Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

News flash: CSM still exists

Just a quickie.

I thought I'd take a moment to remind all of you that the Council of Stellar Management, EVE's elected body of player advocates, does indeed still exist.

In theory.

That said, this is probably a good point to mention that it's now been a month since any member of CSM7 chose to blog about anything.  All the CSM member blogs are still listed in the lower right corner there, tagged under "Infrequent but important", which is truth in advertising at its best.  We've been waiting for the minutes of the May-June CSM Summit in Iceland for six weeks now, which is almost a new record in CSM lateness.  For the record, CSM5 routinely put the minutes of their Summits out in two weeks, unless it was Christmas, in which case it took them three.  The only consolation that we've been given to date is the relevant thread on the EVE-O forums, which promises that when the minutes are released, they'll extend to some 120 pages(!) in length.

I can't decide if this is laudable transparency or ridiculous over-detail.  I'll let you know when I've read the darn thing.  But it strikes me as likely that a document of such incredible length will be going through a long review cycle with CCP when and if it's ever done.

Unsurprisingly, CSM work horse Trebor Daehdoow has done the bulk of the heavy lifting, single-handedly completing a full quarter of the proposed minutes that will be produced by the 14-member CSM7.  Equally unsurprising, Two step comes in second on this count and is also showing good leadership in getting this done.  Hans Jagerblitzen, Elise Randolph, Alekseyev Karrde, and Issler Dainze also deserve credit for putting work into this.

CSM7 Chair Seleene is a no-show.  No part of the minutes has been written by Seleene and there is no blog post nor forum post explaining his lack of leadership.  His blog to date this year shows half the posts that it did at this time last year... when he wasn't CSM Chair. 

I took a lot of heat from a lot of people up to Seleene himself when I didn't endorse him for CSM7, stating that I didn't think he had the time to put the necessary work into the position.  You know what?  It's a real burden to me being proven right all the time.  ;-)  I still like and respect Seleene very much, but the first third of his chairmanship can only be regarded as a failure.

Anyway, I look forward to reading these monster minutes when they're released, but let's all hope that it's before the CSM winter summit, shall we?  Obviously, after I've read them, I'll certainly likely have a lot to say about them.  I also look forward to listening to the next CSM fireside chat, which we were told would take place after their release.

Stay tuned.

33 comments:

  1. I think the lack of a crisis bigger than "unified inventory is kinda messed up" so far may damn CSM7 to obscurity.

    CSM6 was able to rise to the occasion in part because they actually had an occasion to which to rise.

    One would hope that CCP has learned a lesson or two since then.

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    1. What about faction war? Go look at the amarr > minmatar war to see how well that's working out

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    2. I am quite fine with being damned to obscurity if it means a year without a crisis bigger than the unified inventory. :) I'd rather have the game in good shape first and foremost.

      One of the positive things has been the amount of things CCP is talking to us early about in the design process - the CSM minutes will certainly contain discussion of features well in advance of CCP putting programming time into them, which is a colossal step forward in terms of the CSM's usefulness. It also means there's less we can talk about with the public because it's more tightly bottled up by either the NDA or the minutes-approval process. We've also seen every dev blog to date without exception before its release, another big step forward.

      If CCP were following their historical pattern of only discussing features with the CSM that are about to be imminently deployed, we'd have much more to talk about. I certainly appreciate their enthusiasm about actually *brainstorming* with us for once instead of using the CSM as a rubber stamp on completed features (Though there wasn't much we could do about Inferno due to the time we were elected).

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    3. The Faction War thing does seem to heavily favor the Minmatar. Really badly designed from a game point of view.

      Currently trying to repair my Minmatar faction rep so that I can join in the farming on the winning side.

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    4. @Hans - Indeed, obscurity isn't necessarily a bad thing. In hindsight, what I wrote probably sounded much worse than I meant it to. Most useful things get done in relative obscurity. And there is that whole "living in interesting times" curse.

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  2. tagn, CSM6 was making noise about TiDi long before there were bigger issues to take up their time. They had a "big issue" they were vocal about. Something like that would be nice compared to the wall of silence they're giving at the moment...

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  3. SOV, moon goo, FW, seems like there's plenty of things for them to talk about. The imminent devision of FW into tier 5 control spheres that never interact - that's the sort of thing the CSM should be engaging heavily, and showing some progress on, right?

