Skip to main content

For those of you who don't know, Markos recently published his draft of the new Community Guidelines for Daily Kos.  There are two sections that have particular impact on the Caucus Project.  Here's the most important of the two:


1. Debate-free zones.

Some users have asked about the ability to declare their diary off-limits to their detractors, so that they can discuss a topic without having opponents intrude. This would apply to internally contentious issues like Israel-Palestine, Snowden-NSA, and guns. Or primaries where the community is divided among the contenders.
While I find some validity in the request, and considered it deeply, fact is it conflicts with the debate-centric focus of the site. We're not an echo chamber, nor do I want it to become one. So if you want to be spared dissent, Daily Kos just won't be the place for you. If you can't handle dissent, then maybe political activism is not the thing for you.
There is one exception to this rule (the I Got The News Today diary highlighting those who lost their lives in our wars). There might be cause for additional exceptions in the future, but permission to do so can only come from site administration.

Markos rules diary

When I conceived the Caucus Project, my idea was to create a space on Daily Kos that was not a mosh pit, not because I don't like mosh pits--as most of you can attest, I wade into most flamewars around here--but because I don't want to be in a mosh pit all the time, not even in my capacity as activist. Why? Because it's very hard to get anything done in a mosh pit. And you sure as hell can't make plans in there.

Here's my original diary on the subject of Caucus.

While Daily Kos does plenty of work around campaigns, especially in the generals, and also does some very praiseworthy charity and solidarity work, I felt there was a lot of energy around here that could be put toward asking "What can we do about x?" instead of just hurling flaming pies at each other nonstop.

Some others agreed, and the Caucus Project came to be. The idea was essentially that the diarist would establish the baseline premise of the diary-- for instance, I want to repeal the Patriot Act--and people would not be able to fight against repealing the Patriot Act in that particular diary, because the diary would not be for the purpose of debate, but for the purpose of like-minded people coming together and figuring out what to do. Instead of the diary's basic question being "Should the Patriot Act be repealed?" the basic question was "How should we, who want to repeal the Patriot Act, best act to get that done?" My argument was that people can, of course, oppose the premise of any Caucus diary in their own diary and have a rousing debate. There was plenty of room on the site to debate, in my view--it's not like the old days when you got only one diary per day. And as I said repeatedly, any diary critiquing a Caucus diary would get far more eyes than the Caucus diary itself, because vigorous debates and flamewars get far more eyes than dry diaries about strategy and tactics and action planning.

Well, Markos has said no to that, as you see above. We can't prevent people from coming into Caucus diaries and doing everything from debating to trolling.  People have remarked that we can use the rules against threadjacking to keep trolling to a minimum in Caucus diaries, but here are the threadjacking rules:

7. Threadjacking.
This is a fun one, because it truly is subjective on a variety of levels. Threadjacking is diverting a comment thread from its original focus. Based on this definition, it's actually hard to find any comment thread with more than 10 comments that doesn't have some threadjacking involved. Our diaries are less of a dictate on what to discuss, and more of a starting point for a free-wheeling discussion. So 99 percent of threadjacking is fine, and actually is what makes our comment threads so much fun.

The actual problem is with malicious threadjacking — the kind of threadjacking designed to derail a productive conversation, whether because the 'jacker hates the diarist, or because s/he is unhappy with the topic of discussion. This is obviously a problem in areas in which the community is internally divided. And it's one of those things that can't be easily defined.

The best way to call out an explicit threadjack is when it occurs together with a violation of one of the other rules — usually the one against personal insults.

Language like "can't be easily defined" "easiest to call it out when it occurs together with violation of other rules" and "subjective on a variety of levels," does not lead me to place much reliance on this rule as a way of keeping the discussion troll-free, even while I acknowledge that Markos' points in this regard are well-taken. I see the problems in site administration making a definitive judgement for all time about threadjacks, but the fact remains that this rule is unlikely to help us much in practice.

I have two ideas as to how we can proceed. Follow me below the Escher orange squiggle of meta for a caucus on how we might successfully have caucuses. :-)

Here's my two ideas, the second of which is not mine, but cosmic debris'. :-)

My first idea is a variation on "ignore them," which I know has a very poor history of success on the Net. This is however, "ignore them" with a difference. In my original diary on Caucus, the idea was that a couple of caucus participants would be designated at the beginning of each caucus diary as moderators for that particular diary. One of their functions was to "tap on the shoulder" caucus participants who had gotten drawn into responding to trolls whether through insults, threadjacking, or whatever. This way, when caucus participants found it difficult to resist responding to a troll--and it happens to all of us--a friendly voice would be there to remind them of what we were actually there for, to ask them to disengage from the fight and come back where their voice was needed--because a caucus participant who is engaging with a troll is a voice lost to the real discussion. It's essentially a way for us to care for ourselves and the community that wants to discuss strategies and plan actions. I also feel this role need not be limited to designated moderators; I just want to have a couple people who definitely will be doing it.

I see nothing in the rules to preclude this.

We all have to commit to this to give it a chance of working, but I think that responding to a friendly voice asking me to disengage and come back to the discussion would be easier for me than relying on some internal "will power." It is extraordinarily hard for people with a certain kind of temperament or training to allow false statements, illogical statements, or cruel statements to simply stand unchallenged. In fact, part of what activism is all about is challenging just those kind of statements. That's why it's very hard to choose not to take the bait. I think we can do it better as people who trust each other and remind each other what's really important than as individual tough guys and gals who have so much intelligence and will power that we never ever take troll bait. Because at the end of the day, we all take troll bait at least occasionally.

The second idea comes from cosmic debris. She or he notes that Meteor Blades and other environmentalist Kossacks do some work coming up with action ideas offsite and only publish the products of such planning on Daily Kos. This is certainly another possible way of approaching the problem. We can go to Facebook (or elsewhere) and set up a space where we can do strategic debates, tactical discussions, and action planning, and bring the end results here as Action Diaries. I think it might be best to hold this idea in reserve and see if we need it, but if people want to begin it right now, I'd be open to the idea.  I actually think it's a very good idea, but one which may not be necessary.

