Vote to Replace Google Groups with Discourse Forum

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Revision as of 15:28, 18 November 2019 by Berky93 (talk | contribs) (Language)
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  • Andrew Camardella
  • Alex Berkowitz


  • Announced:
  • Language locked:
  • Voted on:


The Private Google Groups is the main form of communication for members, and accounts for the majority of communications with regards to authorizations and pertinent space information. Due to it's flat and simple format there are many issues that arise with this communication channel. In particular:

  • all messages are sent to everyone (you can't tune out discussions you aren't interested in).
  • sorting and finding specific information is difficult.
  • no community standards or moderation options.
  • signing up new members and removing old members is completely manual
  • low new member engagement
  • no fine access control -- users can either see everything or see nothing

Discourse solves many of the issue with Google-Groups because it:

  • is a well-thought-out modern forum that is feature rich and geared specifically to generate quality civilized discussion.
  • can be used to combine our public and private google groups by using category tags with permissions.
  • has an amazing code of conduct that is reflected in the design of the forum and that dovetails with our own policies.
  • works through email clients just like Google Groups does.
  • can interface with our member database which means new users are automatically added when they create their PS:One user account and deactivated when they leave. This automates the current process board members go through.


As we already have an instance of Discourse running, and hosting costs are already included in the CTO's budget, there are no new costs to the organization that this change will introduce.


  • We authorize the Board to switch to Discourse as the main member forum sanctioned by Pumping Station: One, NFP, to take effect following a transitional period of three months from the time of the passing of this vote.
  • We authorize the Board to lock the Public and Private Google Groups from additional posts at the end of the stated transitional period, and to ensure the contents therein remain available to the membership as a historical record.


Quorum: The number of votes required to have a valid vote (1/3rd of the full members must vote, check the member site. If the vote doesn't meet quorum it will have to be proposed again, and can be voted on the following week (consider campaigning for your particular vote). Yay: This is the number of members that vote but that agree with the vote language. Nay: This is the number of members that vote but that disagree with the vote language. Present: This is the total number of members that voted (physically present and by proxy) and includes those that abstained from voting.