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    1. It most certainly is. The challenge is finding that balance between working, and taking time away from doing your work to prove that you're doing your work by talking to the community about what you're talking about with the community. (If that sentence sounded redundant, than you understand my point) The first will always take priority over the second for me personally, as I'm not near as preoccupied with public opinion or re-election as I am actually making the most of this opportunity. While CCP is currently on their summer break (I'll elaborate in an upcoming blog) my work instead lies with the community itself, making sure I know exactly what to fight for when the discussion resumes with CCP regarding the next content release. When I'm not working on the minutes I'm still forum posting with CCP, forum posting with players, skyping with CCP, fielding email correspondence, and most time-consuming of all: actually talking with players about what's going on in the warzone, not to mention playing the game to see for myself)

      For a CSM representative like myself with a major feature on the operating table, this time of the year is even more demanding, given the sense of urgency it is critical that I know exactly what the players want, which takes time to sort out. Forum posts, email responses, impromptu in-game conversations, radio appearances and podcasts, all eat up time that I'm also expected to be making progress on the minutes. Seeing as how good portions of what we do we can't talk about in detail yet (such as anything covered by the minutes and the work-in-progress threads on the internal CSM/CCP forums) its even more challenging to keep up with everyone's insatiable thirst for the latest news.

      I am certainly one of the CSM members that hasn't blogged in a bit, but its for the simple reason that I can't in good conscience sit around and chit chat in a neutered fashion when there is still work to be done on the minutes themselves, which are almost complete. We're actually further along than Jester assumes, since the completed sessions are already sailing through the CSM approval progress, many have been signed off by all the CCP participants so there shouldn't be any super-long delay once the final sessions are wrapped up.

      I'll blog very soon - both about the work we've been up to on the minutes as well as about Faction Warfare in particular, though anyone following my posts in the dev-sponsored pair of threads related to Faction Warfare in Features and Ideas already knows what I've been talking to CCP about and where the conversation is going.

      I know its frustrating, and I appreciate everyone's patience, but I just have a tough time sitting down to write neutered material when I could be delivering what you guys all really want to read instead. We're really aiming for the most comprehensive coverage of the CSM summit to date, and there's no quick way to write three times as much material as typical CSM minutes, as well as deliver them in the same timeframe. Once we're completed, you can all decide whether it was worth the delay, and if you'd rather have less information in the future, you'll certainly find little resistance from the CSM members. :)

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    2. This sounds a lot like "It'll be out when it's perfect". The problem with that is by the time it's perfect, it's almost always obsolete. The eve community doesn't demand perfection (let's pretend), and we know about your NDA issues. But a wall of silence doesn't help especially after the promises of being more open and vocal. You don't have to be CSM 6 level talkative but we need something.

      Or you know, maybe you guys caught a sudden case of shyness (or Igivenofucks-itis). I somehow doubt it, but I like to give options and don't want to paint you into a corner.

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    3. Thanks for your reply, Hans! This comment in pretty much its entirety would be an excellent thing to put on your blog.

      I will nudge you again to remind you that "better and more constant communication with players" was one of the major promises (if not THE major promise) that CSM7 said they would improve on compared to CSM6.

      Simply posting something like this to your blog where people like me can point at it would go a long way toward doing that.

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    4. Guess what Hans, sounds like you just wrote a blog.

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  4. Serpentine LogicJuly 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    If there's one thing to be learned from sandbox MMOs, it's that you have the power to create interest when there's nothing interesting happening.

    Waiting for the minutes to be released? Make a weekly blog post detailing what happened or didn't happen about it. Make a betting pool about when it will be released. Create a 'guess how many lines CSM representative X has contributed' competition. Post amusing fictional chatlogs of CSM meetings. It's not that difficult to keep the (voting) player base engaged, if you just engage with them.

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    1. Agreed. It ain't that hard to do. And this is coming from the CSM that as a unit promised to talk to the players more and said they would improve the record of CSM6.

      So far, no and no.

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    2. The next CSM should discard the vice-* roles and make a public relations or speaker position.

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    3. Really good idea. If it were ever to be implemented, one would hope that the CSM White Paper would be updated to require the person in that position to post CSM updates twice a month in a stickied Jita Park thread. Updates really don't need to be more than a high level overview of what tasks the CSM has been engaged in and a list of tangible accomplishments (such as public appearances, publication of official materials, decisions/resolutions made, etc.) since the last update. The details of discussions or debates can happen in their own threads or in official published docs like the Minutes. But regular "what we've been working on" updates should not be too much to ask and don't have to be very time-consuming.

