Loomio
Wed 4 Nov 2015

Abstention - Part 2 : Make wording in votes more congruent

FB
Fabio Balli Public Seen by 442

This is a fork of https://www.loomio.org/d/uFwWM58m/abstention-do-loomio-voting-options-foster-participation-, which aims to make viewers but non voters visible, ie abstention.

This discussion aims to clarify the words used to describe the voting groups. Proposal :

a) Rename the orange "Abstain" to "Undecided"
b) Change "Show undecided members" to "Show members who did not open the proposal",
c) Use "abstain" for the automatic counting of viewers
d) Change the red "Block" to "Stop"

FB

Fabio Balli Wed 4 Nov 2015

FB

Fabio Balli started a proposal Wed 4 Nov 2015

Adopt the four proposals for a new wording Closed Sat 7 Nov 2015

Results
Agree - 5
Abstain - 5
Disagree - 5
Block - 5
15 people have voted (1%)
KL

Ken LeFebvre
Agree
Wed 4 Nov 2015

I really like having visibility into lurkers. I have long held that "null" is a valid vote, and it says something when a lot of people are interested enough to read a thread, but not motivated enough to get involved.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Nov 2015

HS

Hannah Salmon
Disagree
Wed 4 Nov 2015

See comment :)

HS

Hannah Salmon
Disagree
Wed 4 Nov 2015

See comment above :)

CZ

Chris Zumbrunn
Disagree
Thu 5 Nov 2015

Just because somebody hits a URL doesn't mean they actually read the content on the page, hence viewing does not at all amount to abstaining, in my opinion.

SB

Steve Bosserman
Abstain
Thu 5 Nov 2015

I don't know enough about this particular proposal (nor the one from which it was forked) to make an informed decision. However, the underlying question seems to be how to increase participation. If so, how do the proposed data fields address that?

JK(

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Abstain
Thu 5 Nov 2015

The general idea is good, not sure about the exact plan of action presented...

JK(

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
Thu 5 Nov 2015

Was unsure about the Stop thing first, but reading on a little it seems to be a quite consistent proposal. I would recommend to test it well first though!

JK(

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
Thu 5 Nov 2015

Was unsure about the Stop thing first, but reading on a little it seems to be a quite consistent proposal. I would recommend to test it well first though!

JK(

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
Thu 5 Nov 2015

Was unsure about the Stop thing first, but reading on a little it seems to be a quite consistent proposal. I would recommend to test it well first though!

PF

Paul Fenwick
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

I've never viewed the "abstain" as "undecided". It's an active choice: I've read the content, but don't feel I can provide meaningful input. I abstain a lot around experts.

If viewers were shown in charts, I'd just call them "viewers".

JK

James Kiesel
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

(See comment)

Z

zack
Agree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

I vote for the changes with one remark for c) abstain should definitely count the people active in the discussion who didn't vote. And they are the ones which commented not the viewers.

GC

Greg Cassel
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

I made a few comments earlier but forgot to vote

NJ

Nis Jørgensen
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

too many proposals at a time

NK

Neofytos Kolokotronis
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

This raises issues of privacy (stats kept and visible on who read what)
Instead, it could be written anonymously in letters under the pie (x people did not open the thread)
Block to Stop change sounds good to me though!

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

Same as @joope

BK

Benjamin Knight
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

I think abstention and view count are two quite different things.

JW

Jochen Walter
Disagree
Fri 6 Nov 2015

Now I understand Part 1. I disagree, in special b) because it doesn't matter if someone did not read the proposal or did not decide. In both cases the group or the proposer should try to get in contact with the undecided (readers and not-readers).

KL

Ken LeFebvre Wed 4 Nov 2015

Having agreed, if it's possible, though, I think it would be ideal to have a checkbox that would let me toggle the inclusion of abstentions. The view of what only motivated participants think is important enough that I'd hate to lose the ability to see it, also.

