[theforum] evolt.org history mystery

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Sat Nov 29 12:43:58 CST 2008

Hi Martin,

"Martin Burns" <martin at easyweb.co.uk>
> *cough*
> http://www.chimaeraconsulting.com/tuckman.htm
> *cough*
> :-)

Interesting!  I was just reading this recently:

  A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Despite the negative title, very interesting historical perspective.

> The reason we're in a much better place is that I think no-one has a
> genuine sense of "I am evolt!" - we have a common understanding that
> this is a collective thing. Even when we have individuals taking a
> lead in areas, there's strong sense of stewardship, rather than
> personal power.

I agree.  The article above describes how successful long-term online 
communities inevitably seem to form a set of rules, which are the values 
that define the group, and give it its cohesion.  Our seem to be 
non-commercialism, inclusiveness and *decentralized* command -- e.g. rule 
by discussion, debate and (at least some level of) consensus.  And a "core 
group" develops to defend the group from attack, to assail those core 
values, usually from within.

Carrying that analogy to evolt, I guess there've been times when 
essentially to few people donated all the hosting and did most of the 
development.  While that doesn't violate the core values by itself, it led 
to situations where those with the control could ignore any decisions the 
group might make that they disagreed with.

Now evolt pays for its own hosting, so no one has the feeling that they are 
"more equal" than any one else in the group.  And that's A Good Thing.


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