Mon 3 Feb 2020 11:14AM

How does Talk make you feel?

BL Benjamin Langholz Public Seen by 103

After a little more than a week using Talk, I'm curious to hear how it makes others feel.


Jeff Spirlock Sun 5 Apr 2020 12:15PM

I am very impressed with the Loomio platform and find Talk to be extremely helpful and informative.

Yes, there is A LOT to read. Personally I believe that correlates directly to all the various key changes Kiez Burn is going through. It is a young burn/event and with a decentralized team to organize essential functions combined with the do-ocracy framework there are going to be lots of lengthy discussions. Event production and logistical planning are very complex areas of expertise to make flow smoothly and function well, especially if lead roles lack decades of experience doing such tasks. Even when they have that experience there are no guarantees things will function smoothly.

It reminds me of living on this commune that had 5 key people making decisions. Then there was a main financier who could attempt to veto any given decision those 5 people had a consensus on. Largely we operated in this weird harmonious anarchy with frequent petty squabbles but at the end of the day we appreciated and respected each persons roles and responsibilities in the community. When you decentralize something that doesn't have a clearly defined framework these type of conflicts are bound to arise.

For example, venue clarity and possible changes. That alone is a HUGE issue. No venue, no event.

Then you have the question of whether or not the community would support a quieter burn. Especially a quieter burn organized by Berliners with such a passion and history for loud music.

Next you have funds distribution for art and infrastructure.

Should event size/ticket sales increase?

How should ticket sales happen?

If you think these topics are going to involve little passion and fire then you've obviously never organized an event.

Talk is a great place for conversations to continue after in person or online meetings. Heavy emphasis on IN PERSON. I'm aware that is currently not an option but when it is possible it is detrimental to the functionality of Talk Threads staying relevant and on topic. If you don't or can't attend meetings then I can see how Talk looks like a mess and would make you question whether or not it is even working.

There is a common saying among burners and event organizers. Herding cats is the phrase. If you've never tried to catch a cat that loved it's freedom I challenge you to do so they next chance you get. After that little experiment, now try it with 20 cats (average attendance at meetings) and let me know how it works out. We are a community of easily 1000 people, challenges will occur, it is inevitable.


walto Wed 5 Feb 2020 9:42AM

Here is the Reality responsibility:

the thread where it was discussed, is linked under the dependency.

As always: feel free to take it on :)


Cris Tue 4 Feb 2020 5:35PM

Completely agree. We're in my opinion still a bit illiterate in how to discuss online. Has little to do with the tool. Maybe we could all enhance some of the good practices on Talk, lately a bit forgotten like: conciseness, use of "react" buttons, be aware of the space we take, etc... And definitely think twice about our good communication practices: solution-oriented, constructive,..., and don't fall into aggression, toxic behavior and shit. @waldo suggested a Talk code of conduct somewhere?

Anyway, I was very impressed with how good the mind maps like this are to have a clear overview of a big discussion. But tja, more platforms, more work...

Comment sponsored by Paternalist.Inc.


walto Tue 4 Feb 2020 10:58AM

Yeah, last year Talk was the extension of things discussed during meetings. This year Talk exploded before there was a lead kick-off meeting. That feels to me to be the difference.


Saskia Tue 4 Feb 2020 8:30AM

Last year I loved talk.

This year it is a source of stress so far.

Given that this situation has not been like this last year, despite heated discussions about sensetive topics & long threads, I would say it is not the tool but the community conversation & its' overall tone, which changed.

The conversation culture is more aggressive and borderline toxic and people seem to assume worse things off each other. And I sincerely wonder: WHY?
Feels like we're all forgetting we're doing this with the aim to enrich each other's life.


Benjamin Langholz Mon 3 Feb 2020 11:05PM

I also admit that I have negative feelings towards people in this talk system that I have never met IRL and while I'm sure I would still not agree with them I would not feel negatively towards them. The dehumanization of the conversation lends itself to this whereas in-person conversation does not. I recall this from working at Facebook as well.


[deactivated account] Wed 5 Feb 2020 9:12AM

Like there must be a better way

Great question! Thanks @Benjamin Langholz for asking! I don't agree with the comparison with Facebook. I do think that to work well this platform needs an informed, dedicated and benevolent group working towards the same and clear goal as well as an etiquette and a sweet group of kind but strict moderators. This is not us at the moment ;) Love you though! <3


Jaina Hirai Wed 5 Feb 2020 6:50AM

Overloaded with information
Like there must be a better way

I don’t think talk is like Facebook. I receive a daily digest email and stay informed, only within the threads that interest me.


Jaina Hirai Wed 5 Feb 2020 6:50AM

Overloaded with information

I don’t think talk is like Facebook. I receive a daily digest email and stay informed, only within the threads that interest me.


