Friday, August 7, 2009

What is a forum?

I use the word "forum" in a classic sense. I think of a discussion as an organization not only of the topic but of the people themselves. Where they are positioned in the discussion may greatly influence the amount or type of power that they possess. A forum is the processing of the topic through various discussion forms. The variation of form gives both a greater range of expression to the speakers and a better listening experience for the audience.

Take any topic and put it through a complete process. Let's begin the process with a type of democratic form that is random, open circuit, with unlimited numbers of speakers. We have all seen this type of discussion in online forums. Usually, the only division of the discussion would be strictly topical, simply dividing the topic down to it's constituent parts, each division then becoming it's own topic. The discussion could be divided into separate threads or separate subforums.

In the random form the posters may sustain the expository mode just by outlining and composing their individual posts. We then accumulate a collection of expository posts. The benefit of this style is that every voice can speak as often and as much as they want. The problem is that it is very hard to follow the discussion, especially when opinions diverge.

What's the next logical step in the process of a classic forum? Rather than further division of the topic, the extension of an ordered expository discussion would be in the ordering of the posters themselves. We might begin the discussion anew with one limitation - that each of them are allowed one and only one post. Or whatever limited number. Or we might ask them to make one post and remain silent until one round of posting is completed. Then the posters may resume again each allowing themselves one and only one post. This form helps to maintain the principle of equal say or equal time. It also checks the dramatic since the dramatic mode is improvised and thrives on random form. It demands that each speak once and listen nine times (in a group of ten). It introduces rational form, allowing the members control over the mode of discussion, and it is a measurable objective.

We have moved the topic through a process from one form to another. The purpose is that the posters may refine their originally random presentations and condense or summarise their expositions. This allows us a better listening experience because such an expository form would be trimmer, easier to follow and easy to reference concerning who thinks what, since all posts are summarised by each poster.

Let's say that multiple opinions emerge and their are clusters of opinions, say, three distinct viewpoints that each poster could position themselves with respectively.

The next step in the process would be to appoint or elect three representatives of those opinions and use the circle form again to hash it out using a strict circle form (ABC ABC...). One or more opinion may emerge as stronger than the others. One may be swayed to join another or may split into two factions due to it's own inherent weaknesses and be joined to the other two. We can then measure this in terms of relative quantities in a closed system using whole numbers and fractions. We can quantitatively assess the outcome of the debate. Where two opposing opinions become clarified we may then move on in the process to a two sided evaluated debate using the following form (AB AB AB C)

A Pro
B Con
A rebuttal
B rebuttal
A closing
B closing
C Evaluation

The evaluation itself may be conducted by a team of observers who critique the grammar, rhetoric and logic.

Using this process, the discussion is moved from an irrational to rational form that can be counted by a whole number. The relative quantities of equality, majority and minority can be deduced from this whole number.

The benefit is that the community receives a complete hearing of the topic. The majority is not allowed to outvoice the minority because by the end of the process the community has trimmed down the number of voices to two equal voices for the purpose of assessing the logic of each argument. The majority may still vote in favor of it's proposition but as the process continues the minority voice continues to be heard.

So we maintain another type of equality. If nine people believe one thing and one person believes another, we do not allow nine voices to one. We want to hear all of the logic of one side compared to all of the logic of the other. One logic may outweigh another. Allowing the nine to dominate gives us repetitious arguments and a drowning of the minority voice. The value in this process lies in the fact that most of the people are often wrong! We know historically that the best ideas come from very small numbers. The scientific and literary communities comprise a small percentage of the whole community. Scientists like Galileo and Darwin and writers like Frederick Douglas, Allen Ginsberg and Mark Twain could be censored or their ideas could be persecuted.

An historical example would be the emergence of the theory of evolution into public currency. In the Scopes Trial of 1925, the Evolutionists lost the case to the Creationists but gained immense ground in bringing attention of the existence of Darwin's theories to the general public. 83 years later and it is hard even to find a Creationist who won't at least accept microevolution as a fact.

This process is progressive.

