Meta XRepublic

Design for Computer Mediated Deliberation & Collaboration
Roberts Rules for the Future

software for democratic thought



Primary Documents
Conceptual Documents
Originating Ideas (Oct. 1998)
Current Implementation Ideas

David Brake
Yale Information Society Project

Other Tool Ideas

Orgnet Inflow
TouchGraph / Vanilla
Dialog Maps
Visual Vocab
Visual Thinking
Mapping Conversations
Visual Text
Visual Story
Topic Maps

Licensing Info
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Copyright 2003 Michael Bowen. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
Last update: 4/12/2003; 7:06:24 PM.

XRepublic Abstract
What it Is:

The XRepublic is the description and implementation of a computer mediated deliberation process. It is conceived as a system which can fundamentally change the way that people share ideas for the purposes of collaborative decision making. This includes but is not restricted to democratic voting & policy making, logical problem solving in expert domains, brainstorming and intelligence gathering.

The XRepublic can be thought of as a virtual parliament and it is from that perspective, using the terminology and technology of web-based online conferencing, that it was originally conceived. It is designed from the ground up to take advantage of Internet technology in order to make the kinds of deliberative processes currently found in governments, universities, intelligence organizations and other deliberative bodies available to a distributed group of people connected by networked computers.

XR provides a series of computer mediated spaces as well as a variety of tools which allow its participants to craft findings of fact, arguments pro & con, opinion polls, votes, and other artifacts associated with the construction of multi-authored, negotiated, subjective statements.

It is primarily designed as a communications medium and deliberative forum which captures statements from human participants in realtime. It then encourages participants to judge that information at their leisure and allows motivated individuals or interest groups to structure the information judged most useful. XRepublic facilitates through a variety of polling, categorization and voting methods, collective judgements to be passed on said structured information in the form of resolutions. These resolutions are then, with their supporting arguments and artifacts, kept on record for future reference, and for related and derivative works.


XR's immediate and primary benefit is that it eliminates the restrictions imposed by physical and temporal quorum requirements of traditional parliamentary procedures.

Through an automated content management system XR automatically manages the 'paperwork' required to support collaborative decision making.

XRepublic is designed to overcome the many obstacles to deliberation offered by current computer mediated communication systems through the implementation of a unique combination of features not found anywhere today.

In addition the core processes of the XRepublic are designed to be flexible enough to fit into many different types of implementations. (Web, Gaming, Mobile)

XR assists individuals and groups of similar interests in finding each other.

XRepublic is Not:

The XRepublic does not interject computer generated decisions or suggestions. It is completely neutral and oblivious to subject matter. It is a tool which enhances and extends the decision making capabilities of groups of individuals.

While XR does automatically manage compilation of votes, XR does not serve in any capacity as a virtual parliamentarian according to fixed rules. Participants have full control over what constitutes agreement, censure etc.


XR aims to be both an experiment of exploring, and a practical means of extending the decision making process of groups.

XR intends to increase the probability of understanding by allowing competing or dissonant interest groups a transparent space in which to debate.

XR intends to use 'open source thinking' to connect multiple disciplines of thought to collaborate and share detailed information in ways heretofore impossible.

XR seeks to improve the quality of current online public debate by providing a place where people at all different levels of expertise and experience can approach areas of common interest.

XR seeks to make democracy more robust by expanding the understanding of deliberative processes to ordinary people who currently may only engage in the political process through voting.

Major Features:

There are several major components to the XRepublic system which make it uniquely capable of attaining these goals.

  • Threaded Conferencing.
  • End User Control.
  • Wonking.
  • Distributed Taxonomy.
  • Multidimensional Voting.
  • Affinity Profiling
  • Multiple Houses.  

cobb, the blog