creating small media
Group dynamics
How not to burn out and why the horizontal model can be more effective
What is group dynamics and why is it important?
We understand group dynamics as a set of processes that helps form communities of people who are involved in your project to some extent or other.

The questions related to group dynamics processes are:
1) How to organize the work of your editorial office?
2) How to establish a transparent and trustful relationship with your readers?
3) How to stay motivated to continue your own work and support your colleagues?


Brand is an anarchist-socialist magazine by and for social movements, launched in 1898
We have manuals for the different roles, and what to think about when making a new issue. This makes things easier for us, and is also a good way to have a lot of new people in the editorial without there being a knowledge gap. There are manuals for the issue editorial group, for how to publish online, for how to do layout, for those in charge of keeping in touch with the illustrators, for color separation in illustrations and photos and so on. All our manuals are cloud based and can easily be shared with whoever needs them.
Pros and cons of a horizontal editorial office
The moloko plus collective works according to a horizontal management principle. There is no editor in chief or internal hierarchical system. No one can assign a task to any other member of the collective, each member makes their own decisions and takes responsibility for a scope of activity. We divide the tasks during our planning meetings or when a new member enters the collective.

A person can become a part of our collective already having an idea of what he or she can and wants to do or picking a task that hasn't been picked by anybody yet. The main advantage of this system over a traditional editorial office model is its horizontality. People are more involved in the project because everybody feels their actions' significance. As a result, the project becomes more diverse and its members are more productive. A disadvantage of a horizontal system can lie in the fact that people may be less engaged in the project and work with different levels of efficiency. Working in moloko plus is not the main job or source of income for any of us. On one hand, this means that nobody is dependent on a "manager", but, on the other hand, nobody can be "punished" by economic sanctions that are used in traditional commercial or state media.
How to organize a successful horizontal editorial office
It can be hard to control the activity of a member of a horizontal editorial office. At times, most tasks are divided between just two or three people, and sometimes a member takes responsibility for a branch of activity but, for some reason, cannot successfully manage it or dedicate enough time to it. In most cases, an open dialogue and a discussion about whether everybody is comfortable, has enough emotional and physical resources or needs help, solves this problem. Constant informal communication helps ease the environment and makes sure that work goes on as usual.

A simple word of encouragement can also motivate. With approval, people will feel their significance and know that they are supported. On the other hand, support doesn't mean over-praise. You have to be honest with each other and not be afraid to express or accept criticism. The moloko plus collective is always open to new members. However, it became clear that new members have to be extremely motivated in order to be involved in the collective's work regularly. Otherwise some tasks will not be done, and the work process will not be organized effectively. This is why we came up with a long and elaborate procedure of selection, through which only the most motivated readers who want to participate in our work get admitted. Online communication help us organize work with members who live in different cities. We use different apps, such as Slack, Jitsi, and Telegram. You can organize remote work using cloud storage (like Google Docs) or encrypted online communication services, such as Riseup, Proton.Mail, Delta.Chat, etc.

It is important to establish a relationship of trust with your subscribers and readers. Members of the moloko plus collective respond to messages and comments in our social media, maintaining a dialogue with our audience. After some time, we decided to establish some rules when it comes to managing our social media accounts. Things that are prohibited on our pages are:

— Offensive behavior towards community members or moderators
— Chauvinism
— Racism
— Sexism
— Homophobia
— Antisemitism
— Antifeminism
— Other hateful views
— Spam
— Advertising
— Fake news
— Links to propagandist media

Our administrators ban people who don't follow these rules. However, for four years we managed to avoid such problems.

We communicate more closely with our loyal Patreon subscribers. Our members chat with the subscribers, we make unique content for them (like posts and letters from the collective), organize online-streaming, send out merchandise. It is very important to stay connected with your readers, because not only does that help us learn something new and understand the audience's demands and reactions, but it also assures us that, if we find ourselves in an emergency, the subscriber community will provide whatever help it can.


Brand is an anarchist-socialist magazine by and for social movements, launched in 1898
Sometimes we have campaigns with other radical media projects. For example, we may offer the option to start subscribing to two newspapers at the same time (ours and someone else's). Arrangements like this help to strengthen both sides, and reach each other's target groups and readers. We also have ongoing advertising exchanges in our magazine for other publications or projects we sympathize with.
We use Slack, and we wouldn't be as synchronized and effective without it. You can count on everybody following all discussions there. In addition we use wordpress for editing texts before they are published.


Blankspot Project is a citizen financed online media outlet, focusing on the media blank spots of the world
Summary. How to organize editorial work and group dynamics?
For successful project evolvement, moloko plus recommends to:
— Abolish hierarchy and use a horizontal model of work
— Immediately resolve all conflicts before they become problems
— Listen to every opinion
— Support and respect each other, maintain informal communications.

Kontext is a Swedish cross media platform for thoughtful journalism and critical entertainment
We have a number of written policies but mainly decide things at our monthly meetings. The decision process depends on what sort of decision it is – the people in charge of the economy have the main say there, the editor in chief on the overall content and the political editors decide what's gonna be published under politics. But general decisions we take together at meetings – like what themes we decide on, etc. We use some Google tools like Drive and Calendar, WhatsApp and email for communication.

We make sure everybody has time to do the work they are expected to do. Communicating when something happens in your life that might affect the group. Making sure everybody is a part of the project and feels included.
Since Brand relaunched in 2010, the editorial team has changed dynamically over the years. Hardly anyone from the original team remains onboard today. Some no longer had time, others felt they were done with Brand and wanted new projects to work with.

We have meetings for decision making, but even if a decision is taken we can always take it up for discussion again. We always keep protocols so those who couldn't attend a meeting can see what was discussed, and which opinions were voiced.

Often we have a group with a certain focus, or common interest. Then they make an issue about that. It's important that no one does a theme they think is boring or unnecessary.


Brand is an anarchist-socialist magazine by and for social movements, launched in 1898