is degrowth.net the platform we should now use for communication /
networking, e.g. for the activists group?
Do we have to register for each tool separately? How does it work for
the cloud / file server?
Can we define something like a group / project (e.g. for the activism
support group), so all files, pads, etc. are linked together?
Yes, that’s the platform we are building for your communication. Especially this forum (agora.degrowth.net) is starting to become a useful exchange space, but the list of tools on degrowth.net, including file storage and chat rooms are complementary.
Currently we still have to create users for each tool, but the plan is to soon have one single account for all of them. We are working on it
@yala can probably provide you more informations on the current state of the tools.
thanks for your response here. Indeed as @gandhiano pointed out before, we still need to set up all relevant groups and accounts for the different tools manually. This means group assembly coordinators are working tightly with the administrators of the system, to get everything going as needed.
The listing on degrowth.net only gives an overview of the available tools that you can use. Meanwhile we are also occupied with writing documentation for them at learn.degrowth.net, which still needs some time.
In a next step, we may for example include this Agora service to the Cloud, so conversations and documents are reachable for the same spot. The private categories in Agora can also hold discussions, which have wiki functionality enabled. This means you can maintain an overview list of the pads which you use.
More pragmatically Pads can be associated with metadata, which makes same accessible from your history shown on the start page at https://pad.degrowth.net. This has to be written in the beginning of a pad:
title: Title of a pad
tags: text, discussion, idea
Additionally, it is also always possible to create a pad of pads that lists your important working spaces.
Please also note that the interface at https://agora.degrowth.net is much more suited for structured conversation, than only interacting with the groups via email. The email channels have been included for backwards compatibility reasons. Therefore we suggest you regularily return to that site when interacting with the community here.
thanks for your mail. Please keep me updated, if there are any news about it.
Meanwhile we want to suggest our “degrowth activist group” to make some experience with the WeChange.de plattform, where we created a project to hold documents, pads, todos, events and news in one space together. We used this paltform for some other projects already successfully.
Maybe this WeChange is also good inspriration for the degrwoth.net plattform in future?
I know the wechange platform and it is a valuable effort to bring together core functions that groups need to collaborate. I see however several problems with it, ranging from not fitting really into the classification of free software (they have open sourced the code, but there’s no real development community behind, nor other attempts at self-hosting it), up to the architecture and concept. Similarly to other proprietary and enclosed platforms, you are bound to either be in it, or out of it: if you decide to use another platform or tool, you are not able to relate to the information or people there any longer. As the development is also guided by a few paid developers and not by a community, there is a high risk that the platform development hangs and in 5 years you have a stagnated platform with all the information and users unable to be migrated elsewhere.
We have in the last years decided to move away from single monolithic platforms (as co-munity.net attempted to be as well), which carry high development costs and force the users into a monoculture of use (you will always find people unsatisfied with this or that aspect), into smaller diverse toolsets that allow people to approach communication from different perspectives (e.g. some people want a group communication via a mailing list, others on a forum - this platform e.g. allows for both at the same time). The tools we have chosen for degrowth.net are the result of several years of research and evaluation on their freedom and openness standards, as well as the community health of these tools: we can expect these tools to be continuously developed by a large community of developers, without having to look for resources to develop them ourselves. From our side, we just need to care for hosting and setting up them adequately, which is in comparison a minor investment.
I personally would find a pity if we split the movement into platforms that aren’t able to federate with each other and would recommend that you (also) try the tools we are putting in place here, as part of an effort to bring the movements of degrowth to discuss together, and help us improve it, e.g. through documentation or suggestions. You can still at any time link to any of the contents here and there, the hyperlink is there to help you, and as long as the groups are public (as this one), everyone will be able to read it, from any other platform.
thanks for explaining the background to us. We totally understand your point of view. We would like to use and spread the tools degrowth.net is providing. The idea was to use other tools only until degrowth.net is really ready :-). We will discuss these tonight within our group.
Here are some features we think are quite essential:
grouping different things together (like a project in WeChange). That has the advantage, that you easily find all things related to a topic. Through this also authorization concept is quite easy: All memebers of the project can see / change things - and nobody else, e.g.pads or other documents. --> So far we did not find this possibility in the “pad.degrowth.net”.
Maybe we can have a separate discussion / session with you after our telco tonight. If you like, we can propose this to our “fellow activists”.
from your comments I take the following as requirements into the scope for an overall degrowth.net presence and audience. You express the need for:
To second @gandhiano’s remarks above about well integrated, loosely coupled tools in favour of monolithic environments, allow me to bring up how we relate to these points right now.
Unified Login & Single Sign-On
We are working at implementing a federated identity management platform for the whole set at services. This takes a lot of time and effort and will be ready soon.
The cloud.degrowth.net already allows us to hold private data for different groups and includes calendaring, contacts, tasking and file sharing capabilities.
The one space where you conclude your online activities depends on your position and perspective. Instead of locking you into a single narrative, we offer you to shape your own view wherever you consider it best: In a pad, shared Nextcloud documents, or (wiki) discussions here.
You can also post blog-like news updates to the activism category, make event announcements in here or ask for a separate blog-like website activism.degrowth.net as a central landing page, if that makes any sense to you.
The pad service is currently not connected with any identity, why privacy options are right now not yet available. This will allow you to place editing and viewing restrictions on them.
In general we suggest communities to work as much as possible in the open, in so their content is search machine indexable and new people find low entry barriers to participate. In a way we are acting discoverable, but not obvious, which means we work in open environments, which become available by using a shared secret. Maintaining these secret tokens is then a second degree question.
Please also note that we are also not prime time yet with the anticipated chat/messaging environment, which will provide a conversational real-time glue between the offers for structured communication. A place where one exchanges short notice messages, and distributes links to different perspectives on our shared matters. By embracing the world wide web, we make sure to remain open to wider publics.
Hi @yala and @gandhiano,
in the telco of the activism group tonight we discussed the platform question. We agreed to give degrowth.net a try. We will meet in a month again and talk about our experiences. Maybe you will get more questions, requirements etc. !
I habe been put in the wrong group. I am a member of the research group,
but allocated and put into the communication and networking group.
Please change this, we have ameeting on 24th October, so I would begrateful for as early as possible.
Best and thanks Ulrich
it is strange that I get such a message (e.g. Ulrich is in the wrong group). I guess this is what I meant some statements ago, that messages sent to all users are only necessary in some cases.
Can we structure this a bit more (topic related groups or categories), so we can reduce traffic (also good for saving energy )?
Thanks and best regards!
Hi @Anne_Arndt_Jacobi, you received that message because @Ulrich replied to a thread that you created. That is how the system works. You will want to receive replies to topics you posted, right?
There is certainly some room for improvement - from structuring better the categories, to moderation and, last but not least, learning how to properly use the tool.
We can for example also close threads, when discussions get long and irrelevant for the topic. Another alternative for you not to receive any more notifications for a specific thread is to change your notification setting at the bottom of the page (as a poster you have it probably as “watching”, you can reduce it to “tracking” or “normal”).
If you have additional concrete suggestions on how to reduce such accidental miscommunication otherwise, I’ll be happy to hear about.
Yes, it was @Ulrich who side tracked the conversation with bringing in another topic in this thread. It is also up to the users to maintain clear communication practice, and open new conversations when neccessary.