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FPN Admin Changes


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#21 James Pickering

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 21:01

I suggest that the wording accompanying the "Penmanship" header be changed to something like:

Penmanship:
Various styles of handwriting that can be rendered
using "iridium" tipped or edged nib fountain pens.

I think that kind of verbiage would better project the intent of this section. A reminder for the Admins: please do not forget to remove my name as the "leader" of Penmanship.

I have constructed an adjunct to my web site called "Calligrapher's Corner" which is an online Forum who's sole objective is the discussion of all aspects of Calligraphy -- techniques and methodologies, materials and equipment -- pencils, pens, paper, Vellum & Parchment preparation, ink, gouache colors, formal & informal writing, illuminating, gilding, ..... and so on.

Calligrapher's Corner

It can also be toggled from my web pages making it handy and easy for me to operate and maintain.

I found that the FPN "Penmanship" Forum was naturally drifting toward general Calligraphy -- which seemed to me a little un-natural for a Forum devoted to fountain pens.

I will try to focus my future postings on this Forum to handwriting using fountain pens.

James

Edited by James Pickering, 15 December 2004 - 15:32.


#22 Guest_Denis Richard_*

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 21:17

More thoughts pouring out :lol: :

A king as the freedom to be more vocal than a "parlement". He also has the freedom to present his dictatorial decision as benefiting everyone.

Trust me that FPN is functioning now in much more "democratic" way than ever before.

Denis.

Edited by Denis Richard, 13 December 2004 - 21:18.


#23 Gerry

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 23:13

Please folks, lets all just relax a bit.

Everyone needs a little time to reflect and respond in a rational and thoughtful manner, including the admins, who have other jobs to do as well I suspect, and don't need the pressure brought on by addressing a lot of churn on the FPN.

We've seen *nothing* but exemplary behaviour in the past, and have no reason at all to fear everyone has suddenly lost their way or become involved in some kind of conspiracy or something.

I admit that I was distressed by recent developments, but it is clear that everyone is trying to resolve the situation, and that *everyone* cares very much about the FPN. I think that they just need a little space and a little time to sort this out, and then all of us can get on with what the FPN is about.

Remember - the FPN is special because of the respect that the founders and administrators have earned over the *entire* course of it's existence, so it's most unlikely that this issue is simple and uncomplicated, and with such issues both time and discretion are necessary to come to a resolution. We need to give them the time - they have the discretion, and I believe our trust will not be abused.

Best Regards to all

Gerry

#24 Leslie J.

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 23:42

Thank you Gerry. I can only speak here as a member, but I really appreciate your wise and kind words here. Rest assured, the continuing success of FPN is not in jeopardy. This site will grow and flourish given time and effort by all members here.
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#25 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 23:54

I appreciate Denis and Gerry's comments and like Leslie, am only speaking for myself when I say thanks for the support.
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#26 James Pickering

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:04

I believe that the current FPN situation is no big deal and that it is a not unusual consequence of human interaction in ventures of this nature. Denis, KCat, Lim and the subsequent Admin team members have devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to insure the success of this Forum. Each one is a respected, knowledgeable and dedicated fountain pen lover.

It is a tribute to their character and regard for each other that their exchanges on this matter have been civil and respectful. I think this misunderstanding will soon be forgotten. FPN is in good health.

James

#27 mchristi

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 04:58

Like James, I don't think that the current situation is all that big a deal, especially in the long run. James wisely notes that these sorts of things are the natural, if unfortunate, consequence of human interaction in this way. I do also have some empathy for Lim and wish him well. But I don't have any inherent problems with the policies and actions of the administration team. I think we have a good bunch of administrators (past and present) who have done a very good job with this sight and devoted a great deal of much appreciated energy to this community on the web. There are a couple of comments I would like to take the opportunity to share. They are not meant to be criticism, but appropriate feedback, and are certainly not directed at, or meant to be supportive of, any particular person or party. You may take them with any amount of salt you feel appropriate.

The policy of administrative action being first approved by a majority of the admin team is, I think, a good and appropriate policy. I do think, however, that such polices, after being drafted and discussed by the admin team, should be published for the members of the forum and a period of comment be allowed before the policy becomes official. If nothing else, this will help members be aware of how the board is run and can allow for some accountability of both the admin team members and the general members of the FPN community.

