Thu 20 Apr 2017

Start an independent and customized Looomio instance for d@w

John Rhoads Public Seen by 413

I have been trying to create a "virtual meeting" methodology for my PHX action group. In my pursuit of this, the idea was to use one thread as the "meeting" and title it with a date. The thread context would include the topics for the meeting which attendees would address in their comments. Attendees could also add topics to the meeting by just adding comments. Ultimately, each comment would be a topic within the meeting - a thread within a thread or a topic within a topic(meeting). Alongside this idea was to have the ability to have multiple proposals within one topic thread. In other words, each topic listed in the meeting topics (thread context) could have a proposal associated with it. This however is not possible with the way Loomio is set up currently. Only one proposal is possible per thread topic and in my case would defeat my "meeting" idea short of having everyone title their thread topics with a nomenclature that indicates which meeting the thread belongs to. This ends up with a potentially huge and confusing list of threads pertaining to just one meeting. The fix to this is to either build in the ability to have multiple proposals per thread or add one more layer above the current Loomio thread structure. By adding a layer above would allow the current one-proposal-per-thread feature to remain.

Therefore, I would like to see a new custom instance of Loomio be created to achieve this new functionality. In essence, we would host our own instance of Loomio on a server which we could customize with features we decided to implement. Features that Loomio is unable to add to the platform in order to keep it simple and broadly appealing. Loomio encourages the customization of their platform for my reasoning and is open source so there is no issue with licensing.

Another cool feature that would be nice in Loomio is the ability to have "instant runoff" or "ranked choice" voting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting). In this way, voting could be a multiple choice affair if necessary in addition to being a hard "yes/no". In other words, a proposal could be "those in favor of going to Pizza Hut for dinner" vote agree/disagree OR "select the box next to the restaurant you would like to have dinner at". Another example is which grouping is the best choice: Pete, Sally and Sherry OR Bill, Pete and Sally OR Sally, Marry and Sherry? There could be a "write in" as well. I would like to see both options available to the proposal creator. This feature would also be good for when nominating people in our group to lead certain roles.

So the modifications are:
1. Add one more tier to the Loomio thread structure that gives the ability to create an overarching thread which can have a meeting title with agenda/topics as the context. One would have the choice of starting a "new meeting" or a "new thread" if a full blown meeting is not needed. Inside "new meeting" would be the standard Loomio thread structure where each thread started would be nested within the meeting instance. The hierarchy would be Meeting/Threads (topics)/Comments. So, at the top level it would have two buttons available: "New Meeting" and "New Thread". This way group members could start new threads outside the meeting context also. If "New Meeting" is started, only "New Thread" would be available inside it.

  1. Add the ability for the creator of a proposal to choose the standard Loomio voting choices or choose a "ranked choice" method where multiple choices are available.

Anyone interested in the programming aspect of this? I can host it on a server I have and do sys admin duties.


John Rhoads Thu 20 Apr 2017

It looks like Loomio has been working on some new features soon to be released which coincidentally address my wishes. I am having them turned on for Democracy at Work.



Paul Palmer Thu 20 Apr 2017


I have been writing about how
true democracy would work and searching for someone to write
the software to implement it. It sounds like you may have the
ability to create such software. I am even willing to put some
money into the project.

I can send you a prospectus I
wrote up for the software. I can also send you a pdf of my
book where I discuss what democracy means and how it can be
achieved. Most people, amazingly, are allergic to democracy,
but that is a separate if intriguing topic.

Just to give you the flavor,
if you see a situation in which elections are taking place,
that is a sure giveaway that democracy is absent. If you see
protests in the street, you know that grouping is not being
run democratically. Most people have sloshed the Koolaid down
so much for so long that they no longer are able to think
clearly about democracy clearly. They accept the propaganda
which has been handed them all their lives which is intended
to keep democracy sufficiently at bay that the people can be
controlled from the economic top.

If this sounds interesting,
send me your private email.

Paul Palmer


John Rhoads Tue 25 Apr 2017

Unfortunately, I don't code but do some scripting and systems administration. At the moment, I'm only working on Coop Eden and trying to create a "working group" to create and manage it.