Happy new year to all the CommunityWikiGovernment and all OccasionalContributors ;) A lot of work planned here in Paris for 2007. My current projects should be focused on MicroFormats, PinkoMarketing? and a help for BarCampBank. Currently planning a web-television for entrepreneurs for my business. Therefore, I won’t be able to follow-up translation. Very hard to find enough time to follow.

Still motivated and enthusiast about wiki and especially this WikiNet project, I’ll try to concentrate now on a french experience of WikiGovernedByBlog? project and will report to you. Lion, if you don’t mind, I’d be happy to rework as a maintainer on the MicroFormats page.

Cheers and stil best wishes. Happy new year.

I think you should!

Christophe, (or the community,) I’m wondering: Why did you feel that you needed to ask me about the MicroFormats page?

Why not (say,) appeal to the CommunityWikiBylaws voters, or ask, out in the open, “how would people feel about this?” “Would anybody have a problem with this?”

Did anybody tell you, or suggest, that you would need to get my approval, specifically? Or is it something that you picked up form my actions, or way of speaking? (Or something else?) If so, can you identify what things it is that I do or say, that led you to think that you needed my approval?

I’m wondering: “How is it that people come to think that they require Lion’s permission?”

A few theories.

1: “Permission bottleneck.”

We often say, “Okay, if nobody objects, then it’s permitted.”

Now, suppose someone objects. “Okay, we’ll not do that.”

They object again. “Okay, we won’t do that, either.”

They object again. “Alright. This is getting silly.”

“Just tell us what’s okay, and what’s not okay.”

2: The tyranny of SilentAgreement.

A group of people, who are known to be a major influential party on the wiki, have some ideas about what is and is not appropriate.

However, one person is always around, and tends to be the one that speaks up.

People then view that individual as the authority. In fact, though, it is the group that always silently nods in SilentAgreement.

People think that it is the individual. They push, and suddenly discover a wealth of support, which they then take for “control.”

And who knows that it’s not? It’s not clear: SilentAgreement, issued regularly enough, is hard to distinguish from control. People in the SilentAgreement pool may, over time, reject “speaking out,” out of fear of breaking the agreement that all the other people share.

3: ??

Anybody know?

I’d prefer for people to speak openly about my role in the wiki.

DavidCary, who I very much consider a good friend, is now giving me the SilentTreatment?, responding to none of my emails or messages. He’s made it clear that he disagrees with CommunityWikiBylaws, though he hesitates to answer the questions that instigates it. (He may, quite legitimately, feel that the questions should be asked: Questions have a weight and a mass and a trajectory; They are things.)

This may be a PassiveAggressive control tactic, but I doubt it.

Calling a vote and bringing things to conscious attention may be the exactly wrong thing to do. But the alternative would be labeled suppression and “sweeping it under the rug.” In those dilemmas, I (personally,) tend to go with “bring it out in the open.” This has the unfortunate consequence of (often times,) producing polarization. The only thing I hope for is that people will stick around to carry the conversation through to the end. I have found that that often works. Between the rock and the hard spot, this seems to me the only thing that can work for me.

Then again, this isn’t about me: It’s really about what works for all of us, where us is defined as the community.

I hope that the CommunityWikiBylaws will help delegate power. Sadly, it does not seem to be the case at present. Then again, it’s not ratified.

If it’s ratified, though, and great trusted contributors such as, (but not necessarily,) ChristopheDucamp continue to asking me, personally, whether they can manage pages, then I have a problem.

I’m hoping that we can, more clearly, put power into the CommunityWikiBylaws.

I know that AlexSchroeder and RadomirDopieralski and the minimalist camp would prefer to say, “Let’s just use SoftSecurity, let’s just use SoftSecurity, no need to create rules and laws, and so on,” but, I mean, look at this: ChristopheDucamp feels he has to ask for my permission.

This simply cannot be the case. Random passer byers who think they are automatic CommunityMembers?, calling you dictator, (sigi & Friedemar,) is one thing. I can live with that: people always don’t like other people.

But ChristopheDucamp? He’s a long term super-valued CommunityMember, stretching waaay back, and it makes no sense to me that he should feel like he has to ask my permission. If he does, that means something’s seriously wrong, and I need this situation rectified.

Whether it’s that I need to take less an interest in the wiki, or if it means others need to take more, or if we need to make clear declarations about how the rules work, and so on… Whatever it is, something different has to happen.

I don’t know, and I’m looking for help in understanding.

DavidCary’s not even talking to me any more. He’s responding to 0 (zero) of my emails or messages.

This seriously hurts.

I’m feeling wounded, and that we should close the wiki, toss SoftSecurity, and live in a tiny GatedCommunity. What a horrific idea. God, please let that not come to pass.

 [new:RadomirDopieralski:2007-01-04 02:52 UTC]

(Radomir wrote something, and then deleted it; It appeared to be an edit conflict, but I’m not sure if he wanted it there or not, really. He did express ambiguity over expressing it.)

