June Gathering 2022/Simplifying Communication Channels

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  • Focus - facilitating dialogue

listed here]. (There's many more in hiding.) New CoTech members often find this plethora extremely confusing, and even long-standing members tend to get lost in the infrastructure maze, falling back on sending group emails, calling from landlines, dispatching postcards and homing pigeons. Could this be possibly improved? Must be! After all we are a network of co-ops in the information & communications technology sector!


  • Shared ground (5 mins):
    • Check-in.
    • Consent to agenda.
  • Current systems and why they are (still) there (15 mins):
    • Listing key existing systems we know of at CoTech and assigning labels pertaining to their functionalities and limitations. Existing list page Infrastructure and Communication.
      • Email
    • Clustering systems into groups, e.g. with overlapping features or difficult to access.
      • Forum, chat, instant messaging, voting, wiki for gatherings, video calls
        • It looks like we have too many. We have Discourse community.coops.tech we have threads upon thread that are not relevant to CoTech.
        • Used to talk through Harry
  • What do you want to communicate (and how) and what's relevant for CoTech - discussion.
    • Being able to communicate via Slack or something where you can find all people and chat to them directly if you want. It's OK if people drift towards certain tools more than others. We could facilitate cross-pollination between the channels, not necessarily removing things.
    • Something that works to work together. Slack.
    • Interested in collaboration between co-ops, sharing work and issues, what's being shared.
    • Being able to get on a complete supply chain of co-ops, being able to create co-ops all the way down.
    • People communicating differently, it's OK if people are on different channels...
    • Maybe a way to map different channels used by different people and then translate between them, like a diagram.
    • Perhaps distinction between internal/CoTech and external/public to make a clear distinction. Could create groups that overlap. If there's a voting pluging it would be good.
    • Email seems more likely people will respond, if you don't know who's there.
    • Simplified and safer way of communicating that's accessible.
    • Mute button for Discourse!
    • Certainty people would read and understand the message. You need different paces for communication so sometimes you need instant messaging
    • Signposting effort to support people in communicating on the right channels.
    • Internal tools, like Slack, could be adopted if shared with other people and reply to the messages immediately.
    • Useful to have a direct way to reach people in real-time.
    • Being able to see resources alongside email and instant communication. It's important to see the justification.
    • Forum is good for larger posts, if someone messaged me directly there I would not pick it up. Private messaging is important.
    • Tools belong to a toolbox - we do have something outward facing, but we miss the internal order, say you can log in and see all the relevant information.
    • Having documentation organised and easy to find is important.
    • Only some people within co-ops check CoTech elements.
    • Internal newsletter, updates on what people are doing - information & coordination to inspire.
    • Federating different tools, is it possible to connect them?
    • More in-person needed.


  • Mapping, onboarding based on the needs? Link the best practices. Onboarding to CoTech communication channels, have a buddy to make that easier.
  • Evaluate one account approach or decentralised approach (bridging). Discourse could be a sign-on -
  • How many people use Slack? Half of present. Could we reignite Slack? - Finn.

Outcome: Develop a map of channels, evaluate approaches and reignite Slack. Proposal tomorrow.

  • People who want to contribute:
    • Sz
    • Alan

  • Closing reflections(5 mins):
    • Closing check-out round and next steps.