Ideas for additional CHT tooling

This is a copy of email with community founders, which I’ll post here for further discussion :slight_smile:

I don’t know your plans, thus also don’t know your requirements, but I’d give you following general advice on community-facing tooling


  1. [ ] Align with humane principles (minimalistic, decentralized/self-hosted, privacy, preferably FOSS, etc.)
  2. [ ] Suitable for both technical and non-technical users
  3. [ ] Keep the number of separate tools as small as possible
  4. [ ] Support for project management
  5. [ ] Support for code development / repositories (assume both public + private)
  6. [ ] Social interaction / collaboration
  7. [ ] Public-facing blog
  8. [V] Public-facing landing-page and website
  9. [V] Community forum / discussion
  10. [ ] Sensible, streamlined workflows across all selected tools!

Humane tech

Project management

  • Should support agile development
  • Should support boards (Scrum and/or Kanban) and maybe long-term planning (e.g. Gantt, portfolio)
  • Should integrate to code dev tools
  • Should be easy to use also for non-technical users

I think Taiga ( ) would be a good candidate.
Disadvantage is only one-way integration to source management tools (but most tools have this problem). See:

Code management

  • Should support git repositories
  • May need support private repo’s (i.e. as a staging ground, but depends on your plans/intentions)
  • Ideally integrates seamlessly with project management (link commits to issues/epics)
  • Integrates with CI/CD tools, etc.

I would advice both a self-hosted solution and a Github organization (for fully public OSS code). Self-hosted, one of:

  • Gitlab (nice, full-featured, but heavy on resources and bit unfamiliar UI to Github developers)
  • Gogs ( full-featured, lightweight, low on resources, very similar to Github)
  • Gitea ( fork of Gogs, but better maintained, more active, more maintainers… Gogs is only single maintainer. I use this one myself)

For CI/CD:

  • You could keep this into the hands of employees entirely (e.g. use TravisCI account, or other). With git software above other community members can still use their own CI tools, of course
  • Or offer complete self-hosted solution, maybe

Social interaction / collaboration

So what do I mean by this? Well, the forum doesn’t cut it for social interaction… it is only part of the equation:

  • Valuable forum discussions will fall too far down the list of topics when not regularly posted to
  • Long threaded discussions are hard to follow, follow-up on
  • The forum is messy, arbitray topic titles, users advertising their own pet projects / startups / apps, etc.

What’s needed is:

  • A place where (dynamic) CHT community topics can be advertised/communicated for a longer period of time
  • A place where members can advertise their own initiatives without distracting from the CHT vision and message
  • But should not be a full-blown (non-humane-tech) social network!

I recently found what I think is an excellent candidate for this:

  • Humane tech: Federated/decentralized (The Decentralized Web!), FOSS
  • Have one or more official CHT profiles
  • Members can have + share their own profile, advertise their own initiatives
  • Easy to edit (same markdown format as forum)


Obvious advantages:

  • Keeps attracting new member to the community
  • Keeps attention of members to what’s publicly exposed, rather than only working on the forum
  • Have articles that can be shared on social media (public awareness)
  • I would publish Tristan’s regular (weekly?) reports/summaries here (if is suitable for wider public, not internal housekeeping, of course)


You’ll probably want to keep this managed internally, by employees/volunteers mostly.

I’ll advice using a static site generator and back-end headless CMS, if you have plans for a website with lotsa information/pages on it (I am personally looking at React + Gatsby + Storybook + maybe Netlify CMS for my own startup), or otherwise use some out-of-the-box easy website publishing system.

Maybe you could consider a wiki as well, if you want to supply lots of information and have it managed by the community.


