Completely unacceptable

Not sure why

I tested it and you’re right. Even though it is set to allow anyone to contribute, apparently you cannot see the content in the group unless you are either put in the group or post something in it. No idea why though, I created the group the same way any other groups are created… Have posted the issue in the dev group for Matt to look at when he can.

Thee thread has been locked because personal attacks have been in several directions made which is not aligned with the user guidelines for interaction on the platform. I chose to lock and link to a different thread rather than remove it as I agree that parts of the discussion are important: “The rules governing interaction are those that you would expect when talking to people you deeply respect, and want to respect you too. Be clear and respectful.”

It seems however that the alternative channel is not working technically :frowning:

I am open for re-opening the thread if all parties agree to respect the rules of conduct. That means no personal attacks will be tolerated and everyone is expected to exercise restraint in the face of an already infected discussion. As well as helping others to do the same.

The thread has been locked because personal attacks have been made’ ah, there we have it. So not in fact spam issues.

The problem is not that the other channel is not working technically, it is that the other channel is irrelevant and the conversation should never have been locked.

At the time in which you locked the thread, there had been no further ‘personal attacks’ for some time, and the conversation you stopped was a constructive, ‘attack-free’ discussion between me and Alberto about appropriate conduct for the platform and for representatives of Edgeryders LBG.

Please unlock the thread, I will copy-paste my comment from the other thread to where it should have been in the first place, and @Alberto can do the same.

Can you please respond to my other comment?

See above

And please keep in mind that in order for this not to be a real conversation with listening, there needs to be time allowed for people to think and respond. Especially when one is responding to more than one person in a thread.

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ah, yes, point noted, thanks.

You could be onto something here

Hmm. I had not thought of it that way. Let me add:

  • We have been trying to reform the notification system for some time. There was a hackathon on it at LOTE4, and it made some headway, and then it got stuck. It seems trickier than expected.
  • During the hackathon, it emerged that the trade off is between giving "not enough" notifications to newcomers and "too many" to experienced users.
  • Sam was the first to explicitly address the issue of posts with very many comments

Maybe the idea of “spam on demand” might be a workaround in the short term. But we absolutely need to find a better system in the longer term.

As for opening the main thread… we could do that. In general, everything should be open by default. But when trolling takes a foothold, there is a real risk of ending up prioritising the right to troll rather than the right not to be trolled. Difficult call – and we are not the first to have to make it. I am not convinced which is the best way to proceed, at all.

I definitely think, with so many platforms, if Edgeryders has anything unique to offer is some possibility for action. And that possibility seems to work for some people: just watch the enthusiasm of the Nepalese, the Romanians, or the Egyptians. I mean, Ben, no disrespect but if you re-read your latest contributions they are overwhelmingly negative. You use titles like “Weird and uncomfortable”, “How Edgeryders has changed”, or “Completely unacceptable”; they use titles like Tired of hearing that we can’t, Nice to meet you, EdgeRyders!, Mapping the grassroots that not many believe we have and Breaking barriers, organizing together. Well, you have your opinion, they have theirs, fair enough. But are you sure you want to spend your time lecturing people you obviously find disagreeable? Are you sure you want me to help create an environment conducive to this kind of interaction? And why? You have created, what? Seven online spaces for the unMonastery? Eight? Plenty of space there to create (quoting Arthur) “your new Jerusalem”, the perfect, hospitable, serene space for collaboration. You can succeed, where Edgeryders has failed. Why waste time here?

Vinay once told me: the main principle of open source is “if you don’t like our project, you do not fight for control of it: you fork it and make your own”. There is a lot of wisdom in this. Everyone wins: in the end you have two projects instead of one, people can choose the one they feel closer to.

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The problem was that in the case of the thread in question, I don’t believe that trolling had taken, or was going to take a foothold. I don’t think that the accusation of fraud is a valid reason to stop the conversation.

But to specifically address your “if you don’t like our project, you do not fight for control of it: you fork it and make your own” idea, we both know that in practice, this is harder to do than in theory. Often it is worthwhile trying to fix problems with an existing project rather than building a new one and trying to convince people to jump ship. In any situation where a chunk of the community is pushed to the situation where they feel like a fork is a viable solution, either option is going to be very difficult to pull off.

That said, people are forking Edgeryders. unMonastery is a fork, OSCEdays uses a lot of the Edgeryders ‘codebase’, etc. But there is still so much value and potential in the original project and network, and it’s devastating to see it go to waste, or see people becoming disillusioned with it. On a personal level, my own belief in Edgeryders took a big hit today.

The team behind Edgeryders LBG are all good, trustworthy and competent people, whom I have great personal and professional relationships with, and I really want it to work.

But I know that if the kinds of issues which Ben raises are not addressed, it simply can’t work in the long term. I know you’re open to fixing some of them. But telling Ben ‘you don’t like it? then fork it’ won’t fix Edgeryders LBG’s problems.

Sometimes you can’t just fork it.

