What's up with the secrecy?

Discussion in 'Ask the White Tower' started by Stephen Lightheart, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. Adina al'Mari

    Adina al'Mari Aes Sedai

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    "Best days" is never a term I would use for early Tower stuff. I think we're much more mature and grounded now, things run more smoothly, and we generally have a better behaved group of friends to hang out with.
     
  2. Stephen Lightheart

    Stephen Lightheart Aes Sedai

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    Haha, well, I wasn't there, and everyone who was usually talks about it fondly. ^^
     
  3. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    That’s because people enjoyed being crazy and sowing their wild oats, but it’s also nice to be able to sit across from a table with someone you respect and share a drink without needing to be blasted.


    I love that movie. Also, perfect picture.
     
  4. Jalen te'Kreg

    Jalen te'Kreg Gaidin

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    Serinia's been active right along. This is reflected in her Library entry, in both involvement and attendance. That you didn't see the activity doesn't mean none occurred, Stephen.

    And yeah, "best days" is definitely some weird pseudonostalgia from people. I want to provide a little perspective from my angle, with the explicit point that all I am is a warder, and I've got no other positions to speak of, and I don't speak for the administration or anyone else: There were some things that were easier back when we had 130 members and parties of 15 or 20 people at most. It's been interesting from my perspective to have left when we were still more or less that small (though I *did* help hold a rockin' party with nearly 60 people right before), come back to a more expansive and growing tower, rise through ranks again and watch things change.

    As membership has shifted partly to an older demographic, THANKS TIME AND AGING, so has leadership - and between that and a changing society and background environment that's led to administrative and operational changes too. Some decisions that were made by young 20-somethings would make the heads of our late-30's selves spin with WTF. And given that any steps apply to so many more people, they're having to be made with less time, and an eye on pushing forward - it's still a volunteer-run organization, but we've now got professional and in many cases intense corporate jobs to wade through, too.

    Now add the current world issues going on, especially covid. Everyone's reeling. Everyone's trying to keep their shit together. Everyone's trying to figure out how to maintain their composure, hopefully keep their jobs, continue personal and professional productivity, and not step out to the backyard to howl like a wounded wolf every hour on the hour.

    If the in-context criticism right now is that the Administration hasn't responded to some emails in the time we'd like... welcome them to the club. If they're a little slower on the draw to reach out and soothe feelings... that's pretty much how everything in the world is working right now. Everyone's trying to keep their shit together and do what they can.

    One of the biggest mistakes I made in my earlier years was to not see the Administration as people in context, and expect a machine instead. But they're people, they're long-standing active members, they care enough to volunteer their time, and they're in the middle of all this crap with the rest of us.
     
  5. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Rod of Dominion Gaidin Forum Moderator Mediator

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    Sums it up.. its like we are all living in some screwed up twilight zone. And I don't mean on the site.. I mean life in general.
     
  6. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Rod of Dominion Gaidin Forum Moderator Mediator

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    I also think we have to think about the sociological and psychological implications of actions. I think a lot of us.. seek things we can influence and control. A lot of that comes back to the site or other smaller parts of our lives. Everything in real life is literally scary and going to shit... so it makes sense we come here to seek familiar things and control over our environment.

    Its an awful and unforgivable time to lead anything right now... my team at work wants to kill me I think half of the time and they love me. This whole thing has had more effect on us than we know.
     
  7. Jalen te'Kreg

    Jalen te'Kreg Gaidin

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    Yep. Lots of wisdom right here ^
     
  8. Zashara Sho'am

    Zashara Sho'am The Dark One Aes Sedai Master of the Watch

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    Jal, you haven't been active in a long time, so you haven't seen dynamics for the past few years. I can 100% see how Stephen and others get the impression they do from the current administration.

    Seri had no positions between 2016 and 2019 and attended anni once and jcon a bunch. It makes sense that Jcon folks would know her well but others would not, particularly "newer" people. Mieri was annual report project manager prior to being Keeper which is a behind the scenes position. She also attended jcon only. They've both done a lot for the tower over the years but have not necessarily had a public presence. Because of this, how would the site at large have a chance to know them?

    As for the secrecy thing, I agree with that. I won't say much more because I've made my thoughts clear in the mod forum. I highly disagree that keeping things close is the best way to do things. It just fosters a culture of bitterness because people don't feel listened to.

