[theforum] *Productive* ways to proceed (was: Re: Spraying machine gun fire around without a target(was Re: Vote Request))

John Handelaar john at userfrenzy.com
Mon Sep 11 14:26:35 CDT 2006

Those of you looking for me to prove what I just
wrote in that subject line, please scroll down
towards the end.


Elfur Logadóttir wrote:
> |:.I completely agree. I just thought John's response was far too harsh
> |:.given that Alan was not willfully "damaging" the home page, 
> |:.he was just
> |:.(arguably) a little rash in his actions. A calm and 
> |:.though-out response
> |:.such as yours and Tara's would have been just as effective without
> |:.potentially scaring the guy off completely.
> one thing that you can add to your "knowledge" list:
> John is always harsh :)

Well, often.  I'll give you that.  ;)

I doubt that Alan's been scared off (and certainly
hope not).

But, as Tara said, I'm sure *someone* has to watch
the gate.  And as I hope Matt will understand, there's
a paper-thin space between unilaterally altering our
home page on one hand, and (to pick an old example)
unilaterally deleting a thousand articles on the other.
Or just turning WEO into a wiki - which is what this
example most resembles.

Honestly, this has started to look nothing like democracy
as much as it does some Maoist cultural-revolution era

Change without a plan.  Attack all that went before.  In
particular, take care to ignore and disparage the work of
those who made what went before.  Publicly flame anyone
who disagrees, or even asks what it is you're trying to

That's not how we do things.  Also, because that's no
good reason for anything, that's not how we *should* do

The promised productive bit

A quick reminder of How We Once Did Things:

1   The "organisation", such as it was/is, was led in practice
     by the people who showed up and made it happen [*]

2   Got a new thing?  Build it, show us, some of us'll have
     improvements to suggest, but hey - after that, it works,
     let's put it live.

3   Endless tedious flamefests (optional)

Nobody outside a small group of admins were ever party to
the stupid flamefests.  All anyone ever saw was the incrementally-
improving results of 2).  Evolt got a bunch of cool points.

So it appears that the thing we need to address is enabling
people to build new stuff and demo it to the rest of us, and
a willingness on the part of the rest of us to be prepared
to say Yes if it's obviously an improvement.

I suggest that someone like me makes a dump of WEO (with
identifying user data suitably anonymised) in order to allow
people to try out 'k3wl Drupal sh1t' with some actual data.

That would serve two purposes:

a)  Avoiding today's scenario where the front page turned into
     a Wikipedia-esque edit war

b)  Encouraging people to put up or shut up.

So,  want a suitably-privacy-protected copy of WEO?  Let's
hear you, and I'll make sure it happens.


[*]  Count me, for the record, with that subset of evolters
      who don't believe that evolt.org has ever been a democratic
      organisation, and further, isn't too wild about people who
      don't contribute code/person-hours/art getting a vote.

John Handelaar

E  john at handelaar.org    T +353 21 427 9033
M  +353 85 748 3790    http://handelaar.org
Work in progress: http://dev.vocalvoter.com

More information about the theforum mailing list