Having said that, I would be concerned that this might not allow for swift, but temporary, action to be taken when it might become necessary. It is not typically in the character of our forum for such action to be necessary, and I hope that it never is. But it might be wise to be prepared. Sometimes things can develop very quickly, and depending on when something occurs the admin team may not be able to handle it as a group quickly enough to prevent something from getting out of hand. Some provision for an admin to take some emergency action, which final disposition to be handed by the admins as soon as possible, would be something to consider.

I am also somewhat surprised by the request for confidentiality made to Lim on the basis that the situation was an administrative matter. In general, I would expect that administrative matters would be handled "back channel" and that some, even many, situations would not be publicly addressed by the admins, especially in cases where the privacy and standing of individual members may be at stake. But I do think that there is a difference between discretion and secrecy. I'm not sure why admin matters should be secret. Discretion, where appropriate, is something I respect and would ask be given respect. I'm not sure if that applied here or not, however.

Having said this, I would like to reiterate that I think that this site has been well administrated and that the admins have been doing a fine job to date. I would like to thank all of you (past and present) for your time an energy. It is very much appreciated. I am saddened by the departure of Denis and Lim from the admin team, but look forward to their being continued members of the FPN community. (I hope that Lim does eventually return to active membership here.) I also look forward to the admin team continuing to do a fine and fair job at the task of running this site, and keeping it the friendly, successful, and informative place it has become.

Mark C.

#28 Free Citizen

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 05:01

I thought I am done here but once again I must step out to make myself clear.

I believe two "visions" of the administration of FPN were conflicting. One vision was that of a group of admins, acting independently in promoting the site. The other was that of a group making decisions as a team. Within this second vision, rules have to be defined, so that the "democratic" principle can live and function smoothly. This is what the current team is doing, and, for what it is worth, this is what I envisioned when I created the site.

I think the essence of this site is that it would be run by the community. Your vision of a bureaucratic administration can only be your own and do not necessarily reflect what the community prefers ;) It is true when there were only three Admins, we had a free hand based on a common understanding on how to promote this site. There was give and take. You made changes without consultation and I did the same. Perhaps a little more enthusiastic than you did. We all have opinions about those actions and each of us gave some leeway to find a common ground. There was nothing that was done that could not be reversed. Everybody was happy and the environment was very conducive to building this site. I don’t see why the same formula cannot work with an expanded team. The team seem to forget it was I who campaigned persistently for an expanded team. I knew when that came about there will be more consultation and discussion. If every member in the team care to note, I have always stated, “I will abide by the decision of the majority”. Those were my famous words and it was said often. So, there shouldn’t be doubts that I am a team player.

I would like to point out that Lim's departure was his very own decision. I have no animosity towards him, and neither has the admin team.

Put in its proper perspective, I think you know very well the circumstances that led to my departure. It was not a voluntary leave as much as I was put into that position. It was clear that I could not function in the team as long as you continue to hold hostility towards me. That was the real reason why I had to leave. If the issue were to be resolved amicably and I am invited back into the team, I would have accepted. Of course all this is passed now.

As I explained previously, I left the team confident concerning the future of FPN. I believe it is healthier when people have been too involved at the begining of a project, that, once it lives, they sit back and, consistently, let it evolve, on its own. Otherwise, it may become too personal to them, and they may refuse any discussion that does not stir the way they wish. This recent episode showed me that it was not merely a product of my imagination, but a real danger. I left so that I would not risk to indulge myself in such a behaviour.

I believe you are speaking for yourself. I have no such personal attachment. If I had, I would have mounted a coup d’etat. Instead I chose to leave. And I am sad no one gave me any credit for bowing out.

To all members concern, I would like to reiterate that no harm has come to FPN out of this. And the team is not dysfunctional. I still have some faith in some of the Admins. Especially Kendall and Elaine who have shown wisdom in keeping a neutral stand during the episode and offering good advice. These are the qualities we look for in Administrators. As I have said, the only casualty is Free Citizen. I am truly sorry. I will not be pushed around, trampled upon and be expected to keep quiet. Nothing I have told is a lie.
T-H Lim
Life is short, so make the best of it while we still have it.