But I am speaking in the context of Faciliating Online Communities. I believe that traditional democratic forms perform the best faciliation. This is self-moderated forum, quite distinct from just a topical organization of threads or subforums. And this is what I mean by the word "forum", a form that allows the community to discuss, deliberate and decide through an online action.

To recap, we used a three phase process of different discussion forms or organizations of people and speech for the purpose of achieving a better listening experience.

1) Random form, where everyone was allowed to speak as often and as much as they desired.

2) Circle form, where speakers were assigned to speak in a given place. They may have both the right and the responsibility to speak. In this circle form, each must listen to the others before they may speak again.

3) Debate form, that the logic of two or three opposing ideas must get an equal hearing regardless of the the number of supporters for each idea. In this form a greater demand is made upon the speakers to exercise their responsibilities to speak.

You can see the different effects that each form achieves. In the first, an opposing group may dismiss the arguments of others and simply ignore them but as the discussion takes form, greater responsibility is upon the speakers.

This was only one process described. There are other discussion forms and therefore many variations of forums that can be organized.

What is a forum? Learn more...

En Español

Monday, June 1, 2009

What's the Web made of?

This is a rough draft -

What exactly is the web made of? It's a conglomeration of all electronic technology that has been produced in the past 150 years or so. I want to take a look at each individual technological item and the protocols for using them, then I will relate those protocols as they converge and meet upon the Internet.

Telegraph messages were transmitted in digital code - a series of short and long clicks. This was the first electric communications device and use of digital code for language.

Western Union built its first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, mainly along railroad rights-of-way, further strengthening the East-West connection.

The original Morse telegraph printed code on tape. However, in the United States the operation developed into sending by key and receiving by ear. A trained Morse operator could transmit 40 to 50 words per minute. The message was probably read aloud by the messenger when delivered. In 1900, Canadian, Fredick Creed invented a way to convert Morse code to text called the Creed Telegraph System. Automatic transmission, introduced in 1914, handled more than twice that number.
The privacy of telegraph messaging regular mail system.

The Internet would be nowhere without the telephone.

It's television!!!

(Don't forget that)

Try finding something good on television. Then there are the censors, you know. They have to get their word in. I was just searching for the Communist party of Cuba in google. Wikipoopia had an article and included a direct link to the officail website of the Communist Party of Cuba. Did that link ever open? No. So much for free speech and diversity on the web.

Also, it is important to realize the natural theatrical effects that can be had from the Internet. posters in the dramatic mode have been systematically driven off the web. Well, we will just have to wait for the technocrats and "educators" to fall flat on their asses and come running to the artists and poets to bail them out.

Add a big ass computer
The operator could set up a "conference call" upon request, connecting multiple phone lines into one call. This service was seldom used for personal use, except as a novelty. I remember we did one of these with some friend when i was a wee smigeon of a curmudgeon.

An Internet discussion forum is like a conference call.

Caller I.D. led to IP checking. Probably a bad idea.
This was originally made availabe to allow people to dodge a call. If the mortgage company was calling to repossess your car, you could just not "be there". The IP number of every poster on the web is registered at some stage of the communication. Is this an ethical practice?

Phone booth cramming. The idea was to cram as many people as possible into a phone booth. That is the social web today.

VW cramming - Same thing ten years after.

phone sex moderators party line 1st telephone call 1st conference call 1st televised broadcast 1st Caller ID IP checking phone booth cramming

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Purpose in Postmasters

Our Purpose in Postmasters
Artie and Franz talk about Article 2

Postmasters is an online, non-profit, service organization for the benefit of the worldwide web community. Our purpose is to promote and practice traditional discussion arts. We are a self-moderating, self-developing, self-propagating and self-sustaining community.

To achieve our purpose Postmasters provides for the public an open circuit, free speech zone and offers The Discussion Workshop Series.

