Mon 11 Mar 2019

How to use Loomio (Start Here!)

Max Grant Public Seen by 282

Hey there - this is a thread. Anyone can start one of these. These are for any sort of conversation - most of which takes place in the comments below.

More specifically -- you are currently reading the Context. This is a block of text that everyone can see above the conversation happening below.

It serves two functions:

  1. To outline the background information of the thread

  2. To summarise where the conversation is at, i.e. key points that have been raised, where consensus appears to be, sticking points, etc. Anyone can update this as the conversation progresses, and the edit history of the context is available if needed.

Anyone can start a thread or post in existing threads. Anyone can also start a subgroup if there is a wider area that might work as an umbrella for other conversations.

Within a thread, you can launch and contribute to Decision Tools - take a look at these up to the right.

To notify a specific person, you can type @ followed by their name. Click the paperclip icon to add attachments.

Finally, if you’ve got questions, you can post below or check the Loomio help manual.


Ax Sun 7 Apr 2019

One aspect of the context that was a concern mentioned at the comunity event was that there was no revision history.
Thankfully it seems that there is indeed a revision history, shown by the attached icon


Adrian Godwin Mon 15 Apr 2019

I see that most, if not all postings are visible to anyone on the internet not just members of this group. Is that what's expected/wanted/known ? I'm thinking particularly of the link to a map that's in one of the threads but there may be other giveaways.


Lozmatron Mon 13 May 2019

I was also concerned about this, but the flip side is that some people have also fed back that they don't don't want subgroups that are closed because it might feel exclusive or not transparent.

I'm confused about why you cant set a subgroup within the main nest group thats seen by all members. I may be missing something and would appreciate someone more knowledgable to clarify!


Amandasm Tue 14 May 2019

Aren't all subgroups visible along the right lower side of the screen when in the main group? Once you join a subgroup its threads also appear in the main feed of threads. I think subgroups could be helpful in the long run for helping people weed through a bunch of posts if they are only interested in certain areas of discussion, as long as anyone can join them then it's not exclusive


Adrian Godwin Mon 13 May 2019

Do you know how to read only the new posts ? On some busy threads it can be difficult to find them - the left hand margin shows unread threads, the thread shows unread postings but the actual posts seem to be hidden in the threading somewhere. Meanwhile the first few posts show up every time.


Rich S Thu 30 May 2019

Hi all. Forgive me if this is written somewhere already. Can I please ask how this forum is to be applied? I see people posting after a few weeks of debate, and no apparent responses or follow up from anywhere. Essentially a thread of yes/no debate just drying up once people have expressed their view. Please correct me if am wrong.

Many people’s concerns about Loomio have been that it sidelines and censors debate from the wider community. If that’s really to be avoided then shouldn’t there be some structure and mechanism around taking the debates in these threads, and openly concluding them to implement any appropriate change.

Again forgive me if this is already set out and please point me towards. Otherwise, I’d probably suggest an offline forum where interested parties such as myself can attend, present, debate and recommend/request changes. This on the back of issues being listed, and pro/con arguments outlined. Online forums are only useful to an extent, for the reasons I suggest above re drying up.

Thank you


Tom Allen Sun 9 Jun 2019

fully agree with your accurate criticism of this free flow debate pattern here. the challenge here is getting more people on board with more progressive debating methods. for a start having all debates about a proposed solution or statement with a timeframe, such is the Advice Process ala frederic laloux. or sprints from the agile project management methodology as two examples of open debates which focus towards a conclusion. I hope to work more in those directions should i be accepted into the nest team. Being censored is one type of pain, but talking to a space where you get no reply or action is also another to avoid. happy to hear your suggestions too on how better to structure debates to stay focused and produce results. personally i feel sometimes even a conclusion made before the debate has ended (as some can go forever) is better than none at all, as long as the space to challenge it (even if that is immediately) is there too


Amandasm Sat 1 Jun 2019

This has been a soft launch, with a plan to have a full launch after Nest 2019 when the volunteer team have more time to get more of the community involved in Loomio. It also takes time for people to get comfortable using a new system and recognise all its tools. Most people have been focused on preparing for Nest so there hasn’t been a lot of engagement yet and it’s still new so it would be good to get more people on board before making big decisions. Part of the reason for threads dying out is because there’s still a lot of Nestlings not involved yet and because most have been focused on preparing for the actual event in its lead-up.

Loomio can be used both top-down and bottom-up so if there is a particular issue you would like to query the community about to get a gauge on their opinions, then do a survey and spread the word about it to all the Nestlings. Or if there is a particular solution to an issue that you want to see implemented then feel free to flesh it out with others on here and present how it could be developed to the community so they can get on board. It’s a do-ocracy after all.

Volunteers are decompressing from Nest, some having only left site recently, so pushing Loomio through comms may not happen immediately but you are welcome to spread the word about it or put some attention on any threads you want to see more community discussion on.

I don’t see how Loomio sidelines or censors debate as anyone can join easily and in fact many Nestlings aren’t on Facebook and appreciate being able to discuss Nest related things without being forced to join FB.

Offline/in-person discussions are best but since the majority of the community can’t attend in-person meetings at any given time, this way we can gather all their opinions in one place in a far more organised manner than Facebook. There are tools for surveys and other ways to reach agreements, and topics won’t get lost in the constant flood of posts.

The core team are already starting to take into account feedback from Loomio but focus was recently on making Nest happen and issues unrelated to getting that done have not been priority, but the team will be meeting to do an overview of how things went this year and taking feedback from the community.

To get a better idea of how Loomio can be used for discussion and decision-making I’d suggest looking at Borderland’s Talk - it is very actively used by that community, but they’ve had many years doing it. It will take a bit of time for more people to get used to it but I think once they do it will be a better tool than FB for actually getting things done. There will be more time during the summer months to implement changes before next year’s event starts getting organised.


Adrian Godwin Sat 1 Jun 2019

Discussion in person is fast and productive but very hard to document. Even if meetings are minuted, there may be multiple understanding of what was decided. A threaded discussion online is far better for this.

Getting someone to sign off each discussion once dormant or decided is a great idea though.


Tom Allen Sun 9 Jun 2019

i feel the issue isn't just about online vs in person. it's about the structure of the debate and people learning how to debate in a way towards a clear conclusion. there are many great examples of methods for this that i hope to help nest work towards if there is consent for that


Lozmatron Wed 5 Jun 2019

Just FYI as i just discovered how to format text properly:


Helpful for when trying to summarise the context else it looks a little messy!


Amandasm Wed 12 Jun 2019

For those who can't use a laptop to access Loomio, here's some advice on putting an icon on your screen to take you straight to Loomio:



Claire McAllen Wed 12 Jun 2019

I don't seem to have that option in my drop down box 😕