These are my two ideas for continuing to take the Caucus Project forward.

I'd like now to throw the floor open to see what ideas you guys have for how to take this forward.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If you did a diary called (13+ / 0-)

    "How should we, who want to repeal the Patriot Act, best act to get that done?"  that should do the trick . Anyone posting about anything but that would be off topic . If anyone posted anything but their ideas how to "best act to get that done" , they could be told to get on topic or be ignored .

    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. David Morrison

    by indycam on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:21:45 PM PDT

    •  Thing is (13+ / 0-)

      in that paragraph about threadjacking, kos basically says that there's really no such thing as "on topic" and people can comment about whatever they like.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:31:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i would caution (0+ / 0-)

      against having people "tap on the shoulders" of other posters.   the hope that it would be a "friendly" tap could easily be the same hope that "peaceful" interaction actually means "peaceful" interaction... and that has recently been shown to be a subjective opinion... and there might be some who would spend time doing that instead of contributing to the ideas of the proposals, actions or messaging.   i'd leave that idea on the drawing board and not in the final version.

      "kos' blog, kos' rules."  gets my vote.

      here is what i said in another comment with regards to caucus diaries.

      best case scenario:  a focus on possible or effective actions might be all the sieve that is needed to keep out bad blood.  if a disagreement breaks out over tactics, and it might, i would imagine the person(s) wanting to try a tactic other than the majority would hop to it in their own diaries rather than endlessly whining, "that won't workkkkkk!" or some variation there of.  ;-)

      again, i may be seeing this through rose-colored glasses, but i think there is a hunger here for actions toward goals.  again, the focus itself might be all the sieve that is needed.  

      my past experience on blogs tells me when there is an end-goal, even the most diverse personalities can function together without personal drama getting in the way.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:32:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if there is no shoulder-tapping, unless someone (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, DeadHead, TheMomCat

        has an idea to replace it with, I will go immediately to the second option (cosmic debris' idea).

        Maybe it helps to say that if we institute shoulder-tapping,  most of the people who are being tapped will know ahead of time that the tapping is a function of Caucus diaries.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:38:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'm just offering an opinion (0+ / 0-)

          on what i see as a potential downside for involvement.   giving the power to "tap," ie, the power to "gatekeep," is something that could easily go sideways.   that is, of course, just my own opinion based on my own experience.

          if you want wide community involvement i would make the idea as attractive as possible for as many posters as possible.

          if it doesn't work, then institute changes.  like software, don't tweak unless the code doesn't work and then only institute one change at a time.

          off-site planning is an option, but off-side planning isn't something a wide community of posters may find extra time to give to brainstorming.   that may be your point, so again, this is just one person's opinion.

          try kos' rules first.
          see what happens.
          tweak as needed.

          "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

          by kj in missouri on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:45:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why does it need to be a specific role (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kj in missouri, Adam B

          Over the years there have been numerous diaries about issues, actions, serious events; that didn't get hijacked and didn't include right margin races and didn't include vitriol and insults.  They all have a few things in common.

          One is that the diarist is clear about the focus of the diary, along the lines of indycams's suggestion in an earlier comment "How should we, who want to repeal the Patriot Act, best act to get that done?"  

          Second, diarists have often spelled out a lack of interest in hosting a mosh pit in the intro to their diary. "There's still plenty of debate swirling about the whole Snowden and NSA story, but it seems there is a general consensus that it's time for the Patriot Act to go. I want us to spend time in this diary on developing an action plan to make that happen. This isn't the place for blaming, finger pointing, or hashing out old grudges."

          Finally, there is "shoulder tapping" by the general pariticipants. The group might be tracking progress of the forest fire and marshalling resources for any members in the affected area, and somebody smarts off with some snark about some political figure, and at least one person does the gentle tap "remember, we are here to gather information about emergency resources for people who are in a scary and dangerous situation. Let's hash out the political implications after the crisis is over, OK?" And then it's ignored. No witty comebacks. no one-upping snark, no high dudgeon about being crass and uncaring. A tap, and the group moves back to task.

          If you are afraid you or others are going to be too easily sucked off topic then kosmail a couple of your more calm and collected associates and ask them to participate in your diary and pull you back on task if the mosh pit beckons. In other words ask your body guards to police you, not to police the public around you. If you set the tone, most often others will follow your lead.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:03:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I think the "you" includes both me and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, kj in missouri

            others who have gathered around this topic. I see this as a community gathered around an idea that they're interested in pursuing, essentially policing ourselves. So, for instance, folks in the Caucus group would "tap" each other.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:14:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As is the case in the examples above (2+ / 0-)

              So it's not an official role. It's just a community norm and understanding. We are here to work, and we won't let ourselves be distracted, and if one of us does get distracted our friend will remind us what the task at hand is.

              However, there's a big difference too, if friend says "SouthernLib - remember this is our caucus on the Patriot Act" in order to get you to refocus. It is entirely something else if friend says "Do not feed it, SouthernLib", because then the other commenter has just been indirectly called a troll, and the fight will indeed be on.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:22:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree that wording will need to be (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox, joanneleon, Catte Nappe

                as de-escalating as possible.

                I want to clarify:  the idea I have is that anybody in the community can tap anybody else in the community. But a couple people per diary will be designated to tap (this is temporary and goes away at end of diary) because I want to make sure someone is doing it.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:30:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "hall monitors" (0+ / 0-)

                  look at what happened below.   i was told i was mischaracterizing caucus diaries and that comment was uprated.  who tapped those people that they were "off topic" in this diary with that comment with a personal agenda and a negative characterization of a poster here?

                  it doesn't matter how many times i say i'm here to support your idea, support you, supported your first diary on this subject or that i respect you, i'm going to be dinged.  

                  and that's "bad faith" in action.   and that's why some people aren't going to trust the idea of designative "tappers."  

                  out for supper.   wish you the best.   hope to contribute to the diaries with ideas on messaging.   thank you.  

