Publicity and communicating - crossforum theatre and crossforum ranging
mike at zelea.com
Tue Aug 17 15:55:57 EDT 2010
Here's a rough outline of the "crossforum theatre" proposal. This is
intended as a solution to the problem of outreach (publicity) and user
intake. It's based on crossforum ranging (maybe a better name than
We have an architecture for communicable democracy - a democracy
that spreads. So let's show it actually spreading in real time,
in a manner that's attractive to new participants. We can provide
a dedicated facility for this purpose (the "theatre") and make it
the main point of entry for all newcomers ("users").
Features from the user's perspective
a) An overview of the entire democratic landscape. It shows the
distribution, structure and mass of all issue forests (one per
poll) in which the ranger crews are currently active. It also
shows other forests, but prominence is given to those of the
rangers (reasons below).
b) Context. It will be clear to users that the theatre is a window
onto the world. The action is taking place "out there" and not
locally at a single site. Structure and dynamics will be
visualized and interrelated according to the general theme of
growth. A new user might not understand the details of what's
happening, but will understand (at least roughly) how each detail
relates to the overall growth of democracy.
c) Scaling. The user may drill into the landscape to the scale of
individual forests, trees, branches and positions. As the scale
changes, the level of detail rises/falls accordingly.
d) Navigation. The user may navigate from structural members of the
view (trees, branches, etc.) to the various associated media "out
there": e.g. to discussion threads or posts, position drafts, and
nodes in the votespace browser.
e) Dynamic view of activity. A single glance shows the level and
location of growth-related activity. In particular, discussion
messages posted by the rangers are shown in the context of
timelines. In addition, the appearance of new messages is
visualized in real time. (The activity of other users is also
shown, but with less promincence.)
f) Identities of individual rangers are shown, e.g. by username.
Other user's identities may be shown at certain scales, but with
g) Scope. Filters enable scoping of the view according to various
criteria, such as a specific ranger crew, polling area, issue
type, or whatnot. (Scoping is orthogonal to scaling.)
Why give prominence to rangers?
* To give them an incentive to provide additional details about
their activities in support of enhanced theatre views, in cases
where the data feeds cannot be automated.
* To provide the rangers with a stream of new participants. Their
work is not only to plant trees and extend the growth across
multiple forums, but also to attract new participants into newly
extended branches. By spotlighting their work, therefore, we hope
to feed them new participants, exactly where they're needed the
* To give them credit for the work they do. To give them a certain
prestige. And following from this:
* To attract new recruits for the role of ranger, so that the
overall outreach/intake effort becomes self-scaling.
What do you think? (It wouldn't preclude other proposals. But if it
makes sense, I'm keen to see it developed ASAP.)
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