Web site objectives
It occurred to me that I have not clearly written about the various goals that I am trying to attain, with regard to community organization. Simply allow me to highlight some of the key aspects of the vision I have.
These are rough notes that need to be polished.
Contribute something positive to our society
This is the end goal. I spent a lot of time, effort and money to develop and maintain this web site, and I did not do so because I seek financial gain, fame nor to boost my own ego. The ultimate goal for this web site is to achieve something significant and positive that would benefit our whole society. This is a very ambitious goal, and needless to say, we are a very, very far way off from reaching it. Still, I perceive many of the same problems as you do and building this web site is my little contribution in promoting solutions.
If we exclude spambots and other kinds of spammers, all the people who have ever joined this site all shared the same desire to improve our society. This is something that makes me very happy. I would like this site to be able to fully harness this strong thirst for actual change in our world.
All of the provisions discussed below are all strategies towards that goal.
Be open and inclusive
Welcome every one, regardless of their political or religious views. Under the provisions discussed below regarding a peaceful, respectful debate, I personally welcome everyone to express itself here. For example, I am not a monarchist at all, but should a monarchist come by, I would allow it to express its views just like everyone else is allowed to, with access to a personal blog, a Personal Book area, etc. Left wingers, right wingers, progressives, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, etc. are all welcome here.
Encourage respectful dialogue
I will not repeat here what is already written there:
Highlight agreement over disagreement
Let me be very clear: it is perfectly OK for any two people to disagree. Disagreement is a natural occurrence and properly handled, it can be healthy.
However, I want to do everything I can to avoid sorry flame wars that are so common throughout the internet, especially on a political web site like this one. A friend of mine, with whom I agree on 99% of the issues, was so caught up in the 1% he couldn't make me agree with him, that he went away from my home, slamming the door, and burning all bridges behind him. It is a strong tendency that we all have, myself included, when replying to someone, to disregard all the points on which we agree, and only highlight the points of disagreement and exclusively reply on those divisive points.
This confrontational attitude helps nobody, only serves to make people upset at each other, and certainly does not empower us to band together to actually make a difference in our fucked up society.
So, again, diverging points of view are welcome, disagreement are expected to occur, but I want to organize the site in a way that helps people to figure out the common ground on which to stand.
I want to unite people. Look at US politics: there is certainly no need for further divisions!
We already know what a liberal and a conservative would disagree on. I'd be much more interested in figuring out how much they can agree on.
Increase the signal/noise ratio
I already wrote about increasing the signal to noise ratio:
Just about every web site out there, and search engines as well, favour new content over good content.
Allow individuals to present the best of themselves, for example with the use of personal books, which can be edited, completed and improved over time.
Allow the community to come together and work in unison, working for common goals.
The use of wiki will be encouraged so that our collectively written articles can be a shining beacon, attracting ever more like-minded users to this community.
Promote better voting system
Here we go back to the very origins of this web site, which was originally created as a voting tool with delegable proxy. The proxy feature is currently disabled but I carry on improving the voting feature, featuring better voting methods (approval voting, score voting, emocracy, etc.) that should replace our current broken system.
Have a bigger, more active community
It's obvious that this site could do with a bigger, more active community. I'll continue working to make it happen, so that a greater number can achieve greater things. I hope that by organizing this site differently than other political blogs, people will slowly start to notice the difference and be drawn to join. Achieving all of the above is also a strategy towards that goal.