                  "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                  by kj in missouri on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:37:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  How about 'Let's stay focused on the topic' (0+ / 0-)

                  to the (potential) disrupter -- which sounds vague, but isn't when dealing with known disrupters and/or plainly trollish first comments.

                  I don't really like the 'tapping' idea applied to a second party, even though I've seen it work by reminding the responder (and the commentors) of DFTT.

                  But why confront an in-good-faith commentor?  Why not tell the (potential) disrupter to stay on track?  They're the ones bringing the bad!  

                  Since this is brainstorming (and did you notice that a diary on how to have effective action diaries has turned into yet another 'We're all helpless before the troll hordes' thread?  My fourth or fifth one today), I'll tell you what I'd do if it were my turn to make the rules.

                  Using sentences short enough to fit in the title, the first trollish comment gets tapped, ie:
                  ---  Let's stay focused on the topic, username
                  --- Inflammatory and offtopic, username
                  ---  this diary's about XX, username
                  --- Offtopic an insulting username
                  --- HR-worthy for XX (for blatantly awful stuff, and the forbidden categories established by kos in the New Rules)

                  Commentors can reply to that comment with title-only posts like 'I agree, offtopic' (or inflammatory, or whatever) up to the number of three replies, and all of these 'tapping' comments should be heavily tipped.

                  After three trollish comments by a user, apply the first HR, and create a comment titled 'HRd for XX, 3 warnings given' with the HRd comment's link in the textbox (along with excerpts from the tapped & HRd comments, with annotations if desired).

                  At this point, all participants have seen that user get three well-supported warnings.  The first HR is the signal that the community has decided that that this comment needs to go, and that the community can now choose to kick that person off the thread by spending one of their daily allotment of HRs (I think we still get 5/day -- anyone certain of this?)

                  So:  Community Moderations, distributed by the community composed of good-faith participants in the thread.  All communications about malfeasance directed at the malefactor.  Very straightforward.  Call it the Three-Strikes Rule.  Put a disclaimer at the top of the Diary:  'This diary will be moderated under the Three-Strikes Rule; if you receive a first warning, consider your behavior.  We will follow through.'

                  Threadjacking cold be handled similarly.  For friendly, mild, non-disruptive side-threads (don't know what to call them), after about the 3rd through 6th interchange (Consider:  do these jokes add value -- which they often do -- or has this gone on long enough to begin to be a disruption?), the ThreadJack Warning:

                  'Let's pull this thread back into line, please.'

                  For any given threadjack, three ThreadJack Warnings may be given.  If a fourth is warranted, it becomes:

                  'ThreadJacking; 1st HR warning'

                  At which point the participants (yes, even the one(s) on 'our side') become subject to the Three-Strikes Rule process.

                  'Ignoring' as a method can and should continue to be used in conjunction with these rules.

                  The 'tap to inform' someone that a user is a troll should be used only when someone (a new user, or new to the subject) engages, if the engagement results in trollish behavior and the new user needs to be rescued and informed.  The 'tap to inform' can be more free-form, but should be framed along the lines of 'you can ignore him if you want; the Three-Strikes Rule will take care of him if need be.'

                  And finally (since for the space of this comment I am making the rules) the fundamental rules are:

                  --- This site is run by Community Moderation, and our only effective tools for that are silence (ignoring) and HRs;
                  ---  Every diary, once it receives its first comment, is a Community and remains a Community no matter how many people become Participants;
                  --- Every diary is created to be a Community Diary, and
                  --- Every Diarist can state how the Community of Participants in a given Diary can participate in Community Moderation, within the Kos Rules.

                  Okay.  I'm done.

                  (ps not proofreading.  sorry for any errors/typos)

          •  What you are describing (5+ / 0-)

            is exactly what we implemented in the existing Caucus diaries. The points you made vs Caucus diaries:
             - The position statement is clear.
            - The Intro statement is in every Caucus diary and spells out a desire to discuss the proposal for action or solicitation for action and to discourage the threadjacks, etc.

            So basically, what you're suggesting is what we implemented with our standard format Caucus diaries.   Again, I'm wondering if the people who are arguing against the Caucus project have had a chance to take a look at what it is and the examples of diaries that have been published with the Caucus diary template, etc.



            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:28:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Serial contrarianism is fun! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The resistance to this idea has been rather telling.

              It's as if this Caucus project is some big fucking conspiracy to suppress all dissent.

              I mean, what do people think is going to happen?

              That Caucus diaries are gonna get posted that say "Obama sux! Take action to help impeach him!!!!1!" and that anyone entering those diaries to say "No, Obama doesn't suck, and impeachment is a stupid idea" is going to be HRed into a timeout?

              Is that the underlying problem? It sure seems that way to me, at least.

              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:56:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't really know what the underlying problem (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                is because I sure haven't given that impression to anybody.

                Sometimes it does seem like people think there's a creeping army of DFH's trying to censor everybody else.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:05:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's factional preconceptions (0+ / 0-)

                  with a bit of projection added in for flavor.

                  In my opinion, that is.

                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:53:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The "problem" is right there (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The resistance to this idea has been rather telling.
                  Yep - anybody who questions how this new group concept would work or be conducted is "telling" Not sure what it's "telling" but the innuendo is that it's not good. In fact, it may be that they are perceiving it as
                  some big fucking conspiracy to suppress all dissent.
                  Present it that way, it's going to be taken that way.

