[CHAOSS] Opening discussion on using Discourse Forum for CHAOSS

Emma Irwin eirwin at mozilla.com
Sun Nov 11 22:38:29 UTC 2018

I Georg,

Thanks for raising this question. When I think of communication,* I think
less of what the majority prefers, but more of what will bring more voices,
and contributors. * Assuming that is a shared goal across all of CHAOSS,
this good chance to put into practice our the principles of inclusion this
project is leading in open source through the D&I working group.

I'm currently organizing my thoughts this way:

1) *Accessibility* - from a usability standpoint, but also for non-native
English speakers, and those with bandwidth, or limited access to
technology, screen readers)
2) *Open by Design*  - can people easily find (including lurking), read and
contribute to discussion? Are we aware of topics or discussion that might
require 'safe spaces' , where those topics might result in trolling? Can
community members co-create discussion experiences (i.e. flagging
inappropriate content )

*For Accessibility, some measurements might be:*

   - Ease of translation for non-English Speakers
   - Accessibility review including screenreaders

*For Open by Design*

   - Ability to read archives without logging in (allows people to lurk and
   access the community, for various reasons )
   - Ability to provide secure channels for sensitive discussions, or those
   that might put an individual at risk (happy to explain (off-list) scenarios
   offline, about why underrepresented people don't engage in open source
   forums on specific topics for fear of trolling/threats).
   - Strong Moderation tools
   - Acceptance to our Code of Conduct as part of joining/posting .

Discourse sends email, that functionality is provided by both.   We've been
using Discourse at Mozilla for a while now, being intentional about
centralizing communication channels with Discourse has been very positive.
And I can  introduce you to someone who can share more detail benefits, and
challenges of that work (instead of learning on our own ).

My preference is for Discourse knowing it does better in the categories
I've listed.  Also personal peeve, I hate 'trying to find the right mailing

On Sun, Nov 11, 2018 at 8:53 AM Georg Link <glink at unomaha.edu> wrote:

> Hi CHAOSS community,
> I invite you to discuss whether we should start using Discourse and, if
> so, how we want to go about it.
> Background: The CHAOSS project is evolving and over the last 1.5 years, we
> created new mailing lists and abandoned others. We also use GitHub
> repositories and weekly calls on different days to separate out
> conversations. From the beginning, we discussed using a flexible forum
> software, like Discourse, to satisfy our evolving communication needs. In
> the past, we opted for simplicity but are now hitting the limits.
> Discourse agreed to sponsor free hosting for us:
> https://discourse.chaoss.community/
> On this week's call, a question was asked about email-compatability of
> Discourse: Everyone can watch topics on discourse and receive email
> notifications. Responses can be sent via email.
> One concern with using Discourse is that we divide the community across
> more communication channels. The question is, what is the overall
> communication strategy within our community? What role does each
> communication channel (mailing list, IRC, GitHub, Discourse, weekly calls)
> have?
> I open the discussion with my opinion:
> Discourse allows us to create new categories (like email lists), use tags,
> and have an organically evolving structure while maintaining all benefits
> of mailing lists. I think we can transition from email lists to Discourse.
> Best,
> Georg
> --
> Georg J.P. Link
> PhD Candidate
> College of Information Science and Technology | PKI 367
> University of Nebraska at Omaha | www.unomaha.edu
> _______________________________________________
> CHAOSS mailing list
> CHAOSS at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/chaoss

Emma Irwin (she/her)
Community Development
Open Innovation Team
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