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Everyone's Voices, Nobody's Noise post-submission strategy session with Nathaniel Catchpole

<ben-agaric> All right.  My brain's utterly fried.  Do you see a starting point with this stuff?  For a while I felt that a modular messaging framework, a whole replacement for Sympa / Mailman / that stuff was necessary, and while I think ultimately it is (and was going to be a second application to Knight, and if I can get a grasp on the field and put a proposal together will shop around anyway)  -- I do think with mailhandler and notifications and suc
<catch> mailhandler's very cool.
<catch> Then I haven't really looked at notifications much, but it seems like a good fit.
<ben-agaric> i last used mailhandler and listhandler in 4.7 to synch e-mail discussion with a forum, so i'm way out of touch
<catch> I used it for a couple of days at my old job (they set up PHP-IMAP three days before I left) - I don't think it's changed since 4.7
<catch> I had to get it running on solaris with casetracker for an internal thing with no server privileges...
<catch> But it's pretty solid I think.
<ben-agaric> heh, i was implementing it on a shared host, myself
<ben-agaric> i'd probably like it way better now!
<catch> Sounds like this would also want an SMS thing which does the same as mailhandler too. I think I've seen one somewhere.
<ben-agaric> so basically I can see how to do everything.  It won't scale worth a penny, but mailhandler can take messages e-mailed in (and this isn't even an absolute requirement of the system, phase 1), we cobble together some logic to send out messages to the jury, with just regular drupal_mail (the ability to require "co-sponsors" will probably be necessary to keep requests at a reasonable level), and then we pass approved messages on to notificatio
<catch> co-sponsors means a seconder before it goes to jury?
<ben-agaric> right
<catch> I haven't checked out the most recent flag developments yet, but seems like we could do a lot with that.
<ben-agaric> ooh
<catch> flag as seconded, flag based on votes by the jury, send notifications based on flags etc.
* catch loves flag, just needs an excuse to actually install it.
<ben-agaric> :-)
<catch> How does the jury work?
<catch> And locations etc. - organic groups or something else?
<ben-agaric> We'll also want people to be able to subscribe to all messages in a group, whether jury approves or not (I have not thought about whether we want organic groups here), and I think maybe one other level--  a minority report of one vote less than 50%  --  I don't want too many levels though, because the point is to have a common conversation.   Passes super-majority of jury == everyone in group (issue/location) gets the message;  gets a sig
<catch> Different notification thresholds sounds good to me.
<ben-agaric> (I'm surprised that didn't break IRC)
<ben-agaric> but again, it's important to me that people can't choose from a sliding scale, so you can know what sub-group is following what conversation-- so that everyone doesn't have their own personal "conversation" going on
<ben-agaric> the jury:  really, the simplest part.  We look up the scientific sample numbers for various size groups, I think we're talking about 20 people in each case
<ben-agaric> Unlike juries in the U.S., this is actually picked at random
<ben-agaric> except that voting on a message takes you out of the pool until everyone else has served their jury duty, too
<catch> Oh now I see. That is a cool idea :)
<ben-agaric> delinquents are also eventually removed from active calling (so we don't end up with repeated calls to juries where nobody votes) and maybe tried again on occasion
* catch was thinking more like magistrates.
<ben-agaric> oh no, the whole point is there is no elite!
<catch> I'd got that bit, but was thinking mandated recallable delegates rather than random sample ;)
<catch> random sample for each message is really, really nice.
<ben-agaric> oh cool.  Most of our judges are appointed, at least in my part of the U.S.
<ben-agaric> but until a subscriber start actively participating in juries again, he or she cannot propose nor second messages to go out to everyone.  Not much of a stick, but until we can find better sticks and carrots, a robust sense of civic duty is all we have to go by  :-P
<catch> That should work too. And people choose whether they get jury messages by e-mail/text etc?
<catch> So do we want juries to vote by text if they want to? That might involve some mailhandler fun.
<ben-agaric> yes, but that's definitely phase two!  you have to put in your time before you get to play around, too  ;-)
<ben-agaric> one weird thing, these random samples will be drawn from the relevant group, so messages sent to overlapping groups might have overlapping jurors, whose vote would sort of count twice.  I think we can do that without destroying scientific sampling too much...
<ben-agaric> and I'm thinking of empowering jurors to suggest a different scope for a message, but no idea how to do the UI for that
<ben-agaric> yes / no single-click links are much easier
<catch> So redirecting messages somehow? That sounds like phase two to me too ;)
<ben-agaric> lol, yes
<catch> But also something that could be added later rather than requiring refactoring.
<ben-agaric> probably-- it should be built so that a person can petition a message to go to one group, and then think 5 minutes or a day later that it should go to another group too
<ben-agaric> As for whether our location and issue groups should be organic groups, I have no idea.  I rather want everything to be public, so we don't need access control.  I am impressed with all the hooks for anything you want Moshe has been putting in there, so I'm inclined to look at OG before trying our own lighter-weight system
<ben-agaric> but going back up one step---  the sending messages more than once, and perhaps people passing along messages from multiple sources, and another thing I want is for people to endorse messages to go to their friends/followers, regardless of any jury verdict or no jury involvement at all----   well, this means that we have to handle internally to not send people duplicates of messages
<catch> So something could go to both a local group, and an issue group, and I'd be subscribed to both...
