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A couple of months ago we talked about increasing the transparency of the Azimuth project by making all threads readable by the public, but we never reached a consensus on it or took any action.
I do have a general preference towards which are world-readable. Some of our discussions are of interest to a broader group, and it is nice to be able to reference the posts by URLs, and have them available to web searches. On the other hand, there may be occasions where one really wants to communicate within the group, and not have such comments show up on a Google search. Also, because some posts have already been made with the understanding that they in private threads, some people may not be comfortable with this being retroactively changed.
As a resolution, I propose that we state that the encouraged visibility for new material is public, while still retaining the option for some threads to be private.
For this to work, we could create a new public category "X - public discussion" for every current private category X. Top priority would be for the categories Blog, Chat, and Strategy.
Or, we could create a new private category "X - private discussion," move all of the articles from X into that, and change the visibility of X to public. If the forum software supports these operations, then I think this is preferable, because it establishes the default, conventional visibility as public.
What do you think? If we agree, and we prefer the second option, we can ask Andrew about how to accomplish it, either directly through the front end, or with some updates to the database.