Trying to imagine this not as a public square but as a block party, an interconnected web of private house parties. I get to decide who I let into my party and who I ask to leave.

@Tdorey @ShorterPearson @Jessifer @fgraver @mahabali If we want to build comminuties solely on Mastodon as it's being designed right now, it will be less like a block-party, and more like a group of people sticking together in a festival-mob. Even if you can have great conversation and party there, any drunken idiot on the fringe can barge in, disturb everyone and disappear just as quickly.
If we want inclusive and open communities, we need something more / something else than public tooting.

@Tdorey @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer I personally think that to build stable and manageable communities, we need something that can behave like a blend between a slack-workgroup and facebook groups. But we need it to be build on a federated (or even distributed) platform. We need it to be open and accessible, and we anyone to be able to host a server or at least create&maintain a group/community/whatever-we-call-it.

@Tdorey @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer I'm personally VERY passionate about building such a community platform, and want it to be compatible in some way with whats going on here. But I'm just one guy, and although I have the technical skills, I'll need other people to help guide the direction.
I'm sorry for spamming all of you with so many posts, but I hope you can forgive my zeal (and possibly overwhelming geekiness) in the name of an open and inclusive internet :)

Part of the reason I'm so seriously considering the prospect of a separate webspace for a Mastodon installation is the prospect of a space where you don't have to block.

Obviously, you don't want to allow people to troll or spew bile. But that should be a community standard. The whole community should stand against abusers, and we shouldn't have to block those abusers from our space.

How do we build a community where positive dialogue is an expectation, not just value-added? @Jessifer

@ShorterPearson Such important questions. Going back to my house party metaphor, when I throw a party, I shouldn't have to ask people to leave. The community should form organically such that there just isn't space for the kind of behavior that would lead to blocking. Or, at the very least, none of us should have to individually hold the entire weight of asking people to leave when they do abuse the community.

@Jessifer @ShorterPearson ...coming to the table here. @katebowles tooted (wed/thurs) that you can unlist yourself from the public timeline, via profile settings. Very much hope to join in conversation - for the block party I bring apples and my cello, because that's what I have. :)

@lauraritchie @ShorterPearson @katebowles Hooray Apples and Cello. We'll definitely need both of those things at the block party :)

@Jessifer @ShorterPearson Entirely agree the weight shouldn't rest on one person's shoulders, but I think there is value in people getting thrown out sometimes. Maybe not thrown out, but for dialogues about what is allowed or not to happen. If we don't have those dialogues, things boil below the surface and get real messy. I have actually had to throw people (old friends) out of parties and it wasn't fun :(

@daniellynds @ShorterPearson It's hard and necessary work to decide when lines have been crossed. The U.S. is currently as an entire country failing to do that with Trump :(

@Jessifer @daniellynds my God, I am *feeling* the weight of that particular inability to enforce norms

You are going to get people, of course, who feel that the whole idea of "enforcing norms" conflicts with openness. We *also* have to clearly communicate that positive speech is a means of keeping the environment *truly* accessible to all - I know I'm surrounded by a lot of people who don't actually believe that, in my space.

@Jessifer @ShorterPearson i hear u on this but i don't know how to balance openness/inclusion while avoiding trolling completely to the point you never need to block. If these spaces are like real-life with masquerades (coz anonymity helps trolls, no? And protects victims sometimes) then a party is a self-hosted instance, maybe

@mahabali @ShorterPearson @Jessifer For me, anonymity is a critical part of enabling marginalized voices to speak openly. Ideally, a community grows in which folks share as much as little of their personal identity as they feel safe to. Trolls tend to be looking for power & hopefully you can create a community that doesn't give them that power. Blocking can then be a last resort (but certainly a needed one.)

@Tdorey @ShorterPearson @Jessifer @fgraver
(this is more a reply to the thread than to the post before this)
I think we need to have a clear distinction between platform and community. Mastodon and "the federation" is designed to be open and public at all times - it isn't designed to foster communities. Mastodon might feel like a community right now, but as @mahabali said somewhere, that's because of it's infancy/age rather than design.

@zatnosk @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer Thanks for joining the conversation. Seems like a lot of folks are leaning in your direction.

I like your festival mob analogy and want to believe (maybe need to believe?) that enough good folks can over time influence the "festival mob" to become a safe and inclusive one - though the facts again and again run counter to that belief... :(

@Tdorey @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer I firmly believe that small groups can change the festival mob behaviour. That's what building culture is. But before we can build culture, we need strong communities, and those are very hard to build in the middle of a festival mob. Hence the need for private parties.

@zatnosk @Tdorey @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer I think that a reasonable way to build communities/groups would be to make them invite only. If we look at google+ communities, they're full of spammers/spambots at times. I mean a spammer can sign up in mastodon but potentially noone will care of it if it can't join a group to spam in.

@Gabmus @Tdorey @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer you have a great point, but on the other hand I don't think there is any one-size-fits-all solution. One of the few things I like about Facebook, is their group types; open (anyone can join, but you can still be booted/banned), closed (invite only, but is discoverable and content might be visible) and secret (invite only, not discoverable, everything is private).

@zatnosk @Tdorey @ShorterPearson @fgraver @Gabmus @Jessifer yeah i like the different levels of openness in facebook groups as well. And also the granular level of privacy on a status update. I don't know if this is specifically what folks are looking for here,as I still think the people I know are exploring the space to see its potential to meet various needs and whether it would augment or replace some spaces in the longer term

@zatnosk @Tdorey @ShorterPearson @fgraver @Gabmus @Jessifer i think the uniqueness of being here, in this moment in time, is the sense of being part of something that is both "in development" and "open to modification" (mostly because open source and federated) and yet many of us are here with two additional advantages: a set of pre-existing relationships with others to play with AND pre-experience (some of dissatisfaction) w other social networks

@zatnosk @ShorterPearson @mahabali @fgraver @Jessifer That makes a lot of sense Jonas. Will keep thinking on it, too many conflicting thoughts for words right now...

@ShorterPearson @Jessifer One part of it has to be a community ethos. We all have to take the responsibility for ensuring newcomers understand what is considered respectable and what is not. We all have to let someone know if they have behaved in an abusive manner.

If everyone takes reponsibility then no one is unduly exposed.

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