                  “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                  by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:54:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I apologize (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead, Catte Nappe

                    because now I see that this is a downthread continuation of your discussion with Joanne. I do not think that your comments in this diary constitute believing that Caucus is a"big fucking conspiracy to suppress all dissent."

                    I was responding to Dead Head's comment, and thinking about resistance I have encountered to this idea overall. Some of the resistance I've encountered has sounded very much like "Caucus is a big fucking conspiracy to suppress all dissent." That is what I was responding to.

                    And I'm pretty sure I haven't given the impression to anybody that I want to suppress all dissent, nor that this project is some kind of way of smacking people on the other side of the Great Divide around, or anything.

                    This is a simple thread mistake. For what it's worth, I apologize for it.

                    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:21:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't think you made a mistake (0+ / 0-)

                      The post above, it seems to me, was an attempt to use my comment as some kind of reason why the group might be unsuccessful in convincing others, even though my comment was merely my take on it. Nothing more.

                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:37:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was engaging in a general discussion (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        which was downthread from a specific discussion Joanne was having with Catte Nappe, which made it look like the whole thing was directed at CN. Which it wasn't, and isn't. I appreciate the time she took to come into this diary and engage with the idea.

                        What you're talking about is a much more general thing, that I think most of us have encountered in other diaries (I haven't seen it much in this one).

                        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:42:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  That's MY take on it, not the group's, of course. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm sorry if bluntness is offensive to some people, but there comes a point when you realize some people aren't going to be persuaded, and my comment was an observation of that phenomenon.

                    When people are running around mischaracterizing the group's intent, without even reading the few diaries already posted under the group, including it's statement of intent, one starts to wonder why that's happening. Repeatedly.

                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:31:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think the issue, at least as I see it, is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      that while this way of responding to Caucus is fairly prevalent, Catte Nappe hasn't done that here and now and it's not an accurate rendering of the comment upthread.

                      It's fairly accurate as regards the general situation, but not as regards Catte Nappe specifically.

                      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:37:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  For the record (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead, SouthernLiberalinMD

                    I never said any of that or anything like that, nor did I support the things you've blockquoted.

                    The only reservation I have expressed about the people who have been opposed to this idea is where I've wondered if they took the time or had the opportunity to look at the Caucus diary template or the two examples that I linked. And also for the record, it was not you that I had in mind primarily, it was kos.

                    The work that I've done with SLinMD and in support of her idea and the group that invested some time and effort in it has been straight up and entirely an effort to try to organize in a climate that makes it really hard to accomplish anything on this site, particularly with controversial issues.  And there will be a lot of opportunites, and soon, to organize around one of the controversial issues -- domestic surveillance. So we could really use a simple mechanism to do that. There's no deceit or trying to game the system or avoid debates and discussions on the topic entirely. All of us, I think, engage in pretty vigorous debate on that particular topic in other diaries.  

                    This was supposed to be simple, for organizing activism, which was supposed to be one of the primary goals of this site.  And there will be a lot of activism around it in the coming months as we try to support legislation and members of Congress as they attempt reforms.  I have a long history of action diaries here at dkos, on numerous issues. That's why I took interest in this idea when SLinMD proposed it. Despite cynicism on other things, I've never given up in efforts to contact Congress, White House, others. I still believe in doing things like that and more creative activism.  We've done it here pretty successfully in past years, even if they ended up not listening to us, we made our positions known. But any diary about NSA, for example, right now gets hijacked on this site.  So any activism will potentially be more difficult to achieve.

                    "Justice is a commodity"

                    by joanneleon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:34:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In addition (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Just to clarify a bit more: referring to Deadhead's follow up comment about how the Caucus diaries are being mischaracterized, repeatedly -- that is true. I'm not sure if you have been one of the people doing it. I tend to think not.  But there are a number of others doing that.  kos himself did that. He mischaracterized it as people wanting to do diaries on controversial issues and not allow debate. That's a big mischaracterization.

                      "Justice is a commodity"

                      by joanneleon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:38:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Like I said, it's a fairly accurate rendering (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DeadHead, joanneleon

                        of the general situation. Not so much of Catte Nappe's comment upthread. But it's a problem. People seem to think it's about avoiding debate, when most of the people interested in Caucus debate the hell out of almost every issue that comes up on this site.

                        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:44:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I said those things, and the commenter (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      seems to be confusing things, I guess.

                      It was merely my take on the mischaracterizations I've seen happening as of late.

                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:42:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, I know. You said those things about (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DeadHead, joanneleon

                        a general trend you've been seeing with a lot of different commenters. Not about one specific comment and one specific commenter. At least that's how I took it.

                        Anyway, I guess you and I and Joanne all know what we meant at this point, and Catte Nappe seems to have gone. FWIW, I think this was just a misunderstanding

                        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:46:20 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Don't think there's argument against the approach (0+ / 0-)

              Argument is whether Kos should give Caucus diaries some official, extra super-duper, DBAD rule such as IGTNT has.  

              Argument has also happened about perceived methods of "controlling" perceived disruption of the caucus intention. Some sounded a bit too much like the "troll hunting/troll naming" that a few posters had recently raised. My comment addresses the idea that many diaries do not experience disruption because of the way they are presented and conducted - no special rules needed.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:50:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Any worries people had about troll hunting (0+ / 0-)

                or troll naming should have been done away with by Markos' rules, since we can do nothing about trolls if they do show up.

                The proposals I've made since have only to do with people who are supporters of Caucus, and that includes myself.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:24:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I should add that I'm open to ideas to replace (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, DeadHead

        the shoulder-tapping with.

