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A movement-oriented structure for groups

Sam Boyer on A movement-oriented structure for groups.

On why groups are important:

* Our membership in groups is a huge component of our identity in the movement. When I'm trying to contextualize someone's perspective or involvement, "what sort of groups do you work with?" is one of my top three questions.
* Much of our time spent working on/with the movement is done in the context of a group.
* Our groups are where we consistently engage in higher-grade social interactions.
* Groups are where we make our 'homes' in a movement: whether formal or informal, having a cluster of people with whom we engage in movement activities is what gives us a sense of place and ongoing attachment to the movement.

On what matters need process:

* Group membership - both ingress and egress. If a group can't collectively & transparently deal with membership questions, then it loses meaning as a group
* Setting group norms, rules, and expectations
* Speaking publicly for/on behalf of the group. Basically, what I previously described as broadcasting
* Internal moderation - dealing with spam, inappropriate, or off-topic content

What does "processizing" these things look like? Well, first is picking a decisionmaking process itself, which means some manner of algorithm/vote-ish-ness. The particular process and its mechanics are immaterial, so long as they can articulate a definitive outcome. After that, it's an interface question:

* The presentation of actions that will result in a group decision ought to be visually consistent and easily understood by users.
* The history of decisions (essentially an audit log) need their own aggregation & archival paradigm, separate from 'normal' content created by the group, as it represents a parallel track of group identity.

PWGD/VU's basic model for democratically moderated mass communication would (could) provide a combined solution for internal moderation and speaking publicly, with a few group norms implicit in that, but mostly it has nothing to do with this, as made clear by the fact that it has no concept of excluding people from a group. PWGD/VU is not about groups except insofar as groups are defined by communication, and anyone that participates in communication (including deciding which messages are important enough to go to the rest of the group) is part of the group.


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