Mon 9 May 2016 8:13PM

Delegated Read/Write for groups > large scale democracy

DL Daniel Lewis Public Seen by 227

This conversation kicked off in the thread number of users in a group

I thought it would be cool to have this in its own thread - so I made one. :sweat_smile:


The discussion can be broadly scoped down to: tool features we want for decision making by big groups and examples of applying the tools. As different groups will do this differently.

One of the ideas that came out of the thread was that of a Thread Summary that could be voted on. I figured we could try this in practice by writing a Summary here in the Description of the new thread and then vote on whether we accept this summary.

Summary of Large scale democracy discussion.

The seed of the discussion moving away from user numbers started with a comment by @gasparl outlining the problem of large groups appending comments to the bottom of a thread and how the comment box was therefor always moving down.

From there the problem was teased out a little to define that the "reply" feature also doesn't work as expected as it does not refer to the message replied to. Other apps were identified to suffer from a similar ux shortcoming - WhatsApp, Coursera, Fb... all make it so that people forget/miss comments as they scroll ever upwards. some sort of comment sorting was tabled to be a solution. eg newest first and oldest first.

@purplelibraryguy than commented that the conversation should maybe be broken out into one or more threads. To which the feature convert comment to new thread was thought to be very handy.

But alas the conversation did not shard... @pedrojuangirones came swooping in with a comment that sparked several larger posts talking about:

  • Write Delegation > Representing a groups voice
  • Read Delegation > Recieving information on behalf of a group
  • Reports > On write activities
  • Summaries > On read activities

The general feeling was that "write delegation implies de-facto read delegation" - @pedrojuangirones and that there would need to be some sort of mechanism to accept reports and summaries from those delegated to represent a sub-group. Reports being the feedback for "write" actions taken and summaries for "read" actions taken.

Some other themes of concern were power and transparency as discussed in this @purplelibraryguy comment. Information should always be accessible to an individual if desired and delegated people should not feel they have power, but rather a responsibility.

And thats it!


Very keen to see this summary amended and later voted on as an accepted summary of the conversation.


Read/Write comes from computing and refers to two actions taken to save data to disk or retrieve previously saved data from a disk. This can also be referred to as in/out


Mat Mon 9 May 2016 8:47PM

Hi Daniel, interestingly that was the first Loomio community thread I'd read in ages all the way through.

Broadly speaking I'd never seen Loomio as being particularly useful for really large (for me meaning over 100 active participants) groups, at least partly for all the reasons mentioned in that thread.

It seems to me that once you start getting larger democratic/participatory groups then a whole different functionality is required. I would have assumed that in-depth discussions would happen at local group or work team level with decisions taken there being fed up to higher levels in any imaginary organisation until you end up with either one decision or proposal that has consensus or if you have more than one option then maybe a simple poll without global comments...

That's er probably not a helpful answer, but...


[deactivated account] Mon 9 May 2016 9:29PM

I agree with that. However, the question for me is if the new functionallity should be develooped separately or if it can be added to Loomio. Should we start from scratch?

At least Loomio is a great place to discuss the functionality which is required. :smiley:


Eamonn O'Flaherty Tue 21 Jun 2016 9:39AM

Well I can't offer much about the technicalities, but I am very interested in the application of something like this for better democracy.


Rudolf Olah Tue 16 Aug 2016 2:24AM

Commenting sorting would be nice as a separate feature.

Large scale democracy is already accommodated from what I have seen; just create new groups and create federations of them. Assign a delegate to the "meta" group and you're done? You don't really need Loomio to incorporate new features for that.