To Bagheera from Trebor

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To Bagheera from Trebor

Post by Callipygian »

Bags, if elected to finish up this term what do you hope to accomplish in the remaining 8 weeks?
People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.

Walter H. Judd
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Re: To Bagheera from Trebor

Post by Bagheera »

Thank you, Trebor.

Let me start by laying out my goals when I took office, the core issues behind them; followed by what happened during my tenure and the next layers that were uncovered.

At the moment, CDS is financially on an upswing and very close to full occupancy with many more citizens engaged - listening and participating - in CDS governance than has been seen in the past few years. From my own experience, even citizens who have, in the past, kept to themselves - they are now coming out and asking me questions, curious about what is happening. Many of them are intrigued in a positive way.

So, we have positive momentum, something I had been deliberately working to catalyze during my term.

When I first took office, I had specific goals to help jumpstart that momentum based on three core issues I personally felt strongly about addressing within CDS:

1. To get Locus Amoenus out of lockdown, and doing it without requiring the relocation of any existing LA citizens.

- the core issue behind this was the financial stability of CDS, to spur positive growth while capturing the new vision for Locus Amoenus, and the desire to create a beautiful sim people would want to buy and live in.

2. To eliminate the use and abuse of covenant complaints by neighbors in ways that created and perpetuate animosities.

- the core issue behind this was to foster civilized ways to resolve disputes and strengthen CDS in terms of embracing the diversity of personalities, to reduce the degree of paranoia which seems to be endemic to most if not all online/virtual groups I have ever encountered; and to not just survive, but thrive, even in the challenging environment of CDS which has a wide-open door policy to citizenship.

3. To update and improve our Internet presence which is still dependent on Internet protocols that are 2-3 years out of date by researching, educating CDS citizens on and collaboratively introducing the latest stable solutions for what we have been using.

- the core issue behind this was to facilitate and improve communications which I had heard from others and also saw for myself as scattered, confusing and sometimes even failing/inaccessible.

The first two goals I set out to accomplish when I took office have, for the most part, been achieved. However, while in office they opened new layers of the core issues I was endeavoring to address.

1. For Locus Amoenus, I had anticipated handing off the design completion and construction to the Guild. That didn’t happen, leaving me with the daunting task of managing almost everything related to LA myself. Out of that, I learned of new problems caused by ignorance, both on my part in terms of the responsibilities and accountabilities within the Chancellor’s office, and on the part of the Guild, estate managers and others who had blindspots in their knowledge of land management (i.e. parceling and prim/sim limitations). I experienced the chaotic hand-off of responsibilities, resources, tools, and information necessary for any Chancellor to complete their job despite the best attempts of everyone to give me what I needed. I also learned that our Groups needed some focused attention to clean up roles and abilities.

2. For covenant enforcement, the complaints between neighbors virtually disappeared, but was replaced by an influx of government officials whose vision for CDS was a degree of perfection that had not yet been addressed in our covenants. This brought to light a new level of civility lessons which, to my mind, can best recognized by first invoking the Kant’s principle that “people ARE the end, not the means to the end;” because, in their zeal to improve the appearance of the sims, officials lost sight of the ramifications of the methods they used on citizens.

3. For improving our communications we got the blessing of Rose’s work in gathering together our laws and Arria’s work in researching the Chancellor duties and land management responsibilities - both of which give all of us new wells of accessible information to draw from. For our Internet presence, I got a further look at how scattered our communications are and had begun to prioritize and research which tools to start with, having uncovered a new goal of defining/suggesting a useful, objective path of updated solutions to our current platforms for government officials going forward since the task is a perpetual one (current platforms: Wordpress for our main site & phpbb for our forums our proprietary site - and then spin offs into social media sites such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter).

So, going forward, if elected, I would use these 8 weeks back in office to:

a) finish Locus Amoenus as it was started
b) prepare the hand off of resources and knowledge for incoming Chancellors
c) get back to organizing and updating our online presence to make it more accessible, more stable and easier to use.
d) and last, but certainly not least, handle day-to-day stuff and endeavoring to the best of my ability to resolve any (inevitable? lol) curveballs that CDS lobs my way.

