Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Writing the Rules

Rules restricting the powers of administrators and moderators help foster an atmosphere of equality. The personal privacy of individual members is more important than the security of the administration or of the forum content. I have opted for restricting the activities of the administrators. That's how I arrived at this basic formula:

No rules for the public

Few rules for members

More rules for moderators

The Most rules for administrators

With this formula we may achieve balance between the powerless and the powerful. Since we are going to curb the powers of the administrators in order to produce Equality, we will need to begin by making our first rules for them. We have turned the formula for rule making upsidedown.

Let's build some practical and accessible models that any web community member can use for experimenting with and learning all of these principles. Our task will be to balance and preserve the basic principles outlined in the previous sections to achieve unity of purpose, equality and freedom of expression. The heart of our community will be The Discussion Workshop Modules, a progressive skills building program that treats the discussion as an art and a process.

We will usethese free boards this reduces risk tranfer the adm over to elected official

Apply to phpBB2 phpBB3

Since the admministrator needs the most rules we will focus upon that first. Our second priority will be the rules for moderators. Our third priority will be rules appropriate for the general membership. Rules for the public are of zero priority because the purpose of open circuits is to make contact with the public. We will not moderate the public in any way but simply allow the public to qualify themselves for membership. The membership will select prospective new members from the public.

The first restriction is that the administrative account must only be used for an administrative action. The Administrator account is a tool and is not to be used for posting in discussions. It is reserved for member approved administrative actions only.

We will use the circuitry to include posters as they establish themselves into the membership. Open circuits and closed circuits allow us to regulate access. Rather than invite the whole world in and then take a negative approach of excluding people either by arbitrary administrative action or the so-called "democratic" method of voting posters out, we will use an inclusive approach.
Let's set up the first forum Open Circuit Guest Forum

An open circuit phpbb2 forum

This setting allows the public to moderate. Anyone can delete or edit a post. Members, mods and adms are not able to delete or edit while logged in. They must log out and perform an edit or delete as any other guests.

Furthermore, we have added these rules and permission settings that apply to adms, mods and members but have no affect upon the public.

1) Members, moderators and administrators may not post, reply, edit, delete, sticky, announce, poll or vote in the Open Circuit with logged in accounts, are limited to the permission settings of the Open Circuit forum and may post, delete, sticky, announce, poll or vote in this forum only as Guests.

2) Moderators and administrators may move, split, lock and delete threads in the Open Circuit only with the approval of the membership.

Note that these rules are very brief and they apply to behavior of the fewest, since they apply to the fewest, they are most easily implemented. They are also very objective and do not in any way deal with the "morality" of a poster. Discipline is administered first, to adms; second, to mods; and lastly to the membership. At no time are we concerned with the behavior of the public on this circuit. The purpose of an open circuit is to allow the public an entry point for the public to interact with the community.

Open circuit phpbb3 forum. The setting here allows only the public to view the forum. When a member, mod or adm logs in, the forum disappears from their view. This makes it impossible for an adm or mod to check any IP numbers assuring maximum privacy. No one but guests can post a new topic or reply.

In each of these two examples, we have realized the basic democratic principle of Equality.

Guests, Members, Moderators and adms must meet on equal footing. No one is armed against another. No one is capable of infringing upon the privacy of another. No one has any greater right or responsibility than another.

Next, we must qualify the membership. We qualify them by giving them rights and responsibilities. They maintain their rights by fulfilling minimal responsiblities. these are the rights and responsibilies of a discussion participant. The Discussion Workshop gives the community experience with posting in form as an organized group rather than a collection of individuals. The Workshop modules are presented as a series of projects by and for the members themselves. The projects are designed around self-moderating democratic principles or discussion forms. Each participant gains valuable experience and exercise with basic rights and responsibilities.

Right to speak

Right to hear and be heard

Responsibility to respond

Responsibility to listen

The Discussion Workshop consists of a series of modules. Each module consists of a set of 3-5 projects that have specified objectives and an assigned Evaluator.

