Thu 1 Feb 2024 11:49AM

SEEKING ADVICE : How do we Seek Advice? What do we do with the Advice Process

AK Alex Kaos Public Seen by 69

TL:DR - Does the Advice Process need updating? Should we keep Talk?

If neither of these questions interest you, or if you don't care about shaping Kiez Burn, then this text might be too long for you 馃檪


As a continued experiment, this AP will be running on all 3 current channels;

Enage with whichever platform is most comfortable for you.

I will do the hard work of consolidating the advice offered. I will consolidate it all into Talk, as I believe it is the most appropriate tool for this task, and my prefered method. This should also give at least myself, the opportunity to review these different platforms for discussion.


In recent times, Advice Processes (AP) as a mechanism, and Talk as a platform, have come into question. I hope with this AP, we can review this means of empowering our participants and improve it too it's next generation.

In this AP, we hope to address both:

The scope, use, implementation and purpose of AP's


Suitable platform(s) and frameworks/templates

The Advice Process was voted in as the mechanism by which decisions are made at Kiez Burn, via reverse-preference vote, by the Verein members, at a special assembly in autumn of 2019.

Talk was also established as the default platform for organisation and, by extension, advice processes.

Key / Definitions

  • Big Decsisions / Big APs = How to dristribute tickets, ticket price, low-income, event dates, location, art grant distribution amount & framework

  • AP = advice process depending on the context, could be a;

    • noun - an AP - a specific situation in which someone is asking or asked for advice (i.e. this page is an AP asking for advice)

    • verb - the AP - the mechanism and framework for which decisions are made and advice is requested. (i.e. in this AP we are discussing the AP = how do we make decisions at KB)

Definition of the Advice Process

Purpose of the Advice Process

  • To enable any individual to take an informed, consented and transparent decision regarding the operation or organisation of the Kiez Burn event or Verein.

  • To minimise the requirement for hierarchical intervention from core event organisers or the board

Advantages of the current Talk-AP:

  • Digitally inclusive - many more people can engage in a discussion than would be possible with in-person meetings

  • Net time-saver - async discussions save a lot of time which would've been spent listening to other people waffle at 1x talking speed

  • Space for structured thoughts and advice - spending time editing a response improves the quality and conciseness of the advice

  • Transparency and recording by default - everyone can see how we came to the conclusion we did

  • Realizers are can be enabled to do big things. It's not easy, and you do need access to certain resources - time, writting and reading skills, moderation ability, time, the will to try to make change in the world. But you don't need permission to ask for advice!

Disadvantages of the current Talk-AP:

  • Restrictive for the:

    • tech-phobic - new/additional platforms can be stressful to some

    • dyslexic - large blocks of text can cause anxiety

  • In person meetings are more spiritually rewarding. Humans are social creatures by nature, and a large feature of Kiez Burn is the community experience.

  • Tone is easily lost, argument's have flared up that could've been handled differently in person

Limitations of the current framework of AP:

  • Some decisions affect the liability of the board, and all of their personal assets, and require their vote of approval. Anyone can't simply do anything as initially implied.

  • Some decisions (i.e ticket price and distribution method) affect either everyone, or far too many people to justify 'consensual' Do-ocracy.

  • Not everyone is qualified to fulfill a role. There is some risk in allowing 'anyone to do anything', as excited, yet not-competent participants can cause major problems (time-drains) for their co-realizers or the board.

Addressing some hard-truths about APs:

  • Your opinion doesn't matter, your advice does

  • Everyone's advice does not have equal value

  • Some people's advice has no value

  • Consensual do-ocracy will take more time than do-ocracy. Consent is a principle here, and that comes with time and energy investment. Asking for permission takes longer than asking for forgivness, and it can feel restrictive to many.

The Platform Question

  1. One more platform - concerns have been expressed at Kiez Burn's large number of platforms. Technically it's 11, but only 4 of them can be actively used (discord, wiki, talk, Gdocs), the rest are passive (telegram channel, newsletter, website, portal, and others no one thinks/uses).

