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Other [Suggestion/Discussion] Community Council [Round Two]

Discussion in 'The Network' started by Sam_F_Saved2Save, Jun 19, 2015.

Other - [Suggestion/Discussion] Community Council [Round Two]

Rate the Community Council -- explain your rating below

8/8 gr8 m8 2 vote(s) 18.2%
6/8 gr8 2 vote(s) 18.2%
4/8 meh. Needs work (I somewhat agree) 1 vote(s) 9.1%
3/8 some serious problems. (Others would agree) 0 vote(s) 0.0%
2/8 not really useful. (How so?) 1 vote(s) 9.1%
0/8 pointless thread. (How so?) 5 vote(s) 45.5%
  1. Sam_F_ Gold

    Community Council
    [2nd thread] [520 words, 3 minutes approx. read time] [Original: http://www.shotbow.net/forum/threads/292150]
    This thread, I PROMISE, will NOT be TL;DR.
    This is my major idea for Shotbow, posted a few months ago, widely supported, and somewhat opposed. The text of that section of the original thread is located here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cYd3PQgh5GloTGFcv95aB-B6JoR_ijgZo6GNAhscEAk/edit?usp=sharing The former section of this thread, which concerned polling, has been largely abandoned at least by myself.

    The Council
    The premise is a comparison of Shotbow to a sovereign Nation (network) with certain provinces/states (gamemodes), which is currently governed by an administration without term limits, meaning that those in the administration are often isolated from the citizens (players) and their views on games. The forum is an attempt to keep us on the same page, but it's unwieldy and, like any bureaucracy, slow. I thus proposed a further integration of democracy via a Community Council, with representatives from each gamemode, who will search the forums for the best ideas/maps/etc., bring them to discussion, discuss them, and come to a conclusion, which they will debrief to the administration team. Certain higher-ups in the administration then have a chance to veto, and if so, the rest of the team has a chance to override, but otherwise, the formulated ideas will be added to the development agenda, with the same priority as any other newly planned project.

    Please note two key things:
    1. Any details about how this will work, such as included in the doc of the original text, are merely my speculation -- this will have to be developed by staff and community alike.
    2. The current forumarchy/oligarchy (community/staff) will NOT be replaced by this! People may continue to suggest ideas through the forumarchy, and the oligarchy may continue implementing ideas from or not from it.

    An EXCELLENT example of my suggested idea working -- a community council, alongside a forumarchy/oligarchy -- in a volunteer-run project similar in nature although much, much larger than Shotbow is in the Ubuntu Community Council! They do have staff (called Canonical and the Technical Board), and a Highlife (SABDFL -- Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life), and a community council. All of these work alongside one another to accomplish very great things.
    Although the Ubuntu example is the most applicable, community councils have been implemented and working for years and years in Scotland, Australia, throughout the US, and countless other places worldwide.

    Support was widespread throughout those who read the forum thread at least -- a misunderstanding about a poll shut down the limited discussion on Reddit. This is why I'm trying again!
    Current supporter count: 9 (those of you who liked the original post of thread #1)

    There were two main debates, one against SkeletonXF on the original Reddit post, and one against KoshKasa on the original thread. You may view an organized form of these at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B8j-RytnvtU6bSLyFTHmXlQ0zOU1QyFyZaeSFtvUY2w/edit?usp=sharing, for Skele's [5005 words/15 minutes approx. read time], and at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E2UkxzXwo6Ltpwn7IADs1vLt3W3djlu1k_iWzjQkB1M/edit?usp=sharing, for Kosh's [1872 words, 6 minutes approx. read time].

    The community at large does support this general idea, but more feedback needs to take place, and staff review has yet to take place. For this reason, I'm posting another thread about it.
    Here's hoping this can work this time!

  2. Braiti Platinum

    I'll sharpen the pitchforks.
    DominatorJack likes this.
  3. Sam_F_ Gold

    Uh, yeah, well... I did feel like somewhat of a rebel while typing this, but it's best to go about it in a more civilized manner. :wink:
  4. SkeletonXF238 Regular Member

    Oh hello. Didn't know I was mentioned here.
  5. Sam_F_ Gold

    Well, you would be, considering you were heavily involved in Round One, at least on the reddit post.
    There's lots of good information in our debate.
  6. StrikerzRyan Obsidian

  7. Sam_F_ Gold

    Joy. After all I tried to do to separate the thread into different sections, and links to google docs with further info...
    At some point people have to just buckle down and read it, goodness gracious...
  8. Navarr Councilor

    TL;DR: No

    I don't see this as beneficial. In fact, I see it detrimental both to the network and to the community - whenever the network has to say "No" or "we can't do that for a few more months."

    Fact of the matter is, the mature, helpful, outspoken members of our community are often picked for mini staff - and the lead admin of each time is also tasked with perusing the forums for their game and keeping an ear to the ground of what the community wants so that we can meet the true desires of our community (even if they don't match up with the 'demands').

