Online Decision Making Tools


lasst uns doch hier gleich mal über das Abstimmungs-Plugin diskutieren. @almereyda hast du schon irgendwelche Ansatzpunke, Links und/oder Tutorials?

naja. ich kenne nur

das ist aber kaputt.

ein start wäre alles auf

@almereyda wasn’t it you that showed me this argumentation/voting tool in beta state? Can’t remember the name anymore :confused:

Currently there’s parallel discussions on another two platforms, namely and

Originally we (@daniel & @samuel + name disclosed) decided it would be good to stick to this Discourse for proper discussions and would provide a Voting-plugin to the Discourse Community, based on the principles of Loomio. I don’t know what happened then and why more (mostly invisible to the big Group, like these discussions here) concurrence has been brought to the field.

@daniel brauchst du noch mehr Resourcen?

Bitte entschuldigt das alleinige vorpreschen, aber ich habe einfach das Bedürfnis zu agieren, ohne darüber sich stunden lang den Kopf zerbrechen zu müssen, ob das jetzt politisch korrekt ist oder nicht. Ich habe mir Loomio nochmals genauer angesehen und bin äußerst angetan von dem Konzept um so Entscheidungen voran zu treiben. Bis es ein funktionierendes Plugin für discourse geben wird, verstreicht viel wertvolle Zeit. Ich bitte meine kommunikative Tollpatschigkeit zu verzeihen, wie sagt man so schön fail early, fail fast, fail often.

So now, after we had five parallel discussions on this topic, there’d been some changes: has been deprecated and the Loomio group got revamped. But the discussion continues at Trello, here as well as Loomio and now even at and

Brabbl has been brought on the table, too.

As Brabbl, and are not FOSS (Free and Open Source Software), from an idealistic stand point I would not be able to vote for them.

What we’re looking at is a diversity of possible ways to electronically convey discussions and arguments to a broad, hyperlocal community. What we’re doing right now is raising the entropy in the field of possible answers to the question of (hey) eParticipation from our points of views, until it collapses again. And we have an answer.

As this is turning into an evaluation, we could simply fire up a pad and collect our thoughts to the different tools there. It’s intruiging because it’s immersive.

Like Josef mentionned on Trello in a humoristic way, I still don’t get the point, why we need to find a decision finding solution. As I don’t see the need for it right now. Please don’t get me wrong on this: Of course it’s important to have it at hands once we need it, but I feel the discussion is taking a wrong exit.

The (broader) discussion shouldn’t be about “which tool to use during the next three months” but how we set up our communication channels to effectively streamline our thoughts and actions. Right now, we’re only raising the noise.

An investigation on current tools and their ideal use :

  • Mailing List : for announcements to a broader public
  • Pads : for immediate text collaboration and archival
  • Trello : for actualized division of labour and visual overview (the last one is important)
  • several Experiments mentionned above aside to the TING here.

Discourse, the system used for this site, is capable of combining mailing list, extensive, beautiful, multimedia enriched discussions and, from my point of view, also decision making in one place. Looking at its extensibility, free licence and therefore self-hosted and -controlled data, next to its broad community, quickly iterating development process, unobstrusive design and state of the art technology make it the right choice for me. (You should not take into account that professional Discourse hosting starts at 20$/month, but should know about it. In fact, it’s a community building tool with Private Messages, Private Forums, access control, …)

Get serious : is decision making only about narrowing down a couple of alternatives and then voting about them or is it an intertwined discourse between the arguments of multiple actors that dance together in an often chaotic fashion?

Therefore we need to clearly distinguish between decision making on the one hand and votes/polls on the other. Maybe I’m wrong here, as especially Echo delivers a mixed approach, but in the end selfmaintained infrastructure is more important to me. Loomio carries a fair chance to be the choice for those special cases in need of an overview of opinions.

Still, the time management issue hasn’t been raised, either.

Just a short vote statement and additional comment: I voted on using Loomio, because I think in the medium/long term it appears to be an interesting tool to use: it is open source, it is consensus oriented, it has a nice interface. Maybe your integration into discourse would be even nicer - I am very much in favor of integration when possible, rather than split apart tools; I would love an integration into the Drupal/Open Atrium group structure, particularly the new (which is a platform solution that emerged from a year-long political process, to try to address precisely the things that we are discussing here) :wink: In short: getting the workflow/updates to be visible at a central place (like it is now, with Trello, Discourse/ting, Loomio, it’s just confusing and a way to get lost for the normal mortal being.

I agree that the broader discussion on this should be about the communication channels and tools on the long term. First, from a very pragmatic perspective: it is a wast of time (or raising the noise like you said). Second, from a political perspective, it is not legitimate for a group of people that actually manage to use the set of tools that we are using now, to decide how decisions of such a diverse movement are taken. If we want to do this and be representative, then we have to do it in proper place, calling a presential meeting, outreaching to whoever has interest or at least to all that were in the process in Munich.

I think that for what we have to do now, we don’t really need a lot of decision making. What we need mostly is getting tasks done (what we are sorting out in Trello) and collaborative work (Etherpads). My experience is also that, if a group focus on collaborative work with tools like Etherpads, then the need for taking decisions is eliminated for most of the things - real time editing of texts makes the things flow naturally into a consensus.

A project/time management is definitely missing me, I completely lost the overview of what is the timeplan, or if we even ever started working on one.

Okay. I think we’ve agreed that Trello is going to be our central place. People already get notifications for the Cards they are a member of or have subscribed to. So let’s leave some work to the humans and let them notify manually if something important happens within another channel.

On the other side people should start to accept that reality is complex, special workflows are hard to represent with all-in-one applications and fitting technological solutions don’t get developed overnight.

I agree with you. If we ever need a specific consensus, we can still rely on one of the tools we’ve croudsourced in the last days. And decide then which one to use. I’m sure we’ll reach far without that, though.