I have seen site proposals, how can I make one of my own?

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Site proposals are Vaxia.org's way of gathering an official opinion from the site on a system or site policy question. In the past we used to do this on forum threads and with a five-star system rating forum posts. That turned out to be a very poor way of gathering site opinion, it wasn't always used to indicate levels of agreement with the post's content and generally brought down the overall mood of nearly any conversation going on on the forums where negative votes were cast. It also left what the overall site opinion was very unclear, as plenty of people would either be overlooked in a forum thread, or simply never participated.

To address the need for a better way to handle voting and site feedback, we moved to using the Proposal system in 2014. Anyone on the site who is an active player can create a proposal - you'll find the link for it in the left hand menu under "Add content" or here: http://vaxia.org/node/add/proposal - with an instructional video of how to create the form fully here: http://screencast.com/t/0ehohiBaOP

Good Habits for Proposal Making

Setting up a proposal is fairly self explanatory, but there are some good habits we do recommend.

Use Proposals only when nothing else will do
Use proposals for elections, major site decisions, and system changes. It's a two week voting window with anonymous results and anti-tampering features - this isn't a system designed to be used to figure out when to hold the next session in a saga. Use a standard forum thread for that.

Discuss the topic first
When you have a question that is best answered with a proposal, it is smart to first start a forum thread. This brings the matter to the attention of the site and allows others to add suggestions and other options to the proposal. You want to make sure that your proposal tries to include as many perspectives as possible in order for the site to accept the results.

Don't equate silence with agreement
It is easy to have a thread of like minded posters overwhelm the conversation, even though they are the minority opinion. *Always* hold the proposal just to be sure - even if the end results are 100% in favor of or against an idea. This gives you validation. Don't make the assumption that the silence of the rest of the members of the site indicates agreement. It doesn't.

Hold discussions in the open
By making sure you use a forum thread to gather all of the options on the table you ensure that everyone has had a chance to openly contribute to the decision-making. It increases your Transparency and absolves you of any Conflict of Interest questions. Your last few posts on the thread should include something like a "Last Call", asking others to confirm the text of the question and the options provided as a a last minute check before you start the proposal up. Try to give a 12 to 24 hour window to allow posters to give you feedback.

Setting up the Proposal

A proposal is much like any other piece of content on the site, it has a form, you fill it in. There are two important pieces of information on the form that you will want to include if you have.

Associated Threads
First there is a option to reference a forum thread - which is where you should include the forum thread(s) that led up to the proposal being created. At the least, the thread you created while you were asking the site for input on your proposal should be included. Be sure to give as much information as possible, it's better to include too much than to include too little. This is so that anyone coming to the proposal who wasn't in that conversation, can catch up and make an informed decision.

Associated Files
If your proposal has to do with a system mechanic, then you should make a point of running the numbers. This is often a matter of providing a spreadsheet or graph demonstrating the impact of the change options on the system. The associated files is where you will provide any contextual information that was not covered in the forum thread. This is so that years from now, if you are no longer around, the arguments and analysis from the proposal are still available to future decision makers. It *extremely* important that any decisions made include the original problem being addressed and why we feel the changes will improve the situation so that future site decisions can confirm if the circumstances surrounding those decisions still apply.



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