  2. Some people don't like Talk as a platform

  3. A test has been run on both the Wiki and on Discord to see if we can move the Advice Process off of Talk.

    1. Wiki - definitely has strong potential for small AP's that require a little feedback from few stakeholders. The coments functions provide the ability for response threads on specific sections of text, which is very cool. But the lack of threaded comments, reactions, or proper voting tech make it too limited for big APs.

    2. Discord - has the highest general usage, and therefore the most reach. In the rest run, Discord's nature as a 'chat space' changes the quality, frequency, and mindset of the users. It was much harder to have structured discussion around specific topics.

  4. Other platforms have been proposed; I.e. Discourse, Fedora, Reddit etc

  5. In-Person is still technically an option (and having no digital platform)

Addressing these points

  1. If we can't get 3.1. and 3.2. to work, then we need a suitable platform for big decisions. So we can't get around having a dedicated platform. The only question remains; which platform is best?

  2. Whoever wants to explore and experiment with an alternative platform is encouraged to do so. Once a viable alternative has been tested we can consider being free of Talk. (See 6.)

  3. I believe we should not restrict APs to Talk. We could experiment with Realizers running APs on their platform of choice.

    1. The Wiki is well suited for small-group discussions covering the details of a document. i.e. 3-10 affected persons & experts in a conversation.

    2. Discord is well-suited if the topic isn't heavy and the realizer just needs some casual input. i.e. 1-3 affected persons. In 90% of those use cases, ensuring the char happens in their respective discord chat is sufficient, and there's no need for special AP space.

    3. Both of these options can fulfill the transparency and ease-of-access questions. But in reality, it does not see possible to run big decisions

  4. If we establish that we need a dedicated platform for big APs, and that we cannot do without one then:

    1. Discourse - The current AP discussion platform for Borderland. It's much like Talk, but has more advanced features, a mobile-app, and a more modern feel to it. It's also open-source.

    2. Fedora / KBin - These are open-source variants of Reddit. The main advantage of these platforms (other than being open-source) is the upvoting capacity in the forum channels. I believe this is a feature that would really help the AP.

    3. Reddit - Same as above, but the server is fully public and would require much heavier moderation. Also our decisions could be visibel to the world. But it's mobile friendly and a more modern platform than the above 2.

    4. Any other ideas? - I do not believe I am tech savvy enough to set up any of these systems, so I can only advocate for whatever a Robot would offer to take on as a responsibility. Personally, I am in support of migrating to a different platform. If any skilled techie would like to run the experiment I can support.

  5. Reviewing the "when do we host KB?" AP from last year, there is no way that conversation could have been as in depth or as inclusive if it was in person. Mars was running all it's introduction events with an open invitation, but in-person only, which is why most of Kiez Burn had no idea what, why and when it was happening. The individuals left out of digital discourse (tech-a-phobes) are significantly lower in number than those left out by in-person meetings (not-in Berlin / available at the date of the meeting) . I propose a hybrid solution to this issue below.

From this point on, whenever I refer to Talk, I am refering to whichever online platform is utilized to exectue big APs.

Some ideas of how to (potentially drastically) improve the Talk experience:

  • AI - Summaries, TL:DR on each post

  • AI - Voice-messages-to-summarised-text - a casual rambling-talk into a phone can be broken down to its useful elements for quick review. This enables individuals with poor text-writing skills to contribute more meaningfully.

  • AI - video-to-summarised-text - talk can handle video uploads, these can be very useful if tensions rise, to allow some communication of tone and body language (with the belief that this will assist de-escalation). Having both the video, and a TL:DW (Too Long, Didn't Watch) bullet-point text for both depth, and concieness.

  • Create AP's as videos - record yourself talking about the AP instead of writing all this text. It could make life easier for a lot of people. See above.

  • Integrated translation tools for the un-tech-savy that don't know how to manage this themselves (i.e. brave and chrome have integrated page translations). This can help ensure those that struggle with english can still contribute meaninfgully to discussions.

