Chatting with the Council CSM

“So I wrote the council members to congratulate them on their wins and ask a few questions.”  Mike said grabbing the sugar to ‘fix’ his coffee.

“Yeah, you told me that a week ago.  Anybody bother to answer?”

“Ayup, but most in the first three days.  I waited a while before mentioning it because I kept hoping someone else would answer as well.  But it looks like it is fast or not at all.”

“Older mail gets lost/buried.” Scotty agreed.  “So what did you find out?””Well, let’s start with the Chairman, Seleene.  I asked . . .”

I know a skype channel is used. is there more than one? One for the csm and another for csm/ccp?

Is it more text or do folks hang out on voice hoping someone else is about to shoot the breeze with

Last term there was only one meeting (aside from the ones in Iceland) that produced minutes. Will that number be met, passed or are meetings with minutes a thing of the past?

Do you plan on doing any Fireside Chats or is that an Alex thing?

“Huh, you didn’t ask anything about the former Chair?”

“Water under the bridge, a dead horse, whatever you want to call it.  No, I did not think that needs digging up except as to how it might impact the current council.  He was quick to reply.”

We have a CSM Private channel for just the CSM 7 members and one for CSM 7 and CCP to mingle and discuss things. We also have a CSM Alumni channel which has several members from CSM 6 in it so that we don’t lose touch with them as well.

Text dominates, but we go to voice sometimes for matters of particular importance.

I think the old days of getting together and holding ‘votes’ is dead. However, CSM 7 as a whole is committed to improving communication as much as possible and we’ll be looking at ways to evolve the old processes into something that more accurately reflects our current methods while still providing some measure of accountability.

We are actively discussing / planning a few “Town Hall” meetings.  The aim is to make them as accessible as possible, have an overall theme for each one and get CCP’s support (and possibly presense) as well. There should be some information coming out about this in the next couple of weeks.

Mike grinned, “So what do you take away from that?”

“They are letting ‘alumni’ into the channels?  Does that mean that the Mitani has just ‘moved behind the curtains or throne’ and continues to rule?”

“Put your tinfoil hat away and consider the rest of the sentence.  Why only alumni of CSM6?  That is the followup I plan on asking.  Not some vague accusations about specific people.  I am sad to see the meetings and minutes go to the side but glad that they still plan on improving communications.  They seem to be talking well to each other and over the initial speed bumps that the drama llama left.”

“You mean that stuff with Issler and Darius III?”

Mike nodded.  “I asked different questions of Issler.”

I know you have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start. Is this likely to influence the mood of the entire year or will bygones be bygones?

Obviously you are independent. Will you be supporting the one voice initiative Alex started last term or will we see a more opinionated set of council members?

Are you beginning to settle into your new role? How is it different from what you expected for the first weeks?

“I thought you were not going to beat that horse.”

‘This was about the repercussions, not the original fiasco.  Issler was also willing to reply in depth and said that the ‘rocky start’ was probably over blown.  She said . . .”

I feel the CSM should be fine going forward.  The players voted in a very good set of players with a broad range of experiences.  I am sure the CSM 7 will be the best CSM to date!

I will continue to support the idea that individual members need to have their own voice on issues.  A collective position is fine where it is possible but I won’t be a “hive mind” and I’ll be trying to encourage the rest of the CSM to make their individual positions available to the players that elected them.

The current CSM model is a bit like drinking from a firehose.  Many members seem to live on Skype 24/7 and the conversations a a lot of general chatting with the occasional important Eve issue post.  But I’m slowly finding my stride.

“I loved the part about drinking from a firehose as it found it a very telling analogy.  Sometimes finding the balance between all you can have and all that you want is a difficult task.  In this case the Council members are hit with an information glut.  I am very glad that she is finding her place and from what I have heard from other council members in interviews it is a thing of the past and they are all ‘moving forward’ with nobody thro9wn under any interbusses.  Sadly Darius did not choose to answer his questions, I hope it was just lost in the initial transition to CSM7 and not indicative of his level of commitment.”

He took a sip of his coffee and continued.  “Now Two Step was the first to answer and I think that confirms everything I have heard about him as a hard and quick worker.  Him I asked . . . ”

How do you expect this CSM7 to differ from CSM6

How limiting do you find the NDA for being able to talk to the electorate?

If people wanted to follow you which is your most common communications form/medium?

“His answers were straight to the point.”

I think the major difference will be because of CCP, not the CSM. Unlike last year, this time around we have CCP’s undivided attention on spaceships.