#29 Gerry

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 09:26

Lim,

I would very much like to be considered your friend, and in that vein, I would also like you to consider the following…

I believe two "visions" of the administration of FPN were conflicting. One vision was that of a group of admins, acting independently in promoting the site. The other was that of a group making decisions as a team. Within this second vision, rules have to be defined, so that the "democratic" principle can live and function smoothly. This is what the current team is doing, and, for what it is worth, this is what I envisioned when I created the site.

I think the essence of this site is that it would be run by the community. Your vision of a bureaucratic administration can only be your own and do not necessarily reflect what the community prefers ;) It is true when there were only three Admins, we had a free hand based on a common understanding on how to promote this site. There was give and take. You made changes without consultation and I did the same. Perhaps a little more enthusiastic than you did. We all have opinions about those actions and each of us gave some leeway to find a common ground. There was nothing that was done that could not be reversed. Everybody was happy and the environment was very conducive to building this site. I don’t see why the same formula cannot work with an expanded team.


I think that there is possibly a third interpretation for the events – one that begins with the first vision (the entrepreneurial or beginning phase), and transitions to the second vision (the operating phase). This is a natural progression noted in many business models. With more administrative members, coupled with their varied personal styles, an increased reliance on rules and procedures is usually necessary. Yes, it is a bureaucratic development. No, it isn’t inherently wrong. Is it possible to grow larger and still remain entrepreneurial? Yes, but it is the exception, rather than the rule.

So while your conclusion is valid – ‘I don’t see why the same formula cannot work with an expanded team.’, it is not the most probable outcome. Imposing the entrepreneurial formula will be unsettling for the majority, and in particular the newer members, while remaining in the comfort zone for the entrepreneurial ones. Falling back on established rules, and majority decisions / group action will reassure the majority of the members – and appear constraining to the entrepreneurial spirited ones. Right? Wrong? Just? Unjust? I don’t know. Really. It just is. And perhaps it is more important how we respond or adapt to the situation than the actual situation itself.

I would like to point out that Lim's departure was his very own decision. I have no animosity towards him, and neither has the admin team.

Put in its proper perspective, I think you know very well the circumstances that led to my departure. It was not a voluntary leave as much as I was put into that position. It was clear that I could not function in the team as long as you continue to hold hostility towards me.


Lim, I find this the most difficult of all the issues surrounding the admin question to deal with. I think we all can see the difficulty before us. Denis has stated the facts without bias, I believe. Yet there are issues beyond the cold hard factual data that you want recognized. In that, I agree with you, and recognize those issues. You took the high road and resigned. You were not accused of, nor implicated in any misconduct – rather you wanted to be more proactive and supportive of the FPN than others were able to accept perhaps. In itself, this is not a problem, but it does become a problem when it leads to internal dissention and fragmentation within the group. It becomes a significant problem if it progresses to the stage people feel obligated to choose sides. I would prefer that the FPN not need to choose sides, but rather all contribute to learning from this experience and applying the lessons learned to the administration of the current board.

As I explained previously, I left the team confident concerning the future of FPN. I believe it is healthier when people have been too involved at the begining of a project, that, once it lives, they sit back and, consistently, let it evolve, on its own. Otherwise, it may become too personal to them, and they may refuse any discussion that does not stir the way they wish. This recent episode showed me that it was not merely a product of my imagination, but a real danger. I left so that I would not risk to indulge myself in such a behaviour.

I believe you are speaking for yourself. I have no such personal attachment. If I had, I would have mounted a coup d’etat. Instead I chose to leave. And I am sad no one gave me any credit for bowing out.

Lim, your sacrifice was not unnoticed. Many people expressed concern about your departure, including myself. Some even appeared ready to leave the FPN, a move that I am certain you would not agree with. Denis’s opinion is, of course, his own. Nevertheless, it does agree with the hypothesis I presented regarding the evolution of business through the entrepreneurial phase to the operational one.

