Events vs. Groups vs. Communities

Now that step 1 funding is a success and a beta is guaranteed, I’d like to throw out a topic…

As I read about Mobilizon to this point, I see the semantics of ‘events’ and ‘groups’ used to suggest the kinds of tool it may turn out to be, but I don’t really see the word ‘communities’ anywhere that better speaks to the people the platform is for. That’s something to consider.

By their nature ‘events’ suggest gatherings of like-minded people. These gatherings might be oriented around a single temporal/spatial point in space, but they are inherently drawing a ‘community’ together by common interest. Likewise, ‘groups’, even more strongly, implies a community of people. Tribes, at the very least.

Though these three notions – events, groups, communities – are undeniably related, they do perhaps imply specific UI orientations and features. A ‘one-size fits all’ approach is probably not ideal.

So I’m curious…

What has the design/UCD folks (Piccard / Dorne) learned from the user needs enquiries that would suggest which direction the beta should go? Can that be summarized for donor/stakeholder interest at this point? A couple paragraphs from them, or from the top, maybe?

In relation, is it feasible to start talking about Mobilizon as being for ‘communities’ instead of just the deliverable semantics of ‘events’ and ‘groups’? This notion is important for the project, I believe, because the context of use in text for ‘events’ and ‘groups’ so far is more in direct comparison with FB features/functionality. But it’s important, indeed strategic, to frame the context of the platform around people more than tools or features, and in this case ‘communities’ is the fitting term, the concept that will click with and appeal to current and future organizers.

And that circles back to the first question again… If you shape the platform in context of being for ‘communities’ of people, and use that wise term in descriptive copy, what does that say about the general UI/functionality direction conceived so far?

The project would benefit from some kind of conceptual alignment there, even if only an initial idea.

Hi @dErrata, thanks a lot for bringing up the topic of communities. Regarding the current wording (groups / events), right now our aim is to match the commonly shared vocabulary on social networks (it is one of the major design heuristics). We want to make sure people who will switch from the surveillance capitalism platforms paradigm to Mobilizon will be able to navigate the software right away and complete the actions they want to achieve. “Groups and events” sound a lot like functionalities, sure. Rest assured we are thinking and building the whole software experience keeping the concept of communities in mind at all times.

We will soon release more info about the user research process as well as Geoffrey’s visual work on the Framasoft blog. But just as a teaser, I met and interviewed a lot of communities differing in size, interests and purposes, trying to learn as much as possible from their motives, fears and wishes.

Hope that helps and thanks again for your contribution!


Thanks for the reply, and addressing the enquiry. I’m as satisfied as can be at this early juncture.

I try to follow the bog.