Because Kialo is different from any other online discussion platform, we’ve needed to give some names to things that don’t have obvious analogs elsewhere. This glossary will help you understand what we’re talking about!
The background info (information) of a discussion (sometimes called “discussion info” or shortened to “bg info”) is a short summary introducing users to a discussion’s topic. This can also be a place where key information about the discussion is included, so be sure to check it if you’re joining a new discussion (especially if it’s a large one)! For more information on how to open a background info or include one in your discussion, see Adding Background Info.
A claim is the building-block of a Kialo discussion. A claim is, in its most basic form, a single piece of an argument made in a discussion. A claims can be either a pro or a con, depending on whether it argues for (pro) or against (con) the claim directly above it (sometimes called the parent claim). Claims are rarely entire arguments within themselves; but rather a set of related claims link together the ideas behind an argument. This allows you to inspect each step of the thinking behind an argument. Claims should be as clear and concise as possible, and make one point per claim.
A discussion (sometimes called a debate) is where the magic on Kialo happens. Each discussion on Kialo has a title - not to be confused with a thesis - which outlines the topic being discussed, usually in the form of a question (“Does pineapple belong on pizza?”). For further information on how discussions work (and how best to manage them), see Using Discussions.
A claim is voted on by users in a discussion to show how effective it is at arguing for or against its parent claim - the result is the claim’s impact. Impact is visually represented by the 4 bars located at the top-left of each claim - these are called impact meters. To find out more about impact meters and how to vote, see Using Voting.
Perspectives allow you to change which users’ or groups of users’ votes are included in calculating the impact meters in a discussion. For more information, see Understanding Perspectives.
See About Teams.
Thanks are expressions of gratitude to users for actions taken on the platform, given by other users. The number of times a user has been thanked by other users on Kialo appears beside their name in brackets around the site. Users can be thanked for an action by clicking the empty heart icon next to their comment or activity underneath a claim. For more information, see Thanking Someone.
A thesis is where each discussion starts - this is the initial claim which the arguments underneath are supporting or critiquing. A thesis should, as such, be written as a claim (“Pineapple belongs on pizza.”) that one can oppose or support, rather than a question. Where there are many potential answers to a topic’s question, debates can have multiple theses (see Multi- vs Single-Thesis Discussions).
The discussion topic (also known as a discussion title) is the question which a discussion attempts to address. It should, as such, be written in the form of a question (such as “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”) which summarizes the topic at hand. The discussion topic is what other users see on the My Kialo and Explore pages (as well as searches), so it is important to ensure it is concise yet accurate!
See What is Voting?.