        But if it's just a matter of getting rid of it and hoping for the best, I'm not in favor of that.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not trying to be a jerk--my response was (6+ / 0-)

        not intended to be personal, I'm not annoyed with you or anything.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:52:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I like your idea, indycam. (6+ / 0-)

      If the title of the diary makes clear what the focus of the diary is . . . . well, then, people who ignore the focus don't belong there.  If somebody doesn't like the focus of the diary, that's their problem and they can write their own diary about that specific topic.  Solves a lot of fuzziness about who belongs in a comment section and who does not.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:32:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I'd like to think that you're right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, Dallasdoc

      but I have my doubts. My best response to you is I guess when we publish diaries we'll see.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:33:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  try it and then tweak (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        i think i said that in your first diary on this subject.   :-)
        if a problem occurs, then deal.

        given the possibility of eventually many action diaries on hopefully many issues, the cast of commenters will change. that in itself will help "things" from hardening.   flexibility will be key to the process itself, so flexibility will be key for the series and for its posters.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:38:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  To clarify: I like your idea and think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri

      making the titles that specific will help. I don't know if it will help enough, but we shall see.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Replying that something shouldn't be done in a diary advocating that it should be done is still on topic as far as I can tell from the basic guidelines Markos put down.

      The only real solution as things stand is to ignore those people, or to make sure all real participants in a diary do not recommend it. Then it will, hopefully, stay out of the view of the majority of the population and only be the focus of interested participants.

      •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

        it would probably be best to request a new type of diary, that is incapable of being recommended, and that doesn't show up on the recent diaries list. It would allow a place for people to gather and brainstorm and be largely free of trollery.

      •  It's not a diary advocating it should (0+ / 0-)

        be done; it's a diary arguing about how it should be done.

        Which is nitpicky, I know, but I think valid. The people in the diary have presumably already had the debate and now they want to get down to business--planning actions, etc.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:03:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  sounds good to me (6+ / 0-)

    for the most part. I think we have plenty of leeway to tweak it or adjust as needed, as we go along.

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:26:36 PM PDT

  •  I'm thinking that one change (13+ / 0-)

    might do it, and it's basically the process that you described as your #1 option.  The change would be to the sentence in our Intro about moderation.  We can still ask people to focus on the position statement of the diarist, the discussion about organizing on a particular issue.  If they don't, we can basically try to ignore the people deliberately derailing a diary with your designated moderators method of asking people not to engage them.

    I've seen this technique being used on many dkos diaries recently, posting an "Ignore" comment.  I think it's a good idea.  I haven't yet seen it work though.  It's possible that I missed the places where it was effective.  That's not a reason to stop trying though.

    I really don't think that kos understood what Caucus diaries were, based on the paragraph he wrote about it.  He defined it as a diarist wanting to write about a controversial topic and declaring any debate or disagreement off limits. That's not at all what Caucus diaries are. They are diaries for organizing an action.  

    Either 1) he never knew that and never took a look at the Caucus group and the couple of Caucus diaries we've already done (the most likely scenario, IMHO) or 2) Someone who is opposed to the Caucus project convinced him that it was just a bunch of diarists who wanted to write controversial diaries and not get push back (which is entirely inaccurate).

    So I think it's possible to try to keep using Caucus diaries to organize specific actions, but I also think that now kos has put a target on them and we'll have the kos diary police coming in saying "caucus diaries are not alloweddddd!!!1!!!" and things will degenerate from there.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:29:26 PM PDT

  •  My best understanding of the new rules (6+ / 0-)

    is that the only available means of trying to control disruption to the purpose of a diary is moral suasion or in more flagrant cases a concerted use of HRs.

    The problem with the moral suasion is getting everybody on the same page with that. I'm not terribly optimistic. When people get really heated, any request for them to curtail their comments is likely to be greeted with cries of infringement of their right to free speech.

    It seems that Marcos' view of people who want protected space in a diary are people who can't deal with rebuttal.

    I have been involved in various offline working groups. That can work well with a small number of people who are accustomed to working with each other. One of the attractive ideas of the Caucus project was getting more people involved in the planning of a campaign. People who have helped build it are much more likely to invest effort in working toward the objective than those who just read an announcement,  

  •  alas, for a third button (4+ / 0-)

    labeled "ignore" that one could apply to trolls.

    Like an HR, except only for that diary and only for your access to it, as a commenter. You wouldn't have the drivel / threadjacking / insults to wade through, and could still participate in the discussion.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:34:02 PM PDT

  •  To add (6+ / 0-)

    I had to look up on my old laptop, the blog I mentioned was called "dkgreenroots"  and is no longer active. It was set up to organize and draft the green roots blogathons and diaries if I remember correctly.

    I would suggest setting up such a site using something like Wordpress, quick and easy, rather than Facebook, for better commenting features, only if efforts here with diaries become too much a hassle. This place has the best comment system anywhere, which is why we all like it. But alternatives are out there if needed.

    Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

    by cosmic debris on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:34:40 PM PDT

    •  Please take a look at and (0+ / 0-)

      give us your evaluation of it as a working space.  I commented about it in this thread.  I am not recommending it, because I don't know enough about it, but I think it's worth a look.

      •  Thanks, CroneWit, will do! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm still hoping we won't need an offsite space, but might as well do the research before we need it, if we do.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:04:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even for one person doing research (0+ / 0-)

          for a diary/series, if they need support from people with expertise they lack (Tech, understanding law and regulations, etc), it would be nice to be able to set up a project space to share drafts, notes, suggestions etc in a non-disruptable space.

          And if WordPress allows that kind of group interaction, or Annotary, or another site, it would be nice if, for dKos projects, we all used the same space.  That would allow us to share across groups to access expertise.

          As an example, if a number or people decided to pool intellectual resources to work on interjecting a civil libertarian viewpoint into the NSA review process, a working group could be composed of (say) a few tech guys (to work on explaining the tech accurately to non-techies), a few Constitutional people, a few people familiar with Congressional and government procedures, a few really good parsers, a few really good document-finders, etc. Each specialty group  could work together on producing their parts, and would be able to do cross-talk with other specialties, and the whole group could have a shared space for dialogue and planning, etc.