It would be good if each project (including evaluation) could be completed in a two hour session.

Basic Posting Workshop Objectives

    *To bring together the collective knowledge of all participants concerning basic posting skills and thereby increase the knowledge of each individual.

    *To verify that the membership has achieved an increased understanding of the basic posting skills.

    *To qualify the prospective member for DUN membership and participation in the Discussion Workshop Series.

Now that we have a membership, let's set up our next forum. This one will admit posting for Guest and Members together.

And these are the rules and permission settings:

1) Moderators and administrators may not post, reply, edit, delete, sticky, announce, poll or vote in the Guest/Member forum with moderator or administrator accounts, are limited to the permission settings of the Guest/Member forum and may post, reply, edit, delete, sticky, announce, poll or vote in the Guest/Member forum only as Guests or with logged in Member accounts.

2) Moderators and administrators may move, split, lock and delete threads in
the Guest/Member forum only with the approval of the membership.

Again, note that we have made no rules for the public. The best thing about these rules is that new people don't need to know anything. The rules don't apply to them.

The members have the ability to delete when logged out yet they gain immunity for their own logged in posts. Guests can bridge the inequality gap here by becoming elected members. This is the most practical way to govern a community. We want to achieve a state of equality between all members.

Guests can have posts and threads qualified for saving. Guests can establish "Relative Identity"

member selection election is responsibility and right of the membership adm not allowed to interfere in process
adm has one member account for voting and posting equal to any other member
as community grows we will apply greater restrictions upon adm
restricted times means not lollygagging at IP checker
must prepare adm actions in advance and schedule
disciplined discussion

Unity of the Whole
Rights & Responsibilities
Freedom of Speech
Roles - Taking Turns
Objective Evaluation

deletes bans reduce credibility

adm as trustee never posts but is keeper of the keys

rational discussion is in form

open circuits random posting in unlimited numbers is good for chat

closed circuits with limited numbers using ordinal and temporal form for rational discussion measured discourse.

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. It is possible with our system that someone could "sneak" another account into the forums. But to do so they would have to "purchase" the account by assuming the basic responsibilities. Also with our system, they must advance and assume more responsibility for each account or the account will become inactive.

Rocky Forum Picture Show

Imagine that you have been invited to join a discussion group or community. The community has no designated time to meet. People come and go whenever. Sometimes there are a few together at the same time but everyone talks at the same time. No one gives any indication of listening.

Language is an issue. English is not neutral and puts non English speakers at a disadvantage. Participants should be multilingual at least bilingual.

Inequality does not exist among race, gender or sexual orientation because of anonymity. However, there has been created a new inequality between those that have power and don't have power - the moderators and the trolls. The trolls are supposed to be disrespected.

Does not mean that taking from those who have earned and giving to those who have not earned. Everyone may not finish the race at the same time because some may run faster than others. There is a principle of liberty. You are responsible for yourself and the outcomes that you mean to attain. You deserve to have what you have earned. You don't deserve a voice just for showing up but for producing equal benefits for the community along with your fellows.

The gap between administrators and members is too wide. We can probably agree that administrators have ALL of the power and members have NONE. The following is a compendious list of everything an administrator can do and everything the member cannot do. Make any and all rules Edit without leaving a stamp.

Edit their grammatical, rhetorical and logical presentations after the fact, leaving the impression of clean, fluent, sophisticated and intelligent posting. The regular poster leaves evidence of editing on the post. Either everyone should be able to make clean edits or everyone should leave a chunky edit stamp with an edited post.

Delete a post (their own or others, fabricating an intelligent presentation of their own selves)

Delete a thread Lock a thread (if people are overly interested in it)

Assign modships (to many anonymous persons who then have unequal status and powers)

Delete an account

One look at the administration panel of any message board and you'll be convinced that a huge inequality exists. When a member edits a post they leave behind a big chunky edit thingy like so: Last edited by Chooseboogers on Tue Sep 11 2007 939; edited 1 time in total In contrast, the administrator can edit and leave a clean post. They can also edit any post on the board. A member cannot. An administrator can delete anything but a member can't.

