Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Icehouse / Treehouse forum?

  • FromMarc Hartstein <marc.hartstein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 7 Mar 2008 17:26:23 -0500
On Fri, Mar 07, 2008 at 04:04:02PM -0500, David Artman wrote:
>      want to convince them, talk to, you know, LL.  Not us.  Because you're
>      not going to suddenly convince people happy with one tool that they
>      want to use another tool (Religous arguments are -so- y1000).
>    "Religious arguments?" Are you SERIOUS? OK, now I'll laugh at you:
>    "Hahahahaha!"

Ummm, yes.  Forum vs. mailing-list is a frequent religious argument,
with people who feel strongly that one or the other interface is the One
True Way.  Until very recently (so recently that some of us still don't
know about it, see below and elsethread), this *was* an either/or

(I happen to think they're both bad in many ways.)

>    Option A does more than Option B, but also emulates Option B. It's not a
>    matter of opinion, it's fact (gee, you didn't quote ANY of my arguments
>    about that--I presume you agree... or, at least, couldn't find a hook on
>    which to hang your insults).
>      ...because I get a lot more functionality via a mailing list than I do
>      via a web forum.
>    Given that a web forum or groupware can be set to behave EXACTLY like a
>    mailing list, all I can say is that you're full of it--you are, literally,
>    presenting falsehood as fact, to attempt to persuade (I guess). You're
>    inventing differences and issues where there are none. LL could move the
>    lists to a web portal, set everyone to Email Subscription, throw the
>    switch in the middle of the night, and 90% of folks wouldn't even know it
>    had changed. And then, great, go layer on the awesome functionality you
>    need... because it behaves the same way as a listserv once its hits your
>    email client Inbox.
>    Every web forum or groupware I have seen is able to be set to behave like
>    a list. Every. Single. One. 

You keep saying that.  I can name exactly one web forum I have *ever*
seen which *is* able to be set to behave like a list.  (A tool I
recently started using set up a Google Group rather than a mailing list;
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could configure it to act
like a mailing list rather than forcing me to visit the forum site.
Please note the use of the word surprised here.)

We clearly hang out on different parts of the Internet, because until
that one forum (which I joined a month ago), the best I could find were
"email notifications" of new content which had to be subscribed to on a
per-thread basis after discovering the thread through the web interface.

I think to the experience of a lot of users here, this option is either
something we've never encountered, or the exception, rather than the
rule.  To those of use who greatly prefer the email client interface to
the web forum interface, a suggestion that we move to a web forum sounds
like you want to take away the interface we've put a lot of work into
getting comfortable with and replace it with something we've tried to
use and found completely wanting.

Thus, I think it would behoove people who want to see a move to put more
effort into making it clear that their enhanced functionality does *not*
come at the expense of the functionality we currently have.  It used to
be that that trade-off existed.  Maybe that's changed.  That would be

I'm sold, by the way.  Well, almost.  If there's an easy to install and
administer package which offers all this functionality, I think it would
be worth it.  I'm a bit concerned because as I understand it, web fora
tend to incur a much larger overhead in volunteer time to weed out spam,
and I'm not wholly convinced it would be worth that cost.  But if there
were sufficient volunteers to do the work....  As long as I'm not forced
to use a UI I can't stand or to sign up for an account on a server not
controlled by LL.

>    been here). Like so many of our ideas, it would take almost no effort on
>    LL's part, but it would require a nod of recognition or even ratification,
>    to help with initial promotion.
>    Yes, I have been informed about how agonizing every LL decision is--the
>    hours invested in each, no matter how trivial or beneficial--I've heard it
>    right from the source, if you can imagine (Robin). But that doesn't mean
>    that I now happily sit on my hands and forget about what I think is best
>    for the majority. It just means that I have to marshal that majority, to
>    prove to the community leader--LL--that it's desirable.
>    I was thinking more of this earlier today: High control and agonizing over
>    detail is AWESOME... for a designer. I am not so sure such traits are the
>    least bit desirable in a community leader, particularly a community of
>    passionate fans and volunteers. I am thinking it's better to let the group
>    lead, delegate trust to those who deserve it, and be responsive most by
>    being an enabler. Maybe that's no great insight, but it brought into focus
>    (for me) why I am so routinely flabbergasted by the resistance to change
>    which seems endemic to Things Looney: I think democratically; and as a
>    leader, I let those with expertise DO while I try to keep larger goals in
>    focus (like growth, efficiency, empowerment, and group cohesion). And
>    that's what stuns me about so many recent dealings of this nature: it
>    strikes me as weak, even dictatorial, leadership and a waste of talent and
>    resources.
>    That's a large part of why I no longer consider myself a Rabbit, nor am
>    active on the IHG wiki, except to protect my own games' pages--I've lost
>    faith, and now it's Just Business... and business is bad, for Icehouse
>    products; and I don't yet see any strong effort to improve it (though I've
>    been promised that there is some in the works! God, I hope it's not
>    another 3HOUSE...); and I see a LOT of effort expended to maintain the bad
>    status quo; and I can't seem to get one solid refutation to any argument I
>    present for change--I'm told repeatedly that I "dont' get it," but no one
>    is ever quite able to define the "it" I aint' getting.

I hope you don't mind if I make a guess at what the "it" is, as someone
who's also been confused by the speed with which decisions seem unable
to be made.  It has to do with LL as a Business.

The directorship has responsibilities to the business and to its
investors.  A lot of decisions which seem really obvious to you and me
still can't be taken trivially, because they have to consider their
impact on the business as a whole, and also on the LL brand.  

They don't feel they can simultaneously be responsible directors and
just let the community make these kinds of decisions regarding anything
official, because the community doesn't have the same responsibility to
the business.  It's kind of annoying, but I think it makes sense.  After
all, anything they sign off on, it's their responsibility (and their
paycheck) that benefits or suffers at the end of the day.  So they feel
they need to think all these things through carefully.

That's the cost of trying to get a business to put an official stamp of
approval on a volunteer/fan effort.  They really do have to think about
it carefully.  I can't think of any business I've ever seen which has
acted differently.

An unofficial fan club would have a lot more agility, I imagine.

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