[deactivated account] Tue 4 Feb 2020 6:38AM

Like there must be a better way

Too many threads and too much to read. I feel there must be a better way to be informed. As into a sort of wrap up of activities to be informed about. I feel it is not very efficient and there might be a better way, still not sure which. And I have to add that it gives a bit too much incentive to type on a keyboard instead of coming to meetings.


Poll Created Mon 3 Feb 2020 8:52PM

How does Talk make you feel? Closed Thu 6 Feb 2020 8:00PM

Let’s practice polling! Choose multiple answers and/or add your own answers.


Results Option % of points Voters
Like there must be a better way 38.5% 5 JH D DU DU F
Informed 30.8% 4 JH EM D DU
Overloaded with information 23.1% 3 JH D JT
Horny 7.7% 1 EM
Like I‘m on Facebook 0.0% 0  
Confused about how the platform works 0.0% 0  
Empowered to participate 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 161 S S L C T RH VRS ARQ L K RN HH S SK M BL M R MG K

7 of 168 people have voted (4%)


Melinda Gonzalez Mon 3 Feb 2020 8:44PM

I am often reluctant to comment in Talk because I don’t like to add to already-long conversations just to, for example, state my preference. I also feel that gives more weight to the preferences of people with stronger opinions. I wish people would create polls more often. That way the numbers are clear at a glance.


Benjamin Langholz Mon 3 Feb 2020 11:08PM

I am not suggesting changes to Loomio although I do find the connection to occupy Wallstreet ironic. I have no solutions or positions to offer here at this moment. Simply asking how does it make you and the community feel to use it.


walto Mon 3 Feb 2020 2:41PM

We decided to use Loomio based on the arguments here:

We have adopted this platform in 2018, refined last year and upgraded this year. We previously used slack which had a tendency towards information-hierarchy. Therefore we switched.

Kiez Burn has a track record of big year-on-year innovation leaps. I do not think this was thanks to Talk, but rather due to a strong culture of consensual do-ocracy, particularly in offline meetings. Through collaboration, we came to better decisions for the whole of Kiez Burn. I am doubtful we are currently able to replicate this online.

There are no strong alternatives atm for Talk. However, feel free to suggest some. i would advise you use the Robot Ministery group for such suggestions.


Benjamin Langholz Mon 3 Feb 2020 1:06PM

No. Generally curious and wanted to share my experience so far.


CJ Yetman Mon 3 Feb 2020 12:17PM

genuine question, seriously not meant to be snarky (trying to tone things down here a bit)... do you have a suggestion/alternative?


Benjamin Langholz Mon 3 Feb 2020 12:02PM

Actually the more I think about the organization here and how Facebook works the more similarities I see. I Facebook everyone was encouraged to contribute ideas thoughts and opinions to any topic. There is very little hierarchy. But huge amounts of context and overhead in order to contribute in an area that you weren’t directly involved in. Basically if you came to a team with a suggestion at about a feature that they should add or something you thought could happen they would essentially drown you in context.

Because of this lack of hierarchy and encouragement of everyone to contribute the only way to make a decision or show a correct answer was through data. Math. Numbers. This systems works really well for somethings and some people. It allows only for small incremental change in products. Also making money for example. Great if you can use numbers and math as your only definitive factor. This system of decision-making also seemed to work really well for the sort of people who like to sit at their computers discussing things at length via online conversations. There was also a feeling of how much it is Asian of thoughts and ideas caused by the fact discussion was mostly held on mine and any points made or permanent and public available for anyone to look at. There was also a feeling of homogenization of thoughts and ideas caused by the fact discussion was mostly held o pine and any points made were permanent and public. Making it easy to point out and criticize those with opinions further from the norm.

I already see small traces of this culture in the short time I have been keeping an eye on KB organization. I would be really cautious of this. We need a system that encourages and welcome large leaps of imagination, radical ideas and differences of opinion.


walto Thu 6 Feb 2020 9:53PM

I agree Benjamin. If I maybe could add my take on things:

  1. Timing: we do not have a team yet that will coordinate the event planning of this year. So it is all a bit early.

  2. real life or dial-in meetings are often needed to actually talk things out + meet the people you are discussing things with, which helps enormously. Our 1st leads meeting is planned on Monday next week

These online discussions should not be a game of exhaustion. We should find alternative ways of dealing with this. I personally hope the two points above here will address some of the underlying issues.


Benjamin Langholz Mon 3 Feb 2020 11:18AM

For myself, I feel it has added significant stress and frustration into my life. Mainly because of it's continuous availability and the need to keep up with it. It very closely reminds me of working at Facebook where Facebook groups were used heavily and discussions online happened at any and all times. Those with the best finger or thumb endurance usually had the last words but this did not translate to real action as much as one might expect.

I tried to create a poll for this, but couldn't figure it out. If anyone else is feeling smart please do.

And yes I realize the irony of me creating another talk thread to discuss this topic 😆