Board minutes - December 17, 2017

4:00pm EST






Public Documents

  • Budget documents
  • Hours documents

We are not a 501(c)3 this year. We are pending. This means that donors can deduct taxes this year but if we are not approved then donors will owe back taxes. Or the deduction can be taken in future years. EDIT - Not 100% accurate, see correction in reply.

Rollout plan

Admins will receive periodic emails with stats about user activity.

In the beginning…

  • We will receive an email per signup and per published Take. Eventually will move this to a weekly summary.
  • We will receive a daily summary of all saved drafts of users to get an idea of how people are using it

Possible privacy concerns with this.

Proposed feature - ability to share drafts with other users

Open Question - How will we manage moderation?


Our homepage is static and we generate it manually. We need to give the user an interface when publishing a draft to format their feed card. This will become easier once we have more data on how people are publishing drafts. For now, this is less important than getting users to write content.

Proposed feature – user might want to publish to share to Facebook but not have it appear in the homepage feed.

Victoria didn’t understand the email based login, suggested that we make this process clearer.

Action item:

  • Clarify login process to new users

Terms of Service/Code of Conduct/Privacy Policy

To solicit Open-Austin we need a “community code of conduct”. The Open-Austin code is limited for our use case.

Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy are from old documents that are from WordPress.

Discourse is forum software running

Referencing and using Medium’s rules ( as a foundation for our own.

Spam, harassment, doxing will be blocked.

We will hesitate to block hate speech in the hope that content of higher quality will naturally reduce visibility to hateful and low quality takes.

Question of how to rank/sort/categorize posts. Eventually it’s likely we’ll mirror reddit’s method of views*upvotes/age squared. For now, this is low priority compared to pushing as an authoring tool.

Suggestion – include guidelines on how to have a civil discussion and a thoughtful debate.

Suggestion – create Facebook group or for pilot group.

Action item:

  • Ned – Share access to Google Analytics with the admins if it’s free

Rollout Plan

Proposed ideas:

  • Each of us finds 5 Take authors to create accounts, publish a Take, and share feedback with us.
  • Bridge alliance

Bridge alliance is a coalition of organizations. Trans-partisan groups that shares ideas and works together on collective impact projects.

Suggestion – Work on the elevator pitch.

Next Meeting

9am EST February 3rd.

@hattersv and @todd-riley - you should have access to Google Analytics now.

Re: tax, I should have said only that “We are not a 501(c)(3) now, but we are pending”. Here’s what the IRS and some blogger have to say on the topic.

To followup from last time, I’ve updated with a synthesis of the rules and our discussion. The hardest part to write by far was this part of the Harassment section:

Do not incite, threaten, or encourage violence against anyone.

It is acceptable to advocate for military or police action.

Obviously, there is some contradiction between the two previous rules. will not be a partner to violent extremists.

Another, more left-leaning version is this:

Do not incite, threaten, or encourage violence against anyone.

It is acceptable to advocate for military or police action. Although they do involve acts of violence (or at least acts of force), they are obviously an integral part of politics. However, we will not allow advocating for police or military action against individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.

Debating whether to take military action after 9/11 is obviously in-bounds. Debating whether slavery or the holocaust ought to be reinstated is obviously out-of-bounds.

I’m much more comfortable with the second version, but I went with the first. I think that not leaving space in the terms of service to advocate for slavery or the holocaust is a reasonable anchor. But it’s crucial that mainstream policies like “Muslim Ban” and “Stop and Frisk” have ample room to be discussed, and it’s hard to find a bright line between them if you’re speaking only in high-level terms of “We will not tolerate advocating police action on the basis of religion.”

@hattersv We addressed some of your feedback, make sure you’re subscribed to the changelog if you’d like to get notifications as changes go live.

Also - emailing a draft turned out to be harder than I thought at first. Will definitely happen, but it turns out to be coupled with sharing to facebook / twitter.