The Discussion Workshop Series:

1. Provides for its community members opportunities which give them skill and experience as participants in online democratic discussions;

2. Enables community members to coordinate democratic discussion so as to achieve online group action;

3. Provides for the community fair and constructive evaluation of their efforts;

4. Enables the members to investigate and deliberate upon matters relevant to the online community;

5. Affords leadership training for its members.

A. I mean many things with wording such as "democratic" and "free speech". Wherever there is a Postmasters club, there is also a free speech zone. I suppose that the term "free speech" will mean different things to different clubs. I suppose that my own interpretation of the term "free speech" may even have to yield to our group as it grows. The membership may change the meaning, and that is alright.  I am aware that there is no absolute free speech or democracy.

F. Are you free to keep silent by the butcher's, for instance, and then, are you free to say what you want? Is there free speech with your superior, even outside a work situation?

A. It is a relative term. There is an open circuit relative to the closed circuit. We are making the memberlist closed to only elected members so that the term "member" does not become confused. Therefore we need a point of contact with the public and it seems very natural to have an open circuit where a guest is really a guest. It also seems that the area should be protected from interference from adms, mods and members so as to promote free speech. The administration of the board should be set up to maximize protection of free speech. It should never be allowed to attack the public because the public is not coming to us to have their behavior modified or moderated. 

"Attacking the public" includes invasion of privacy through IP-checking. The IP number can be traced to a precise location wherever you are on the planet, and administrators and moderators everywhere are abusing it and violating the privacy of users. 

We are going to have very strict regulations on administrators. Think about the longest set of rules you have ever seen for forum users (they can be as long as 35 pages). We are going to have that many rules for adms. And no rules for the public. That makes it very easy for everybody because the public does not even need to read the rules. They need to know nothing at all because the rules never apply to them. Besides, there are very few adms, so if anything goes wrong, we have very few suspects. 

Anonymity seems to maximize free speech. The administration should not be allowed to attack the privacy of anonymous users. Also, with this open circuit, we also have a safety valve because if people are afraid to say a thing in the Workshop, they can just log out and
say it anonymously. But this requires a very disciplined administration, which is exactly why we have the Discussion Workshop! - to discipline the administration. 

For me, free speech includes the right to speak in any mode - expository, narrative and dramatic. Due to it's random nature, an open circuit allows for dramatization of a point. Yet the Workshop is decidedly expository. Anonymity promotes the dramatic mode. 

F. What do you mean precisely by "dramatic", "expository"? Isn't the Workshop conclusive above all?

A. The Discussion Workshop is very expository because we are building a decision making group. But an open circuit of public posters can be very dramatic. Now we have an expository thread about the constitution in G&G. The public has a right to post anything they want in that thread. If they should start telling stories or posting pictures or acting out a play by Balzac, then that is what we get.

However free speech means that we should be able to communicate in any mode. It's in the Workshop that we learn to control the modes through proper uses of form.

F. I still don't understand the meaning of "expository".

A. The Workshop is where we train members to administrate. We practice expository form in order to maintain an expository mode. This is a self-moderated group - the group moderates itself. The group has a right to free speech in the expository mode, so the group practices an expository form that squelches and defeats the dramatic and narrative forms. The group moderates the mode of discussion through practiced use of form. Yet we can nurture the dramatic forms in a separate dramatic workshop.

We are now engaged in an exposition of Art 2. We are using Art 2 as an outline for our discussion. We are not rambling, but are following a course. An exposition is an arrangement of text or speech. A nomenclature is expository because it outlines a course of study. An expository mode is established when each poster arranges their text. The expository form is achieved by arranging the order of speakers or posters. An expository form moderates the expository mode. Alternate posting ABAB is expository. Circle posting ABCABC is also expository. Random posting promotes a dramatic mode. We will demonstrate this in the workshop by using the forms. It is very difficult to improvise a dramatic presentation when expository form is being used.

F. What is a democratic discussion or group? 

A. The democratic tradition is not one, but many forms. Being able to speak anonymously on an open circuit is one kind of democratic form. But to adhere to that ONE form as THE form for every occasion is, to me, very non-democratic. Because I feel that the proper democratic process is one that gives the group an optimal listening experience. 