          That would be my ideal working space anyway.

          That space would be a purposeful space, where work could be done without disruption.  If a space like that existed 'next to' dKos, it could be fed 'on the side' as we do our daily reading about NSA issues.  For example, back when WikiLeaks news was coming thick and fast, one guy did yeoman's work in a 'daily digest' he set up, the only purpose of which was to provide links to that day's news, op eds, etc about related issues (plus some permanent links to key sites).  Each link had annotations -- a few sentences describing what was available at that link, or the lede quote from an article.  Similarly, key quotes from dKos diaries and/or comments could be sent to their subject-area in the working space -- for example, Kossite kurious' comments often contain several really good links to  info that is very useful but a little unusual, with quotes or comments, that bring in a new perspective.  Others write great tech-explanation comments or explanations of their specialties, or really insightful analysis -- you know what a wealth exists here.  The working space could be a repository for these jewels, where they could be easily accessed and put to use.

          As I said, this is my ideal shared workspace.  Others may think differently.  This kind of workspace is just not possible here on dKos; neither the site structure/capabilities nor the culture will allow  for this kind of workspace.

          As you can see, I've though about this a lot.  I'm not trying to push the idea on others, but if the question of this diary is HOW can we work together for productive action, I'm stopped in my tracks by the question because I don't see how that work can be done here.  Yet the expertise that I would need to work productively (at other than a snail's pace) resides in the people here.

  •  Threadjacking is hard to define (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, DeadHead

    but we know when we see it.

    It varies from comments demanding more and more links and evidence to downright trollery.  The "ignore" button Blacksheep proposes in a comment above, might be a good solution.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:41:50 PM PDT

    •  It would be a wonderful solution. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, Puddytat

      Unfortunately, it's a solution only Site Admin. can make.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:47:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ad hom, personally-directed smearing (4+ / 0-)

      and repeating debunked talking points over and over again, refusing to accept facts, are also sure signs of threadjacking.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:00:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, *FSM* the repeating debunked talking points (5+ / 0-)

        drives me almost to distraction, I have to just walk away.

        The people doing it don't seem to understand they're using the same methods that were used in the Barack Obama birth certificate non-scandal. Just keep repeating, over and over, that all you want is documentation, and if only the President would be reasonable and provide you such documentation...on and on and on including after such documentation was provided.

        UGH. Where rational discourse goes to die. I can't stand it.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. A recent example... (3+ / 0-)

          Was some person who did this, paraphrased:

          TROLL: Snowden defected to Russia!
          REPLY: No he didn't. [...Reasons why 'defecting' is inaccurate.]
          TROLL: Wow. It must really bother you he defected.
          REPLY: He didn't defect. And I'm not bothered.
          TROLL: Yes, you are. Truth hurts, doesn't it?

          [elsewhere in comments...]

          TROLL: He defected to Russia.
          REPLY: No, he didn't.
          TROLL: You're really upset about him defecting, huh?

          Rinse, repeat, several comments of this, in a couple of separate subthreads that hit the right margin.

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:05:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The ones that get me are the (3+ / 0-)

          well-known (to me, at least) folks who come in a diary and post the same comment over and over again either as a new comment or a reply in various places in a diary.  The exact same comment which usually demands more proof or more links in many places within the commentary.

          How these guys avoid the ban hammer is beyond me.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:31:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I can't stand that. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, DeadHead

            For a while Rick Aucoin and I were practically developing a personal relationship because we kept showing up to debunk that damned "liberals lost the election for us in 2010" zombie talking point that got debunked two years ago.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:40:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And THAT'S precisely what I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

            And a very apt description of what's been occurring in many of the NSA/surveillance/Greenwald/Snowden diaries.

            I have the diarist's names who've been particularly susceptible to this, as well as the names of the "regular" perpetrators, in my mind at this very moment.

            This isn't some "mountain out of a mole hill" thing, for those who might imply that it is. It's been a persistent problem.

            Those on one side of that particular debate are more inclined to see it for the detriment it is, than those who find themselves more aligned with the disruptive people are.

            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:13:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The 'debunked talking points' I fall for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are the people who show up as new to the subject and act all frail and confused and ask helpless questions that contain variants of the debunked talking points as questions.

          I'm just a sucker for that.  I'm just realizing it as I write this, having just fallen for it again this evening.

          Geez Louise, how these people suck up time!

  •  One suggestion from me, SLinMD (4+ / 0-)

    and that is the use of Kos-messaging to iron out details for an action plan rather than a diary.  I like how the environmental change group does that.  Now that we can all be notified of messages for our group, that should solve the problem of some members not being able to see them.  But I also have no problem for those who are on FB (I'm not and never will be) working on something and then using Kos-messaging to show the rest of us a draft for further discussion.  

    In general, I think the way the hide-rating/time-outs are going to be handled, anyone who can't control his/her need to yap at others is going to find out that their disruptions will not be tolerated and there will be a price attached to that as well for them.  If yappers show up to yap, they need to be ignored.  I've noticed recently that when stupid comments are ignored, those writing them leave.  Taunts/insults don't work when there are no takers to the invitation to "let's you and me fight".  

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:43:32 PM PDT

  •  Your comments sound sensible to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, 3goldens

    Probably the second idea for replacing Caucus diaries would be simpler to do in practice....some risk that with the first alternative, threads can still get bogged down with people arguing about specific behavior by thread moderators?

    On the other hand, since Markos did ask for comment, maybe he would be more flexible on this matter in the final edict than it might appear from the draft version?

    Meanwhile, if I myself could forbid any particular type of thing, it would be diaries and comments that start out: "This site is  becoming," or, "This site has become...", or "People on this site..." (followed by negative generalization).

    So many times that kind of remark starts a useless brangle. I mention this here because the original comment thread on the draft got too big for my computer, not to mention myself. Maybe someone will see it?

