Star

Star Others’ Thoughts  – Considering Others’ Points of View

The Star step is where you read the thoughts of others and assign stars to the thoughts you value most.

What you need to know as you take part in the Star step:

  • You are invited to take part in the Star step whether you took part in Share or not.
  • You will see a random selection of thoughts; because of this every Star step experience is unique.
  • We never edit or change thoughts.
  • You are given a limited pool of stars so that you consider and assign them carefully.

Please explore the frequently asked questions below to learn more.

Star Step

What happens in the Star step?

Star is where everyone begins to learn. In this step you will read the thoughts of others and assign stars to the thoughts you like the best.

We never edit or change thoughts. It’s true! The thoughts you see in Star are the unedited voice of the person who wrote it. Typos and all.

I have not shared my thoughts, can I still participate in Star?

Yes, we want to hear from everyone that we can! It is not necessary to have added your thoughts in the earlier Share step to read and assign stars to the thoughts of others.

How do I assign my stars?

We’ve made it easy to assign your stars.

Your available pool of stars is visible at the top-centre of the page.

When reviewing the thoughts, simply click on the stars on the thought to assign stars to that thought– just like rating a movie in Netflix. When you click on a star to assign it, the star “flies” into place. Unassigning stars is also easy – you just click on the lower star value and the extra stars will “fly” back to the pool at the top.

Whose thoughts am I seeing?

During the Star step you will read the thoughts of others and assign stars to the thoughts you like the best.

You will always have the opportunity to see some of your own thoughts and a random selection of the thoughts of others.

For each question, you will see up to nine thoughts at a time on a “page” and three pages per question. In total, each participant will see 27 thoughts per question.

Why can’t I see all of my thought?

Generally you will see most of your own thoughts in the Star step. Although if you added a lot of thoughts you might not see all of them.

Also, we review every thought that is added to the conversation and at times a thought must be removed.

We only remove a thought when:

  • it is rude or hurtful to a person or a group of people, or
  • it does not answer the question.

Before we remove a thought we think long and hard. We must always balance free speech with protecting staff, children and community members from hurtful or even hateful language.

Do I see all thoughts entered by everyone?

You would quickly become overwhelmed looking at 100s of thoughts for each question. Our goal is to engage you, not to bore you!

So to keep you interested and engaged, you will see a random group of thoughts in addition to some of your own. For each question you will review three pages of thoughts with nine thoughts on each page. In total, everyone sees 27 thoughts per question.

Our software ensures that all thoughts are seen as equally as possible.

Does everyone see the same thoughts?

Each process has a lot of thoughts so it is not possible to show each thought to all participants. We get around this by showing a random subset of thoughts or 27 thoughts per question.

We have an algorithm in our system that ensures each thought is seen approximately the same number of times as every other thought, so each voice has an equal chance of being heard.

How do you determine which thoughts I get to see?

We make sure that you will see your own thoughts and a random selection of the thoughts of others.

For each question, you will see up to 9 thoughts at a time on a “page” and 3 pages per question. In total, each participant sees a subset of 27 thoughts per question.

We use an algorithm to ensure all thoughts are seen as equal a number of times as possible.

So what happens to brilliant ideas?

Each brilliant thought will be seen just as often as all other ideas are seen.

If it is a great thought, it will receive a lot of stars from every participant who sees it.

If it is genuinely brilliant, it will likely receive more stars than any other idea. Or, at the very least, a brilliant idea will at least have a similar number of stars as other brilliant ideas.

During the Star step we are looking to the wisdom of the crowd to find important ideas.

How many times will a Thought be seen?

Our software ensures that all thoughts are seen as equally as possible.

The number of times a thought is seen depends on how many thoughts there are and how many participants take part during the Star step.

What happens when I assign stars to a thought?

Stars assigned here become the basis for the Discover step, where decision leaders gain insight about the priorities for their group of stakeholders as a whole. And participants gain insight because they can now see what they as a group care about most.

There are lots of great ideas, can I have more stars?

Sorry, no more stars for you! We give you a limited pool or quota of stars to “force” you to prioritize.

By making you choose, you must consider each and every thought very carefully. This is definitely more difficult than rating each thought out of 5 on its own – but we believe it is core to what we do.

It’s not like rating movies on Netflix where each movie’s worth to you is separate from all of the other movies. It’s as if we asked you to name your favourite 10 movies – now you have to compare them and decide which is best. This is harder, and in the case of other participant’s thoughts, we believe it is well worth the extra effort.

Some of these thoughts don’t make sense to me. What do I do?

Understanding the thoughts of others can be challenging, so just do your best. Assign your stars to the ideas that speak to you. Whether it is your heart or mind that leads you, assigning stars means you are both learning from others and using your voice to be heard.

Why are the thoughts unedited?

Thoughtexchange is like an online town hall meeting. You are asked for your ideas and they are heard and considered by others.

We never edit or change thoughts. You get to hear the ideas of others in their own voice just like in a town hall meeting. These thoughts can sometimes be imperfect, unclear and contrasting.

That said, the simple act of “hearing” the unedited thoughts of others builds understanding of what others are thinking.

What if I see a thought that I think is rude or hurtful?

The thoughts you will see in this step have been checked and rude or hurtful thoughts have been removed.

If you think we missed a thought that should be removed, you can flag it so that others can no longer see it. The facilitator will be notified to review your request.

Why am I seeing flagged thoughts?

This is an interesting situation and it is all about timing.

If you happen to be in the Star step reviewing your thoughts AND at that same time someone else flags a thought that is in your 27 thoughts, you will see that flag.

These flagged thoughts will be reviewed and removed if applicable as soon as possible.

How come I only have a limited number of stars?

We use a limited pool or quota of stars to “force” participants to prioritize. Making participants choose among the thoughts requires that they consider each and every thought more carefully.

We know that this method means it’s more cognitively demanding than simply rating each thought out of 5 on its own – but we believe it’s core to what we do. It’s not like rating movies on Netflix where each movie’s worth to you is independent of all the other movies. It’s as if we asked you to name your favourite 10 movies – now you have to compare them and decide which is best. This is harder, and in the case of other participant’s thoughts, we believe is well worth the extra effort.