The CommunityWikiAssembly is a group of CommunityWiki members which has a special role in setting policy on this wiki. The assembly serves two functions:

  1. The list of AssemblyMembers is a partial list of those people on the wiki who are in a position of authority. This could be useful to newcomers, who don’t yet know anything about the community. If someone is telling a newcomer to do something a certain way here and the newcomer is wondering if they really have to do that, then the newcomer can find an AssemblyMember and ask them.
  2. The assembly as a whole can create CommunityWiki rules or recommendations by voting.

Is the role of AssemblyMember the same as “moderator” as used on other forums? All AssemblyMembers are moderators, but not all moderators are AssemblyMembers. There are many valued, longtime contributors on CommunityWiki who do not vote in the assembly. These people may also be considered “moderators”.

The existence of the assembly does not mean that only assembly members are entitled to create CommunityWiki customs and policies. Rules and recommendations as voted on by the assembly are intended to be “the last word” in case of dispute, but they are only a small fraction of CommunityWiki’s customs. In general most of CommunityWiki’s customs have been created through informal discussion and have never been voted on (and we intend to keep it that way because formal processes are a pain). The larger CommunityWiki community is encouraged to continue to evolve the way things are done around here without the participation of the assembly or even of assembly members.

So, have an idea? Go ahead, don’t wait for the assembly. We prefer to do things informally, without the assembly, when possible.

How are the assembly members selected?

New assembly members are added by a vote of the assembly.

If you would like to become an assembly member, just ask. There are no formal criteria that you need to meet; but you are unlikely to be approved unless you have been an active contributor for long time.

Please don’t apply unless you expect to remain an active contributor and unless you are interested in actually participating in the work of the assembly (i.e. bickering over meta-issues). As noted above, there are plenty of contributors around here who are not on the assembly not because they are less respected than those who are, but rather because they are not interested in such things.

How does the assembly create recommendations and rules?

Proposals for changing rules or recommendations should be discussed in the usual wiki fashion on the page UnofficialLegislativeProposals.

When rough consensus has been reached on that page, any assembly member may create a formal proposal by editing the page OfficialLegislativeProposals.

Once a proposal has been formally submitted to OfficialLegislativeProposals, there is a discussion and voting period, and at the end of this period the votes of the assembly members are counted. The discussion/voting period can usually be shortened or extended if enough assembly members wish to do so. The discussion period is 2 weeks for recommendations or rules, and 2 months for changes to the bylaws or to the list of assembly members.

Rules and recommendations which passed are listed on the page CommunityWikiAssemblyResolutions.

All members of the CommunityWiki community, not just assembly members, are encouraged to propose and discuss recommendations and rules. Start with the page UnofficialLegislativeProposals.

Where are the details?

Over 80% of the assembly members who vote must agree in order to create new rules or recommendations. However, unpopular rules or recommendations can be repealed by just a 51% vote. We use a LiquidDemocracy proxy voting system where votes can be delegated between assembly members. Our system is designed to allow the assembly to function asynchronously in the face of the fact that people may not visit the wiki every week, and hence many of the assembly members will be absent at any particular time.

The formal voting system used by the assembly to make rules and recommendations and select assembly members is described in the CommunityWiki Bylaws. The page TipsForAssemblyMembers contains a description of the process which may be easier to read than the bylaws themselves.

See also