    •  I sure hear you. About what you would forbid. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, CroneWit

      Unfortunately, neither you nor I have that capacity, :-)

      I think we're going to try the 1st option first, and if it doesn't work, we can always move to plan B.

      For one thing, if we take The Dead Man's advice, that's basically the same thing as setting up our own website (as opposed to going to FB, Wordpress, whatever). So in its own way, option 2 is also complicated.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:41:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who knows what a website could grow into. :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  A Wordpress site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        Would be like A working committee with a specific purpose ndmore ephemeral shelf life.

        A home made blog would be more of a permanent standing committee.

        I think given that time is of the essence right now with what the Administration and congress are doing with regard to reform, starting with a working committee if needed would be most efficient use of time. It would be a tool, not a big time investment.

        Anyhow, let's see what we can do here first, yes? And thanks for your inspiration.

        Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

        by cosmic debris on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:07:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The notion "debate free" seems an inappropriate... (2+ / 0-)

    ...term anyway since debate is an important tool in developing action plans.

    I was surprised to hear you say in kos' diary that Caucus diaries were "debate-free." I thought they were simply focused and well-moderated to maintain focus, which can include relevant debate, and moderate out irrelevant thread-jacking. I guess that's your first option.

    A thread jacker can be handled in a polite and stern way - they're a pretty consistent lot. And if a gang shows up to support the thread jacking and is ignored they stand out like the pile of shit throwers they intend to be.

  •  If you go with the second option, get an IT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    volunteer and some web space of your own.  Use best security practices.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:55:46 PM PDT

  •  I see that there is a somewhat related diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that just went up.

  •  Hi SouthernLiberalinMD (5+ / 0-)

    I appreciate your work in supporting the Caucus project, and I feel that you've identified some constructive next steps. While I did see strong value in the initial definition of the Caucus Project, I can imagine reasons why Kos/DK would be reluctant to endorse the implementation of the full array of DK "weaponry" in accordance with rules specifically defined by a subset of DK, for a subset of diaries. That would significantly alter the impact of an HR, and create a sliding set of rules. I'm perfectly fine with exceptions being carved out for a group like IGTNT, where comments have a broader public significance.

    That said, I think it's perfectly reasonable for diarists and groups to request certain behavior of participants, and politely remind those who cross the lines of the requested behavior. This does not to my mind require official sanction from Kos, and as long as the requests are enforced without violating the official DK rules, there should be no problem.

    I'm certainly no expert on DK piefights, but I do believe that careful responsible writing, attentive and responsive "tending" of a diary, and respectful engagement of individuals who enter in an adversarial mode can significantly reduce discord in a diary, encourage constructive conversation even with those who start from an adversarial position, and enable those who are intentional disrupters to identify themselves, without significantly disrupting a diary. Calm, polite and fact-based discussion is profoundly unsatisfying and uninteresting to those who are trying to sow discord.

    Carry on!

    PS, love your tag!

  •  Since Caucus is aimed at action (7+ / 0-)

    Perhaps having a well defined intro about what issue is and the request for action.  I also would put the words "Action Diary"  or "Action Requested" in the title so it is very clear up front.

    For example:
     "This is an Action Diary requesting that we come up with Strategies for mounting a campaign to Repeal the Patriot Act.  We want to hear from you as to what actions you feel are most appropriate to effect this outcome."

    I do not know if that helps but that would be my best shot.  The purpose of the diary is well defined right up front.  People who insist on going off topic could be reminded that this is an action diary.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:31:11 PM PDT

  •  In kos' statement up there he mentioned (3+ / 0-)

    that lots of threads go off topic and that is what makes things "fun."
    There is a distinct difference between a thread gone of topic in a fun and friendly way and one that is not.

    I think it will be easy to distinguish between the two after a few comments and reminders and that we'll be safe asking people that aren't there to be a friendly part of the discussion to take it some where else, respectfully. If they persist then it gets ignored, then moderated and/or sent in to admin if it gets out of hand just like any other diary on the site.

    If someone wants to debate something other than the action being discussed (in a respectful way) and no one wants to debate them, yet they persist that becomes "not fun".

    "Fun" is the important word in kos' statement, to me.
    Consistently staying on topic ourselves is the important part for us.

  •  Goodnight Gracie :-) (0+ / 0-)

    I am fading and my comments are becoming increasingly vapid. I just told gulfgal98 that there was "more stuff" in her comment in addition to what was in indycam's comment.

    When I start saying that there is "more stuff" in one person's comment than another it's time to go offline LOL.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:50:27 PM PDT

  •  thanks, everybody for participating. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, xxdr zombiexx

    I'll chew this over and post a summary diary in the next day or so.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 04:50:55 PM PDT

  •  Hey SLIMD... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I read your original diary, and I didn't have any feelings one way or the other. I saw Kos said he wasn't crazy bout it but would think it over. I saw a couple caucus diaries & didn't know if he'd gotten back to you or not.

    I had no strong feelings because it wouldn't really impact how I interact on Daily Kos. If anyone ever told me "stay away from me!" I would comply voluntarily.

    So I'm still thinking. There are people on both sides of various divides who want some safe spaces. I just don't have a feel yet on how many.

    That said, I wish we could have an ignore button and each kossack could select up to 2 people who couldn't see their diaries or comments. I think that would help behavior as people wouldn't want to be so rude and get such a reputation too many people put them on ignore.

    Think of it this way. I know both sides of divides have complained of various annoying commenters. What if 10 people picked the same person as one of their "two??" That would really send a message.

    •  It would be absolutely wonderful and might (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      get rid of about 60% of the need for Caucus diaries. Or maybe even more. But people have wanted an ignore button before and Markos has never even come close to saying yes.

      He seems to equate fierce fighting, whether a good debate fiercely waged or the worst piefight you ever saw, with site health. Maybe it's because it gets lots of people involved. I don't know, but I don't think he's going to change that.