I just talked with DavidCary on the phone. It was kind of hard to hear everything, because I was walking through a somewhat busy (and windy) downtown Seattle, but basically, everything I communicate here, I communicate in GoodFaith.

A few key points:

  • He says I’ve persuaded him that a list of names might be a good idea. No firm commitment, but he understands the dilemma now.
  • He thinks it would be a good idea to have more educational pages, explaining how things are on CommunityWiki. Things that say that there’s this community of people here, that it’s best to hang back a little and see how things work, before really diving in, and so on. To work on our educational process.
  • He wasn’t ignoring me (or us;) He just hadn’t gotten to his e-mail in a while, or otherwise checked in.
  • We were talking about ChristopheDucamp, and how he felt that he had to ask me for permission. We were trying to figure out: “Why do people feel they have to ask me?” In the discussion that included that, he said something pointed: “You’d like CommunityMembers? and OccasionalContributors? to be more bold, but you’d like outsiders to be less bold.” Yes. On the head. Quite right.

I still reserve the right to disagree with someone, or to say, “Well, I think that’s a bad idea, for reason X.” I’d like to see discussion, and so on. And I reserve the right to still disagree! But I don’t consider myself a “dictator” or a ruler, and it often times happens that other people think X, I think Y,

Maybe I’m perceived to be a dictator, because I will, perhaps stubbornly, go out of my way to garner support for an idea, and walk people through it. (Or something.) Or because, if I reject an idea, I’ll say, “Hey! I reject this! For reasons X, Y, and Z, and I want to have a conversation about this, before we go through with it.”

We also talked about my role as a “Bad Cop.” Oftentimes, someone will infringe a rule, or something. And nobody will say anything, quickly. So I’ll say, “Hey, that’s a bad idea.” Others give their SilentAgreement. Perhaps they even say nothing, knowing that LionKimbro will just say something. Why go through the personal loss of GoodFaith, if Lion will take it on? So the job of Bad Cop gets assigned to someone, and that someone happens to be me. Combine it with other effects, and the picture accrues, over time, in people’s minds, that I’m a dictator.

(I wrote that in the bus. I think it’s interesting, and verifying, that Radomir said something very similar, in the comment he retracted.)

Sorry, ChristopheDucamp; Don’t feel you need to answer. I shouldn’t have asked you that, anyways, putting you on the spot. Don’t worry about it.

Hé Lion this was just a test of ConversationProcess1. Let’s say I did not feel at ease with the previous MicroFormats page as I cannot see any VersionHistory. This previous page seems to have begun on a TraditionalConversationProcess and I don’t feel a ease with the BenevolentDictatorProcess? as my english is not sufficient and this page seems to be in a multilingual process which is not easy to maintain. I think - as an OccasionalContributor - I’ll rework and delete french sentences…

Really enthusiast of your way to lead the game Lion ;) Feel cool, my question was not ironic just a feeling of asking directely to a cw-gov’s rep. I support this government and will update soon this very old FOAF where I’ll integrate all the members and some of them like you will be upgraded to friend :-) I’d be enthusiast also to make some experience with SamRose on any small-group WikiNet-rolling with this Oddmuse:xfn Module. Cheers and let’s consider this as a light and SocialPage? which could be deleted.

Sorry about the delay, after finally posting this and seeing how much of text there was added in the mean time, I thought I will put it off to next day, as it was pretty late. Here’s my previous post:

I’ve seen this process many times when a group of people starts to organise. I began to pay attention to this because of my sister, who has the “leader” inclination. The process is very simple. People work normally, collaborate on and off and generally take care of themselves on their own, when suddenly there appears some kind of a signal. The signal itself is usually invisible, but you can easily tell it’s there, because it makes everyone just stand there and look at each other. Then the first person who speaks or returns to work or just do something becomes the leader. It’s as if everywone vere standing in a row and when a question “Volunteers?” is asked, took a step backward.

Obviously, people with natural leadership skills, or just those the most determined to actually finish the work, become “chosen”.

Anyways, that’s how I feel it – we always look for authorities and leaders when in doubt, and you, Lion, certainly look as someone who knows what you’re doing, or at least are not afraid to try. Personally I’m always the coward who takes the step back as the first one ;)

On the other hand, this little theory of mine might be worth nothing, and this might have been as well just a try to confirm understanding of the process and express support for it – ChristopheDucamp, please don’t feel like I’m putting words in your mouth.