To all members concern, I would like to reiterate that no harm has come to FPN out of this. And the team is not dysfunctional. I still have some faith in some of the Admins. Especially Kendall and Elaine who have shown wisdom in keeping a neutral stand during the episode and offering good advice. These are the qualities we look for in Administrators. As I have said, the only casualty is Free Citizen. I am truly sorry. I will not be pushed around, trampled upon and be expected to keep quiet. Nothing I have told is a lie.


I would like to believe this Lim, although the longer the longer it remains actively in dispute the more likely it is that there will be a lasting effect. I agree the team is not only functional, but remarkably rational. Obviously your judgement regarding the majority of the Admins and their judgement is well founded.

I am not able to properly express my regret that you have been a casualty, Lim. I don’t believe that you have ever misled anybody, particularly FPN members, and understand your need to present your side of the issue. I have also attempted to illustrate other interpretations that might apply, and sincerely hope that you will at least consider them. That you might have lied – or even intentionally distorted the truth has never been a question in my mind… And shouldn't be in any other's minds either. I would welcome any opportunity to consider your return to your original position within the board of the FPN, but until that time, I would hope that you will contribute to the FPN board by posting, encouraging and supporting, tasks that you have been superior at performing since we have met....


Sincerely, and still – hopefully, your friend


Gerry

#30 Free Citizen

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 12:31

Lim,

I would very much like to be considered your friend, and in that vein,
I would also like you to consider the following…

Sure Gerry, I consider you in the same light.

I think that there is possibly a third interpretation for the events –
one that begins with the first vision (the entrepreneurial or beginning
phase), and transitions to the second vision (the operating phase). 
This is a natural progression noted in many business models.  With more
administrative members, coupled with their varied personal styles, an
increased reliance on rules and procedures is usually necessary.  Yes, it
is a bureaucratic development.  No, it isn’t inherently wrong.  Is it
possible to grow larger and still remain entrepreneurial? Yes, but it is
the exception, rather than the rule.

Yes, I see your point of view. I never said bureaucratic procedures are wrong. It can also be effective but as you say, it is the exception rather than the rule. I think using a business model as a case in point for FPN is incongruous. First of all, FPN is a Voluntary Association and the Administrative Team is a Voluntary Organization. There is no monetary risk involved and no one will be bankrupt by joining FPN. So we shouldn’t take things too seriously. Instead of a very business like environment it should be more like a friendly atmosphere. Think of this Association or Organization as an Internet Pen Club. Call me a Utopian if you like but I am allowed to dream don’t I? :lol:

So while your conclusion is valid – ‘I don’t see why the same formula
cannot work with an expanded team.’, it is not the most probable
outcome.  Imposing the entrepreneurial formula will be unsettling for the
majority, and in particular the newer members, while remaining in the
comfort zone for the entrepreneurial ones.  Falling back on established
rules, and majority decisions / group action will reassure the majority of
the members – and appear constraining to the entrepreneurial spirited
ones.  Right?  Wrong?  Just?  Unjust?  I don’t know.  Really.  It just
is.  And perhaps it is more important how we respond or adapt to the
situation than the actual situation itself.

I understand your reasoning but this is a rather curious point to me. I can understand Administrator’s apprehension for making the wrong move when much is at stake. Lost of profit or worst still, lost of capital investment. But as Frank Dubiel used to say, “They are just pens” so, this is just a pen club. Not right? Let’s redo it or even undo it. Don’t take it too personally. It is just a hobby. However, since the expansion of the Admin team I have informed, consulted and abide by the decision of the majority where important policies are concerned. I have never acted unilaterally to implement policies that directly affects members’ rights. For your information, others have done so and did it without consultation. And they are not taken to task. There is even one case where a member complained and a majority vote was received to overturn a policy that was implemented without consultation. The person who implemented it presented a lengthy discourse arguing the case. In view of what this person wrote, I decided to initiate that the votes be reconsidered and the policy stayed intact. I never shouted or accused this person although the methods were wrong. And curiously, this person asked for that deliberation to be deleted from the record. Not only once did this person do this but at least twice and I now recall a third. All those actions have more serious and far reaching implications than the one I was taken to task for.