Details are as follows:

Locus Amoenus. It is mostly complete.
– Water liveaboard covenants: Pat has said there are no definitions for the water liveaboards but I did write a useful post with guidelines in the spirit of the original covenants that has been followed inworld for over a month with no complaints. I did try to get it on the RA agenda but it seemed to have been deemed as settled without it.
– The bridge: The day the Guild posted they were not going to work on the project, both Ceasar and I independently identified the same bridge in “real” Tuscany that was distinctive in appearance and quite famous - the Ponte della Maddalena. It was the bridge I first showed Vic as the one I was thinking of when he proposed his bridge. At that time, he countered that the Ponte della Maddalena design would be uncrossable by SL vehicles, so I abandoned it. Ceasar then came to me to tell me he had found the same bridge and wanted to build it so I told him Vic said it couldn’t support SL vehicles. Ceasar built a mock up and sent me a snapshot on Feb. 19th of him driving across his bridge in his SL vehicle. This bridge is in final stages of completion and integration with the amazing work Sudane has done with landscaping.
– Fishing village builds provided by the government. The team of volunteer builders who offered their services on the LA project have been working diligently on this all along and there are existing builds for citizens to select from and occupy once the parcels are unlocked and purchased with more to come (so citizens can have a choice). Each completed build allows a minimum of 50 prims available for personal use on the 256m lot.
– Landscaping. As I stated above, Sudane volunteered for and has been designing/putting in all the roads and landscaping. She has done a tremendous job.
– Locus Mundi (Temple of the Navel): As I stated a while back, I never felt I got a workable consensus on how to treat this precious treasure from CDS history, so I have taken a hands-off approach until such a consensus exists. What I did get was a wave of people with memories who held the time the Locus Mundi went in as special and who definitely didn’t want it to go away, even if they didn’t have suggestions about what to do with it going forward. It isn’t in the way where it is and some people have even expressed they like it now that the surrounding “theater” has been removed. So I don’t have any answers yay or nay except to treat it with respect until there is a clear message from the people of CDS about what they would like to see.

So what needs to be done? The installation of the Ponte della Maddalena bridge. The rezzing of completed fishing village builds into the sim. The opening of the fishing village parcels for sale. Detail tweaks here and there. Perhaps a formal revisitation of the covenant by the RA just to nail down the loose edges of the existing parcels (which are grandfathered in under a separate decision by the RA) and the liveaboard water parcels (which were a late addition due to popular demand).

I would hope, if I were not to win, that whatever the incoming Chancellor chose to do, they would take into account the huge investment of time and dedication by volunteers and make objective decisions about what was & was not working instead of being guided by politics alone.

b) prepare the hand off of resources and knowledge for incoming Chancellors

This is nuts and bolts, organizational stuff mostly. Tor gave me some documents he prepared to help get me started that were hosted on Google docs. I would take those documents and expand on them, then transfer them into notecards and catalog them into the inventory of CDSArchive Resident so that they are accessible inworld to any incoming Chancellor without the need to rely on offworld resources which might change or go away independent of SL. I would also catalog and sort CDSArchive’s inventory (some of this is already done, I would look to improve it so anyone could find their way through it easily). I would talk with previous Chancellors who have information that has slipped through the cracks (as in your case, Trebor, I had to ask you for the password to our CDSPrinter for access to the printing press CDS bought - stuff like that). I would create a notecard of passwords and other Chancellor confidential materials as well as preliminary instructions on what was available and how to access it - I would then install a prim in the Chancellor’s office in the Schloss to be set as only accessible by a Chancellor which would contain these confidential materials - by consolidating the hand off of information to a single starting point and providing a template/example of what needs to be handed off - subsequent Chancellors could easily follow the model and hand off the necessary information to the next incoming Chancellor.

As I stated, my long term intention is to spearhead creating a series of workshops targeted to prospective Chancellors but useful to anyone who wants to learn more about sim management, virtual group management and governing in a virtual environment. Whether or not I am elected, I intend to do that.

c) get back to organizing and updating our online presence to make it more accessible, more stable and easier to use.

I had already begun research on this even before I took office - for example, our laws are currently hosted on our main website (created in Wordpress) using an outdated widget which has made it hard for many to use and even inaccessible to some. It isn’t clear enough from our main website how to find our forums which are hosted on a subdomain under a different application (phpbb). The introduction of breadcrumbs, a site map, and a clearer menu system would make it easier to access and use the website as well as make it more friendly to Google indexing. Adding widgets that automatically integrate posts and snapshots and cross-update them to Twitter, Facebook and/or Flickr, so that our own site will always have all the main sources of information and those who want to access information through Twitter and Facebook can reliably receive that information without us being dependent on a human making the time to post the same information multiple times in multiple places. Integrating a phpbb calendar into our phpbb forums so that the calendar is part of the day-to-day communications of CDS.

d) Day to day stuff, promotions, events - If elected, one of the first things I would do is contact Tor and Pat to see if they are still on board and in communication to create the 10th Anniversary celebration of their dreams. There was a week long arts festival scheduled for the first week of May, being coordinated by Cleo, so I would check in with her to make sure that is still on track. I would reconnect with the musical artists I had tentatively scheduled before for live music and DJ events and get them back on the calendar.

I would continue to listen, always listen, and do the best I knew how to for CDS.
Usually I Dislike a Cloud Sky
Tonight I Realize That a Cloud Sky
Makes Me Appreciate the Light of the Moon
- impromptu poem composed by Gen'i
as depicted in Yoshitoshi's 100 Aspects of the Moon
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