Friday, December 27, 2013

Take-A-Ways From Yesterday's Space Hangout

I watched most of Ali Aras' Space Hangout yesterday.  At the end the broadcast experienced some technical difficulties so I didn't watch the final 20 minutes.  Still, that occurred after CCP Dolan left the conversation so I don't think I missed CCP's side of things.  Here are some points I was left with.

The style needs changing.  I don't really think the CSM has that much to complain about with the delay.  That belief comes from Trebor's statement that the CSM does not want to censor itself so puts as much as possible into the minutes and then lets CCP cut out whatever is necessary.  That style means that the CSM takes longer to produce the rough draft of the minutes as well as ensures CCP needs to take longer to review the minutes.  I think the date quoted on the stream for when CSM finished the minutes was 4 November.  That's right, 66 days after the end of the summit.  At that point, publishing the minutes before the release of the expansion was impossible.  In my mind, the time sensitivity vanished at that point and the minutes are just a historical document.

But my point isn't just about the length of time the CSM took to produce the minutes.  Even if the CSM was perfect about not including NDA'd material, CCP can't trust that.  They need to thoroughly check themselves.  I have to wait until I actually read the minutes, but CCP Dolan's proposal of having a summary of what CCP presented followed by the positions taken by each of the CSM attendees (if differences existed) sounded like a needed improvement.

CCP Dolan is not superman.   I think the new guy bit off more than he could chew.  Actually, since CCP Dolan is new, I don't think he wanted to show weakness by saying he needed help when he took on the job.  The help he needed was in the form of a backup in case he got sick, which happened.  Also, stuff happened (Terms of Service, SOMERblink, etc) in which CCP Dolan wound up as CCP's point person.  I don't know if a backup would have gotten the minutes approved by the various teams any faster, but a reminder or two sent out couldn't have hurt.

Unclarity of purpose.  Perhaps I just misunderstood, but I think that CCP and the CSM have slightly different thoughts on the purpose of the minutes.  Then again, CCP Dolan desire that the dev blogs published before expansions should contain more information so that players don't need to reference the minutes is a good one.  Of course, if players don't need to reference the minutes, I doubt very many people will really take the time to read them.  But if the style of the minutes is changed so we don't see 100+ pages, perhaps more people will read them anyway.


  1. 100 page minutes (report) is not even the norm. That was started by CSM7 and continued by CSM8.

    The minutes for all previous CSMs ran about 20-30 pages, maximum.

  2. Dolan isn't new. The utter contempt that CCP holds for the CSM is proven by the fact that they assigned their most incompetent employee as the CSM liaison.

    1. As far as I'm concerned CCP Dolan is new, only being at CCP for a little over a year. CCP Xhagen has been at CCP since EVE launched. Dolan had helped out with CSM 7 but CSM 8 is the first time he has been in charge of the entire effort from CCP's side. Also, this is only the second Summit he has been at CCP for and he was not involved in the production and publication of that summit's minutes (CSM 7 Winter).

  3. I found some of the things Dolan said to be very interesting.

    He said at one point about the fact that he had decided that he would ask one of the CCP guys/girls who can type very fast to record what was said so a draft of the meeting could be released very quickly. That sounded good, the interesting part was when Trebor(?) said they tried having someone do that before, Dolans face showed confusion and he stumbled. It was pretty obvious he didn't know that. It worries me that he is in charge and doesn't have a good grasp on the history and whats been tried before. he needs a mentor with more experience to bounce ideas off of.

    The other thing he said without really saying was the real reason the minutes were late. He tried to rewrite them into the new format this time. But due to the job being bigger than he expected/other things coming up/illness he couldn't and had to go back to the original plan.

    Neither of these things are really 'bad' they just highlight that whoever is Dolans boss needs to make sure he has support and a mentor to fall back on as he learns. Its not fair to let him fall on his face in public.