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On Channels and Groups: For simplicity's sake let's think about two distinct group dynamics: 1. Public forum: anyone can immediately start posting, there is no concept of a member. 2. Membership group: you need to join first before posting. Each member can see each other. Even for a public group, people must first join before posting. The current structure of Powping channels takes the form of a public forum, but there clearly is great value in the membership group format where members can see each other and interact in more intimate settings. This could actually serve a different purpose than the current channels format. The reason channels were released in the form of a "public forum" was because it's the simplest to implement, open by nature, easy to participate, more privacy for subscribers ("lurking" is not a bad thing), and also easily extensible because of its simplicity. These two group dynamics are completely different and serve different purposes. Comparing the two and saying one is absolutely better than the other would be like saying "Dogs are better than cats". The goal is to facilitate various different dynamics including but not limited to both of the above options. In fact there's one new experimental feature already released out in the wild. Finally, privacy is important, so no matter what privacy settings are added in the future, they will never be rolled out in a way that can betray the original expectation of the users.
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but but dogs ARE better than cats! ;D
unwriter tipped:
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unwriter replied:
In practice what happens with "closed" membership groups is usually that there's a single administrator or a small group of administrators who have the authority to add people,,, and they don't have the energy to actually check whether people are serious about the group or to encourage positive participation from them, so they just add pretty much anyone who requests to join,,, and then when that doesn't work any better than an open forum because it's not really a barrier to entry, they impulsively ban whoever seems to them to be a problem,,,,, which is often actually the VICTIM of a troll playing the game of staying within the bright lines of the rules while also trying to provoke other people as much as possible. :/ So that's hardly better than open fora even though it's a bunch of work and stress and drama. What I recommend is closed groups where EVERY member of the group has to approve a request of someone new to join. That makes basic sense in terms of privacy, because it can easily violate expectations of privacy if you're posting things that are supposedly private because they're restricted to members but then the membership can be changed unexpectedly without your permission. I think it would encourage groups that have more of a real sense of group identity, where everyone feels that they've been actively welcomed to the group and taken on some responsibility to the other participants rather than just assuming that some administrator absentmindedly bothered to click "accept" on a list of people. Obviously there's the disadvantage that participants who drop out entirely or participate very slowly can slow the growth of groups, but I think it's worth the cost of making new groups with the active participants. The way I'd write it would be to have every aspect of the group administration be by consensus, so that it also takes agreement of all members to change the title or description of the group or whatever other powers would normally be assigned to administrators. In my experience group administration by an individual or small subgroup only works properly if you COMPENSATE them somehow-- if the only thing you get in exchange for being a group admin is the power to arbitrarily ban people, it's no surprise that people take whatever satisfaction they can out of that power and/or do their job as lazily as possible, what else should we expect when asking someone to do something difficult for free.
Can we have both? They are completely distinct and perfectly formed for each kind of interaction... people will also know upfront where they stand privacy wise
thank you for the education