I think everyone’s sticking around these conflict-ridden posts because they deeply care about EdgeRyders and experienced value in it that can’t just be forked - because it is, ultimately and hopefully, about the network of people and something that should continue to grow. Projects sometimes bifurcate and get messy, but the nice thing about open source is you have no obligation to choose just one.

If contributions are more negative from those who haven’t just recently arrived to the platform, it might be the fatigue that comes with suggesting change and raising questions within a community-driven project that remain unresolved - often left invalidated or technically stalled.

Please let me know when and if I can copy these comments to the original thread.

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I know!

I know you mean well, @Kei. But you execute badly. If you want people to stay within line of sight of each other, you make their comms simple: in my view, you have already broken unMonastery’s comms by fragmenting it across, let’s see: the original project here on Edgeryders, two Wordpress websites, a Google Group, a Facebook group, a wiki, Slack, Medium, Discourse. I am supposed to be one of the initiators of the project, but I have completely lost sight of what’s happening in that space.

And yes, you can participate to many projects at one, and you are definitely welcome to participate to Edgeryders, but when you are here you will need to accept its rules. The main one is Who Does The Work Calls The Shots: you don’t like what I do, do it better. Or help me. Or do something different. A modicum of critique is welcome, of course. But at the end of the day, any minute spent in having these exhausting discussions is a minute not spent in doing stuff I am better at and enjoy more, like supporting some of the great people out there.

Just to clarify how hard we worked last year: I have only incomplete records (working on it, but it will take time!), but what I am seeing for 2014 is this: Edgeryders LBG paid out € 50,588 to directors against work done in projects; € 38,607 to non-directors against participation in projects (excluding the unMonastery); € 25,650 in the unMonastery (comprehensive of stipends + costs); and € 9,371 against travel to LOTE4. That’s € 98,566 paid out to the community. Not for nothing – everyone contributed. But only five of us made the sales, funded the platform and did the business development, admin and accounting work.

So: five people secured 100% of the revenue of ER LBG, but appropriated only about one third of the benefits.

I think maybe this could grow a little, but it needs attention. And discussions like this are using it up – very badly, in my opinion.


Hi Alberto, I am participating in EdgeRyders, and I am trying to help, by trying to point to the indirectly addressed roots of these issues, so that they may not consistently recur and consume everyone’s time.

Similarly, in criticising unMonastery’s communications, it would be helpful if you could work with us to offer a space more conducive to productive discussion - it’s at least partially due to the forms and stalemates of communication I previously mentioned that unMonastery’s channels sprawled, in light of the need to find another space for operational work. Much of this has been said before, and we are still working on it. If we can fix communication between us now, I think it will be much easier to keep both endeavors in line of sight.

I appreciate Who Does the Work Calls the Shots, and it can be quite useful for those working very hard to functionally bring forth ideas. I think, however, it does have a breaking point in its ability to invalidate critique: at this point there is very clearly dialogue needed or else the Work itself will breakdown.

It will breakdown because there is a real tension on the platform - and Edgeryders’ members - between creating online reference points and actual dialogue; this is one of the reasons closing comments looks bad. These issues will likely occur in new LBG endeavours as well, is it worth it to keep the “community” on board? How can we fix it?

I’m personally looking forward to working on the chances LOTE5 and a preceding facilitation process offer for realignment and discussions on forms of stewardship and capacity.

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Dialogue: we tried it, it did not work

Hello again, @Kei, and sorry for late reply.

Dialogue is a great tool, but it requires time and effort, so it needs to be used well. Unfortunately, we have a history of using it as a stalling technique (probably in good faith). It works like this: dialogue is invoked on something (like you here: “work with us on XYZ!”). People come onboard and try to make some headway: they craft arguments, research resources, write syntheses. At this point the whole thing is cordially ignored. Of course, whatever problem dialogue was meant to fix is not fixed, so it comes back up. And again “hey, let’s have a conversation about this!”. The memory of the previous round is not built upon, so we start all over again.

Coincidentally, the points you mention (a space conducive to productive discussion and realignment) make two great examples. The case for Edgeryders to be “messy but open source, so fixable and expandable” was made here a year ago. Dialogue ensued, and if you read the thread it will be clear that we did understand each other. We really talked. But we did not agree. In the end, as you know, the decision was that the UX was simply not good enough for the uM crowd, and everybody moved over to Facebook/GoogleGroups/Trello etc. What you achieved was this:

“some of the most valuable members of the ER community don’t post or read very often/ever […] when it comes to the moment when they’re needed, our workflow seems to bring them in at the right time.” [source]. 