F. Must it be taken here in its political meaning? I don't think so. In the same time, "democratic" implies freedom and then choice. And the choice is not necessary plural.

A. Having your say, and as much as you want is one kind of democracy. An open circuit with unlimited numbers speaking in random form can speak as much as they want and as often as they want, but I think that the drawback is that it is nearly impossible to measure such an unorganized discussion. An open circuit is irrational since it cannot be measured by a whole number. When we elect our membership, we can always count the whole number of members upon our fingers and toes. If there are twenty members today, it is not likely that there are going to be 40 members an hour from now. 

Since we have a whole number that is measurable, we can also measure the foundational relative quantity of equality. We can then measure majority and minority and conduct a democratic discussion, deliberation and decision making process.

We should have a wide range of choices when processing information. That everything should be discussed with unlimited numbers, speaking in random with no end or development of the process, without measurable limits, severely restricts our choices. Try finding a "democratic community" on the web! All that will come up in a search is some affiliation with the Democratic Party! The only way you will find any such group is if you do a search for the exact terms "democratically organized web community" and you will get one and only one group - Postmasters! That's why I say that we are in a perfect niche because what we have is greatly needed, but is in very scarce supply. 

F. For a decision, you begin with a plurality (at least two possibilities), and at the end, there must be just one. A plurality made of indecision is not democratic. A permanent choice may also be free.

A. Narrowing down our options is how we decide a thing. Also, I think of democratic decisions as being relatively permanent, semi-permanent and temporary. It is likely that as the group grows and our power is lessened that the majority will override one or both of us on an issue. What do we do when we think we are right, but we are in the minority? We must act with the majority yet work with the process to change people's thinking slowly.

A democratic discussion is one that is organized. After hearing what everyone has to say when they are able to speak randomly, as much and as often as they like, we might then ask for them to poll and vote a smaller number of themselves into a circle formation where each person has equal time. In a circle discussion, each participant has the right to speak, the responsibility to speak, the right to hear and the responsibility to listen to the others.

If I am in a circle of ten people, then I have the right and responsibility to speak once, then I must keep silence and listen nine times before I am allowed to speak again. That is an ordinal form. See: What is a Forum?

In the Workshop we practice the arts of measured discourse. We discuss with the objective of learning a self-moderated form, and then we measure it according to the stated objectives. We should be little interested in whether someone is "nice" or "good" or "stupid". How can we objectively evaluate with such criteria?

F. How will it be measured?

A. Every project has objectively measurable criteria. The 20:04 thread has a measurable objective. The poster either posts at 20:04 or they don't. If they do post at 20:04, the discussion then turns to how did you accomplish this, what problems did you encounter and how did you overcome them? If the objective is to post in circle form (ABC ABC) then it is very easily evaluated. We either posted in the correct form or we did not. If we did not post in form, why? If we did post in form, then how?

At every meeting, the members are rotated through meeting roles, such as Grammarian or Master Postmaster of the Day or Discussion Organizer or Discussion Evaluator. The rotation of roles gives us experiences at listening and functioning in different roles. This is done by appointment through the Educational VP and the Master Postmaster.

There are also elected long term roles. These are defined in Art 4. The person who is Master Host one term, may be a VP or the President in the next term.

This is leadership training.

The administrative accounts are never to be used for posting. We only use those accounts as tools. And we only perform administrative actions that we have been trained to perform.

F. Ok, all that is brand new for me, I follow you blindly...

A. I want to go over this article in detail and also talk about the ethical treatment of online community. Any discussion can be had in any one of these forums. There is no separation of topics. The idea is that the topic can be duplicated under varying conditions. The conditions in the public forum are different from the Member's Lounge and those two are different from the Discussion Workshop, which is a formal meeting. Discussions can be started in one section and moved around by the members using the administrative tools, thereby achieving distinctly different discussion effects. 

F. And do the Member's Lounge, and the Discussion Workshop, correspond each with the active members, and the administrators?

