Tue 11 Sep 2018 6:16PM

Call for Social.Coop Revitalization Team volunteers. Please Read.

RB Robert Benjamin Public Seen by 62

Based on the painful and tumultuous events of the past few weeks it is clear to all members that Social.Coop is in dire need of fixing.

Except that may not be the case.

Many members may be unaware of the discord, what has been driving the urgent proposals, why there is talk of forking, and what prompted the departure of a number of new and longtime members.

If nothing else the disconnect in communication/engagement vs action/in-action can be taken as clear signal in its self that Social Coop as an organization is not delivering on some base responsibilities it has to its members.

Team Purpose: To bring together a diverse set of members to gather new and existing ideas on what is working for Social Coop and what is not with an eye on structural changes that would make the organization more accountable to all its member's needs. The team will present back a coherent reflection on the issues Social Coop is facing along with proposals/suggestions to fix them.

Scope of team activities may include review of;
- Members needs and expectations
- Collective vs Representative Governance
- Bylaws revisions
- Legal Entity Choice
- Membership roles, rights, and responsibilities
- Diversity of membership (or lack there of)
- Engagement of membership
- Moderation of governance discourse
- Common bond/community building
- Role in larger Fediverse
- Sustainability of volunteer work force
- Financial stability of organization
- Membership fees/subscriptions
- Desired user/member growth

Time Commitment: Through shared workload and clear participation guidelines every effort will be made be reduce the time load on any individual member. Team members can contribute as much or as little as they can.

Diversity Note: This volunteer team is open to all existing members, however it is essential that leading roles are not held by members of one dominant identity or background. Efforts to ensure this may include recruiting non-members to fill leading or advisory roles.

Facilitation Note: The team will commit to a mode and method of participation (TBD, possibly not on Loomio) that does not favor dominant personalities, and respects the contributions of each team member without expecting or requiring they defend their point of view or position. Every effort will be made to keep the internal conversation private including the occasional use of anonymous voting, etc.

Remuneration: In commitment to the critical efforts it is recommended that the organization devote funds to the facilitation of team activities. Upon showing progress, including the formation of an active team with diverse leadership, a separate budget proposal may be submitted.

Time Frame: The team will begin by listing and prioritizing issues that are emergent and non emergent and will work within its volunteer capabilities to expedite the most needed proposals and recommendations. Based upon participation level an official time-frame will be published and updated.

Thread Moderation Note:* The purpose of this thread is to host the volunteer check poll and to clarify and answer questions (if known) directly related to the volunteer poll and team expectations. All sidebar conversations or responses will be asked to move to a different thread.*


Poll Created Tue 11 Sep 2018 6:21PM

Volunteers for Social.Coop Revitalization Team Closed Mon 17 Sep 2018 6:01PM

by Robert Benjamin Sun 7 Oct 2018 6:25PM

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to take part in the Social.Coop revitalization process.

I apologize for dropping off after getting this going. Needed to take care of a lot in my non Social.Coop life and to recharge.

Though still short on time will be moving this forward in increments. Also supporting @matthewcropp in his efforts to prioritize getting the Community Ops team up and going as necessary foundational fix to moving things forward.

Would consider re-opening this poll to allow for any members who may have missed it but still would like to engage to do so.

Please add your name to the list if you would like to take part in the process of identifying issues and creating solutions for the Social.Coop organization as described in the main thread. Roles and responsibilities will be determined upon gathering sufficient volunteers to begin work.


Results Option Voters

17 of 103 people have voted (16%)


Manuela Bosch
Tue 11 Sep 2018 7:15PM

I am volunteering with showing my presence and being a thought partner.


[deactivated account]
Tue 11 Sep 2018 9:15PM

I encourage the less privileged to volunteer. I will be an enthusiastic observer.


Stephanie Jo Kent
Tue 11 Sep 2018 11:24PM

I'm so distant, but I care about this initiative. I want you to succeed! Do people know about the stages of group development? I only read a brief bit but this seems like STORMING. There is nothing wrong with Storming, even though it usually doesn't feel good. In fact, effectively airing differences and getting through The Storm is essential to future group good health and effectiveness.


Tue 11 Sep 2018 11:33PM

The time for this was like, 6-12 months ago. The problems facing this coop have been there since its inception.

