[theforum] Brief notes on the sanctity of theforum, and double-standards relating thereto

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Mon Sep 11 17:30:11 CDT 2006

On 9/11/06, Tara Cleveland <tara.cleveland at gmail.com> wrote:
> In my experience, the process for approving what goes live on a website
> where a group is making decisions goes something like this:
> 1. someone proposes something - testing the waters for their idea
> 2. people say "hey that's a good idea"
> 3. someone produces an example or mockup
> 4. said mockup gets commented upon/changes get made (ad infinitum)
> 5. mockup gets approved by group vote
> 6. final product gets put live on site.

This is the process you would suggest for a group with 4 messages last
month? The problem with this has *always* been that we are volunteers,
and we are all very successful and therefore busy with our day jobs.
Free time is unpredictable, and when we have it, we want to
contribute. There have always been people here who want to apply their
enterprise processes (which I apply in my day job, because it makes
sense) to volunteer contributions to evolt, and it just makes no
sense. Worse than that, it has hindered progression of evolt since its
second or third year.

> Well a quorum certainly does not equal two guys who are discussing something
> how to do something in a thread with an obscure title. I'm not sure how this
> particular instance can get used as an exuse to bemoan the lengthy
> discussions that take place in theforum since this is exactly what *should*
> get discussed before it goes live. What if Alan had put up a mission
> statement that was fundamentally incorrect or had terrible spelling errors
> (thank goodness he didn't)?

We'd change it? He sent an email as soon as he made the change, and I
reviewed the text. If we still had a test environment, it would have
better been tested out there. But, we don't.

> Yes it's true, a group of people working on a large project without a strict
> hierarchy is a pain in the ass. It's more work, and things take longer. Does
> that mean we should throw the collective decision making out the window and
> come up with a new model?

Yes, because it doesn't "take longer"... it "doesn't get done". The
problem with this discussion, especially John's initial over-the-top
message, is that it's destroying momentum we had. We could have
applauded the initiative (anyone remember when we did that? Probably
not, because most of you weren't there), and suggested an alternative
process in the future now that things are getting done again. We could
have said "hey, this is a great time to bring teo back".

Or we could bitch and moan about how it happened over a weekend when
the doer had some free time and persons 1, 8, and 25 weren't around to
give their input, when no one knew we had to wait for those persons
anyway, because this group is amorphous. We could blast the doer for
actually doing something, and unilaterally delete what was done.

Matt Warden
Cleveland, OH, USA

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