Community-Canonical Relationships – The honeymoon might be over, but the love is still there.
When I got home yesterday I had a few messages asking about whether or not I had seen yesterday’s CC (Community Council) Meeting. I was away from my computer for most of the day yesterday so I didn’t get a chance to read the log of the meeting until late last night. This is one CC meeting I wish I had been able to attend.
Yesterday, there were a couple of things that stood out to me about this meeting.
There was no planned agenda – not that meetings have to have an agenda but it makes the purpose of the meeting a little more defined now doesn’t it.
Despite having no planned agenda members of CC showed up anyway (dedication) and the conversation that took place after the announcements was indeed one of the most important conversations I think I have had the chance to read. (It’s important to me for a lot of reasons – Four weeks into my time into the community I wrote a post about Community V. “Community” and last week I blogged about Banners and Table Covers – What I See in a effort to help point out various undercurrents as I saw them.)
Before I go any farther I want to stop and mention this blog post is in NO WAY a personal affront or attack on Jono Bacon or the members of his Team (Canonical Community Team); however, since he and now they are the Community Team much of this will be point in that direction because I don’t know where else to direct this.
What I saw yesterday was the CC having a responsibility to the community and sticking to that responsibility, but without a purpose. You can’t have responsibility without purpose or purpose without a responsibility. Those two go hand it hand; however, once the meeting started the purpose became clear. The CC (via popey) had the courage to say (and this is my paraphrasing not the exact wording) – “Hey something is wrong in the community, I am not exactly sure how to identify it, but I know it’s not good, and I don’t know how we fix it (yet), but I know we need to do something.”
To me this is like when in a relationship the honeymoon phase is over and now comes the real work, staying together and making it work after the spark that flares the initial flames of desire have settled into those warm embers waiting for moments to roar again. Okay, so the fun part is over now comes the real work to make sure it all continues to work. No relationship (Marriage, Friendship, etc) just happens it takes WORK and PURPOSE! To end it someone has to leave.
I’ve had people over the last 2 years talk to me about them leaving, thinking about leaving, pondering why they left, should they come back etc. The CC meeting yesterday brought up a few of those feelings throughout the community yesterday in an effort address these issues.
The responses that were given from Jono to the CC didn’t seem good either. Instead of just listening then stepping away with a thanks for bringing this up let me look into this some more. He jumped in and wanted examples, wanted to know who should be fixing the problem, suggested that the CC and TB be the examples and drive leadership (which there may be something too), and basically said, “I have a team of 5 people now I can’t manage the community who doesn’t fall into my areas of responsibility.” (my words not his, but you can read the logs and see what you think). I wish he would have just listened. I don’t think the problems in the community are 100% his fault, but Jono is the community manager and has been the liaison for the community to Canonical (or to those things that needed a Canonical answer), but to all the sudden say, “I can’t help you now – sorry too bad”, is not cool either. (Maybe I am reading it wrong please let me know if I did.)
I have to say thank you to the whole CC and those who chimed in on the issues. For me personally I am glad to see it’s not just me who is noticing this undercurrent.
If the CC and the community can’t turn to its community manger and their team who can they turn too? Most people wait 7 years before seeking professional help, I think the CC should be commended for speaking up and asking for help before it gets to late.
UPDATE: After the meeting Jono and members of CC worked tirelessly to come up with a plan to address the issues. I followed up with Elizabeth Krumbach of the CC who said, “Since the meeting Jono has followed up directly with several Community Council members to work on a poll to the community to make the first steps in gauging the problem, so we can have a better handle on how to move forward. We’re also making plans to discuss it at the upcoming UDS”
See the honeymoon may be over, but like I said the love is still there! 🙂