2 people or 20, you take turns.

"Majority rules" is not the foundation for democratic society. In fact, many routine decisions can be made by a majority of a quorum. If a quorum is 50% of the membership then 5 is a quorum of a membership of 10. 3 is a majority of the quorum. Therefore the routine decisions are made by 3 of the 10 members. While minority rules in small matters, it is desirable to have a majority or supermajority in matters of greater weight.

Our organizing principle will not be topical but temporal and ordinal. So accept that we will be topically disorganized until we establish the temporal and ordinal features of our forums. Ultimately, the membership will be responsible for topical organization.

Since I believe that the personal privacy of individual members is more important than the security of the adm or the posts, I have opted for restricting the activities of the adm. That's how I arrived at the above formula. I want to set up forums that are rooted in equality.

We are going to use a large number of forums and boards that are each set differently to achieve a certain texture or democratic principle.

Member administered programs

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The ordinal discussion arts lead us into coherent group building and groups become the building blocks of communities.

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