Lim, I find this the most difficult of all the issues surrounding the
admin question to deal with.  I think we all can see the difficulty
before us.  Denis has stated the facts without bias, I believe.  Yet there
are issues beyond the cold hard factual data that you want recognized.
In that, I agree with you, and recognize those issues.  You took the
high road and resigned.  You were not accused of, nor implicated in any
misconduct – rather you wanted to be more proactive and supportive of
the FPN than others were able to accept perhaps.  In itself, this is not
a problem, but it does become a problem when it leads to internal
dissention and fragmentation within the group.  It becomes a significant
problem if it progresses to the stage people feel obligated to choose
sides.  I would prefer that the FPN not need to choose sides, but rather
all contribute to learning from this experience and applying the lessons
learned to the administration of the current board.

I do not know what to believe. I have stated the facts as is. A half truth doesn’t mean that it is not a lie. And this is why I had to come out a second time to post the truth. There is a fundamental difference in leading people to believe that I left on my own free will and one in which I was presented with no other option than to leave reluctantly. And Gerry, you are mistaken. I was indeed accused of taking pre-emptive actions. An action others have committed before and was not made an issue. I was also accused of not being a team player. If you had read my first post carefully, all these accusations are for handling a moderating task, not a site policy.

Lim, your sacrifice was not unnoticed.  Many people expressed concern
about your departure, including myself.  Some even appeared ready to
leave the FPN, a move that I am certain you would not agree with.  Denis’s
opinion is, of course, his own.  Nevertheless, it does agree with the
hypothesis I presented regarding the evolution of business through the
entrepreneurial phase to the operational one.

I have lately discovered that. Members have contacted me backchannel to voice support. I am rather surprised by it as I figured no one would care. It gives me great comfort. I felt I had to come out in the open about this because I had to get it out of my chest. Statements of appreciation from the current team are window dressing only. If they were sincere in it I would not be treated this way. A slam of the door in front of your face is rude, impolite and disrespectful. Again, your business model is only valid when the partners are owners of the business. In this case, the members are the owners and the Administrators are nothing more than officers who administer the members’ mandate. Or at least that is the way it should be.

I would like to believe this Lim, although the longer the longer it
remains actively in dispute the more likely it is that there will be a
lasting effect.  I agree the team is not only functional, but remarkably
rational.  Obviously your judgement regarding the majority of the Admins
and their judgement is well founded.

As I have said, if any member have doubts about my story, let them see for themselves all the exchanges that have taken place in the Admins’ Box. Better still; make it visible for every member to see. And let them judge for themselves. That is if no postings there have been selectively deleted. In any case I have no fear; I have a backup of the content of this site in a database just before my departure. I agree with you that it is pointless for this to remain in dispute. I have stated my case and I am satisfied. Unless there is another half truth being uttered to discredit me unfairly. Truly, I have no interest in debating this issue further. I will let it rest if others will do so. This is no big deal really. I am no Viktor Yushchenko.

I am not able to properly express my regret that you have been a
casualty, Lim.  I don’t believe that you have ever misled anybody,
particularly FPN members, and understand your need to present your side of the
issue.  I have also attempted to illustrate other interpretations that
might apply, and sincerely hope that you will at least consider them. 
That you might have lied – or even intentionally distorted the truth has
never been a question in my mind… And shouldn't be in any other's minds
either.  I would welcome any opportunity to consider your return to
your original position within the board of the FPN, but until that time, I
would hope that you will contribute to the FPN board by posting,
encouraging and supporting, tasks that you have been superior at performing
since we have met....

Yes, I have considered your interpretations of this episode. Let’s just say we have different views and I do appreciate them. I am sure you will agree that we can agree to disagree like gentlemen :) . If I had lied or have distorted the truth, the current admin team would be all over me by now. At this juncture, my return to the team is impossible. I believe that the Admin team must have legitimacy through the members’ mandate. Nothing they have done or said have convinced me that they share the same believe. Perhaps they have ambition to hold on to these positions indefinitely, I don’t know.

Sincerely, and still – hopefully, your friend

Yes, of course you are :) .
T-H Lim
Life is short, so make the best of it while we still have it.

#31 Gerry

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 16:21

Sincerely, and still – hopefully, your friend

Yes, of course you are :) .