It is fairly limiting, but I don’t really see an alternative. In general, I (and most other CSMs) urge CCP to make their plans public as soon as possible, which helps avoid this issue.

I try to tweet a lot (@two_step_eve), though my more substantial posts are usually on the eve-o forums.

“Its funny that he is saying that the growth of the process is happening on both sides of the table. It is not just the Council that is changing but also those they work with.”

“A relationship that only changes  lopsidedly usually breaks in the long run.”  Scotty said, nodding.

“Exactly.  Now Hans, him I was impressed that he answered at all, he has been very sick and still he took the effort to respond to my questions.  I didn’t know he was sick when I asked these . . . ”

Aside from the drama of the initial shuffling of the chair is the csm what you expected it to be?  How is it different?

How much of an information dump has there been in the first week to bring you up to speed?

Have you set any personal goals for yourself in this term and have any of them run into the brick wall of reality already?

“and his answer (from his sickbed)”

I’ll be happy to get back to you, I’m recovering from pneumonia the last week and barely been able to sit up at my computer, but I’ll get back to you this weekend with a report. I’ll probably turn your questions into a blog post, which is long overdue for me anyways.

“Now he has not written that article yet but I am looking forward to when he does.  Alekseyev Karrde, now with him I did stray a bit into Mittens past due to a comparison I noted.  Both are currently CEO’s though admittedly Mittens of a much larger organization.”

How is the new council shaping up? Any initial impressions?

Have you had a lot of players coming to you, hat in hand, asking for buff this and nerf that?

Mittens talked about a problem with ‘hats’ when you are both a CEO and a csm person. Do you expect any conflicts in this regard?

“He did an excellent job of addressing the points when he wrote back.”

The council is shaping very nicely actually. We had a bit of a rocky start with certain members but concerns were addressed, apologies made, and we’re all ready to move forward together. We have an incredible amount and diversity of talent on this CSM. Which is good, because the CSM/CCP communication flow is better than in years past and core elements of the game are going to be fundamentally revamped this year.

Also turns out Hans and I are like bffs. Who knew!

Yes. Comes with the job heh. Depending on what it is sometimes you can turn that conversation toward a useful information-gathering exercise about a particular problem.

I have not yet experienced the hat problem. I think it helps that I’m CEO of a relatively small group that isn’t really aimed at the meta game. Given our line of work I’m sure Noir. has been the impetus for a few players to quit in tears, but that’s a plus for most of the people that voted for me rather than a source of controversy. Besides, it’s not personal; just business.

“On a podcast he did soon after answering this he laughed about how it was almost a surprise that I would see any resemblance at all.  Dovi, on the other hand, surprised me.  I asked him . . . ”

Do you hope for a cooperative and unified csm or is dispute a healthy way to find the best solution?

Will you be able to talk to people outside the csm (even in vague terms) to get a read on what might be right when it comes to subjects that you have less experience with?

How do you expect your election to alter your game play?

“He quickly answered with a lot of enthusiasm both asking that I keep in touch and welcoming any more questions.  To the ones I asked he said . . . ”

I absolutely hope for a cooperative CSM. Being unified and getting along is the only way we’re going to be able to accomplish anything. Though sometimes dispute and arguments can bring new ideas to the table.

I love talking to people. I have tons of contacts in and out of TEST that I can lean for areas I don’t know the most about, I have friends all over EVE.

I don’t expect it to alter my game play much at all! I’m still doing the things I enjoy in and out of game, it’s important to me that EVE doesn’t become like a job 🙂

“From what I have heard in other interviews Dovinian seems to be an enthusiastic and fun-loving member of the council.  I look forward to hearing more of him.  For all that this is serious business it is also important to keep a sense of fun about.”

“Now Greene Lee I did not hear much about during the election.  He campaigned outside my circles and so I was restricted to third hand knowledge, for the most part, which I hate.  I was VERY happy that he answered these questions.”

In your thread it was asked if Language was going to be an issue. Is it?

Do you have a blog or method of communicating with the people who elected you outside of internal alliance forums?

“His answers were very brief and to the point.”

Of course not.

There is strong communication policy consisted both from NDA and internal CSM rules. We will discuss it by CSM. As soon as we done I will settle up topics. Till that evemail is the best way to reach me.

“I hope he will be a bit more forthcoming once the rules of communication, what can and cannot be said are settled.  Meissa . . . wow, longest serving CSM council member there is.  Here I chose to ask questions relating to the long view. . . ”

The CSM has changed over the years, do you think it is is still evolving or are we getting close to seeing it as it will be in the years going forward?

How much of the changes to the CSM have been from outside influences rather than from internal restructuring?

