Comments: New Media Campaign And New Media

I just wanted to point out that things are just as easily destroyed in the Dean distro-campaign Universe.

With so much reliance on homebrewed tools to keep the distributed campaign running, the risk of loosing data can mean that all the people and events that you've worked hard to organize can dissappear in the blink of a system administrator's eye. It seems that some Dean supporters are so enthusiastic about the software and p2politics tools they're building that the supported content gets marginalized at times... for example, (Ping is a CS student here at UC Berkeley and a Dean actionite):

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25240.html

"The deployment procedure was even more unbelievable. Last night, all the existing tools were completely wiped away Get Local, Victory Days, and DeanLink, all gone! and replaced with Project Commons. There was no warning to the users. There was a testing period of just four days with hardly any change since the beta. The tools were completely reorganized and there was no information to help people migrate (just recently a CLICK HERE link was added because everybody was freaking out). As you can see from the discussion forum, lots of volunteers are justifiably angry that the events they were planning have disappeared and they can't find them anymore.

...

This is not how you release software. And this is not how you treat your hard-working volunteers with the respect they deserve."

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:38 AM

I just wanted to point out that things are just as easily destroyed in the Dean distro-campaign Universe.

With so much reliance on homebrewed tools to keep the distributed campaign running, the risk of loosing data can mean that all the people and events that you've worked hard to organize can dissappear in the blink of a system administrator's eye. It seems that some Dean supporters are so enthusiastic about the software and p2politics tools they're building that the supported content gets marginalized at times... for example, (Ping is a CS student here at UC Berkeley and a Dean actionite):

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25240.html

"The deployment procedure was even more unbelievable. Last night, all the existing tools were completely wiped away Get Local, Victory Days, and DeanLink, all gone! and replaced with Project Commons. There was no warning to the users. There was a testing period of just four days with hardly any change since the beta. The tools were completely reorganized and there was no information to help people migrate (just recently a CLICK HERE link was added because everybody was freaking out). As you can see from the discussion forum, lots of volunteers are justifiably angry that the events they were planning have disappeared and they can't find them anymore.

...

This is not how you release software. And this is not how you treat your hard-working volunteers with the respect they deserve."

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:38 AM

I just wanted to point out that things are just as easily destroyed in the Dean distro-campaign Universe.

With so much reliance on homebrewed tools to keep the distributed campaign running, the risk of loosing data can mean that all the people and events that you've worked hard to organize can dissappear in the blink of a system administrator's eye. It seems that some Dean supporters are so enthusiastic about the software and p2politics tools they're building that the supported content gets marginalized at times... for example, (Ping is a CS student here at UC Berkeley and a Dean actionite):

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25240.html

"The deployment procedure was even more unbelievable. Last night, all the existing tools were completely wiped away Get Local, Victory Days, and DeanLink, all gone! and replaced with Project Commons. There was no warning to the users. There was a testing period of just four days with hardly any change since the beta. The tools were completely reorganized and there was no information to help people migrate (just recently a CLICK HERE link was added because everybody was freaking out). As you can see from the discussion forum, lots of volunteers are justifiably angry that the events they were planning have disappeared and they can't find them anymore.

...

This is not how you release software. And this is not how you treat your hard-working volunteers with the respect they deserve."

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:38 AM

More from Ping:


Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 16:23:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Ka-Ping Yee
http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25615.html
To: Zephyr Teachout
Subject: Building Volunteer Trust

Dear Zephyr,

I'm writing to you because I have the greatest respect for you and your transformative work on this campaign. I hope my suggestions will be helpful.

Some great things and some not-so-great things happened yesterday. Of course, I was thrilled to see the endorsement from Gore. It's a terrific boost to the campaign. Congratulations!

The Project Commons was also released yesterday. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, many volunteers are upset about the problems with the software and the surprise release. The feedback forum is filled with complaints and desperate pleas to revert to the previous set of online tools.