    However, very often this isn't stuff we can do "right now." It's stuff that will come in a few months time, etc. Having a council means that they'd likely very quickly get frustrated with a perceived inaction.

    If there comes a time where development moves much faster than currently, this is a topic that it could be worthwhile to revisit in some form. Until then, though, I think it'll only be detrimental to the community and to the appearance of The Shotbow Network itself.
    SkeletonXF238 likes this.
  9. SkeletonXF238 Regular Member

    Crux of my arguments with Sam before in a nutshell.

    You guys are too stretched.
  10. Sam_F_ Gold

    Firstly, let me thank you enormously for responding to this!
    Let me address your points in the order you wrote them.

    Well, this is a large part of the problem -- the network, as you put it, has too much power and isn't transparent enough. That's not to put Shotbow or its administration down at all, but this is the way many online communities (and thus MC servers as well) function, and it's not optimal.
    That's to say, bureaucracy/forumarchy is kinda the default government type, and I believe we're ready to move beyond the default.

    Again, I'm going to be the one to say that the very clause "this isn't stuff we can do 'right now'" is making the developers' decisions/planning/scheduling superior to what the community would do.
    Perhaps this is merely because they are doing solely the things the community would do, and are merely behind schedule (as is definitely possible), but I would be inclined to think not. The developers definitely put their own spin on things, as well they should, but this is dangerous, as it verges on autonomy.

    Phew! Now I've got my anti-aristocracy sentiment out of the way, I also think it would still be fine if the council's things could be simply tacked on the bottom of the development queue, so to speak, just so long as they'll happen sooner or later.

    Surely such perusing is not a task to be handled by a single person! Surely as lead admin they have plenty of other, "higher-priority" (though this is definitely an extremely important task, it's easy to think of it as unimportant) things to be doing than this. That's part of the premise of this thread -- we need some members of the community to report their own independent perusing via a council.
    Will they be frustrated by perceived inaction, maybe, probably. But this way we at least unequivocally ensure the community is heard. After all, even if such a task could be handled by a single admin, that's placing all your eggs in one basket -- what if that admin has a family crisis, a month's worth of exams, heck, a son :stuck_out_tongue: -- and is unable to report to the devs?

    I reiterate: the council's findings can be tacked on the bottom of the development queue, even if such a queue is months long, just as long as it will happen sooner or later. The worst thing that can happen, and what does happen very, very often, in a forumarchy, is that some good ideas, builds, etc., are merely forgotten and "die", and never go anywhere.

    Are you suggesting this is feasible? Well, I would agree -- I definitely know many a coder that's more than willing to help the current development team.

    Wow, I wrote quite the wall of text there.
    TL;DR: I think it could still work right now, and thanks for responding!
  11. Sam_F_ Gold

    Apologies for double-post, I'm too lazy to go back and edit
    @Skele -- yes, that's definitely true, and I acknowledge that. But I still think it's possible (the crux of my arguments w/you).
    @Navarr -- I'm also curious how it'll be detrimental toward the appearance of Shotbow.
  12. Navarr Councilor

    "the admins aren't doing what we tell them to! They're not doing anything"
  13. Sam_F_ Gold

    Apologies for my latency in replying, personal business rendered this discussion unavailable to me this last weekend
    That's certainly informative, and I agree that this could be true. Point taken.
    However, you haven't responded to my previous, verging on TL;DR, post, which examines your points and states my thoughts on them.
    Please do respond! I welcome informative debate and am still admiring the fact that a staff member has responded at all. Times were when people as high up as Jr. Devs would only respond to threads as serious as this to admonish someone threatening to spam.
    Once again, I apologize I haven't gotten back to you 'till now, and cheers! that we're going somewhere with this at last.
  14. Navarr Councilor

    The Network should maintain complete power. It is a business, and it makes decisions that affect both short-term and long-term. Things that are not transparent are kept opaque precisely so that we can surprise and delight the playerbase. The forums are not a government, and we have to make absolute and tough decisions sometimes.

    This is true, and the way we prefer to maintain it. We want to do a lot the community wants to do, but we also recognize that the community here on the forums, or on the subreddit, is not the entire gaming community. We do our best to make our games the best for the people playing them, the new players to come, and to make sure that it's all feasible and doable.

    Was my TL;DR No? Because I'm sorry but we're keeping that No. Especially in the way you describe it. I have said previously and in other places "if we get to a time where our development speed is faster, this may be reconsidered" but I want to clarify that I mean that as an advisory board with no power.

    Lead Admins have two jobs. Train mini-admins under them, and be the eyes and ears of the game. In addition to that, they have a team of people dedicated to that specific game, and those people have very clearly defined thoughts on gameplay and what makes it enjoyable or not.

