[Theforum] Re: Answers

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Apr 19 11:05:04 CDT 2002

Lachlan wrote (summary):

> Admin gets turned into something more like BoD.

> All the activities that have
> to do with running the site (answering emails, approving articles) get
> broken up and given to a
> leader or a small group of leaders from different timezones (so someone
> is
> always there to make the decisions).

Hi Lachlan

This is starting to sound a bit like a proposal which Dan drafted a
of months ago, and he and I developed a bit:
(yes, it's in the Wiki - you can edit)

> The task area, as I said earlier would be decided upon by this body upon
> formation of the task group - the rules would have to be pretty
> explicit in
> covering what they were and weren't allowed to do, and covering the
> scope of
> their task. for example, if the offer of hosting had come up after this
> was
> formed, it would be the responsibility of the email group to respond to
> the
> emails, but they would have to come to this group for getting their
> responses.

Which is near enough what happened btw.

> If it was alleged that the leader at a certain time had broken
> the rules laid out for them, then it would be the responsibility of
> admin to
> vote on whether they thought that person should be allowed to continue
> with
> that activity or not. That would be admins sole charging under this new
> scheme - thus delivering more power to the community, while still
> keeping a
> tight rein on what happens.

Yup - the people accountable for a task are always accountable.

> The reason I think we need leaders for is that while groups are fine,
> they
> take their time. there is always a need for decisive action sooner or
> later,
> and if someone takes it without consulting the group then they will be
> blasted later, even though the action may be necessary.

As long as group members act according to agreed policy where it exists
(which it will for most cases), discusses it if time permits (even
bouncing it
off 1 or 2 other people) if it doesn't, or acts in the spirit of policy
if time
doesn't permit, then I don't see a problem. It's how Admin ran until last

> It is also necessary
> to have more than one so there is always one person around who'll be
> responsible for that section - eg if a very important email comes
> through it
> might need to be dealt with straight away, or a spammer needs to be
> removed
> from a list immediately.

Yup - if you have the remit to do something, then do it. But scope of
remit is
agreed in advance.

> Also, this should help with a move more towards a nfp. The admin group
> will
> be acting more like a bod, and less like a correspondence group. This
> will
> also structure things better for an easier transition.

It makes sense that there's an oversight group (and that that group is
accountable to the membership at large). Whether that's an evolution of
or of this group is less important.

> Also, when
> the evolt name needs renewing, evolt.org should try to be a proper nfp
> by
> then, i think, so that it can be renewed under evolts name.

I think so - our whois info ideally should be (taking current names
as an example, but recognising that in the future, these may change):

evolt.org (EVOLT2-DOM)
    Registered Office Address
    Probably c/o lawyers
    But not an individual's home address
    As it doesn't belong to an individual

    Domain Name: EVOLT.ORG

    Technical Contact,
       Cody, Daniel  (CD1225-ORG)  djc at STARKMEDIA.COM
       1824 North Water Street #401
       Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Administrative Contact,
	Elfur Logadottir		elfur at elfur.is

    Billing Contact,
	Marlene Bruce		marlene at digitizethis.com
	San Francisco

> Also, moving the
> hosting away should help hopefully, along with merchandise, other
> fundrasiing, etc should help with relieving Dan of the hosting costs.
> This
> has the benefit of helping relieve the financial burden from Dan, and of
> making it seem more like the organisation - everyone - is in charge.

Also for basic auditing purposes - anyone doing due diligence on
evolt rn will see all monies flowing directly to Dan, and even though
get spent on evolt stuff, it does not make evolt credible. It's CYA for
evolt and Dan.

> The
> face of evolt should be evolt, not Dan, as it is misconceived to be now.


> Question - if evolt does colo the servers, can we still accept
> donations of
> parts for the servers, or do we get stuck with what we have, and only be
> able to take in software / money donations?

AFAIK if the colo were non-local to a suitably able evolter, it would
it tricky (although not impossible).

> Problems I can see with this system -
> People being jealous of someone else being the leader - this one really
> relies on people acting grown up, is all.

And also on clear, open decision-making which can be justified at
all times.

> the overlap issue again. if dan is leader of servers, and jeff wants
> access
> to servers, does jeff have to ask dan for access?

Relationships between groups must be according to agreed APIs -
you want access? Fine - here's how to go about it (ie prove you need it,
prove your nominated person is technically capable etc etc). So if access
is denied, it can always be by referral to the standing, published APIs.

> fragmentation - it's possible that this might fragment the larger
> groups of
> evolt apart too far, which would of course not be good. somehow
> everything
> needs to be broguht back to the central community - maybe theforum /
> thesite
> could act as central hubs for co ordinating activites?

Co-ordination is necessary, as is strategy. All tasks must be performed
in line with
the general direction of evolt. So if evolt decides that it will use OSS
practical, development groups will have to gain explicit signoff for
using Oracle,
CF etc, especially when a change in db/app server is underway.


email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID:	0xA835CCCB
	martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail:	30 Shandon Place
   tel:	+44 (0)774 063 9985				Edinburgh,
   url:	http://www.easyweb.co.uk			Scotland

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