      Still, if people want to start a petition or something like that to Markos asking for an ignore button, I'd sign it.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:16:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I'd seen this earlier... (3+ / 0-)

    But lemme add a quick rec and voice my support.

    I'm down with whatever solution you guys/gals see to this.
    We can try to caucus here, we start the idea here and continue it elsewhere---perhaps on a site/board that is more accommodating? Propose caucus ideas here and, eventually, move it to twitter?

    I don't know but I was let down by the discussion and the stance taken on this effort. And I'm willing to try whatever approach best makes sense.

    Will dive in to diary/comments tomorrow morn...

  •  'How to create a troll-free working space' (3+ / 0-)

    could be an alternate title for this.

    I've thought a lot about this recently, and frankly I've come to the conclusion that the dKos site -- not to mention the culture -- is just not set up for this.  It seems to me that the only way to have productive discussions, from brainstorming to planning, is --

    set up a space where we can do strategic debates, tactical discussions, and action planning
    The image I use for this is:  dKos is like one big high-school cafeteria, and there are no conference rooms where a group can go and close the door and get some work done, even if that work is just a focused discussion.

    Now I don't really know how Groups work.  Is there a way for a Group to 'close the door' and have a members-only diary/comments session?  Or is a diary posted publicly as it is posted to the Group?  If a closed-group diary is possible, that's a start.

    But even if that's possible, it isn't sufficient for a working group.  A working groups needs a 'space' that will support things like:  

    ---The ability to post documents, such as pages of annotated links (the link plus summary) on the variety of subjects, issues, and/or actions the group needs to learn about, problem solve on, do;

    -- A way for group members to communicate with members individually, as sub-groups, as the whole group

    -- A way to manage tasks/projects over time  -- example:  the whole groups 'meets' (ie diary & comments here), and discusses who needs to provide which info, who should write up a summary of this subject for everyone to read so everyone will have enough to move into brainstorming a plan, when these items need to be distributed for reading so that the planning session can be scheduled

    In short, what would be needed is a virtual office building.  And the members would have to function in an organized -- and yes, managed -- way.  Whose responsibility is it to make sure that the different people/sub-groups working on various aspects of a plan are staying on schedule?

    In my working life I did a lot of administrative work, and in my private life I did a fair bit of group-centered creative work.  In both kinds of settings, I learned what works -- what makes a group effective -- and what doesn't.  I'm taking it for granted that members of an action group would bring a professional level of commitment to the group's goals.  But the administrative infrastructure just has to be there, in both the 'office space' and in the group's functioning.

    I know I'm rambling, I'm sorry.  My handicapping conditions include a propensity for severe fatigue, and I'm very fatigued right now, I can barely make my fingers work.  But I am hungering for purposeful action, the kind of action that requires a group, and a group workspace, so I feel I have to continue.  I'm almost done, though.

    I will not join Facebook.  Just won't.  

    These an site I'd like to ask some of you (whoever wants to) to take a look at, that I found a few months back when I was looking for online workspaces.  Please note that I am not recommending this site -- I don't know enough about it yet to recommend it.  I looked at a lot of similar sites, but this one is built to allow group work, so I'm asking that you take a look and see if it would suit the purpose.

    The site is  It was the best place I saw for project work -- writing-project work was what I was looking for, that would let me set up something like websites to store research/reference material on different subjects and work among them.  A couple of things that made me cranky about it were:  that when I signed up they automatically 'friended' me with about a dozen random people; I had to figure out how to undo that and found no readily-available Help or Instructions; when I went to their Forums to ask my basic questions, I had to sign up for a second site (the name escapes me) which provides infrastructure for smaller/startup sites to manage forums, help, etc (I gave 'em hell about that!).  

    I put the site on the back burner and haven't been there for several  months.  But as I've been thinking about a group workspace, my mind keeps turning back to it.  

    Okay, I'm done.  Thanks for listening.

    (I'm not going to proofread, sorry for errors/typos.)  Thanks.

    •  Wow, wow wow! Don't ever apologize (0+ / 0-)

      for comments like this! It's going to take me a little time to digest all you've said, but there's some seriously valuable stuff in there!

      A "virtual office building" holy shit what a great idea!

      I'm holding back from rushing off to my friend Citizen at Op99 and asking him to develop an infrastructure for this toot sweet, as they say!

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:12:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I will say that what I have in mind (0+ / 0-)

      is a little less formal than this--I'm not thinking of myself and group admins as running around keeping various projects running and those running them "on task." Maybe it's just that I haven't thought that far ahead, but I was envisioning something perhaps just as organized, but more bottom-up, or at least, independent, than that. Imagine a dozen small shops sharing an office building, rather than one big corporation with me and a few others at the top.
      Each idea would be kind of its own "shop" and if it was run by any top-down authority it would be the diarist who brought it up.

      I'm seeing more of a large, well-stocked workshop, with ample working space and tools, and several projects going at once, each with a different lead person.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:21:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That tapping thing is similar to what RKBA tried (0+ / 0-)

    to do at some point. From what I remember it simply pissed people off and didn't accomplish what they were trying to accomplish.

    •  I haven't encountered a pissed-off reaction yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think people understand that the main purpose of caucus is to hold the threadjacks and trolling at bay so that real discussion can happen.

      I've encountered a couple of objections, but no anger.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think your caucus diaries went pretty well. (0+ / 0-)

        People were ok with that. RKBA situation was different as they didn't warn anyone that they don't want a discussion but then ganged up on people they didn't like during that discussion. One of the methods they used was to post a comment that indicated that they decided to ignore a specific comment or a person. You're not proposing anything like that and they are no longer doing it either.

        People tend to discuss the topic raised in the diary unless the diary itself is inflammatory. So if you keep your diaries focused on the specific action, there probably won't be that much threadjacking.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site