Jsilver Forum Ideas and Suggestions

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Forum-related Ideas and Suggestions by Jsilver

Accurate votes and opinions: Prevent collusion and fear of retaliation

  • Create a hybrid profile (public + anonymous profile). Forum profiles should be tied to real platform worker/requester profiles, but the latter (worker/requester identity) must NOT be accessible/identifiable to the readers/others (OR at least it should be optional to display connection with worker/requester profile, or it can be toggled on/off). The benefit of this is the forum posts/votes by a forum member would more likely be independent and honest: the poster/voter/forum member can offer an opinion/vote/post freely and accurately, having no reason to expect punishment or retaliation for any particular rating/feedback. To incentivize the forum member to give a rating/post/vote that matches his/her actual opinion, the platform would confer a badge/reputation points, as well as, among other things, allow the platform to recommend anything that better matches the member's tastes, interests, etc.
  • On anonymity: if we're going to use free forum scripts, anonymization is easy. no coding needed (initially, at least). Some forums also already have the "upvote" feature. We could use Google forms for voting too [1]
  • On social influence bias: People should vote on their own, and not based on social influence [2]

Rating/Ranking Weighting

  • Wherever necessary (forum, upvoting, etc.), rating/ranking a worker who has recently worked higher than a worker who has last worked many months or years ago.

Security and management of trolls/bad actors

Several ideas to improve security and to prevent the spread of bad apples among the reputable and innocent ones:

  • Ability to report and flag scam and spam clients and posts
  • Make it expensive, hard, and/or less enticing for trolls to do their thing
  • Prevent people from making new/duplicate accounts
  • The platform forum should have forum moderators, and allow the community to help flag and report trolls and spammer and scammers
  • Track data like IP address, etc.; use cookies
  • Slow down trolls' access
  • Limit certain/most users' access to certain areas so malicious behaviors can be confined and easier to detect
  • Try to hide the troll/bad actor from the community


Varied Ideas

  • One connected profile. Tie all forum actions (posts, votes, etc.) with a person's Daemo profile and reputation. Each person can only create one forum account.
  • Anonymity with accountability. Voting can be anonymous but must be tied to a real Daemo profile.
  • Promote positivity. offer upvoting only, no downvoting.
  • Voting. We can designate a specific forum area, like a "Voting/Idea" subforum. In this subforum, we can put a "sticky" Urgent Voting thread/subforum. All stickies would be found on top of each forum list, increasing visibility. The crowd can vote on the most urgent topics/actions. Topics/actions with most votes would be given priority by the LB/crowd. Voting periods would depend on the topic or action involved; the key is, all decisions would always be time-bounded. Please check my proposed opgov decision making flowchart
  • Direct communication. Prevent/limit direct communication between worker-client inside the forum. We could disable forum PM (private messaging) completely, since workers can interact with other workers on the forum itself (or we allow worker-worker PM but we have the right to monitor PMs). At the same time, we should promote one main communication tool for worker-client interactions -- one that is inside Daemo. Doing so would prevent scams and any illegal activity. (Thanks for reminding me, @juechi!)
  • Rules. The forum must have rules in place. The crowd can add to and modify these, subject to voting/membership rules.
  • Use a ready-made forum or start from scratch? Instead of creating a forum from scratch, we should consider using a one of the ready-made, stable and reliable free forum scripts out there, like phpBB, SMF, etc. These forum scripts are highly customizable. With our time constraints, I believe we can set up a forum faster with this approach.
  • Surveys or polls. We can use Google Forms, ElectionBuddy and/or the forum's own polling feature (if it has one).
  • Launch ASAP. We can start with a very basic forum. With the help of our engineers, we can create and customize our forum and launch it this November or December at the latest. We should use and test it ourselves (open gov, posting, voting, etc.), ideally before the next round of researchers hop in (January). We should move some or most of our Slack conversations there, especially those concerning voting and open gov.
  • Content. We could could start populating the forum with a few main topics, then the crowd can have a subforum where they can suggest topics.
  • Personal blogs? @m.kambal asked about having personal blogs. There are forums that have this blog feature. The question here is, how to resolve the dilemma between anonymity and publicity inside the forum? Should the personal blog contain actual information about the person, or should we maintain the use of the forum username? I prefer the latter to maintain consistency inside the forum (refer to the hybrid profile idea above).

My Idea Bank

I still have a lot of (online and offline) thoughts in my "idea bank" which I will continue to gather and share in the future.


References

  • Some other ideas presented in my previous Spring session submissions: [3], [4], [5]
  • An LB-related draft I made: [6]
  • Opgov decisionmaking flowchart [7]

Any Questions?

Questions allow me to dig deeper and faster into my idea bank. Please feel free to post them here (along with your Slack name) or via Slack DM.

Thanks for your questions and comments: @arichmondfuller, @dilrukshi, @juechi, @m.kambal, @rcompton