[Theforum] webby money

javier velasco (mantruc) lists at mantruc.com
Wed Dec 26 06:44:15 CST 2001

"Daniel J. Cody" wrote:

> one important thing is getting a *kick ass* description of evolt for this
> thing if we have any chance of winning

yesterday, i wrote a lengthy description of evolt.org for Lou Rosenfeld,
(who's interested in mentioning us in his new book ) maybe that can
serve us as a starting point?

1.- The membership of evolt.org

[thelist], our main mailing list has around 3000 subscribers already,
and the website has more than 6000 registered users (although there seem
to be a lot of duplicates). 51% of the people who answered the survey
(530 aprox.), were from USA and all continents were represented. There
are hundreds of unregistered readers of the site, browser archive, tips
archive and mail archives (Dan has the log info for the servers, we
could ask him later).

2.- How we work

Our main channel of communication have always been mailing lists. This
community was formed without actual meetings, same with the build of the
first site.

After the first stage, there have been already 2 gatherings of the admin
team (strong friendship evolved), 3 ‘codefests’, where some volunteers
get together and spend a whole weekend working on the features of the
evolt.org site. There have also been some ‘beervolts’: informal member

3.- The mailing lists and decision groups (in order of appearance)

[admin] was initially the group of people who founded evolt, set the
purpose of the community, started [thelist], and built the site. Once
the community was running, this group has changed a lot (3years) some
active members have been invited in, and some people have left due to
life needs. A couple of months ago, the decision taking for the
community was set apart from [admin] to a new list [theforum], open to
all members, and admin archives since that day ahead went publically
archived (they were previously password protected). Now the [admin] list
is more focused on properly administrative tasks, like article editing
and mail answering.

[thelist] is our main mailing list, focused on the subject of web
development in general. It doesn’t make a difference between front end
and back end discussions. Despite the high traffic of this list, we have
kept it a single resource, in order to provide our subscribers a wider
point of view, they seem to agree.

The list is moderated by the members mostly, it has a warm helpful
feeling that is protected by members. Sometimes admins have to run to
call to order (not very often) but generally, as inappropriate things
arise they are controlled by normal members (the most common correction
is “please trim your messages”, there are hardly flames). Off-topic
messages have to include a <tip> (practical knowledge bit) to pay all
the members for the noise caused. There has only been one member banned
out of [thelist] in three years, and we really don’t want to add

[thesite] was formed to include active members willing to participate in
the development of the evolt.org site, without the need of giving them
full admin powers. These are the people who have attended the codefests.

[thechat] was opened as a space to let people talk about off-topic
subjects in a free way, but keeping the sense of community. Respect
among members has survived religious topics, war, elections, etc.

[theforum] was opened a couple of months ago as a step forward in the
path of “giving the power to the members”. The purpose of this list is
to encourage and allow members to give their opinion about the future
direction of the community and come up with new ideas. The IA redesign
project is managed there too.

Javier Velasco
Information Architect

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