Confusion between transparency & advertising in PPBe
I wanted to have a debate around transparency, because it is my personal view that not all members know what it's about and often confuse it with advertising. So I'm explaining my point of view here.
Transparency is about releasing information about anything a group is debating about, discussing, deciding. It's about giving the possibility to people to view, check, control, judge what a group is doing. To be able to do that, these people need to access to as much information as possible, otherwise their judgment might be biased. They also need to know when and how these discussions happen, they need to know how to access the information (and it's more helpful when it's made in the same way, systematically, for each meeting).
Advertising (I use that term but you might find other terms more appropriate) is when that group is selecting some information and releases it, in order to increase adhesion, to attract attention, to share a specific message. Usually that information is not harmful to the said group, unless they share it with the intention of pretending to be transparent. Or the information can be shared only to a select group of people, usually "the friends of the group". Citizens who make requests to the local authorities to access a specific document might see their request blocked if they've been critics of that local authority.
There are always exceptions, of course. Sensitive information regarding someone's privacy might not be public information to be released, but the general idea, in my opinion, is this one. Transparency is an obligation and the foundation of a democratic organization, it is required to have collaboration, information sharing, openness and to build trust. Advertising is an additional layer of communication, it might help to incentive some groups of people, but it's only made for the benefit of the group who does it.
In the Pirate Party, since years, transparency happens on the wiki. Whenever there is a PPBe meeting, it is announced on the wiki. When the meeting is over, a meeting report is published. If transparency happens somewhere else, it becomes confusing. Where do I find the info now? Are there meetings that happened that I don't know about? (yes there are). Is there information from meetings that has not been published? (yes there is). Most crews use the same wiki to be transparent, since years, but not all of them unfortunately.
Being transparent thanks to the wiki doesn't mean there is no advertising possible on top of that. But I find it important that Pirates understand these 2 things as different, complementary concepts. And doing only the advertising part and forgetting the transparency is certainly hurting internal collaboration.