Loomio
November 4th, 2015 00:33

Abstention - Part 2 : Make wording in votes more congruent

Fabio Balli
Fabio Balli Public Seen by 438

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"

Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli November 4th, 2015 00:37

Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli started a proposal November 4th, 2015 00:40

Adopt the four proposals for a new wording Closed 7:07pm - Friday 6 Nov 2015

Results
Agree - 5
Abstain - 1
Disagree - 10
Block - 0
16 people have voted (0%)
Ken LeFebvre

Ken LeFebvre
Agree
November 4th, 2015 00:59

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.

Ken LeFebvre

Ken LeFebvre November 4th, 2015 01:00

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.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel November 4th, 2015 01:23

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] November 4th, 2015 02:09

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

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
November 4th, 2015 02:20

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett November 4th, 2015 17:42

@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.

Hannah Salmon

Hannah Salmon November 4th, 2015 20:55

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..?

Hannah Salmon

Hannah Salmon
Disagree
November 4th, 2015 20:55

See comment :)

Hannah Salmon

Hannah Salmon
Disagree
November 4th, 2015 20:56

See comment above :)

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel November 4th, 2015 22:56

@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 ;) )

Ken LeFebvre

Ken LeFebvre November 5th, 2015 01:39

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.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel November 5th, 2015 03:26

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. :)

Chris Zumbrunn

Chris Zumbrunn
Disagree
November 5th, 2015 09:53

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.

Steve Bosserman

Steve Bosserman
Abstain
November 5th, 2015 15:25

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?

DU

[deactivated account] November 5th, 2015 20:27

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.

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Abstain
November 5th, 2015 21:03

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

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
November 5th, 2015 21:53

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!

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
November 5th, 2015 21:53

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!

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
November 5th, 2015 21:56

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!

Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 03:34

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 November 6th, 2015 05:22

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.

JK

James Kiesel
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 05:40

(See comment)

Z

zack
Agree
November 6th, 2015 05:51

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.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 05:56

I made a few comments earlier but forgot to vote

Nis Jørgensen

Nis Jørgensen
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 07:34

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 08:28

too many proposals at a time

Neofytos Kolokotronis

Neofytos Kolokotronis
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 13:08

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!

Raphaël Jadot

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
November 6th, 2015 13:53

Same as @joope

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 16:50

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

Jochen Walter

Jochen Walter
Disagree
November 6th, 2015 19:48

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).