I am compelled to write to you today by deeper reasons than to complain about software bugs. There is something more serious happening here. The Dean campaign is built on people. We all know it; we've all said it. That's what makes us different: this campaign brings people together.

The most important element of bringing people together is trust.

[...]

I have three specific recommendations.

1. Get usability help. Apply user-centered design principles. Find a good usability engineer.

2. Develop better release procedures. Set a timeline for testing software before it is launched.

3. Most of all, listen to the people. Show the volunteers that their input is valued and treat them with respect.

There isn't just one grassroots. It isn't safe to assume that we know what's best for them; we have to ask them. We can begin by listening to the calls on the forum: people are asking for simplicity and reliability. Let's aim for that. Then we should choose a few key volunteers and set up partnerships with them. Put the programmers in one-on-one conversations with the users, so they can come to understand each other and address their needs. Cultivate a group of volunteers to help do beta testing.

[...]

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:18 PM

More from Ping:


Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 16:23:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Ka-Ping Yee
http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25615.html
To: Zephyr Teachout
Subject: Building Volunteer Trust

Dear Zephyr,

I'm writing to you because I have the greatest respect for you and your transformative work on this campaign. I hope my suggestions will be helpful.

Some great things and some not-so-great things happened yesterday. Of course, I was thrilled to see the endorsement from Gore. It's a terrific boost to the campaign. Congratulations!

The Project Commons was also released yesterday. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, many volunteers are upset about the problems with the software and the surprise release. The feedback forum is filled with complaints and desperate pleas to revert to the previous set of online tools.

I am compelled to write to you today by deeper reasons than to complain about software bugs. There is something more serious happening here. The Dean campaign is built on people. We all know it; we've all said it. That's what makes us different: this campaign brings people together.

The most important element of bringing people together is trust.

[...]

I have three specific recommendations.

1. Get usability help. Apply user-centered design principles. Find a good usability engineer.

2. Develop better release procedures. Set a timeline for testing software before it is launched.

3. Most of all, listen to the people. Show the volunteers that their input is valued and treat them with respect.

There isn't just one grassroots. It isn't safe to assume that we know what's best for them; we have to ask them. We can begin by listening to the calls on the forum: people are asking for simplicity and reliability. Let's aim for that. Then we should choose a few key volunteers and set up partnerships with them. Put the programmers in one-on-one conversations with the users, so they can come to understand each other and address their needs. Cultivate a group of volunteers to help do beta testing.

[...]

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:18 PM

More from Ping:

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 16:23:07 -0800 (PST)

From: Ka-Ping Yee

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/25615.html

To: Zephyr Teachout

Subject: Building Volunteer Trust

Dear Zephyr,

I'm writing to you because I have the greatest respect for you and your transformative work on this campaign. I hope my suggestions will be helpful.

Some great things and some not-so-great things happened yesterday. Of course, I was thrilled to see the endorsement from Gore. It's a terrific boost to the campaign. Congratulations!

The Project Commons was also released yesterday. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, many volunteers are upset about the problems with the software and the surprise release. The feedback forum is filled with complaints and desperate pleas to revert to the previous set of online tools.

I am compelled to write to you today by deeper reasons than to complain about software bugs. There is something more serious happening here. The Dean campaign is built on people. We all know it; we've all said it. That's what makes us different: this campaign brings people together.

The most important element of bringing people together is trust.

[...]

I have three specific recommendations.

1. Get usability help. Apply user-centered design principles. Find a good usability engineer.

2. Develop better release procedures. Set a timeline for testing software before it is launched.

3. Most of all, listen to the people. Show the volunteers that their input is valued and treat them with respect.

There isn't just one grassroots. It isn't safe to assume that we know what's best for them; we have to ask them. We can begin by listening to the calls on the forum: people are asking for simplicity and reliability. Let's aim for that. Then we should choose a few key volunteers and set up partnerships with them. Put the programmers in one-on-one conversations with the users, so they can come to understand each other and address their needs. Cultivate a group of volunteers to help do beta testing.

[...]

Posted by joe at December 11, 2003 10:18 PM