A. The Member's Lounge is for the elected membership. Since they have their own space, there is no reason to handle any complaints about the behavior of the public. This reestablishes the normal use of language. a guest is a guest and a Member is a member. Only elected members appear on the memberlist.

In the public area, the public has complete control. In the Member's Lounge, the members have the right to express themselves as individuals. But in the Discussion Workshop, the group expresses itself. In the Workshop, the individual can only post at designated times and in given order so the result is a group expression, not just an accumulation of individual voices.

In the Discussion Workshop, the membership meets every two weeks for a coordinated group meeting. People post with their member accounts but may also use administrative tools to perform a community approved administrative action.

F. So that combines a total free speech, and a more reflexive expression, I guess. This appears democratic and clever.

A. It is an ordinal forum. People can only be elected by attending two consecutive meetings. the meetings are ordinal and temporal. So we admit them to membership on purely objective terms. They might be total idiots on the open circuit but if they attend two ordinal meetings and they comply with the order, we elect them, because they have qualified themselves to maintain the order. The public, too, can perform ordinal projects on the open circuit and we will extend the meeting invitation to those individuals.

Become an elected member of Postmasters and participate in the complete Discussion Workshop Series

Postmasters is communication and leadership training for democratically organized web community

Friday, March 6, 2009

Eastern Standard Time

History, languages and cultures of the time zone, Eastern Standard Time (EST). Discussion now in progress. Is it possible for the people of a time zone to have a history? The Internet could make that happen. In this study, I am investigating the possibilities of uniting the people of a time zone into one community, a community that could one day have it's own specific history.

75ºW is denoted as GMT-5 on the map. The area is also known as Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Canada and the U.S because it is on the eastern seaboard (or atlantic coast). We can reasonably expect the zone not to be known as EST in South America since it runs along the west coast of the continent.

Every 30 degrees on the map is two hours. I want to highlight two hours of time and look at certain relationships in that area, Nunavut to Quebec, the Industrial Belt of New York to the Great Lakes, Washington DC to Havana, Colombia and Peru.

What do we know about this area? Let's take a closer inspection. It begins at the North Pole and runs down the Eastern Seaboard of North America through the Caribbean and along the Western Seaboard of South America down to Peru. There are 3 main European languages (Spanish, English and French) and 2 main Indigenous languages (Inuit and Quechua).

In this section of the map, everyone is on the same hour. They share the same natural time. For the vast majority of people the sun rises and sets at the same time. So we are eating our breakfast, lunch and dinner together. I want to build an international web community upon the framework of this time zone. The time zone is a communication form that can transcend the language barriers. The membership must be, at least, bilingual, and preferably, multilingual. Each member can serve as a language bridge to the other.

Here is a large (2.3MB) detailed world map with cities, longitudes and latitudes. This is a great map. Once you download it, click in the right lower corner to enlarge it. It's really big so you can see all the countries. This is one of my favorite maps.

Let me take you on a tour of my time zone. North American Eastern Time Zone Also see: In the Neighborhood

The northernmost town, in my time zone, that I have been able to find is called Pond Inlet, located on the northernmost tip of Baffin Island. The local language is Inuktitut, but the only text on their website is in english. When looking at the arctic extremes of a longitude, we are cutting through what appears to be a huge indigenous Arctic culture. There may be 1 million people living within the Arctic Circle and I think that they have a commonly rooted language, whether they are located above Canada or above Europe and Asia. That language and culture is known as Inuit. Looking at the Pond Inlet site, you will see the characters used in the Inuit language. Currently there is little or no support for Inuit on the web. You might view the language in photographs such as this one:

This is the province of Nunavut. The northernmost tip is a government polar observation station called Alert (population 8). We would expect the 8 people living there, being government employed scientists, to be of Northern European descent. I do not know if Alert is on EST.

Nunavut was recently separated from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario (I think). The population is largely Inuit (Inuktitut). The website Nunavut 99 - Our Language, Our Selves revelas an Inuktitut culture is struggling to make it's presence on the Internet.

