Pith is an experimental online discussion space that builds on the notion of an electronic direct democracy. This is a place where articles about how and why it's being designed are posted.

Group Meta-Cognition II

The large document (board) can be imagined as a cross between a wiki and a discussion forum. Its basic building block is the unit, which contains a pi...

Group Meta-Cognition I

Currently, I am designing how small groups or individual discussers can organize their ideas as an large group. Our main idea is the reflections of th...

The Intuition to Avoid Popularity Metrics

One intuition that we've had since the start of the Pith project is that when designing the space, popularity metrics should be avoided. As the projec...

Pith v0.0.1a Post Mortem

We tested the latest version of Pith today in a non-development context. To go along with this we've tagged the latest version of the code so we have ...

Alpha prototype mid-fidelity mockups

We'd like to share the latest medium fidelity mockups of our alpha prototype, which lays out the framework for a small group of people to have an orga...

How We're Building Pith: Architecture

Much of the focus of the Pith blog has been about why we're designing the system and what we're considering while doing so. We've yet to discuss much ...

Pith Intro Presentation

We recently put together a presentation that outlines the core goals for Pith, its general design, and the plan for building it....

The Board and Network

Here we propose our current design for how Pith addresses organizing large-scale discussions to reach a decision effectively....

Clarifying Pith's Purpose

We decided that Pith should be designed to solve the (more) specific problem of allowing large discussions to take place such that (1) every person's ...

Looking Forward

As Pith continues to develop, we're looking forward to what lies ahead in the design and development of the platform. There are a series of exciting p...

Summarization Design

In designing the summarization aspect to discussions, we've been faced with a plethora of options regarding both how the summary is created from exist...

Summarization and Moderation

The bulk of phase II is summarization. Phase 1 focused on how people interact through the familiar interface of chat. Through phase II, we will be bui...

Outlining Phase II of Prototyping

Having built a working prototype of the core chat functionality in Pith, we're moving on to the next phase of development in which we will address iss...

Feedback from Testing Phase I

We tested the prototype website chat with a group of people informally. We gave them some time to chat among themselves and explore the features organ...

Adding Transclusion

We've recently been working on adding a kind of hyperlinking functionality to the Pith prototype, called transclusion. Often, authors will want to quo...

Considering Searching

We plan for our system to have many discussions going on at the same time. In a discussion, users can easily create posts which have smaller units of ...

Adding Basic Functionality to the Test Object

We've begun to integrate some of the functionality from last week's post into the test object. At the moment the goal is to keep the development focus...

Designing a First Test Object

To begin to test out some of the features we've designed, we're creating a small protoype of the discussion interface. This test suite will serve as a...

First Draft of Conversational Design

We've outlined a few goals for the design of the conversation in addition to features that help address them. The system should be online to allow an...

Representing Discussion

How do we represent discussion in a way people can easily interact with? Discussion is more than just decision-making/debating. There are also the sma...

Pith: What is It?

Pith is an experimental method of facilitating discussions between many people online, building on the notion of an electronic direct democracy. Here ...