... a few guidelines below...
It is the core of our organization and the place where we interact with each other. We exchange ideas, add new articles, comment on others' work, create groups of common interests, create friendships, open up and participate in forums, and generally work on advancing our common mission.
The Community menu is shown on the second menu bar above, on the left; namely Welcome, News Feed, Members, etc. Through this menu you can see what the community is doing: all the newest activities that took place, all the groups available, all the community members, and so on.
On the right of that second menu bar you see your Personal area, with some icons (inbox messages and notifications sent to you) and your profile area. The profile area has your full name and your photo. If you click on that area an additional menu (your Personal menu) drops down; this menu allows you to see all your personal interactions within the community: your activities, the forums you participate in, the groups you are a member of, etc.
Within the Community menu, the Welcome item will always bring you back here, where you can refresh your understanding of how to publish your work and comments, and most importantly refresh your understanding of our Community Guidelines, which are shown in a section below.
Please take a moment now to notice the particularly important Publish item in the personal dropdown menu. You can use it to write publicly visible content, provided that your assigned role has been granted writing capabilities by the administrators. Roles and their capabilities are explained below.
Most contributors have the capability to publish their work, either as general interest articles or research papers or contributions to our software applications on GitHub. These contributions are more formal and they are color coded, but the bulk of the daily posts are not: post your thought, question, your humor, however short it may be. Let your creativity shine, but always respecting the guidelines shown below. We'll add publishing tools as we go; do not hesitate to propose new tools and we'll do our best to accommodate them. For an overview of our publishing tools, read this.
This is the group that monitors the community membership and its activities. Members of this group have special administrative capabilities. They can change roles and monitor discussions and forums. They can edit and even remove contents of material publicly shown, but always transparently and with the acknowledgement of the original author. As with many other aspects of the organization, these capabilities are still being hashed out and will continue to be so for the duration of the beta period.
The community is built on top of WordPress (WP), the premier content management system on which a third of the world's websites are built. WP is an extraordinary open-source project and a joy to work with. We fully expose its functionality, encourage you to discover as much of it as you wish and hopefully customize new features for the benefit of the entire community. It is impossible to envisage at this moment all the possibilities of interaction and we hope to get new ideas from you and grow the community together.
(not real numbers while in beta; for illustration purposes only)
General Interest Articles
These guidelines aim at creating a sense of order and structure within the community, and reduce conflicts and misunderstandings. Although we are biased towards serious work and serious discussions, we do not aim for a sterilized environment, so let's have some fun too and not abandon healthy humor or irreverence. We will make mistakes for sure, but we will try to fix them and continuously learn from them, making our community a more welcoming and inclusive place.
The daily quotes at the bottom of this page show how much the US Founding Fathers were troubled by the difficulties of a democracy. Our library (reachable through the top menu) has an entire section dedicated to surveys about the effects of AI on democracy. In short, AI compounds the difficulty. In our community, we are mindful of this difficulty and the seriousness of our mission.
We appreciate and actively promote kindness and respect, even when we do not agree with others' opinions. We make serious efforts to find common ground; we realize that it is easier to find this common ground when we allow others enough space and time to communicate their thoughts. When we treat other members with kindness and respect, we encourage them to behave the same way. And by allowing each of us to feel heard and valued we also ensure that the community is not dominated by any one group or perspective.
If we follow JFK's advice to ask ourselves how much we can give rather than how much we can take, we build a frame of mind that others will notice. When we share our ideas from such a frame of mind, they will be appreciated even more. This frame of mind fosters trust and allows people to feel safe when they share their own ideas, creating a closer community. Recognize that inside SD-AI we cross many geographical and cultural boundaries and making people feel safe requires some thought. It is best to start with the assumption that others mean well and will also follow JFK's advice.
The cohesiveness of our community will determine its success and longevity. We should enjoy being here. We believe in our mission and we hope each of us sincerely adds a small part in enhancing our democratic institutions and leave them in a better place. Be direct when asking questions. Appreciate an answer even if it does not meet your standards of clarity. This helps create closer bonds of trust and mutual benefit. By embracing free expression and tolerance and by avoiding echo-chambers we improve our diversity and our sense of belonging.
Each member wants to create authority and build a good reputation in the community. One of the best ways to achieve both is to support others accomplish their part of our common mission. They are then more likely to appreciate your own knowledge and experience. As your reputation and authority grow, you will begin to see an increased influence and ability to shape our community direction. People will tend to listen to you more and you will build stronger relationships. Remember that neither authority nor reputation are static and that they must be earned and maintained over time through continued positive contributions.
Civil interactions create positive and longer lasting relationships in our community. Hopefully, members of the community will extend these relationships to offline as well. We are constantly working on creating new opportunities for community members to socialize and connect with each other, such as through virtual events or discussions. When participating in these events and discussions, civility is so important that we are dedicating the entire next section to it
What distinguishes deliberative discussions from other types of conversation (debate, dialogue) is that
deliberative discussions are cooperative and their end goal is an agreement and a course of action.
They are especially important for our mission and they are public; see the top menu, where we simply refer to them as discussions.
Whenever necessary, a discussion should take place face-to-face, over our Zoom plugin.
(The D's are described in more detail here.)
All other conversations take place through our Zoom plugin, our forums, in the activity feeds, and by messaging.
These less structured conversations are only visible within the community; see the community menu and the personal menu.
The C can be seen below; civility should be at the heart of all our community discussions (deliberative or not), and especially so when we touch on politics: