Discussions allow for a dialogue between users, to exchange ideas on a specific topic and to collaboratively develop them into implementable projects for their community. Their bottom-up approach sets them apart from consultations; the topics of the discussions are not chosen by the administrators of the community but by the followers themselves through a process of upvoting propositions. (Read up on propositions here)
Please note that users can only participate in discussions if the administrators have enabled this feature for their community.
Where do I find the discussions?
To get to the discussions,
1. go to the community homepage
2. select 'your discussions' on the grey sidebar menu. Here you can find an overview of all the discussions, both ongoing and closed. You can filter them by themes to find the discussions that most interest you.
How do I participate in a discussion?
Discussions allow users to co-develop ideas over a certain period of time and bring them back to the community- so active participation by and constructive interaction between users is crucial.
On the 'your discussions' page, click 'discover' to find out more about a discussion. This will take you to the discussion's introduction page where you can get more information on it. Make sure you really understand what the discussion is about before you click 'participate'.
Once you're on the discussion page, you can...
- read the comments by scrolling through them, searching them by keyword or filtering them by date
- support a comment by clicking 'agree'
- reply to a comment by clicking 'reply'
- and if you disagree or you feel like something missing from the discussion we encourage you to contribute your thoughts on the following comments.
You can add a comment by clicking on the 'your contribution' box at the top of the page. Next choose a title for your comment and write down your thoughts on the subject. Then click 'comment'. You can post your comment anonymously by clicking 'comment as' and checking 'anonymous'.
How can I open a new discussion?
Discussions normally follow a proposition; once a proposition has received 50 upvotes, it will automatically become a discussion that stays open for a maximum period of 2 months.
Please note that the administrators can choose to only enable the discussions-feature, in which case a discussion will not be preceded by a proposition.
The user who made the proposition will be informed of this by email. They will get 3 days of preparation-time to edit the discussion before it becomes visible to everyone. A link to the discussion page is included in the email. Once there, the following changes can be made:
- change the title of the discussion. If no title is chosen, the first sentence of the proposition will automatically become the title of the discussion.
- add a short title. This will appear underneath the discussion on the 'your discussions' page and will give users a first idea of what the discussion is about.
- write description. This will appear on the discussion page itself and allows for much more detailed account of the story behind the idea, what it's trying to achieve, etc..
- choose a picture to make the discussion more inviting.
All the users that upvoted the proposition, will receive an email informing them of the opening of the discussion and inviting them to participate.
What happens after a discussion ends?
Once a discussions closes, it's time for the administrators to think about how they want to proceed. They will keep users updated on their decisions by posting 'outcomes' on the discussions page, informing them of their key takeaways from the discussion and what its impact will be. (Read up on outcomes here)