Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blogpower AGM

We have a time consideration in this matter and three admins felt that this could be presented as our concrete proposal:

1] New administrative roles

Lord Keeper of the Blogrolls - Ian Appleby with James Higham deputizing when Ian is away;

Lord Keeper of the Mailing List - Ian Grey, who will put a post up about this tomorrow;

Blogpower Profiles and Events MC - Tom Paine [assisted in the profiles by Pommygranate];

Weekly Profiles and Testimonials Officer - Pommygranate;

Birthdays Officer - Mutley;

Admins without Portfolio - Colin Campbell, James Higham.

2] Blogrolls

a. Pending - including prospective members and those on the way out;

b. Full list in three forms:

[i] Automatic;

[ii] Automatic in a box;

[iii] HTML;

c. Currently resting list.

3] Blogpower Ethos: what is Blogpower?

a] Blogpower is more like an international extended family than any other model;

b] It began as a reaction against the closed selection procedures in blogosphere awards and exhorted Blogpowerers to get around and support other small and medium blogs with a view to upping traffic and creating a friendly atmosphere;

c] As a family, it includes the technically sophisticated, the untechnical, the political and apolitical, the able and the not so able;

d] As a family, it looks after its own but where we differ from a RL family is that we are open and welcoming to new members of any persuasion;

e] Also as a family, its members roam far and wide and bring people home as well. It's somwhere to come home to once you're done out there;

f] As a family there is a certain decency required when you visit, take your shoes off and come inside to someone's nice clean blog. This is not to say we can't express our views even heatedly - we do. Very strongly;

g] We don't love all that our brothers and sisters get up to in the real family and neither do we in Blogpower. However, when one member severely rocks the boat, the family closes ranks and makes its feelings known;

h] We have no political, religious, national or any other ties as a family and reject any suggestion that we do. Others may call us what they will. We know what we are;

i] We have few rules - only as many as are absolutely needed and no official structure - none of us has the time to prop up some sort of expanding bureaucracy. If one member wants to take on the burden of a new idea, say a mailing list, well and good. If not, well and good;

j] Our ethos is tolerance and egality in that the admins are there to serve and administer, not to rule. The real power resides in each and every member who, for practical reasons, allow the admins to do the spade work. You want to be an admin? Fine - we'll find you a role;

k] Sometimes an admin will seize the agenda and run with it, e.g. the Awards and the Awards Ceremony but this is always subject to comment from the members;

l] This page, the original page, is the forum where feelings are made known and new ideas are put. If anything private needs deciding, the mailing list is utilized;

m] We are not a hi-tech organization and this is an important principle - a substantial proportion of our membership is quite low-tech and doesn't appreciate newfangled technica which forces them to do things they neither understand nor need;

n] In this, as in all matters, some wisdom is called for to keep us on the middle course;

o] Naturally, a certain loyalty builds up amongst people who have known one another for quite some time and we respond to calls for help and sometimes make suggestions unsolicited;

p] We do not tolerate disloyalty, where one member is trying to push his parochial barrow at the expense of the rest of us or where he sees himself as one of "them" instead of one of "us" or uses his affiliation with us as legitimacy for his RL organizational membership;

q] Almost our only a sanction is relegation to the Provisional Roll;

r] We can't be pinned down. If you ask: "What is Blogpower?", you'll get a dozen answers. Like G-d and electricity, there are numerous explanations.

4] E-mail list with Yahoo

Now a goer with Ian Grey and he'll post on it tomorrow.

5] Limiting size

50/50 inconclusive result and this can become a poll to determine member views after the polls in N6 are concluded.

6] Admissions and exclusions

Inconclusive so far:

a. Wayne [Central News] is moved to the Pending Roll whilst a secret poll by e-mail is conducted. Please send to the subject Wayne and then either Yes - exclude or No - retain. Poll closes this coming Friday evening. Only Full Members may vote.

b. UKN&P remains on the Pending Roll whilst a secret poll by e-mail is conducted. Please send to the subject UKN&P and then either Yes - exclude or No - retain. Poll closes this coming Friday evening. Only Full Members may vote.