Discourse has a great feature set (though arguably not really humane tech with all its attention/distraction features :wink:

  • First-line contact point for new ideas and initiative, general discussions
  • Discussions shouldn’t be too long-lived, shouldn’t matter if things fall out of focus (they’ll followed-up by other tools in the workflow)
  • Shouldn’t take too much time moderating
  • Should be loose in moderation policy (offer people a change to express themselves, also when less literate or well-versed in English)

Workflow across tools

  • Everything starts on the forum
  • Valuable ideas / initiatives / action points should be followed-up in other tools ASAP
  • Forum --> Project management --> Code management workflow
  • Forum --> Socialhome workflow
  • Forum --> Website / blog / wiki workflow
  • Forum --> CHT internal action workflow

I like this breakdown. Keeping things minimal: you can a lot on github (documents, code and feature management). We don’t currently have plans for private repos, so everything could be there

Social interaction: you can pin posts to the top of categories, or to the top of the overall list of topics. That will get us a bit farther w/o new tools. For instance, this is now pinned to the top of the Staff category.

Topics: All content mods should feel free to rename topics to be useful to readers. We should add more content mods (= TL of 4), now that we have a month of experience with people’s contributions. You can create a few new content mods as you find them.

Blog: we can start by having a category for the blog, where our most eloquent members post. Those in the extended CHT network who write wonderful things can also repost them here.

This thread: I think we should move this to [Site Feedback], rather than here where only site admins can see it. Maybe give it a week for other comments by the other admins.

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Moving the discussion seems fine to me. I noticed yesterday the link to the TWS wiki in the Welcome message… Do you intend to keep this wiki? It seems a bit outdated ATM…
Same comment on the Trello board link I found in the wiki…

We don’t have a better place for synthesized & curated knowledge. Do you have other suggestions, or just pointing out that few people update the wiki atm?

Trello: planning has become fragmented across other platforms; but none are better or are Pareto replacements for it. We could add a note on the wiki that it is dated & needs updating or repointing.

No just pointing out that it is out-of-date a bit and curious if it was your intention to keep it part of the toolset for CHT. There is nothing wrong having a good wiki, I guess :slight_smile:

With regards to trello… an alternative could be the self-hosted Wekan Kanban board:

hi all, this topic is now public and your feedback most welcome :slight_smile:

I was surprised that the Center for Humane Technology is planning on coding, which I see as an endless rabbithole of time spent poorly. I hope that you won’t bee too focussed on the gritty details of technology and can focus on the bigger picture of solving technology’s negative effects on humanity.

Note that I am not affiliated to the founders, and don’t know their future plans. Just volunteering my time as a moderator. So coding, maybe, maybe not :slight_smile:

Let’s ask: This community needs more involvement from its founders!

Would also like to see a calendar of events, perhaps organized by geographical area. A conference being held in Hawaii next week involves a friend of mine as speaker and organizer. It would be nice if other people were aware of it–not necessarily to follow the proceedings but to be aware of environmental and social issues that might have escaped their notice.

It’s been said many times, but I will say it again. Global warming will affect island states and nations dramatically.

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Just noting the excellence of the discussion between you, @metasj and @aschrijver. Despite this, the forum remains unwieldy, frustrating to navigate and follow.

And as much as I love children, I have to say that the posts about the effects of technology on them do not interest me as much as ways to address the effects on society as a whole. The issue of parenting is enormous–sort of like economics or politics–and I would recommend a separate site where discussions of such can be held. Just my personal preference; undoubtedly, people will disagree with me.

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Yeah, I agree. I have hold off on starting to organize a place where we can coordinate actions to follow-up on things that arise in the forum, because I’d be acting without knowing the plans of the CHT core team, and the effort may be waste of time once they roll out their plans.

I’ve volunteered a lot of my free time to the forum, and living out-of-pocket, I can’t keep up that level of involvement much longer. I will once again make this clear to Tristan Harris. Many points of improvement are obvious, but need a lot of time and coordination, not only between community members, but with CHT in its entirety. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, have patience :slight_smile:

Working on resolving this in the next few days. And I’m grateful we are hashing out ideas publicly here, even before there’s a repo for breaking out more specific work.