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I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 21


Ok, nice to see some other people have doubts too... But this thread has heightened my fears in one way...

It seems that decisions have been taken already by a small group of people as to how the site is to be developed in the future if it's taken over by 'the community'...

My suggestion would be:

1) Work out a way of getting the existing site off the BBC's servers, 2) Work out how it's going to be hosted,
3) Figure out a way of funding it
4) Lay out the workings of an interim 'caretaker' management system
5) STOP.

Whilst ideas of future developments for the site are good, having seriously structural changes to the site laid out in your proposal changes the bid from being a 'community-run' bid to being an organised takeover by a finite panel of users...

You can call me lazy, indolent and apathetic if you like, in a way, you'd be right... Maybe I should be more involved in the community-run bid...

But, I'd guess there are quite a few long-term users of the site around like me... We like using the site, we've no wish to run it, we've no real interest in the politics of debating its future and we hate committees... we just like being here...

The problem you're going to have is _if_ you get the go ahead to run the site, and then instantly go about imposing changes, you're going to lose a whole section of those 'apathetic masses' who no longer have the site they want to use.

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 22


I see no problem in saying that that is currently what's in our business plan. The first year is all about getting ourselves away from the BBC, stable, and back to functioning the way we are right now. Then, and only then, can we seriously look to discuss and implement change (if needed).

I hope that at least allays some of your fears.

smiley - fairy

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 23


I can't post much cos I'm on a iPhone in a lecture. But I don't think that we're that far apart in opinions whiskey! The plan is that we get site secure site, and then take a breathe. That's when the role of the intermin committee will be over! Some of us will want to go back to lurking and drop out . We're being careful not to comit to anything the community couldn't get out if.

The next step will be for a democractically elected committee to form and THEN slowly discuss changes. We'd be running the guide on a day to day basis so have a better idea of what was feasible. Big changes would need a site wide referendum.
I was quite keen initallty that we shouldn't discuss the medium-long term and just concentrate on what to go next once it was secured. But peopled discussed it anyway, and for various reasons we needed a sample medium-long term plan.

Also getting a summary of what the discussions have been in a document means that it's easier for people to drop into the conclusions rather than to read a whole thread.

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 24

Mrs Zen

Damn, I've just lost the draft I'd drafted.

Whisky - have you read the piece in the Post about the proposed structure: A82959105 ? Take a look at it - it explains how the two groups of volunteers that will do the day-to-day stuff the Italics do now will be answerable to the Community.

It may feel like a coup, but it isn't. I'm not sure how many of the Interim Committee are going to stand for election. If you ask me, various folks are close to burnout. On a personal note, I won't be standing for either of the volunteer groups for two reasons. One is that I work in Development not Service - I build things and document them and provide training in how to use them and hand them over to thier rightful users. That's what I did with the UnderGuide and that's what I'm doing here. The other is that I have put my MSc on hold for this, and I need to pick it up again.

But - here's the but. We have to assume we are bidding against Great Big Impressive Business. We have to produce a bid which beats - I dunno - AOL, Rupert Murdoch's outfit, and Trip Advisor. We have to be corporate in how we put ourselves forward if we are to compete against people like that in front of a corporate audience. The ones making the decision are almost certainly not active users of the site. They may not even have used the site at all. They won't get it. I am sure Mina has endless tales to tell about the frustrations that involves.

So if we shuffle in like a bunch of basement-dwelling freetards saying "We... huh .... we want the site... we .... huh ... we'll decide what to do with it later..." they'll laugh at us. Maybe behind our backs. Maybe to our faces. Putting it crudely, if someone is standing up in front of the BBC and being judged on how they present the Community's plans for the site, then there had better BE some plans. And they had better be able to answer ill-informed and slightly off-beam questions about how we'd pay for and implement those plans. We have no choice in this. We bid corporate-style and maybe we lose, or we bid freeform and we definitely lose.

I hope that helps explain why we have to have A vision for the site, and have to develop that vision to the point where it can be prodded and tested and probed by the people who decide which bid to accept, or wether to accept any bid at all.

I hope it also helps explain how, if we win, we will take our proposals, offer them to the elected committees and - in my case at least - go out to lunch and get completely trollied.


I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 25


A couple of questions those documents brought up:

Have you actually submitted a formal bid to the BBC or are these documents simply either
i) A 'wish list' to be presented to a future buyer
ii) A last-second lifeboat to be presented to the beeb if they suddenly announce they haven't found a buyer and are going to close us down.

Secondly, Are you ruddy serious about your proposal for voting??????
I've never seen a system so open to abuse? Multiple accounts allowable? new accounts eligable for voting rights? 'unidentified' voters?
Ok, we're a fairly nice bunch of people around here in the main - but with a system like that, and no external, uninterested audit, that system would _never_ last the distance!

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 26


Firstly I can't say too much about the bidding process due to legal issues. There's a statement they have let us put out which is in my journal. I can't cut and paste it here due to being on an iPhone.

Secondly the elections would be one human one vote. Multiple accounts would only get one vote. There would be a process to minimise multiple voting which we haven't finalised yet. The most obvious way would be to make sure we got a real name and address from everyone, it's already one e mail one account. BUT some people aren't comofortable and would want to be able to vote without giving a real name. We hope these would be exceptions.

There may be a process where if you don't give your real name and address you have to e mail the ed s and if we know that the e mail is associated with an active account you get to vote.

There are technical ways to check for multiple votes from one ip address etc.

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 27

Mrs Zen

I've not got the specialist skills needed to comment on fool-proofing the voting. You are right; it's a challenge.

Regarding the document - it's a way of gathering everything together into one place, (or two places at present because of the confidential nature of some of the information).

By having the information in one place we can

1) Show it to researchers who want to understand where the debates have got to - both what's been agreed on site and what's still under discussion

2) Have a single source of information to draw on for shorter versions and extracts for other audiences, whether the extracts are Business Plans, Executive Summaries, slide shows, blurbs for the back of the book, whatever, whatever, whatever

Please bear in mind that this version is 2 weeks old, and there are things that need including in it, such as Z's summary of the governance model from the Post. There is also stuff we've just not got to yet; for example I've been asking for someone to sumarise the state of play in the discussions on engaging the rest of the web that are going on in Magrathea's Journal, but so far no-one has stepped forwards. It's incomplete, out of date and flawed. Wish it weren't...

Regarding the audience for the material in this document. As I see it tha audiences are:

1) Researchers (see above)

2) Anyone who approaches us to work with us

3) Anyone who's lurking the site to find out more about our bid so they can mount their own bid against us (eg - from the list I made up - AOL, Rupert Murdoch, Trip Advisor, whoever)

4) Anyone to whom we want to explain who we are and what we are about (for example if we wanted advice from professional moderators)

5) And as I said, we will be drawing on it for the bid that we are putting together

smiley - sigh


I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 28


There's a new update from the interim committee here:

I've a bad feeling about this...

Post 29


... and a thread about the mechanics of voting systems here ...


Ben / Mrs Zen

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