    • Make it clear that contributing to the discussion in your preferred language is encouraged and accepted (depending on above)

  • AI - summarising a decision and it's logic and automatically linking to the wiki. (similar to Henrik's bot)

  • Reply-to-Selected-Text - similar to the comments functioning on the Wiki/Gdocs. This could allow threads to expand around specific clauses and allow more granular feedback

  • Clarity on Consensus - some realizers are having trouble confirming agency on making a decision.

    • By clarifying who's consent is required (i.e. co-realizers/board/all participants), we can use Talk's integrated (after update) consent-voting tool. Or democratic voting if appropriate to the specific AP (i.e. ticket price) - Make a list of people affected > Adjust the list over the course of the AP #> close the AP with their explicit consent

    • If the list of affected people = "everyone" -> Use the consent-approval tools of Talk (after updating). If there are contested blocks (someone is blocking but the realizer(s) feel they've addressed it, then the board arbitrates the decision.

  • Utilize Talk's new AP framework - this requires us to update our loomio instance. But it contains suitable templates and consent-approval tools. See above.

  • Hybrid Inclusion - a meeting (in-person or online) can be scheduled to supplement a digital AP discussion, either with consolidation & decision, or simply to give the tech-phobic an opportunity to partake. Perhaps this is only required for significant AP's.

  • Create an easy video explaining what an AP is and how to make one - The official documentation to run an AP is looooong, even longer than this AP (which is a big one). This can be made more accessible.

Seeking Advice

What do we do about the Advice Process and Talk?

  • What changes need to be implemented into the Advice Process?

  • Should we have a different method of making decisions than the Advice Process? If so, then what?

  • Which platform(s) and why should we be using them to reach this goal?

These topics has been discussed disparetly in many locations over a long period of time. I would like for us to make a clear decision, and stick to it for at least 2 years. Upon which we should assume a review of the systems, unless major issues appear before then that need addressing.

Please remember, that you are contributing your advice to 'Kiez Burn' as an entity, even beyond the Verein. Formulate your thinking as such.

I am running this AP, and will take responsibility for the final decsion and implementation, but the decision is on behalf of Kiez Burn as a whole, so the advice should be for Kiez Burn.


Encourage the experimentation of different platforms and frameworks for enabling the realizers and participants of the Kiez Burn community to take decisions in a consentful, effective and transparent manner.

Experimentations would need to be documented for review, so we can refine their potential effectivness.

Method and Timeframe

As a continued experiment, this AP will be running on all 3 current channels;

  • Talk

  • Wiki

  • Discord

Enage with whichever platform is most comfortable for you.

I will do the hard work of consolidating the advice offered. I will consolidate it all into Talk, as I believe it is the most appropriate tool for this task, and my prefered method. This should also give at least myself, the opportunity to review these different platforms for discussion.

AP Duration = 2024

Who makes the final decision?

A vote of simple majority at the Kiez Burn General Assembly in Q3-Q4 2024

Final Decision = September-November (The KB e.V. General Assembly)


Alex Kaos Mon 5 Feb 2024 7:28PM

Chiara's Comment: The Wiki is very troublesome when being used by many users at the same.


Paul aka Khromo Wed 7 Feb 2024 3:59PM

I think the process form should be shorter - like a LOT shorter. Go with the Inigo Montoya version

1 - Greeting!

2 - Brief introdution

3 - Reason for the thread (the idea!)

4 - Optimal outcome (why it'll benefit the community)


I feel there's a lot of busy people in the community and a lot of ADHD people (myself included) who just see 3-4 screens of text and back out. A tl-dr version would help a lot.


Alex Kaos Thu 8 Feb 2024 12:50AM

@Paul aka Khromo totally agree with how this looks and feels, I am also heavily dyslexic and ADHD ish, TL:DRs in addition could be helpful, but i.e.;

B) TL:DR - TL:DRs miss important context. TikTok it's not superior to books.

A) The problem is that reality is too complex for a TL:DR. It can be done, but losing the context harms the decision, and defeats half the point. 90% of the time, the advice of someone who can only read a TL:DR is going to be worth much less than that if someone who can dive deep into a topic.