<ben-agaric> if you get it forwarded from five friends within the system and sent via jury blast for two different groups you're in, you should still get the message just once, with a notice somewhere, maybe only on the web site, maybe in a digest e-mail, about the level of support the message has
<catch> Yeah that makes sense.
<ben-agaric> and this is where i wave my fingers and say 'make it so'
<catch> hehe.
<catch> Sounds like we might want a queue of stuff per user, and flags put stuff in there, but it's always guaranteed to be unique.
<catch> And then somewhere you can see "user's who flagged this" and which groups it's in to guage the support.
<catch> Or maybe, 'flagged by my friends' which'd be a bit harder.
<catch> hmm.
<ben-agaric> (you're ahead of me)  it's a very message-centric system, each method is a node, so tracking it should be easy; introducing the concept of consolidating the same message (for instance a news article or a call to action by a union) posted by multiple people could come later
<ben-agaric> letting people put notes/endorsements on messages is a whole other bag of kittens...
<ben-agaric> And it does get interesting.  For archival purposes, we very well may want messages associated directly with users--  these messages came to you.  Otherwise, someone leaves a group, and that part of their message history leaves with them
<ben-agaric> (or it could be calculated by recording /when/ they were a member of that group)
<catch> Ahh, I was thinking multiple pushing of the same node rather than reposts, but that makes sense.
<catch> If we were able to set up per-user nodequeues, then we can push stuff in there according to various rules, and it can stay there historically.
<catch> Or something like nodequeue..
<catch> That wouldn't help with re-posts of course
<ben-agaric> no, no, i may be miscommunicating (although i think i do better on no sleep)
<ben-agaric> the only multiple posts i'm talking about is dealing with the user input problem of duplicate content
<ben-agaric> if i didn't want to make such a big deal about 'no wasting time, no duplicate messages' i wouldn't care
<catch> Ah ok, that makes sense. I thought you were talking about both I think.
<catch> There's been some ideas around preventing duplicate content for project issues, but no code for it yet.
<ben-agaric> oh yeah, like what real bugtrackers have?  yup, we wait for someone to make the code on that.  Drupal Association should fund work on project module, IMO
<ben-agaric> anyway
* catch agrees about project module funding.
<ben-agaric> i like tracking the source -- jury blast in this group, conversation-level in this group, endorsed by these people you follow -- so I'm thinking nodequeue type things probably aren't the way to record content foisted on you
<ben-agaric> good to give people personal nodequeues to keep track of their own found-this-interesting, though
<catch> I was thinking about nodequeues mainly for notifications - so if something gets endorsed, posted in x groups I'm a member of, I get notified once. But it should probably just be another flag.
<ben-agaric> What's the other big aspect here?  Just that a major goal of the system is to move beyond messages and to collaboration, so I can say, that's a great idea, and I pledge x resources toward it.  And other people can refine what resources are needed and more people can say they're on board and all of a sudden, wow, some proposal that would never have gone anywhere in a mailing list system is suddenly ready to be sprung into action
<ben-agaric> flag the world!
<ben-agaric> (still on the whole other system in addition to messages)  Over time people's reliability in fulfilling pledges would be noted, so for instance my pledge of time to anything would be considered completely meaningless  :-P
<catch> So some kind of feedback system for jury members (automated), and then maybe a human feedback thing for pledge fulfilment?
<ben-agaric> um, pledge fulfillment would be quite separate from jury
<ben-agaric> what's the feedback system you have in mind?
<catch> Sorry yeah, just thinking about the user tracking aspects.
<catch> For juries, probably flag :p
<catch> For pledge fulfilment, that's a bit trickier.
* catch is very sloppy about filling out ebay or amazon feedback ratings.
<ben-agaric> oh yeah.  Man, let's make that phase 5 or 6.  Heh.
<ben-agaric> Even just the messaging gets us some of the fun of seeing new ideas put into action.  The idea is that small groups of people are the best ways to initiate change, but that this needs to grow to large groups for sustained / bigger change.  Right now, this means institutionalization, and you have big, well-staffed organizations with huge mailing lists that tend to be remarkably ineffective, especially in the face of spectacular change that s
* ben-agaric looks at the U.S. environmental orgs
<catch> Then there's things like the immigrant rights marches organised partially on myspace/via phone, but completely informal and relying on very centralised infrastructure.
<ben-agaric> PWGD / EVNN gets us the best of both worlds---  at least on the 'mailing list' level, the promise is that this won't be controlled by the organization, but by its membership, by the subscribers, by the people who care, and that new ideas will actually find better reception among these subsets of the 'general public' than they do in organizations perhaps mostly dedicated to their own existence
<ben-agaric> and exactly -- if informal groups use this network to organize, they've just created an incredible network that's still in place to communicate (with itself) and react to new plans, even as the original organizers are completely, utterly, and totally burned out (for the moment)
<ben-agaric> So it'll be a cross between Yahoo/Google groups,, MySpace and Facebook, with airtight security and democratic control.  You can do this for me in what, a month?  ;-)
<catch> heh
<ben-agaric> crazy thing is i've been thinking about this before i found eGroups, before i saw Meetup...  to me the Internet has just been crying out for this from about day 2, certainly by the time the World Wide Web was formed.



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