      Blogs by CSM members are not official CCP sites nor is there any guarantee they will persist after a given term. Personal blog posts are best used for CSM member opinion, not official updates. Official updates should be published in a CCP-provided venue (wiki or forums) so that they can serve as an archival reference. If CSM members want to duplicate such updates on their own blogs, so be it.

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  5. Drive-by check of your blog and wow--, way to read my mind, JT. I was just wondering about this but figured that I was simply missing stuff due to paying scant|no attention. Are they posting on Eve O? Tweeting much? Updating an Activities page on the Wiki?

    Why CSM doesn't post a paragraph or two each week summarizing their activities...even if nothing but same old same old was the status...baffles me. People write emails longer than that in a few minutes every day. "Saving up" to deliver novella sized blog or forum posts isn't very effective in helping constituents feel like they are being kept in the loop...something they have wanted and asked for since the CSM's inception. *shrugs* But what do I know? Times have changed. Maybe no one really cares about the CSM anymore. Out of sight, out of mind.

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  6. wait a tic. i thought one of them had posted a "what we're doing in iceland" blog. It was very informative. By Seleene no less. Unfortunately it's the ONLY thing to be found, but still it's (like you often say about him) well written.

    As for myself, i'll continue to mine semi-peacefully.

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  7. Jester - i have to say that i agree with you. I voted for Seleene and I regret it. Since the appointment to CSM chair he has blogged next to nothing. The CSM actions about FW and the inventory disappoint me. The lack of CSM minutes is just another check mark in the long list of CSM 7 failures.

    Cheers
    Wastedmatrix

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  8. I fully agree. I have a favorites tab for Eve blogs which I click through every day, and every one of the CSM blogs are on it. Makes me sad that though every other blog I follow has SOMETHING written on it every week at least(excepting possibly Azual's) theirs are empty of new posts... They could really post on anything and I'd read it, from in game experiences to their thoughts on issues... but nada...

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  9. Y'all miss the Mittani yet?

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    1. Constantly. He's very agile and fleet of foot. ;)

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    2. I almost *almost* made a "miss me yet?" joke but decided I didn't want to drag RL politics into this post. ;-)

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    3. With every e-bullet so far.

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  10. Are we really that desperate for love letters from the elect?
    You can lead by keeping the peace and holding your tongue, which is not easy for anyone.
    Having said that, like JT, I can't help but speculate reasons for the pause in communication. They need to pipe easy listening music with a "normal service will resume shortly" message to calm my angst soul.

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  11. Seleene posted a good sum up of the meeting long before notes could be done. And even if you don't write an part on your self, cross reading all of it is still a lot of work which must be done too before handed to ccp.

    If you had posted a few hours later, hans just got out a post.

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  12. I simply never understood why they didn't make Two Step CSM chair? CSM so far... meh

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  13. Isn't Two Step the Secretary? Isn't he supposed to write most of the notes?

    And....who cares who wrote how much in the end?

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    1. "Who did what" is an important indicator on who should be getting votes for CSM8. There's a tendency among the... ahem... "less active" CSM members to think that the sum total of their job is to maybe go to Iceland twice a year and other than that, being on the CSM has no responsibilities or expectations whatsoever.

      For instance, Trebor has told me that he's not running next year. If he hadn't run this year, how much of the minutes would now be done?

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  14. Seriously - 120 pages? I thought I was verbose sometimes.

    I had really hoped that the people elected would combine to increase the CSM's profile further. Last year seemed to be all about one person, and I hoped that this year would be about the team.

    I'm not trying to undermine the effectiveness of CSM6, and CSM7 might be doing great things too, but in both cases the communication from the CSM overall is not to a level I'd deem acceptable.

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  15. The reason you aren't seeing blogs is because the people that normally blog are busy, mostly writing the minutes. You can go read my post (https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=128423&find=unread) to see who did what, but as of right now, Trebor did 4.5 sessions (one of his was a 30 minute session), I have done 3, Hans has done 3 (with one more on the way), CCP Xhagen, Alekseyev and Elise have done 2, and Dovi and Issler have done 1 session. If you count those up, that is 7 of the 13 members of CSM 7. If you want to complain, the proper complaint is what the other 6 people have been doing...

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  16. I couldn't care less how many blogs a CSM puts out, I didn't vote for an active blogger, I voted for someone to speak up when they think the community won't like what CCP is doing, the less they feel like they have to speak up, weather it's to the community on podcasts, or blogs, or whatever the better.

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  17. I'm curious how many pages will mention the decimation of the Incursions; although to be honest I'll be surprised if more then 3 paragraphs will address it.

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