    Leads have co-leads. Did I forget to mention that?
  15. Sam_F_ Gold

    This is short-sighted. Yes, ultimately, it is a business, but the staff of that business are volunteers, not employees. Power thus should not be complete; the community needs to be involved.

    You are correct:
    Population SHOTBOW_TOTAL = new group() {
      Population forum_shotbow.net = new subgroup() {
        // Constructive, mature members that often become staff
        // Unconstructive, immature, or ESL members that are mostly ignored and "frowned upon"
        // Some staff activity -- I acknowledge that this is getting better
      } Population subreddit_/r/ShotBow/ = new subgroup() {
        // Less unconstructive etc. members
        // More staff activity
      } Population other_users = new subgroup() {
        // Unregistered users
        // Registered users that use the website for XP codes, the XP shop, and the occasional post
        // Users as above who are more active in homeserver communities (such as the old US10) than
        // forum_shotbow.net or subreddit_/r/ShotBow/
      } Population staff = new subgroup() {
        // Mini admins, graphic designers, webmods, etc., who still function as community members
        // The new PR team
        // Larger admins and co-leads, who might be the "eyes and ears"
        // Lead admins and junior devs, who might also be the "eyes and ears"
        // Developers, who are rarely on forum_shotbow.net or subreddit_/r/ShotBow/
    staff !== other_users
    This is the trouble with those other users, the rest of the gaming community as you put it; they don't do much of anything to make their ideas widely available. The developers have but a shot in the dark at actually doing what the homeserver community people, anni/smash/GC randies, DBV pros etc. actually want.
    I highlighted one section of this paragraph, and I will say here as I have elsewhere that my idea is definitely still an Infdev-level one; nonetheless, I would like you to elaborate.
    An advisory board with no power will be 90% pointless; it'll be far too easy for the devs to say "Whelp, there goes Navarr again; these people don't have any idea what we're talking about, but we do." Bigotry is clearly against rule six, and I somewhat meant that when I said autonomy earlier. You can all try your to make it the best, and I know you do, but there aren't enough of you and you don't have enough time to listen to the rest of us, except on precious few occasions. Remember PetWoh's series of threads about Wasted? There was actually a good deal of discussion, but to this day Wasted still isn't fixed! Checking just now, the player count is a grand total of 14. Much of this can be attributed to the gradual overall playercounts shrinking, but even the creative server -- Qubion? -- has more players online than it does. More than

    Surely the community is the game itself! Those Lead Admins have too large a task and too much power -- they're overstressed, as Skele, I, and you have agreed the developers are. If we don't distribute this power whatsoever, it's just too fragile a prospect to work. If the mini-admins were working alongside them to do this type of thing, that would be more functional than it is currently, but those mini-admins are more functioning as the good ol' community members they always were.
    Also, those clearly defined thoughts on what makes it enjoyable might be out of date, might not be consistent with what the community at large (those on forums or not), etc.

    Yep, you did forget. I reiterate: it's just too bad a possibility (probability of occuring times level of disaster; former is relatively low but latter is very high) that they might not report to have this be the sole way things work.
  16. SkeletonXF238 Regular Member

    If you ask voters what they want in a democracy they will tell you to lower taxes and increase government spending. So too, will the community not be able to cohesively put ideas forward that will work together. Listening to the community is great, but listening and giving them any final power is silly.

    What makes you think distributing the lead Admin powers will actually reduce stress? There is a certain efficiency from one person managing a lot of things that distribution cannot compete with, and an understaffed network needs all the efficiency it can get.
    im_jij and Majicou like this.
  17. Deadspeck Mini Builder

    im really frightened that this is just going to be a big flame war :zbanghead:
  18. SkeletonXF238 Regular Member

    No one is being disrespectful or making anyone else annoyed. I don't see why it should become one.
    Sam_F_Saved2Save likes this.
  19. Sam_F_ Gold

    I agree that the community at large, in any society, won't know what's actually good for them. However, the way you put it makes it seem like we'd pull a random sample of Shotbow's registered users and let them make the decisions, and that's definitely not what I'm saying -- we have the random sample vote for intelligent, methodical, reasonable, mature users who synthesize and then cohesively put ideas forward that will work together. Listening in particular to a synthesized, pruned section of the community and giving them some semi-final power isn't especially silly.

    There is that certain efficiency -- I agree too many cooks in a kitchen can spoil a soup -- but ultimately, we need more distribution than concentration in a community as large as Shotbow's.

    Such matters as large as these definitely do have such potential, but as Skele said,
    So good, so far!
  20. SkeletonXF238 Regular Member


    Cohesively putting ideas together from the community is what devs ALREADY DO and they will do it better than a council because if you develop you also know their and the network's own limits. Navarr has already made clear issues about any community power clear enough so I won't restate.

    Why? I'm yet to see any reason why this would help out the staff and you just agreed to an extent that it would be less efficient your way.

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