The cards are all stacked in favor of the administrator.

An adm can check your IP and invade your privacy while protecting their own. Read an IP number Look up an IP number Block an IP number Contact you personally (if they find you to be troublesome)

Gather personal information on you Now think about it. Why would I want to converse with anyone under those conditions? Why would I speak with a person who could shut my mouth while I have no power to do the same to that person? I reject the proposition outright. No wonder there is so little genuine communication in these "communities"! It's like sitting at a round table discussion in handcuffs while your mates are armed with ballbats just in case you should "act up"! There can be no real community where there is no equality and since the nature of the forum set up is so unequal...

...what's the solution? You can either expand the powers of the members or restrict the power of the administrators. Restricting and disciplining the administrator is the better option. The best option may be a balance of both. We want to achieve a state of equality between all members. The administrator can be restricted to posting only with a regular member account. Further restrictions can limit the times and frequency that the administrative account can be logged in , and for what purposes. A schedule may allow the administrator to log in once a week or once a month for a limited time, for the purpose of completing any tasks that the membership has assigned.

This protects the privacy of all members since the membership no longer stands transparent before the administrator.

IP checks And there is a "moderator". The moderator has the power to shut your mouth, change your words, change their own words without any trace of having done so. You are given documents to read while the moderator reads over your shoulder. The moderator also has access to personal information about you. They can learn what town or region you live in without asking. You cannot withhold this information. They can trace your number and contact your employer or family. You have no privacy. You must relinquish all rights and give these rights to the moderator in order to qualify for participation. You do not have any right to know the same things about the moderator that they know about you.

Only need to know that the other person is not yourself. Beyond that is invasion.

The members are equal to the purpose by way of the programs that enable them to achieve the community objectives.

Why do people visit forums? To interact. Not to read or to write. We want to select those poster who are qualified for discussion.

The members are here because of the community. They did not gather here to meet the administrator. An individual is not to be treated simply as an instrument to promote someone else's purposes,??? whether that purpose is to sell or promote the purpose of one individual.

Therefore, it has a natural tendency toward the dramatic mode and the dramatic mode depends greatly upon the development of conflict.

link to samples

model forums guest posting php2 who gets disciplined for posting in guest forum? members mods and adms not public
php3 adm and logged in members can't even view the forum impossible to IP check
consistency of language use of words like member guest forum discussion democracy
finally a positive approach to web community discussion
delete and ban reduces credibility

I was not given any responsibility to qualify me for a discussion. Not any responsibility that could be objectively evaluated.
"Be nice" is not a behavior that can be objectively evaluated.

There are no spies and no spying
The public rules on open circuits and members have right to closed circuits only

took the "standard" and turned it upsidedown and insideout
eCommunity consists of anonymous parties eFriends who never meet because it is impractical
ideal eCommunity of 10 would be one from each of five continents and 5 from several planets.
This is the eCommunity,the eDemocracy that we are planning. It's purpose is NOT a regional gathering.

other set ups phpbb3 with member registration use "Non- voting Guest" rank for 1 post Elected members automatically get Non-IP-checking Mod staus for purpose of moving and deleting give maximum control to membership

Begin with a suitable platform
gmail chat
gmail group chat

The group chat feature lets you chat with many friends at once. There's no limit to the number of people you can chat with, and any participant can invite others to join. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Start a chat with a single person in your Contacts list.
  2. Once you've started the chat, click Options at the bottom left of your chat window and select Group Chat.
  3. In the field labeled 'Add a person to this chat,' enter the name of the contact(s) you want to add to your group chat.

To end your chat, click the X at the corner of the chat window. Others in the group chat will get a message saying that you've left the conversation. If you want to rejoin, you'll need to be invited back by a contact who's still in the group chat. The group chat will continue until all participants have left.

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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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