What's the population living in Eastern Standard Time? North American Time Zones lists all countries, states and major cities. A google search for "what is the population of eastern standard time" turns up ZERO (nothing). So we can only guess. It would seem safe to say that there must be at least 100 million people in this zone.

Eastern Standard Time (EST) USA Population

Connecticut 3,510,297

Delaware 843,524

Florida 16,849,199

Georgia 9,072,576

Indiana 4,972,570

Kentucky 3,184,089

Maine 1,321,505

Maryland 5,600,388

Massachusetts 6,398,743

Michigan 10,038,725

New Hampshire 1,309,940

New Jersey 8,717,925

New York 19,254,630

North Carolina 8,683,242

Ohio 11,464,042

Pennsylvania 12,429,616

Rhode Island 1,076,189

South Carolina 4,255,083

Tennessee 2,091,303

Vermont 623,050

Virginia 7,567,465

Washington, DC 550,521

West Virginia 1,816,856

TOTAL - 141,631,478

But that does not include all of the people in EST, only the USA. So the guess should be revised up. Because EST includes many of Canada's largest cities, the Caribbean, and the western seaboard of South America, there must be close to 250,000,000 habitants. This means that there are 250,000,000 people who, daily, share the same natural time.

Join the discussion now in progress open circuit - no registration necessary.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Postmasters Club opening

The all new *Red Board* is now open!

You are the administer with Postmasters Discussion Workshop training programs. The only forum on the web for the purpose of training web community users, moderators and administrators. Learn the whole board from the bottom up. Complete support available.

Start posting today in the Greetings and Graffiti guest forum

Greetings and Graffiti Operator's Manual

Constitution of Postmasters

Discussion Workshop Homepage

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Postmasters hosted by International Forum

Postmaster Discussion Workshop has opened a club at the International Forum. Apply for membership in the Post A Month Club. Qualification for Postmasters Discussion Workshop includes regular monthly attendance.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Post a Month Club

The Post A Month Club is an introducion to temporal/ordinal form. Maintain your active membership by making one post a month. This open circuit forum serves to qualify further access in the closed circuit, Postmasters Discussion Workshop. Qualify for the Discussion Workshop by participating in ordinal posting games on the open circuit. All new members will be elected from the open circuit into the closed circuit. Postmasters is an inclusive group.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facilitating Online Communities 2008 blog archive

The Facilitating Online Communities 2008 blog archive can be found here. There is a multitude of material. If you are interested in learning more contact me at my email address (artistsforanarchy at I have other private online sources that I will link you to and am forming private groups for the purpose of practicing traditional temporal and ordinal discussion form. You might want to join us in a group chat. We will be running through every known discussion form from informal conversation to organized dualogues, dialogues, circles, panels, debates and workshops to produce traditional forums online, coherent online groups and growing online communities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Postmasters forum

I have set up another model of a forum. Postmasters uses a guest posting area where the public has the right of way. There are no rules for the public in the guest area. PERIOD. I have written an Operator's Manual for guests that includes a set of rules prohibiting adms, mods or members from posting in the guest area except as a guest. This actually amounts to rules for everyone except guests in the Guest area! Ha!

The simplicity of the rules is the forte of this discussion board. Literally, the guest poster does not need to even read the rules, because the rules only apply to those who should be held responsible. I have followed this formula in making that determination.

No rules for the public
Few rules for members
More rules for moderators
The most rules for administrators

A guest may become an elected member by demonstrating temporal and ordinal form. The account allows people to use the Member's Lounge for random asynchronous connecting. Members can then be elected into topical groups.

The Operator's Manual for members restricts administrators and moderators from posting in the member's area with admin or mod accounts. They may only use member accounts in the members area and have no power to edit, delete or any other unapproved activity.

The only place a mod or adm may use an administrative account for posting is in an ordinal administrative meeting (Discussion Workshop). The meeting includes a program of training in a wide variety of discussion forms which enable the membership to administer their own community according to the Constitution. Only poster's who attend scheduled temporal and ordinal discussions and meetings retain their active membership. Members can inform the elected board when going inactive or be placed on inactive membership by the board (obviously for inactivity).

