[Noisebridge-discuss] better tech for making decisions (other hackerspaces encouraged to comment!)

Tom Lowenthal me at tomlowenthal.com
Wed Apr 2 20:10:23 UTC 2014

Naomi wrote:
> One strong discussion topic that came up at the meeting tonight was
> the idea of finding a better technology for discussion and
> decision-making than the one we have now.

Johny Radio wrote:
> A members-only mailing-list.

Torrie Fischer <tdfischer at hackerbots.net> wrote:
> I've been working on this project for a while that provides a thorough API to
> a hackerspace, including storing membership records, collecting dues, etc.
> http://spiff.readthedocs.org/en/latest/
> There exists this web app thingee that says they're all about consensus based
> decision making:
> https://www.loomio.org/

I really like both of Torrie's ideas.

[Loomio][] is a really neat tool based on Liquid Democracy, but with a
much better front-end. It's a web app designed to facilitate
consensus-related discussions and decisions, and to be incredibly easy
to use. I'd love it if we could offload most of our Tuesday-evening
decisions onto a Loomio instance. I think that'd take a lot of the
pressure off, both in terms of time/logistics to participate, and in
terms of feeling like we have to hurry to do things in any particular

I also think that [Spiff][] is a fantastic step up from the tech I
currently use to manage membership. I'd be really psyched to use it.

In terms of more general-purpose tools, I *really* like [Slack][]. It
feels a lot like IRC and even has a totally transparent IRC bridge,
for folks who already have their own IRSSI setup. However, you don't
need to understand IRC to use it. You can just sign into the website,
and it has your whole backlog, including messages sent when you were
offline. Norton Imperial Labs have been using Slack for a while, and
we really like it.

I like the idea of a members-only mailing list, apart from my dislike
for email in general and Mailman in particular. I'd really like it if
we stopped using Mailman, and changed to something more usable.
Discourse is a lot like what you'd get if you tried to make mailing
lists today. It has all the functionality of Mailman, but much better
usability for both subscribers and moderators, as well as a lot of
features to make forum-life much easier.


[Loomio]: https://www.loomio.org/
[Spiff]: http://spiff.readthedocs.org/
[Slack]: https://slack.com/
[Discourse]: http://www.discourse.org/

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