    I get that some people have emails responded to. However others haven't. If they haven't, then that's a problem. If they are all part of the same membership group or friend group that's also a problem. It may be coincidence but it gives off the appearance of bias which is good for no one.

    What's the point of people saying their emails have been responded to? It doesn't make the lack of response to other emails less valid. It actually makes it more problematic. I've been saying this a lot lately: maybe we just need to listen. Listening goes a long way. Its clear that people have concerns and they need to be listened to.
     
  9. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    Indeed.

    @Zashara Sho'am I absolutely agree with you. Do you have any ideas for how they can be more transparent that might help the general image and feel of how the site functions in its relationship with admin?
     
  10. Serinia Edoras

    Serinia Edoras The Amyrlin Seat The Amyrlin Seat

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    Thank you all for your concern and desire to ensure our community is in good hands. Let me respond to a few of the specific questions asked as this thread has developed:
    • Responsiveness. I’m sure you understand that the Keeper and I both receive many messages from all different parts of our community every day. We work hard to respond to these and at times that response might take more time than we’d like. Frequently we need to investigate details before we reply. Sometimes the emails are regarding actively-developing situations that we cannot comment on or which must be resolved before the questions are answered. And yes, sometimes our “day jobs” or family commitments must take priority. We understand that some of our members have been (happily or not) impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in a way that results in having more time available away from work or other commitments. This has not been the case for Mieriana and myself. I work on nutritional products for people that are ill, and Mieriana works in a company that has unfortunately separated a significant portion of their workforce. This has resulted in an unplanned increase in workloads that we are trying to balance with our duties here. Yes, we’re volunteers, but we also know that this volunteer work is incredibly important to a lot of people and their daily experiences an we’re working hard to make it better.
    • Secrecy. Sometimes there is a need for secrecy. In a group like ours privacy is important, and I intend to protect our members’ privacy and confidentiality whenever I can. But transparency is also important. It’s important to me and it’s important to our culture. The one time I ran for office in my community was when I felt the government in my area was not being transparent enough. I did not understand or appreciate the closed door meetings that impacted key decisions. I do understand your concerns, and I think Mieri and I have recognized transparency and proactive communications as the areas we can most improve on in the short term.
    • Best days of the tower.” From my personal point of view, I don’t think there was a specific period of time when the tower was “better” than another time. My favorite “times” have been moments along the way. Attending my first Tar Valon Toast on the 11th floor of the Marriott at Dragon*Con in 2005, being asked to take on the Mistress of Revels role and organizing my first party and learning about so many members as room requests were submitted, watching March Madness games with crazy Greens and a Yellow/Brown from KU, hosting two fall ball events, realizing I found someone I wanted to Bond, and realizing how much I wanted this job. I expect there to be countless amazing moments in the future – for each one of us.
    • Sociological Impact. This is a good point. Everyone is stressed and uncomfortable and on edge right now. For good reason. I know I’m like a broken record right now with the “Assume Positive Intent” thing, but if we can all be a little extra patient with each other right now I think it could really help.
     
  11. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    Thank you, Mother :)
     
  12. Stephen Lightheart

    Stephen Lightheart Aes Sedai

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    Thank you so much for your open and thorough response. It helps a lot!
     
  13. Risula Odaravla

    Risula Odaravla Recruit

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  14. Alexstrasz Ruskein

    Alexstrasz Ruskein My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian Forum Moderator Game Master

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    Rare spawn!!!!!
     
  15. Jalen te'Kreg

    Jalen te'Kreg Gaidin

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    :myrddraal

    :joy
     
  16. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    Thank you Mother for your response. I remember that Anni well. I understand Stephen Sedai's point in that living overseas may have led to him not being able to attend as many real life events as those of us who live in the states. My perspective has been that Mother was never a "spammy" person, but very active. I do not think I have met the keeper. From my experiences during real life events and on the boards, that every member who has spent the time to be here, dedicated volunteer hours, made friends and stayed, anyone of them would be great at any position if they felt that they had the ability to do it. Rhed and Li Sedai did a great job and the others before them also. I look forward to seeing what this new Administration will do and accomplish in the coming year.