It's too late for me to be comfortable donating more of my time and energy to this work.


Gil Scott Fitzgerald
Wed 12 Sep 2018 12:38AM

I'd love to but as I've been involved in governance previously I think I should step aside


Matt Noyes
Wed 12 Sep 2018 1:52AM

I am eager to participate, want to help facilitate this process, and also happy to step aside as the team forms -- I can be a cheerleader, too. (I can do a killer double hook and my herkie is not bad.)


Sam Toland
Wed 12 Sep 2018 10:18AM

Not best placed to join this team - but support the proposal, which is well articulated.

social.coop is not broken IMHO - it hasnt even been built yet. Understand a lot of individuals frustrations - but i think a lot of individuals expectations of the group are unfair and uncharitable.

Im looking forward to supporting a core team co-ordinate social.coop's development and address the challenges of operating an online co-op - and wish everyone who isn't interested in this endeavour all the best.


Wed 12 Sep 2018 2:11PM

This proposal is too vague, should be clearer what the specific purpose of this team is. To be more specific:
Why can't these things listed under "scope" be discussed in Loomio? Why is a team needed?
Time commitment isn't very specific. How many hours/week are expected?
Does the diversity note mean including non-West Europeans or Americans?
Where would alternative discussions take place?


Bob Haugen
Wed 12 Sep 2018 6:14PM

I wish you well, but don't have time or enuf experience with this kind of process to be useful.


Brian Jones
Thu 13 Sep 2018 8:00PM

I look forward to following the process and hopefully being able to find other ways to be helpful, but my timezone and schedule have already made it difficult for me to stay abreast of happenings on here so I anticipate it being a source of stress to try to keep up and contribute.


G I McGrew
Sun 16 Sep 2018 7:31PM

I don't know how much time/labor I can commit to at this time, may mostly observe.


Sun 16 Sep 2018 10:16PM

Im currently a bit stretched and the work isnt clear but appears could be large. I'm happy to do some work in support if possible.


[deactivated account]
Mon 17 Sep 2018 2:45PM

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and my other commitments right now and have decided not to take anything else on if I can help it. I will engage where I can!


Robert Benjamin Wed 12 Sep 2018 6:20PM

@loshmi to address some of your questions.

1: This isn't a proposal just call for a volunteers to come together to unravel some of the pressing issues facing the organization and offer concrete solutions/proposals for the group to adopt (or not). Its scope is as specific as is it can be at the moment given the bandwidth and skill sets of the volunteer time has not been established yet.

2: There is some sense that the Loomio UI and current governance space is at the very least disorganized and overwhelming and its self needs addressing. Which doesn't mean that some of these issue can't be/won't be brought up and discussed via Loomio. Many of the issues actually have already been discussed in length but forward movement has been hard to come by. In the end any structural changes will have to be presented and discussed via existing governance methods laid out in the Bylaws.

3: Yes the leadership Diversity sought should take into account regional background.


mike_hales Tue 18 Sep 2018 9:16AM

I think that the editorial subgroup space is relevant to the revitalisation project. As structures, processes and intentions of the social.coop collective are surfaced and confirmed, the editorial subgroup might register these, and figure what documentation is called for, in what locations, to facilitate greater clarity from this point onwards. As coordinator of the subgroup I offer this reminder.

If the revitalisation team feels it would be helpful to have the subgroup coordinator in the team. in a 'journalistic' role, in service to the team, I'm willing to be added,. I would not intend to actively participate in forming the team's 'content'.


Manuela Bosch Wed 19 Sep 2018 1:11PM

I like this proposal. Remins me to sociocracy, where you create doubble links to help the information flowing top down and down top.


Robert Benjamin Sun 7 Oct 2018 6:20PM

Apologize for dropping off after getting this going. Needed to take care of a lot in my non Social.Coop life and to recharge. As I am still a time short we'll be moving forward with this increments. Also supporting @matthewcropp is his efforts to prioritize getting the Community Ops team up and going as necessary foundational fix to moving things forward.


mike_hales Mon 10 Dec 2018 12:13AM

Quiet here for a couple of months. Now that the Community Ops team has met @robertbenjamin how d'you see the relationship between that activity and this process initiated here in this thread?