All other pending members immediately moved to the full list, including Tuscan Tony.


youdontknowme said...

I have to say this is not exactly fair. How do we know the results won't be changed? Why can't we use online polls which we used last time which resulted in a draw? That seems much fairer and allows the group to see the results in real time.

Why can't I vote?

Shades said...

Wayne, after the awards voting fun and games, the thought of using online polls made me laugh out loud! It will be viable once we have a web based mailing list running (that keeps track of who has voted) but we know they are open to abuse.

How Lord Straf (or whatever he is called this week) will show that it is fair will be interesting as revealing who voted what way obviously compromises a secret ballot. However, if he decides to share it with someone like the Tin Drummer who confirms all is above board then that is good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

An outsiders view...

It may be seen as over beurotic but i think you need a code of conduct, or rather a code of what is unacceptable conduct. Anyone who breaks such conduct would be excluded their conduct was 'ok' for a minimum period of 'x'

everyone looses their rag at times, everyone can post things in anger that cause offence, excluding people for good seems a bit draconian and unforgiving. ignoring such behaviour can allow it to grow - i guess it may be seen as patronizing - sending people to their rooms for bad behaviour - but if it works so well for kids maybe it will work well for a new groung comunity which reasonably likens itself to a family.

And maybe one day if i find time to maintain a blog of my own i will consider joining, for now i dip my toe in when the mood takes me and remember the adage that at present i'd rather not join any club that would accept me :-)

Ian Appleby said...

Wayne, you really should have paid attention when Crushed By Ingsoc offered you the well-known advice "When in a hole, stop digging."

Lord Straf-Coventry said...

Wayne: "How do we know the results won't be changed?"

The way this thing is being done is that people e-mail me as they did in the nominations phase of the Awards, only with the person's name and one of two words - Retain or Exclude. Four things now happen:

1] I progressively add throughout the week to the closed Vote Tally post so everyone can see what's happening at any time;
2] I add names to a separate list as votes come in, listing the member and how he/she voted. This is kept as the final confidential record. At the end of the poll, this Friday, 21:00, London time, this one page list is sent to Colin Campbell, as an attachment, for confirmation that members' names do indeed match the final tallies;
3] I preserve all e-mails.
4] I assure all members who voted that their names and how they voted will only ever be seen by Colin Campbell and myself and under no circumstances will ever be divulged to a third party.

I think Wayne and UKN&P should look at my stance on this. I have said some hard things about both but I'd like to remind these two gentlemen that the majority vote was "Out" and yet they're still not "Out"? The reason? Because I stuck my oar in in two ways:

1] Insisting on more members commenting and putting messages on their sites to this effect;
2] Suggesting a halfway house of putting these two on the Pending Roll for now, subject to an e-mailed poll.

Wayne - don't you realize that this does not represent bias against you? Quite the opposite. The advantage of this method is that it preserves the anonymity of voters whilst at the same time insisting on a responsible vote, i.e. they must put fingers to keyboard and actually send a vote via e-mail. That is a far cry from clicking on an online poll or via a mailing list.

The downside, of course, is that it brings my personal integrity into it and by definition, that of Colin. If my personal integrity is in question [as could be construed from Shades' comment] or indeed even Colin's integrity, then I'd like to suggest that those of this opinion e-mail Ian Grey to the effect..

I can't speak for Colin but I'll unquestioningly accept Ian's statement to me that the majority of members are of opinion that they can't trust this method of voting and I'll retire gracefully from Blogpower forthwith. There is a case, I believe, for Founding members not to stick around too long and to hand the baton on.

6:59 AM, July 09, 2007

Lord Straf-Coventry said...

Another question is what percentage vote constitutes a decision.

Absolute majority [two thirds plus one vote]

Simple majority [50% plus one vote]

One third plus one vote.

As not all members will vote and as voting is not compulsory, the simple majority seems the way to go, i.e. a simple majority of the current full membership must vote one way or the other.

If we don't get over half the full membership voting one way, then the limbo remains, which is not satisfactory to anyone.

I would suggest, in this situation, the majority vote as it stands at the close of voting would have to represent our position. This would be an unsatisfactory minority result but at least it would be a verdict.