What would you say has been the biggest and or the best change over the years and why?

“I was stunned by the quality and length of the answer.  The questions were given a lot of thought and the answers were worthy of almost being an article in and of themselves.”

It is too early to say if this form is close to the final one or not, I personally see it evolving some more. We have gone from an era where CCP didn’t have any clue how to handle the council in the first two terms, to CCP engaging earnestly but mildly with us in 3 to 4, to every CCP employee having the ability to communicate with us in CSM 5 and 6, as well as the CSM getting better visibility on what was actually done within CCP.

The private CSM&CCP forums have devs speaking to us, asking questions, requesting feedback and us bringing things to their attention on a daily basis with a very good signal:noise ratio. What CSM 1 to 5 did mostly correctly was talk to the players, CSM 6 failed in that regard, mostly because of the increased activity with CCP. There is a strong sentiment within CSM 7 that this needs to be improved, so we’ll be working on that while trying to maintain the CSM<->CCP level of interaction.

The Council will keep evolving, mostly in reaction to the development of the game and CCP’s success and mistakes, also based on how much we had available to give feedback on and our part in making those changes a success, or helping CCP understand better when players would react negatively and why. I don’t know where we’ll end up after this term, but I’m fairly confident that the team in place is a good one to make progress happen.

It’s both. [in reference to whether changes are internally or externally driven] The first few terms the CSM had to establish itself as a viable group with which constructive communication was possible, we had to gain credibility. Later on we had to push to CCP to have access to information (backlogs) and dev access (forums & skype) to be able to engage in the feedback loop. A few of the changes and progress have been due to external factors, the POS exploit, the Incarna debacle that CSM 5 had pointed out correctly as something that was going to be poorly received, and the Jita riots where we showed ourselves capable of constructive discourse as well as a viable way for CCP to help release the pressure valve, as it were. It also helped that a number of CCP employees were happy enough with the interactions they had with the CSM to encourage others to have a dialog.

The level of communication. It has been the defining factor that has changed over the terms, back in CSM 2 the interaction between CSM and CCP was limited to one summit, and that was it, we had no visibility on what CCP was working on, no interaction with the developers outside of the summit, and only a handful of devs then. We now speak with devs every day, whenever we have a need for a specific one [s]he can reply directly. Likewise we have access to information near the concept phases so we can give constructive feedback before a significant amount of resources has been devoted to a change that would require amendment for it to be successful.

A good side-point of this one is that after we have given a round of feedback, we regularly encourage the devs to get feedback from the larger public, or to communicate the changes in a better form, and they frequently do. Everyone wins.

“I have to agree that the change in communications is a big thing and with people like Meissa in there, it is a positive growth.  Last person to answer is also one of the great communicators as well, Trebor.  I asked him . . . ”

Will you be doing another poll of the population to find out how we would like the priorities set this year? I thought that was a FANTASTIC effort last year.

Are there any extra duties for vice chair or is it more title and hat than more work than you already do?

“Pretty softball questions, there.” Scotty commented.

Mike shrugged.  “Aside from a bit of extra mail during the election Trebor has been a very open and standup kinda Council member.  So I didn’t have as much to ask him.  He said . . .”

I will probably do another crowd sourcing, but I am thinking of changing the focus. I have to consult with my colleagues about that, though.

Vice Chair is “not worth a bucket of warm piss”. I took it so that Two step would get Secretary.

They both laughed.  “Yup, even after the election is over there are political maneuverings and Trebor showed that he still has his head in the game.”

“So who is next?”

“Now there is the thing.  Four reps chose not to answer.  Darius III,  Elise, Uaxdeath, and Kelduum.  I was not surprised by Darius but I was curious why Kelduum did not reply.  I actually held off doing anything with this information, up until now, hoping he would ‘get around to it'”

“Folks do get busy, this time of year.”

“I suppose.  I will still send them more question in a few weeks and give them a chance,  will keep doing so till they tell me to stop.”

“Why?  Why are you doing this?”

Mike smiled.  “I told you before.  I want the process to work even if I am not a direct part of it.  If I can help spread the word as to what is going on, help get folks to know they CAN ask questions and they might be answered, then I am helping.  Ya don’t have to be elected to be able to do something.  You just need the will to try.”



Look, the rest of you can ask questions as well.  Poetic wrote a great contact your CSM post.

Do so.  I will keep doing this and if you have things you would liked asked of the csm I would love to hear them as well.

Fly it like you won it


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One Response to Chatting with the Council CSM

  1. Pingback: Seleene’s CSM Update #2

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