GC

Greg Cassel Wed 4 Nov 2015

I'll have to look closer at this later, but I will say for now that from my perspective, having viewed something and not registered a position yet is not at all equivalent to abstention. Actually, someone may feel quite strongly in agreement or disagreement, but may be taking time to consider the matter more closely. I think that potentially listing such people as having "abstained" can create misleading graphs.

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Nov 2015

In that case perhaps the functionality might be useful, just requires a more appropriate terminology than "abstained".

MB

Matthew Bartlett Wed 4 Nov 2015

@fabioballi I like the idea of a 'fork', and hope we can implement it more elegantly in the software at some point, but in this case I wonder whether these two discussions are closely enough related that they could have happened in the one thread? I feel like my attention is confusingly split across these two threads now.

HS

Hannah Salmon Wed 4 Nov 2015

I think the discussion in the previous thread has been awesome thus far, thanks so much everyone. I do think this proposal is conflating quite a few ideas.

I agree with @gregorycassel's statement that viewing a thread but not participating is not equivalent to abstention. And I feel like the proposed options don't really provide participants with the opportunity to say they're happy to go with the group (as the current 'abstain' option does). I also agree with @purplelibraryguy and @theodoretaptiklis about whitespace in the pie graph making it harder to judge how much support or opposition a proposal has (which is what the pie graph is supposed to give an immediate indication of). However, I do think representing members who have viewed the thread but not participated could be valuable, I just don't think it should be represented on the pie.

I also want to echo @strypey's sentiment that the current four options are based on a consensus process which has a long tradition of use, and I don't think changing the 'block' option to 'stop' will add any real value. However, we have been talking about functionality to allow groups to customise the options...perhaps that's a conversation that could do with some new energy at this point..?

GC

Greg Cassel Wed 4 Nov 2015

@hannahsalmon thanks so much for adding your powerful perspective on these fundamental issues.

Hmm. I've felt steadily for over a year now that 'Stop' makes more sense than 'Block' for most Loomio groups, although I've rarely mentioned it since the first time it came up. Maybe there's a 'middle path' of sorts, per your reference to customized options...

I think this is always going to be a bit of a wicked problem: how to encourage consensus-oriented, inclusive decision process, while allowing groups to customize their tools. Perhaps it really would be ideal if
1. the defaults remain Agree/Abstain/Disagree/Block, per the powerful history of formal consensus
2. groups could customize the buttons somewhat
3. the customization were intentionally limited, to prevent the reduction of Loomio to "yes/no" voting, and also to create some friction/resistance to the removal of a position such as block/stop/STRONG disagree .

(Perhaps really the only button that should be customizable is the "Block" button?)

I definitely do think that Loomio should encourage the types of decision process which it considers to be socially healthy. If anyone really has a problem with that, they can fork it. (I'm not holding my breath on that ;) )

KL

Ken LeFebvre Thu 5 Nov 2015

For customizations like this, perhaps the WordPress model would work: The feature to customize is implemented in the code, so self-hosted communities can enable it without departing too far from the mainline code branch, but it's disabled in the main hosted service.

GC

Greg Cassel Thu 5 Nov 2015

That's one fundamental possibility @kenlefebvre , and thanks for pointing it out! I tend to support a fairly high level of customization within the hosted product, but there are so many social and technical variables here. Hannah, Matthew and other Loomio team members have deeper perspective and investiture than I do. :)

DU

[deactivated account] Thu 5 Nov 2015

The idea shared in the other thread that if you comment after the proposal is started but haven't voted yet, then your participation gets tracked in the white slice.
I also wish to add to this the liking of comments anywhere on a discussion thread after the proposal has begun.

JK

James Kiesel Fri 6 Nov 2015

While I don't think this is really a candidate for Loomio core, I would very much like to be able to allow for this sort of thing to be possible as a plugin, either on a per-group basis on loomio.org, or as an option on your own hosted instance.

This sort of feature, which falls, in my mind, into the 'not for everyone, but valid use case' category, is something we can't commit a ton of resources to, but would like to support others in being able to make it happen for their organisation.

This is all great discussion, by the way.