Read the Constitution of Postmasters

I am writing up a complete set of projects organized into modules. This program trains groups to coordinate themselves into coherent form.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Building a successful online community

From the Creating Passionate Users blog comes Building a successful online community

The article in the above link claims that the way to build a successful online community is to "be nice". Being nice is OK but I don't think that communities should be founded upon such terms. I object to such a standard, first, because it is not possible to objectively evaluate what it is to be "nice" and, second, because it does in fact suppress many various forms and modes of communication, the very forms and modes which are possible to evaluate objectively.

The author also likens the blog to a dinner party. I don't agree. You attend a dinner party by invitation. Also it isn't necessary to broadcast a dinner party to the world. I don't see the use of any metaphors when it comes to the web. It's hard to tell whether I am at a party or a football game or on the set of someone's favorite TV show, there are so many metaphors.

That particular blog is moderated. I left a comment on the post that said that I disagree. The comment never made it to the page. Therefore, I would take all other comments that agree with the author very lightly. As I understand, the author of the blog has used web communication tools and machines to attack the public. My policy in administering any communication machine such as a blog or forum is quite simple:

The public has the right of way.

I believe that this is the must sensible approach. An open circuit is for making contact with the public. Any activity that the public contributes is acceptable on an open circuit. If posters attend the discussion and demonstrate ability to use temporal and ordinal form, they may be invited into a closed circuit blog. There is no need for me to attack the public.

The responsibility for maintaining a given mode falls to those who wish to produce the given mode. If they outright refuse to utilize the respective form that governs the mode, they must accept the outcome. The responsibility for the dramatic mode prevailing on open circuits is due to the expository poster's own failing to adhere to expository discussion form.

The social web is on the decline because of the "nice" people that have ruled it. Contrary to reports that you may read in the news, while the fact is that the social web is increasing worldwide (due to it's dawning in the "Third World"), this belies the reality that where the social web has already taken root (in the "First World") people are leaving in droves.

Why? Because the "organization" of it is a no-growth plan. The idea that a "community" as a commodity, a person's own private property, a place where you are a permanent guest, a situation in which bans, blocks and deletes are used to control the communication - all of this amounts to no-growth.

Real communities do not behave like that. You don't fling the doors open and then start dictating and tossing people out. You ultimately lose people. That only makes sense. You ban people, you lose people. For every banning you lose more than one person. I am currently boycotting any and all "communities" that are going this route. There are methods that work. This is not one.

So what's the best plan for the long haul? That's what this blog is all about. The best way to build a community is to build groups. Groups of individuals who are willing to work. A group practices temporal and ordinal form. That's what makes it a group. It's not a group just because there are a bunch of people who joined.

You join a clique by being nice. Cliques are based upon personality. Cliques engage in asynchronous conversation.

You join a group by first attending the group and demonstrating that you are willing and able to practice temporal and ordinal forms. The members themselves have practiced these forms and understand how to objectively evaluate them. If you have attended two or three meetings and shown that you understand temporal and ordinal form, you may be elected into the group.

Groups are capable of coordinated discussion, deliberation and decision making. An online community should be fully equipped to deliberate through a complete democratic decision making process which produces an online action. Such online actions would be the election of it's membership, the election of it's officers who are authorized by the community to administer and the objective evaluation of performance in mode and form.

Through disciplined practice, members of a group becomes adept at fulfilling their rights and responsibilities:

The right to speak
The right to hear and be heard
The responsibility to respond
The responsibility to listen

We use ordinal form to ensure that these rights and responsibilities are promoted for all.

For example, in a group we may evaluate a circle form based upon whether the members took their proper turns. The form of ABC ABC... is very easy to objectively evaluate. It is much easier to evaluate whether a poster is in or out of the designated mode or form than it is to determine whether they or you or someone else is "being nice".

Basically, constitutional form must come to the web because it empowers each individual to participate in coherent groups which are the foundation of real community.

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

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