[Fwd: [EILeg] How do we function as a group? (Omidyar.net, anyone?)]

From: Marc Baber <marc_at_botworks_dot_com>
Date: Thu Nov 30 2006 - 14:15:26 CST

 Marc Baber           marc@botworks.com
 The Bot Works, Inc.  http://www.botworks.com 
 P.O. Box 5008        Phone: 541-485-8446
 Eugene, OR 97405     FAX:   541-485-8446

attached mail follows:

It would be nice if we could simply put a reasonable proposal before
this group and have everyone "get behind it immediately" because it's
immediately as obvious to everyone else as it is to us how perfect our
proposal is.

That doesn't appear to be possible. Indeed, that's why democracy,
voting and ballots were invented in the first place. Paradoxically, I
hope that's obvious to everyone on this list by now. Is it not also
paradoxical that a group advocating democracy attempts to operate on
consensus? Our present status quo on this list is that there is no hope
of accomplishing anything even if one vocal person disagrees. So, we
get "blocked"

Still, acting collectively in a coordinated fashion has definite
advantages over acting in individual and uncoordinated ways.

We are clearly missing a decision making process. And we're also
missing a collective memory (distilled form of our discussions-- what it
all boils down to)

I would recommend that instead of just using e-mail lists like this one,
we use a combination of (1) blogged discussion threads, (2) wiki pages
(or "workspaces") and (3) group opinion polling. These three tools
combined can support a group deliberative process (discussion) in the
blog discussion threads, evolving documents (legislation, white papers,
lists of sponsoring legislators, etc) and group decision making.

This is not pie in the sky stuff. It already exists at
www.omidyar.net/home/ It is free. You can create an account there
now, start or join groups, create or add to discussion threads and
create polls and workspaces.

I have already done so myself. Kathy Dopp has also enjoyed the forum at
times. I think we should all be using it until something better comes

Otherwise, we'll never get anywhere. Obvious? I can only hope :-)

Over and out,


P.S. By the way, I do develop web collaboration software myself, have
strong opinions about what "good" web collaboration will eventually be,
and here I am recommending something that I had no part in developing--
so, if you think I'm the sort that doesn't listen to or appreciate
others' ideas, the fact that I'm not even mentioning other tools I've
been developing these past five years says a lot about how good
Omidyar.net is.

P.P.S Omidyar.net also allows people to earn and give points to others
and their contributions. This helps people to scan through and find the
most supported ideas quickly. It's very neat-o.

 Marc Baber           marc@botworks.com
 The Bot Works, Inc.  http://www.botworks.com 
 P.O. Box 5008        Phone: 541-485-8446
 Eugene, OR 97405     FAX:   541-485-8446
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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:17 2006

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