Meeting Notes For Guilds Meeting 7/30/20

MetaGuild Notes


What is the best way to move/edit posts in a way that suggests there is some kind of “community consensus”?

Flagging posts? Having admins respond to flags?

J: Not many if anyone is moderating the discuss forum currently.

I created a gorup on Discuss called “help” that you can tag to reach @help

Worth noting that we created a “bravespace” group you can opt in to so its a bit more discretethan making totally public posts, and “safemode” category that is specifically not search-engine index-able. Things we want to share and be transparent, but not incredibly publicy. Still publicly viewable by anyone with an account who is logged in to Discuss.

N: The only missing link seems to be writing out the FAQ with a good set of practices and guidelines, so that it becomes super clear what the admins are doing, not doing, what users can do, etc.

M: We should notify all people where these guidelines.

T: Whats the deal with Discord?

M: It can handle lots of users at once, its more of an immediate communication. Voice chat, screen sharing, and whatnot. Its more real-time than just a forum with thread, like Discuss.

N: Lets do a temperature check on the idea of “people flagging posts as drama”. Perhaps, given a threshold of flags, a moderator is authorized to move something to bravespace/safemode/wherever.

[Some talk about discussion forums and online talk patterns, social media and how it teaches people to communicate in certain ways, etc…]

pyco: Lets make sure we never partially delete conversations. How does trying to be forgotten affect other people? (In the case where one wants to delist a thread they took part in) Slack is a particularly weird case bc there aren’t “threads” per se, it is just a continuous bunch of posts and responses.

[talk about rack and how to get certain infrastructure things done. things are quite divided right now. Mark would like to see them unified and easy to deal with for uninitiated folks looking to just hop in to the proceedings. Some more talk about generally unifying noisebridge’s organization structure and stuff]

Ryan: someone asked at the tuesday meeting about guilds. They are doing battlebots stuff.

M: Send em to TJ and/or Robert to help organize robotics/electronics guild and they can decide whether it needs to be a subgroup, a working group, a discussion thread, regular meetup, or whatever.

Hey, just want to clarify some of the points discussed, since details given were pretty detailed. Hope this helps.

Flagging posts is the usual way people ask about a post to staff (mods & admins). We’ve lightly tested this functionality, but it is all fully customizable. You can try it out via the menu under any given post, using the "Flag’ icon.

  • Flag a post for off-topic, inappropriate, fill-in-the-blank, etc.
  • Flag can lock, unlist, take no action upon a post, etc.
  • Once a posts is flagged (using Flag icon in the menu bar), it starts a tally of flags. 4 flags. Unsure if flags are visible to normal users, or just the original poster and staff.
  • fyi, Flags can also be used convert an existing thread into private messages between all involved users. Other options as well, but haven’t checked them.

We should definitely be able to customize how flags work. Just need to look into it further.

Was also mentioned that specific emojis have been used on Slack to specify tension in topics.
On mailing list, people will add tags such as [Drama] since there is no other moderation.

Groups could serve as another means to connect aside from flagging. This was the intention of @help since it is easy to mention a group just as you would a user. Worth considering since actual staff have rarely ever focused on the moderation side of things, so other alternatives certainly worth considering.

All text in Discourse can be customized. We can definitely re-write the FAQ / Guidelines, alter placement to somewhere more obvious on the forum menu, and notify users (it is currently found in the bottom right of the hamburger menu below categories). There are multiple ways to notify users, including:

  • Send a private message to all users.
  • Update information shown to new account creators (Trust Level 0).
  • Update information shown upon receiving Trust Level 1.
  • Create a custom wizard, which is a custom set of instructions and interactions users can click through.
    • A wizard can be required to complete if desired. Most common example is “Getting Started Instructions” or “Welcome to the Forum”

There are multiple volunteers randomly maintaining the forum. There is very little actual moderation happening, but quite a bit of scaffolding / bikeshedding, since there have been continuous tweaks and improvements to add. See the mention of improving the FAQ above as an example. The kind of thing that does happen a lot is refining tags, adding integrations, customizing features, migrating categories, and just finding more ways to make the forum useful to us. These sorts of edits have been very commonplace over the last 6+ months, and of course over the last few years.

Confusion here stems from Bravespace (and previous interations of it) all being developed within Slack over the last 5+ years. It is just a part of our community now, but the accepted usage people follow is to challenge by choice. Things get heated and people ask in good faith: “Hey, please move your conversation to bravespace so I can continue mine in peace”

Basic design is Bravespace channel allows people to opt-in / opt-out of that channel. Once in, you say whatever you want. Others can do the same. Has been going for a while now with notable success. About 100 users are in Bravespace channel vs 1k users in the general channel of Slack at any given time. Our public Discuss list is still alive, unmoderated and functional, but almost no one wishes to use it.

Just like newspace-sensitive category, safe mode is just a category that is viewable once you login. The idea is not merely for discussion, but for sharing documentation you don’t visible to the public internet. @themanmaran mentioned we could merge these two categories together. Makes sense, but would be bolstered if the bravespace model were also adopted since these are two different things:

  • flame threads where people ask their names / posts indexed publicly. Also, allowing those not interested to not have to engage in these topics (person just asking about the laser cutter). By nature, flame threads dominate all others on the forum.
  • in general, some posts need to reside more within the forum, but related to minor discretion such as financials, etc.

Outside of Slack users deleting their conversations, I believe most things live as-is. A couple intense conversations on Discuss were unlisted a couple years ago, which means they only show up when searched for. The person who started these threads wants to disappear, which we can definitely assist on the Discuss side. @pyconaut:

  • We can fully anonymize this user in Discuss. This means their posts / interactions with the forum and all mentions of their username will be masked into an anonymous user.
  • Deletion is also totally possible at this time, but what you mentioned makes sense… we should avoid deletion if we can anonymize successfully.

Want to add @Zach’s input was notably missing and everyone was interested in hearing it.

Hope this helps clarify at least part of the discussion that occurred. :heart:


Thanks for the follow-up James. Yeah my note-taking was quick and dirty. Am a slow typist - I could not keep up with the conversation while fully taking notes and just tried to get the gist. Next time we should make a concerted effort to have multiple notetakers.

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Yeah, also worth working out notes from the discussion on sorting out email aliases and other tools you (and others) mentioned needing for gettings things done under Noisebridge.

Quick things I remember:

  • Mark needs an alias (cannot remember which it is) from @SuperQ.
  • @Roboto would like an alias for chm.
  • @Pyconaut would like an alias for fundraising*

Best way to request an alias is to specify:
I need to re-direct to

  • volunteers have had good luck with and for hosted accounts used by Noisebridge. Others have used gmail.

James setup mailcow, which works great. Only concern is it opening up about 10 different ports on our server’s firewall. Decided against running it publicly on the same server running this forum.

  • We would benefit from an email server / groupware for Noisebridge.
    • Google suite is an option.
    • Open source options: mailcow , mail-in-a-box are also possible. We can always just pay a host to run them for us.
    • @the just had a fresh VPS server donated to Noisebridge for life by a fully open source organization, which could be an excellent candidate for an email server.