Re: looking for alternatives to long email conversations
From: Tom @ Gather (
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2020 07:36:50 -0800 (PST)
Discourse is a good open source alternative to email. It also has lots of
ways to interact via email for those who prefer that medium.

You can set one up here for $20/mo.

We're working on Gather integration with Discourse also. But it will be
later this year before that is ready. But when it is, you should be able to
migrate your Discourse forum into Gather.

On Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 8:38 AM Marcia Zuckerman via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> Hi,
> I’m at Bay State Commons (Malden, Mass).  We just broke ground, and are
> open to new members, but that’s not why I’m writing.
> We currently have extended conversations by e-mail to discuss issues
> around planning the building, which sometimes become contentious or
> high-volume. It's good that we have a way to hear the range of opinions and
> brainstorm solutions outside of our twice-a-month consensus plenary
> meetings.  But the email discussions also have disadvantages, such as:
> - Some members are overwhelmed at the volume
> - Conversations can provoke polarization via perhaps-unintentionally
> inflammatory statements, which aren't smoothed over as readily as with
> in-person conversations
> - Members with more free time on their hands have an outsized contribution
> that might not reflect the group's overall sentiment, yet may color the
> perception of what the "consensus" is
> - It can be very confusing to track where the conversation is if it splits
> into multiple threads
> - Members feel stressed by the pressure to keep up, and feel they can't
> step away in case their silence is equated with agreement with whatever is
> being said
> We’re thinking about other options.  We’re a mix of techies and
> technophobes; some people could set up Slack channels, but others would
> likely avoid discussions there because chat can feel even more
> urgent/stressful, or because they don't understand it.
> Most people in the group do okay with Google docs and spreadsheets, so
> we're thinking about that, as well as surveys or forums. Have people found
> good ways to have discussions through Google docs? What other methods do
> people use?
> Thanks,
> Marcia Zuckerman
> Communications Committee
> <>
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Tom for the Gather Team

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