Publicity and communicating - crossforum theatre and crossforum ranging

Alex Rollin alex.rollin at
Tue Aug 17 16:07:31 EDT 2010

It makes sense to me in the big picture and I'd like to understand  
more about how these new options for rangers are interacting with  
votorola through the pollwiki.

For examlpe, what data do rangers bring bak and enter into the pollwiki?

It's exciting to blur these boundaries and I want to help develop the  
concept with you.

Can we write a couple user stories for rangers in the new concept  


On Aug 17, 2010, at 9:55 PM, Michael Allan <mike at> wrote:

> 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
> "guerilla gardening").
> Gist/rationale
>    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
>     less prominence.
>  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
>    most.
>  * 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.)
> -- 
> Michael Allan
> Toronto, +1 647-436-4521

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