Also if you don't read the whole context, and just get the bullet point concentration, we'll be raising the same points over and over again. Or we raise them in the comments, in which case you might as well have it in the text.

This is a hobby, and volunteer time should be respected, and many AP's can be short, but deciding how we decide is offensive as a TL:DR. It's simply too big a topic.

If you'd like to propose a Tl:DR and we can run it parallel, to see how things look different?


Paul aka Khromo Thu 8 Feb 2024 1:52PM

@Alex Kaos yeah, parallel would definitely work. At least then people can get a feel for what it's about and whether or not its relevant to them. I kinda did propse an alternative and to how it would look different, but with regard to people with ideas, even a "have you conisdered the following....?" with bulletpoints could be added.

I'm not massively involved in the community at the moment, but my point is that if I was and I had ideas, I'd find the questionaire VERY intimidating and probably not bother with proceeding; I feel it should be easier for people to submit ideas.

Never used Tiktok, so don't get the reference, but there are times when memos or leaflets are superior to books (if that's the point...?)

Anyway, just an "outsider looking in" persepctive.


B r i Wed 7 Feb 2024 5:47PM

The only thing keeping me away from discord is the txt limit and that it's not good at archiving.

If that can be solved, I say Discord is good.

Wiki is a little clunky


Alex Kaos Thu 8 Feb 2024 12:53AM

@B r i well we can use nitro to boost the character limit. And we used to have threads, which I think would ease some burden (but I can't find it on our server anymore).

Yes wiki is clunky, but selective comments are a really neat feature.

If we could stack that with micro-comments & up-voting I think we'd be onto a winner.


Ancka Thu 8 Feb 2024 3:03AM

Thanks for this message and the effort to make this. I think it鈥檚 really helpful


Diarmaid Fri 9 Feb 2024 2:15PM

I'm very curious about what the results of this are going to be. I like Discord as a platform, but feel like it is much more "chatty", by which I mean that people (maybe just me) are much more likely to send short 1 liner answers, whereas I think that Talk encourages longer, more thought out answers.

One thing is that Discord and the wiki are linked on the website, so anyone going to has the chance to go to our discord, or to our wiki, but there is no mention or link to talk. If the only problem that we have is the lack of engagement with talk, then methods to improve engagement might be a better way to go forward. For example, we could have a AP channel on discord, where users are not allowed to post, but all posts from Talk are automatically propagated, together with a link to the AP itself. This could mean that people could read about the proposal, and could easily go to the proposal, while possibly still keeping the benefit of having longer, more thought out posts inside the AP itself.

In the same vein, we currently have a single login for Kiezburn things, which is awesome. But talk is not included in that single login, which increases the burden on posting for people. I don't know how easy it would be to integrate our single sign on process with talk, but could be a good option to look into if the idea is to increase the engagement here.

Finally, I think that a big problem with talk is that it is hard to find things which have happened in the past - maybe your idea for the AP has already been considered (see for an example of this the link that Waldo gave to the AP about moving from talk to reddit, which I had never seen before). Having all of the different APs posted to the wiki (either during the AP, or after the AP) would help with this issue a lot.

(Turns out posting to the right AP is also pretty hard here 馃槥)


Alex Kaos Sun 11 Feb 2024 1:13PM


  • I like the idea of having our AP channel feeding to discord for transparency and improved engagment

  • Utilizing the Telegram is, imo, the main way to raise engagement on an AP. THe success of the Date AP rode on repeated reminders in many locations

  • Remaining digitally organized is really hard, and requires constant work, as well as a learning form the user on how to navigate the systems in place.

    • We also need to seperate out implemented APs from ones that hang. It seems like 60% of APs don't go anywhere, and so become a vault of advice for anyone who wants to fire the discussion up again (and follow through on the reult).

  • I login to Talk via my KB Portal login, but you're right, it could be included in the Portal


Alex Kaos Sun 11 Feb 2024 1:14PM


As one of the Robots that managed Talk, would you be more interested in maintaining it, or exploring perhaps some (what seems to be) a better maintained platform like Discourse? What would your thoughts on the matter be?

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