After digesting a lot of your great ideas from the beta, we just had a meeting about Nation Types and would like some specific feedback. Here is the way Nations currently work:
- There is a public thread at the bottom of every article that is the only way to comment on a piece of content if you aren't already in the Nation who published that content.
- Additionally, there are three Nation types: Open, Gated, and Invite-Only. With Open, anyone can join immediately and publish both content and comments without any sort of approval. With Gated, users must request access to the Nation, wait for acceptance, and then proceed to either comment or publish content depending on whether they've been accepted as a "member" or "author". With Invite-Only, users cannot even apply for access. If they are invited however, they can gain commenting and publishing access depending on whether they are made a member or an author.
- If users are already in 15 Nations, they cannot participate in any other Nations' comment threads, no matter how lively the discussion may be.
While this seems grokkable when you know how it works, we can't help but think it's both a little too complicated and a little too limiting. What would you think about the following instead:
- The public thread at the bottom remains.
- When you create a Nation, you can designate whether or not you want your Nation to "Allow Anyone to Comment" in your Nation threads. If checked, people can just leave comments in all of your Nation threads without having to join your Nation or having it count against their 15 Nation limit. We could indicate visually that they were just a visitor so Member comments would stand out more. If the box was unchecked, people would need to join first, just like the current situation.
- Provided this new setup, we'd need the UI to support it. We could do it with a simple checkbox as described above, but certain states like "Closed, with visitor comments" and "Open, without visitor comments" don't make a ton of sense, so we are thinking instead to bake the behavior into the Nation type, like so:
Open: Open Access to Apply, Open Commenting from Visitors
Gated (Visitors allowed): Gated Access to Apply, Open Commenting from Visitors
Gated (No visitors): Gated Access to Apply, No Commenting from Visitors
Closed: No access
The main advantages to such a setup would be that a) there is no more "member" and "author" designation... if you're "in" a Nation, you can automatically comment and publish. b) you're potentially free to comment in all sorts of Nations you may not yet want to actually join.
Sorry for all of the bulleted lists here, but we would like your feedback on the following three questions (please stay on topic and number your responses):
- Does this general idea seem like an overall improvement to the current Beta setup? If not, why?
- Are both of the Gated states necessary? Even if they are, if we could only have one, which would be the more important one to support?
- Do you have anything else to add?