Thanks Lim. I am looking forward to seeing 'Free Citizen' posts in all the other forums as well - complete with the usual generous sprinkling of Smilies throughout.

Came to be a morning ritual, along with a cuppa coffee. :)

Regards

Gerry

#32 Maja

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 19:33

I have been following this thread from the beginning and this falling-out saddens me....I love this site and I enjoy the camaraderie on it.

I am just wondering if perhaps this type of falling-out can be prevented in the future by better communication of the guidelines and/or rules for present and future administrators to follow....I would hate to have this whole unpleasant episode repeated when someone else joins the admin. team (if you do plan on adding more people; perhaps you will not....which is alright, too)....

Once again, thank you to everyone who gave their valuable time to making FPN a great pen site. LONG LIVE FPN! :D
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#33 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 19:39

Just a link:

In The Works

-The FPN Admin Team-
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#34 Guest_Denis Richard_*

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 21:41

Hi Mark,

I understand your concern about "secrecy". As I participated in the early process of defining the basic guidelines, I think I can tell you what the spirit behind this "confidentiality" concept is, besides the obvious cases where discussion topics include one or several members.

The idea is not to keep things form the members, but to make sure the admin team speaks as a whole. The whole point of having a team, is to bring together different sensibilities and perspectives. This also means that, while we did, and I am convinced the current admin team does, try to reach a consensus on most issues, there will always be some decisions based on a majority, with one or more admins who will not specially be in favor of an idea or action. It would be unrealistic to only act on consensual decisions, and could deprive the site of its originality and momentum.

Within that framework, it is also understood that, once a decision has been reached, it is to be presented as a decision of the whole team, and that all admins should support it. The idea is that no one would really enjoy to see the admins starting to argue on the forums, or launch "I told you so"s, or "I voted against that"s publicly. This is merely to keep the atmosphere of the site lighthearted, and spare the members with the bolts and ropes of the admin process.

I think this is pretty much a universally accepted interpretation of what team work implies. It just becomes more scary when you put it in writing, but it has to be done to ensure consistent administration of the site, for future admin teams.

The team has posted the admin guidelines on the forum, for members input, as KCat originally proposed weeks ago. The general posting guidelines are also in this News forum, for the same purpose. Thanks again to KCat, who synthetised our collective thoughts at the time, and put them in a clear, readable form.

I hope I haven't distorted the admins thoughts, and that this gives you a new light on the current guidelines building process.

Denis.

Edited by Denis Richard, 14 December 2004 - 23:46.


#35 Elaine

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 13:34

Rob,

The rules are being formed to prevent problems that we see on other sites. They are not set in stone. Note that they have been placed under a topic called "In the Works" and the following is found in that post:

If you have ideas, input, or questions please contact one of the members of the current Admin Team so that they may be addressed. There is a hyperlink at the bottom of the main forum page that will show all the active Admins and Moderators.



Could we have started the other way, asking for suggestions first? Yes. Would that have been more productive? I don't know. Would it have been better in some way? I don't know.

I would also like to point out (again) that not one other admin team member asked for Lim to resign. In fact he was encouraged to work things out.

Elaine

#36 Taki

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 16:02

To Admin team,

I feel like now I know what a child goes through when parents are getting divorce. I liked all the people who posts this forum and considered everyone friends. I think I am transitioning from the stage three to four of "five stages of emotional response": (1) denial, (2) bargaining, (3) anger, (4) despair, (5) acceptance. I am posting this in desperation.

I kind of knew there was a posting about a new protocol toward the bottom of the forums, and I just glanced at it when it was posted. I understand you need some sort of guidelines to run a site. I work at a large hospital, and we pretty much run everything by policies and protocols, too. It may not be the best solution, but it works. But, why all the sudden all these admin policies/protocols? Yes, I would have liked if admin team has asked suggestions, and if it was placed more prominently on the site. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but perhaps it should have given more time before it went into effect.