The implication is that it is important a large proportion of the membership vote, to validate the result.

youdontknowme said...

I think atleast a third of the membership should actually vote on the issue.

thebestnewsfirst said...

Although I may not like the results at the end of this vote I think it is a fair way to do it. I would very much like to be a part of your community but should the majority not wish that then I respect your views.

Anonymous said...

Expanding on my code of conduct post above - if people dont vote for 'n' consecutive votes then temporarily suspend their membership - it feels vaguely socialist but basicaly everyone needs to contribute equally otherwise they dont get to recieve the benifits equally.....

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

All the suggestions in the post seem fine to me.

Lord Straf-Coventry said...

"It may be seen as over beurotic but i think you need a code of conduct, or rather a code of what is unacceptable conduct."

We have - Section 3

"if people dont vote for 'n' consecutive votes then temporarily suspend their membership"

Don't quite understand this. Could you expound? And must you remain anonymous?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

For the record, I've not voted yet.
I am still considering this one.

I think it would be helpful though if people who do find come Friday they still can't decide, they at least email James to say they are an abstention, rather than it looking like a minority of BP considered the issue.

Shades said...

James, your integrity is not at all in doubt by my book, indeed you have adopted the methodology I suggested as to a verifying third party.

I only used the word "interesting" in the context that it is an intellectual challenge to convince those who may not wish to be convinced that it is all above board.

If any blogpowerers object about it to me I'll keep you informed in the unlikely event that it reaches critical mass.

Lord Nazh© said...

James, you should have my vote already (in a previous email) if not, let me know and I'll get it to you.

Let me state (since I missed the last comment section) that I am opposed to trying to get more 'lefty blogs' or more women blogs or more, etc. BP shouldn't be about numbers or 'diversity' but about BP. Add the blogs that apply, don't worry about what line they fall on.

Shades said...

I'm with Lord Nash, as I have said before. We should not be into affirmative action, social engineering or "balance".

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Affirmative action is not necessarily an ugly concept. It's worth looking at Tom's page flakes and see how he has distributed BP blogs in terms of political slant. Many right-aligned blogs, but only Matt Murrell in left aligned blogs. And note that Central News was in the non-aligned section (!!!)
To an outside observer, who is left centre, or apolitical, this suggests a right of centre blogging think tank. This isn't what we are. Some of us CERTAINLY would not be members of a right wing think tank. We most certainly ARE BP members and support its ethos.

We need to recuit more female bloggers, left of centre bloggers, gay bloggers, bloggers from diverse backgrounds to counter the perceived skew and then a more heterogenous group of bloggers will be drawn in.

But the onus to start the ball rolling is on us, to emphasise what BP is really about and actively encourage bloggers different to the current BP norm to take part.

youdontknowme said...

Can I just say that every online political test I have taken says I am slightly leftwing. lol.

Lord Nazh© said...

Simple: Stop putting the 'aligning' of blogs up for all to see. Let people visit the blogs and THEN make their own determination of what blog is what.

And if/when we get a drive to counter any 'percieved' skew, we will not be BP anymore.

Why would I or anyone want to encourage bloggers who are different than the current BP norm to take part? Most of us read bloggers that are already LIKE BP (hence why we read them). :)

pommygranate said...

We need to recuit more female bloggers, left of centre bloggers, gay bloggers, bloggers from diverse backgrounds to counter the perceived skew and then a more heterogenous group of bloggers will be drawn in.

I would love to see more of these in BP. But only if they run decent blogs.

Marquis de Straf-Guernica said...

...Simple: Stop putting the 'aligning' of blogs up for all to see. Let people visit the blogs and THEN make their own determination of what blog is what...

Lord Nazh, something strange is happening inside of me - I find myself agreeing with you completely.

Lord Nazh© said...

Mutley, I'm very sorry :(

I pray that you can recover.


Lord Nazh© said...

Sorry James, must have had mutley on the brain :)

lady macleod said...

I think the process sounds fair and I do not think there is any question of james' integrity when it comes to handling these matters. It is again, a lot of work he is taking on for the good of the group.