Xtof, I have set up xfn OddMuse extension on the OCBM WikiHive. I was looking yesterday about how to migrate your wiki as we discussed before at OddWiki:Migration. Looks fairly straightforward. I’ll try it out tomorrow morning (except I need to install French language modules, which I have forgotten about totally). Anyway, I’ll create a SandBox wiki there in the mean time where we can try this out.(done: http://socialsynergyweb.net/cgi-bin/wiki/SandBox/HomePage)

Lion, my man. Take a deep breath, and have some patience. I understand why you are concerned about being seen as the dictator. It will surely take some time for people to get used to the changes in processes here at CommunityWiki. And, because you have been vigilant in some cases about certain things that might veer way from the agenda and goals of the community, some people may very well see you as the dictator, or authority (even though that is not accurate), while others will percieve things maybe the way that Radomir described. There’s likely going to be a diverse range of of perceptions in other people’s minds. I think we just need to give the whole thing time. And, be understanding that most people won’t really grasp how to approach the community with it’s new dynamics right away. Plus, I guess we really need to ratify the CommunityWikiBylaws if we want people to use them. I think it’s safe to say that we all reserve the right disagree, or even the right to continue to disagree. This is the assumption that I operate with anywhere, including places where I am employed and payed to agree :). I operate with the assumption that any discussion among adults (or even kids for that matter) affords anyone involved the right to civilly disagree. So, of course you have the right to disagree as long and vehemently as you want.

I agree with I think DavidCary is saying, that I don’t think it is clear how to apply CommunityWikiBylaws to day to day processes. And, I think that BenevolentDictator is yet a whole different matter (a proposal by you, if I understand correctly, which would be decided by CommunityWikiGovernment, I guess?). So, I can understand why Xtof asked you if it is ok if he changes the MicroFormats page, especially if this is a page that was started by you. Because, it is very likely confusing for many OccasionalContributors? to figure out whether we are now using the BenevolentDictator social norm, as it’s been discussed recently on different pages here. We should ratify and then clarify CommunityWikiBylaws. And, if you want the BenevolentDictator process to gain widespread usage in CommunityWiki, then we should use CommunityWikiBylaws (once ratified) to decide whether it should be a part of CW, and put it into practice, and clarify in the HowTo or other section how it works in PlainTalk. I think we can make CommunityWikiBylaws work, but we have to use it, and we have to make it’s usage clear. Luckily, I don’t think this is a big problem, really. We can do this at any time. (Looking at CommunityWikiGovernment, I’d say that we already have a plan in place for doing this). Also, I just ran across where you’ve decided to rename the BenevolentDictatorProcess?, which is a good idea. Although, I think that the core idea itself of having the person who creates the page be responsible for it is a good idea, that in theory should work well.

I drop out of existence for a week, and then when I return, I see a pile of email and other RecentChanges.

I think that is one of my favorite things about wiki – I don’t actually have to be at a particular place and time in order to keep up. I can catch up with the conversation that happened while I was away, contribute something to the conversation, ask questions, and (later) get well-thought-out answers that might take days of pondering.

I see at CommunityWikiGovernmentArchive that far too many people are holding their breath waiting for me to comment on the CommunityWikiBylaws. I’ll go over to CommunityWikiGovernmentMotivation and leave some comments there.

I’m flattered that someone put my name on The List, and I’m flattered that you want my input before you go ahead and formalize things. (But it is a good thing you are smart enough to put a time limit, instead of waiting for me forever).

having the person who creates the page be responsible for it is a good idea

I don’t know. I mean, it seems like it might work better than what we have now. But there are drawbacks.

I’ve posted a bunch of stuff to the Massmind http://massmind.org/ . The Massmind software keeps track of who “owns” each page – anyone can add “comments” to the bottom of any page, and any logged-in user can create new pages that they “own”, but only the owner of a page can edit that page (and delete comments, perhaps after integrating their content with the rest of the page). I’ve posted a few things on a Wakka Wiki engine set up the same way.

But I feel frustrated when I click on a link, discover it is mal-formed, and I am not allowed to fix it.

But perhaps by “responsible” you mean that other people are allowed to edit it, but that person is expected to keep the content of the page clean and on-topic?

What happens if the person who creates a page was curious enough about the topic to create the page (and start off with a leading question), but never feels expert enough to later edit/rework the page? What if the person forgets about the page and never returns?

There are ways of working around the drawbacks, but after you do that, it’s a more complicated system than “no one owns any particular page, except their own NamePage.”.

What benefit do we get from this complexity?

Have you read PageMaintainer or DesignatedMaintainerProcess? (Warning: The second is long, though it answers your question.)

I’m about to write up PageMaintainerAnalysis, which should answer the “What benefit” question.

You can edit whatever you want. If you see a misspelling or a broken link, I strongly doubt anybody will bother you about it, unless there’s some weird experiment in “page silence” being conducted, or something like that.

Two benefits:

Presently, the “anybody can edit anything at any time” policy, which we sort of carry around in the back of our heads, obstructs that.

It’s important to note that this is all SoftSecurity social convention– we’re not talking about making any changes to software here.

Page Maintainer-ship is temporary: It sort of fades away, with time. It’s really intended for the duration of a conversation.


1. to be translated in the WikiNet by ProcessusDeConversation

Define external redirect: CommunityMembers SilentTreatment OccasionalContributors WikiGovernedByBlog PinkoMarketing SocialPage BenevolentDictatorProcess

EditNearLinks: SilentAgreement VersionHistory DocumentMode CommunityMember BenevolentDictator GatedCommunity PassiveAggressive GoodFaith OccasionalContributor BarCampBank SandBox