Have you guys heard of JCAHO (Joint Commision on the Accreditation of Health Organizations)? It is an organization that set standards for hospitals/health care failicities. Though JCAHO accreditation is "voluntary", it an institution is not accredited by them it won't be able to receive Madicare/Medicaid reimbursement, so it is practially a mandate. They set and write all kinds of standards for hospitals, and I've heard this joke about them. "How many JCAHO administrators does it take to change a light bulb? -Fifteen, one to change the bulb and fourteen to write policies for changing light bulbs." Hope you guys don't become like that.

Lim's departure (voluntary or involuntary...it doesn't matter) really saddens me, and no matter what you guys say I feel like there was an injustice.

Thank you for reading my babbling.

Edited by Taki, 15 December 2004 - 16:26.


#37 KCat

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 17:47

What troubles me about Lim's departure, and Denis' too is that a protocol was created and then the protocol became justification for disciplining its creators.


As you note, Rob, you aren't privy to the process. And this statement is simply not true.

Taki, you and Rob have but one person's account of what happened. I'd suggest people recognize the old saw "there are three sides to every story, my side, your side, and the truth." And I would say that in this situation, there are actually many "sides."

I certainly respect your concerns and agree that these are things we (FPN and the admin team) need to watch out for. But I respectfully request that those who have not been down the very tough road we've been down the past couple of weeks not jump to conclusions or believe all that is written - by anyone. As an Anarchist, Rob, you know that "truth" can take a serious beating in these situations.

These guidelines have been in discussion since well before the departures of Lim or Denis. They each had a hand in the very creation of them - some of those words in those protocols are mine, some are Lim's, some are Denis', some Keiths, etc... As Lim himself said, he went "with the majority" (thereby actually creating a consensus) on many of the guidelines that are now in place.

The group is growing and with nearly 200 members *something* had to be put in place. The admin team has already dealt with a couple of inflammatory situations and that process was mind-numbingly, achingly difficult without *some* sort of agreement in how to handle those situations. That most of the members were not part of those inflammatory situations, is testimony to the fact that we are trying very hard to do things "right."

I would add - I'd like to recommend that if you have constructive suggestions for improving the guidelines, to please start a new thread and discontinue the supposition and accusations as they do not contribute to the health of this forum.

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#38 RSVP

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 19:08

May I make a few observations, not to be inflammatory, but to consider a fair assessment of the situation.

Firstly, I feel saddened and disheartened at the fact that a dispute of this petty nature has escalated to engulf the concern of the entire board and its members. Lim’s contribution has been great indeed, a true ambassador both for FPN and the fountain pen community as a hole. If he was ousted or volunteered to leave is irrelevant, the fact is he has had cause to leave. The community is all the poorer for this.

I am greatly disturbed by the kind of behaviour of all concerned, and I urge you most fervently to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of both the Admin Team and the Members at this most holy time of year where compassion and forgiveness should be paramount.

I feel greatly for both Lim and Denis who tried to found and nurture the first, true non-commercial and community maintained board on the net. This board was created as a peaceful haven; it has now begun to degenerate into the warring factions similar to those found at Pentrace.

The fact remains that Lim was appointed by Justin , before all these protocols were introduced and Justin was appointed directly by Denis. Therefore his position should be considered valid, however one member was appointed unilaterally after these protocols were brought into place, who’s position I do not acknowledge

To me there only seems to be one way to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of both the Members and the Admin. That is for every effort be made to make peace with Lim , and restore his privileges (at the earliest possible convenience) pro tem.

I would then recommend the reduction of the Admin to 3 members , to be elected by the general membership of the forum, under these shall preside a further 3 moderators, who have jurisdiction over one forum. The Admin team and the Moderators must be accountable to the membership, not themselves and will serve for a fixed period of time, after which they must be re-elected. The Admin should be solely responsible for Administration, and Moderators for Moderation, one cannot be both.

I suggest this process take place in the new year, the Admin must respect the outcome of the membership vote. I also suggest that this level of bureaucracy is unneeded, we’re all meant to be having fun people! Not vying for power!

My £0.02

James

#39 Leslie J.

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 20:25

I suggest that all members read the About FPN, FPN Guidelines and the First Draft of the Admin Protocols. Note that since the latter item was pinned to this very forum, there has not been one single response from the membership. Neither did we receive any negative feedback on the FPN Guidelines.

