Publicity and communicating - crossforum theatre and crossforum ranging

David Bovill david at
Thu Aug 19 08:01:58 EDT 2010

Hi gang, been lurking here for a while. Have some time to contribute,
especially now that this conversation has started up!

My work with Forum and Legislative Theatre goes back to 1998, and I've a
deep commitment to how to integrate real space discussions with Liquid
Democracy and online technical systems. I differ from most people in the LD
space by emphasising the importance of real space "theatre" in LD debate,
and moving away form emphasising text based and purely technical
descriptions of LD.

As a geek, the technical underpinnings are very interesting to me
personally, but LD suffers by being associated with internet based polling
and democracy, and this detracts from the understanding of the richness of
the form of debate that LD allows to be incorporated within "democratic"
liquid decision making.

What I find really great about the discussion here is to find others talking
and feeling the importance of these issues too - and actually building tools
to realise the vision. To contribute myself I'd like to begin to outline
what I picture as an overlap between the current discussion and the software
(user interface) potentials and real space / marketing strategy that I feel
is appropriate to the development of LD / Votorolla.

   1. Real Space Events
   2. Interface Work (game Play)
   3. Structural Work (creative defence of informal autonomous space)

I see putting these three elements together, and realised in a promotional
tour of a interactive performance, that is self organised at venues through
the web site. Yes, this is supported by a technical LD framework (that can
be embedded in web sites), but there is an emphasis on content, video, live
debate and real space discussions, and we would seek to work closely with
people who can help visualise and contribute to these performances. Our
guerilla gardeners become more real space performers than online activists.

More soon...


On 18 August 2010 00:21, Michael Allan <mike at> wrote:

> Alex Rollin wrote:
> > It's exciting to blur these boundaries and I want to help develop the
> > concept with you.
> Definitely!
> Thomas may have some reservations and maybe an alternative proposal.
> We were skying about it.  But his proposal doesn't appear to involve a
> lot of technical effort up front, so we might do both at once.
> > Can we write a couple user stories for rangers in the new concept
> > format?
> Assume 10,000 active registered users already.  A story for a new user
> (U) might run like this:
>  1. U visits theatre site for first time.  What he sees is growth
>     happening in various poll/issue "forests".  Several large forests
>     are growing steadily and showing the most overall activity, but
>     U's attention is first drawn to smaller ones in which the
>     activity, despite being lower, is especially prominent.
>     One of these smaller poll forests (G/p/clic) looks especially
>     interesting.  The issue is "climate change" and the apparent
>     level of activity (2 ranger crews working) is eye catching.
>  2. U drills down into this little forest, and sees that it's
>     composed of five tiny seedlings that are all largely dormant
>     (some maybe dying), and 2 slightly larger ones, both of which are
>     humming with activity.  Each has a ranger crew working in it.
>     An indicator pops to life on one of the seedlings (incoming
>     message).
>  3. U drills into that seedling, and sees the rough outline of its
>     shape.  The crew is working on a twig near the top.
>  4. U clicks on the twig and sees its detailed structure: one
>     candidate (H) and 6 co-voters: 2 drafting rangers (X,Y), 2
>     non-ranger drafters (M,N) and 2 non-drafting leaf voters:
>     He sees a tweet-like summary of the latest messages exchanged
>     amongst these people.  They're all talking about climate change
>     stuff, and apparently there's a disagreement about something.
>  5. U clicks on one of the messages and is taken into a mailing list
>     thread (Google Group say), where he reads the latest messages in
>     more detail.  Apparently ranger X and Y have some disagreement,
>     and most of the other posters expressing agreement with X.  But U
>     can clearly see that X is wrong, and Y is right!
>  6. U joins the list and posts a message of support for Y.
>  7. ?
> It is now the job of X and Y to get U to vote for H, and to draft a
> position of his own.  How they'd do that is still unclear.  All we
> know is they'd have to keep the discussion focused on climate issues
> (or people like U won't be attracted, at all.)
> > 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?
> They behave outwardly like normal drafters, except they never want
> anyone to vote for them (we'll probably even have to discount such
> votes).  They don't interact any differently with the pollwiki, except
> they acquire a large number of position drafts (most of which become
> inactive) because they range across so many polls.
> However, in their role of shepherding new drafters into the toolset,
> they'll be especially concerned about ease of entry.  They'll be
> working in one of the places where the shoe pinches hardest, so
> they'll probably have developers working along with them.
> (I wonder how it all might translate to voice media and face-to-face
> discussions?  It's the end of my day, I can't think clearly...)
> --
> Michael Allan
> Toronto, +1 647-436-4521

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