Members, we have had many situations on our hands and this is the latest.
Membership has suddenly split into two parts - the 19 or so people who have joined Yahoo and the 30 or so members who are not in Yahoo.
I always knew this would happen which is why I opposed a closed mailing list as a second discussion venue - not because the mailing list is a problem in itself but because I knew that it would become a second forum and from fora inevitably comes policy.
This in fact is what has been happening in these last two days.
Ideas such as new members being on 6 months probation before approval by the older members and other fundamental issues, even those the members have already thrashed out by due process and have a policy on, seem to have reached the consensus stage with about seven members taking part in the discussion.
Only one of these was an admin.
Meanwhile, the wider membership has no idea this is going on. This is why this blog has been to date the accepted forum for policy formulation. A glance through the archives will show that everyone has had a chance to comment.
Admissions Policy - it was agreed that any person wishing to join us contacts Ian Appleby [look at our sidebar]. Members have enough faith in him to use judgement in putting the name to the Pending List. If he feels there's a problem, it's put to the admins and then to the membership if it seems to be an issue.
In all this, Ian Appleby only ever acts with the interests of Blogpower overall in mind. It doesn't need regulations and policy documents and the like. We are a small, homely club. It was accepted by members by virtue of no opposition being expressed to it.
If noone expresses any objections to the new member, that person is in. That was what was decided and settled but now, it seems, is up for discussion yet again in certain quarters.
So the real issue this Sunday is who formulates policy in BP?
I state strongly that the membership does. Members express ideas on our forum here and if there seems to be some support for an idea, the admins take it up, formulate a proposal and put it back to the membership. Any problem with that?
The full list - every last one of them, not just a small group of political bloggers of a certain bent.
Where should policy be formulated?
In a place to which ALL members have unfettered access [including for technical reasons].
If the wish of members is that the policy forum shifts from this blog to the mailing list, [thereby making this blog moribund], then it's an all or nothing proposition. All members need to be in that mailing list or else they've been disenfranchised.
Therefore there are two clear choices:
1] The policy formation remains here, where it always has been until this weekend; or
2] All members should join Ian Grey's Yahoo mailing list and do it soon, within the next week.
Absolutely no policy formation should take place in a closed forum away from the Blogpower site until such time as all members are:
a. in one place;
b. au fait with how to go in and out of that place freely.
Discussion is fine, debate is better but deciding that something will be policy is another animal altogether.
As one of the founding members, I hereby recommend that all members get themselves into the Yahoo group as soon as possible, by clicking on this url:
and going through the signing up procedure which I did yesterday. It's really not arduous. If it's a current member, Ian Grey will immediately approve the person.