Lim resigned from the Admin Team for personal reasons that did not involve the rest of the admin team directly. He has since changed his story somewhat in this thread, and it seems like he has voluntarily left the forum as well, meaning he will have no say in any further decisions. It is the membership that approves the framework that the admin team is drawing up. If anyone cared to look at it, it outlines the restrictions on the admin team, not restrictions on the membership. We are not policing the Members, we are policing ourselves so that when the next team comes in, they will have clear guidelines about what they *cannot* do as admins.

Thank you for your consideration. Keep in mind that the members of the admin team are all individuals, with individual opinions and ideas. We are also human, and have put many, many personal hours into helping to keep this site running the way it was intended. We reach decisions through discussion, deliberation, consensus and finally by voting. No decision is made lightly. No member concern is too small for us to take seriously.

I believe that any constructive discussion on this thread has ended long ago. If you have further concerns, contact the admin team directly. We are always available and we are not monsters.
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#40 Guest_Denis Richard_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 22:00

Hello everyone,

I am very close to losing my temper on this issue, and that's something that happens to me only every decade or so.

I am a bit frustrated to keep trying to explain in nice simple words that there was indeed a difference of opinion on how FPN should be administrated. Contrary to what has been said, in an attempt to shift the debate, it is was not about the vision of FPN being run by the community, but about how the admin team would function.

Those rules would not have been put in place if one particular admin, out of seven, did share with the others the same idea of how a team functions. I thought it was pretty universally accepted that a team, in the form of the one doing the chores at FPN, makes decisions together, after discussing each issues. Obviously it is not universal. One former admin did not have that vision, and prefered to "grace" the others of his wisdom. The only "rules" we had was to discuss everything, together, and to act accordingly to the outcome of the discussion, as much as possible by consensus.

When problems arose with one admin, not only acting without consultation, but also going against what had been decided, the crisis happened. That admin denied it, even though the full discussions concerned were, and still are, in the admin forum. That admin then accused me of trying to out him and of being the "front-man" of a conspiracy. I do not wish to play the victim, like others do so well, but, even though all the reasons I stated for my departure are true, I would not have left that early, were it not because of those accusations. Interestingly, the rewriting of the history has been done, such that the "conspirators" have been conveniently changed to people who are still members of the admin team.

The admins have been silent, as they do not wish to stirr up the mess. They have taken criticism about the rules, even though they had to put them in writing, at the request of one former admin (not me), and only because they tried to keep him on the admin side, and tried to find a way to work with him that would be acceptable to everyone.

Instead of that happening, that admin slammed the door, and started to spill conspiration theories, accused all of the admins of being racist and treating him badly because he is a "third world man", accused me directly of lying, presented himslef as a victim, and pulled the cover at him, presenting the early admins (KCat and myself) as being "very supportive" of his hard work, while I'm guessing we just relaxed and watched his wise actions. I'm happy to learn too that Lim was at the origin of the idea to expand FPN's administration to a team, I guess his wisdom just rubbed on me, when I decided to switch from a one-owner concept to a team administration, and commuity-run site. I'm sick of it and deeply disgusted.

The admins are building a new concept. They've always had in mind that everything they do is to build a community site. Lim's commands of what the team has to do now, shows once more that he never understood the fundamental concept of the site.

I'm ready to hear some more baby scream, and refutations of what happened, in a flawed logic, laced with insults from him. But please, I ask the members not to shoot at the admins, who are building a democratic way of functioning, despite the very stressing situation. You guys come here few minutes a day, and they are trying to make those minutes as enjoyable as possible. Believe me or not, being part of the admin team is a very time-consumming and mind-occupying job. What you all say is taken into consideration, but I ask you, as a simple member that I am, to support them and give your input, without buying the screamish theories of an ego-trip.

What good does it bring to be part of FPN admin team ? What benefit do they receive from it ? Nothing, if not the satisfaction to see a site growing in a community spirit.

You requested transparency. You got it.

Denis.

Edit : I forgot to add that each and every admin was chosen by consensus. The fairy tale that one of them was not, is very convenient to accuse him of the worst intentions.

Edited by Denis Richard, 16 December 2004 - 02:56.





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