What you lost is that it’s hard for anybody outside the Very Inner Circle to know where stuff is. I have no idea where stuff is, and I am supposed to be a founding member of unMonastery LBG! Or maybe I was, at some point, but then a discussion happened (where?) and the people doing the heavy lifting changed their mind (as is their prerogative, and I am not offended at all). In fact, I don’t even know that. All I know is that I was asked to join a company in February by a mass email (???) and then, for over three months, I have heard nothing: not a link to a discussion space, not a rationale for incorporating, not an idea of who would pay for what. Not even a date, or a “if you have questions contact XY”, or “we have changed our mind, it’s not happening”. From where I stand (which is supposedly the inside of it), this process is completely opaque. So you pay a very high price in terms of legibility: I hope the benefit was worth it. Me, I prefer the other way, the one ER is organized, as flawed as it is. A year ago we agreed to disagree, the unMonastery built its own comms, and everyone is happy. What do we stand to gain by rediscussing that?

Facilitated realignment was tried in March/April 2015. It went really badly, and sank in a debate on who should design the process (which reminds me - I owe the generous people who engaged an apology). Same thing: not much of a case for going back to it that I can see.

So, as far as I am concerned, we already played the dialogue card on both these issues. If we are still not happy, it means we have not solved our problems that way, and we will need to think of some other way. Does this sound reasonable?

+1 to Sam’s request

As a participant in the discussion, I would like it to be unlocked.

The thread was locked before i could finish typing my reply. I will remember to back it up before i hit send, in future.

No, this is un-acceptable behaviour, especially coming from @Nadia, as she’s un-published posts before now, which  has meant relevant discussions disappeared down the Memory Hole.

@Nadia, It would help if you unlocked the thread and continued to let people post. What would have been better, if you hadn’t done anything in the first place, but had just contributed to the conversation.

It would also help if you removed your capability to lock/un-publish/alter posts until you actively demonstrate that you can be trusted with it.

One of the main points i was making was about transparency.

There has been a demonstrable lack of transparency in all of this.

This has reached the point, where i cannot recommend doing business with Edgeryders LBG, and i must recommend that everyone using this website migrates all of their respective projects to another platform, as has already happened with Un-Monastery.

See above

If everyone requesting re-opening of the thread agrees to respect the rules of conduct I will unlock it. Those who are asking for unlocking the thread, please leave a comment indicating you have understood and accept the rules of conduct.


Why do we need to do that? We have been commenting here for years.

As Katalin said, we don’t need to do this on any other thread, so why would we need to do this on the original thread?

Please unlock the thread.

Please remove your ability to lock threads, and un-publish threads, until you can be shown that you can act sensibly with it.

I cannot access the Anti-Spam continuation of the original thread either.

Let’s stay with it.

While I hope the original thread will be reopened that I may post this comment there, watching the discussion, I felt very surprised by Alberto’s comment that there is “nothing to be solved.” While perhaps from one perspective there’s nothing pending resolution at a legal level, there are clearly issues members of EdgeRyders have yet to resolve, as similar points to those raised in this post have consistently arisen in a number of other discussions on the platform. A few more recent examples:

  1. Stewarding Ourselves - 2 Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LBG
  2. The unMonastery: On shared ownership in open collaboration
  3. How EdgeRyders has Changed.

I think a very important aspect of facilitating an open community is recognizing criticism as valid in the spirit of building something mutually. As Sam initially pointed out, I believe it’s in large part the tone of the conversation on all sides that hinders resolution and communication - discussion often takes recourse to legal structures (as final points, not open questions), calling into question someone’s character, and technical uses or limitations of the platform. From my observation, this constantly sidesteps the issues at question.

These recurring themes, alongside closing comments on a thread with due relevance to the community, signals to me a strong need to critically evaluate the relationship between the company and the shifting definition of the community. I really welcome and appreciate both @Caroline_Paulick-Thiel's and David’s offers to facilitate this process - there seems to be a drastic need to realign on what this work is in the spirit of, and thereby perhaps restart from a more trusting foundation on which criticism can be viewed as valid and constructive and receive reciprocal dialogue.

I look forward to these questions being worked through. Is this still possible?

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As I commented in the original thread that derailed I think this is a viable solution also because Caroline put forward a concrete methodology that has been used in other comparable situations. However in order for this to work the timeframe has to take the schedules of everyone involved and there needs to resources allocated for doing this properly as this kind of process is demanding and requires someone to take responsibility for managing it from beginning to end both someone within the company (I suggested Patrick- as a newcomer he has more emotional distance to this than others in the board, myself included). It also requires us to give one another enough breathing space to complete some prior commitments so we can allocate the needed attention to it. I think there are so many issuesx to resolve that it is going to take days spent together to work through (online clearly is not the best medium for conflict resolution) - so I think building an entire lote around this process would both give everyone some useful skills as well as help us make sense of how to move forward.

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It didn’t DERAIL.

You locked everyone else out of the conversation.

In a similar manner to everyone else on the Edgeryders website, being locked out of the decision-making process of Edgeryders LBG.

As i requested in a post above, please unlock the thread, as well as re-publishing all of the threads that you un-published.

Then explicitly lock yourself from being able to administrate the threads, until you can show that you can be trusted with the capability.

Yes, it did

@Billy_Smith, seriously. It derailed when accusations of fraud – a criminal offense – were made (falsely, as it turns out). That happened in comment number 2. Do you not think that is derailing? You OK with that?