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View Diary: Updated-USAGate: Big analysis by Kos Volunteers (221 comments)

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  •  BRAVO!!! (18+ / 0-)

    I envisioned this happening, might even have exchanged comments with you in luaptifer's post(s) about and the other RNC servers.

    But I didn't expect that this kind of analysis would be done this quickly.  What a labor of love -- for the truth!!

    Bravo to you and all the volunteers who helped glean through all those emails!  It was a lot of work to read them (been there, done that), but what a LOT of work to sort and analyze them.

    •  This labor is a great service to the community (8+ / 0-)

      and to the country.

      by 4Freedom on Thu May 10, 2007 at 04:13:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rayne, I diaried about this - but during an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      inactive window of time, thus very little exposure... so, like many  things that come and go on this site, you might find it of interest:

      The New Player: Cross-site Collective Research. A Benchmark in America

      Some people think I exaggerated. I don't think so. This distillation by drational is, as he states, kind of a second-pass filter on a grand project he and his team took on.

      --- McC: Real news | Access Corps: 1 - 2

      by rhfactor on Thu May 10, 2007 at 11:11:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rhfactor, Native Light, drational

        Open source software development is the best model for what has been happening; if you haven't read it, try reading Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar.  Granted, it's written from a techie's perspective, but the same concepts are parallel to those in large-scale community collaboration projects.

        Have always loved Linus' Law: Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.  That's where we are, finally garnering enough eyeballs by way of the internet to solve political-socio-economic problems and not just software challenges.

        I also recommend reading Dave Pollard on The Gift Economy; volunteers here do what they do out of a passion, creating value for free. How do we continue to develop upon free?

        •  "How do we continue to develop upon free?" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          (first off, i don't understand the word-combo: "upon free" ... is upon a misspelling? ...

          Rayne -- that is an excellent DIARY/brainstorm topic here. Well worth pursuing; not something I can do, just offering up the analysis.

          Coppola's Law:
          As Francis Coppola has often said about movies:

          There's high-quality, speedy, and cheap: PICK TWO.

          Meaning, rarely in life can you have all three at once.

          1.  High quality usually comes at a higher cost, and generally requires more time.

          2.  Speedy: You can focus on getting it done really fast, and you may have to pay a premium for that, rush charges, etc. And you may have to sacrifice some quality in order to meet deadline.

          3.  Cheap:  If you want it cheap, it may take you a lot of time because people aren't rushing to give you their time for nothing. If you want it fast & cheap -- good luck -- maybe you can find someone, but you can pretty much be assured the quality will suffer: you get what you pay for.

          This is what has always plagued volunteer movements. It's not sustainable.

          Passionate people step up to volunteer their time, and often the organizing entity has no money to pay people. That's okay when the passion is high, the stakes are high, and there's no one else focused on solving the problem.

          I experienced all of the following in volunteering on the Dean Campaign, particularly in laboring to form  a new model online-organized collaborative ad agency called "DEAN MEDIA TEAM":  AT the end of the day, I'd say I/we achieved less than 10% of what I'd hoped for and laid out as possible. We did get a TV spot produced and aired in several states; otherwise distributed via web (in a pre-YouTube world of course) and via DVDs.

          But every org or every group with an initiative has all these same problems, and surely drational and his team ran inot this head-on:

          Within the volunteer pool, you may or may not get the level of talent or skillsets you really need. Or, the talent may be there but you may lack the resources that enable you to perform the jobs well -- including the $$$ for the equipment or resources.

          Then there's the time factor, the ticking clock, need it by-when in order to have impact..l

          Time doesn't wait for volunteer orgs to get their acts together. This is a real killer, because usually it's David vs Goliath -- and Goliath has tons of money to buy people and resources, and manage projects to hit deadlines. Volunteer projects have to contend with people's limited availability. Even if the people volunteering are "best of breed" at what they do, volunteer work usually falls to the bottom of the queue after (1) YOUR JOB, and (2) YOUR RELATIONSHIP, FAMILY ACTIVITIES.

          And with sporadic help, you sometimes cannot hit escape velocity needed to move a project forward, even though you're throwing energy and talent at the project - it's in spurts, and that's often not enough.

          Then of course the big issue: sustainability
          You might get the whole thing to magically gel one time... but replicating that success model is often hard... unless there's an endless supply of people running throigh the system, and a good continuity of management and project knowledge & know-how.

          This is what I believe you mean when you said above:

          volunteers here do what they do out of a passion, creating value for free. How do we continue to develop upon free?

          The way I tried to tackle this during the Dean Campaign was to aggregate about 8-10 projects, assemble them into 1 "omnibus" business plan, and then seek to get a philanthropist or funding entity to fund the "incubator" group of projects, with the theory being that, like a mutual fund, some projects will be winners, perhaps others losers (not succeeding in their goals within timeframe and money constraints), but a better distribution of risk than throwing a ton of money at principally one entity.

          My limited understanding is that George Soros (evil man that he is, Billo) was not very satisfied with the results of his investments in And my own view is that Moven fundamentally changed in its effectiveness when they ramped up after the Soros infusion. I think they had way too much split focus, and ended up without INTEGRATION in their projects & initiatives. (To be specific, I'll cite the MISLEADER  Initiative/Campaign --- to me it was great in theory, but I believe from a pure "effectiveness meter" perspective, it was MoveOn's first failure.

          Many will probably disgaree or take issue. But the point isn't to argue over whether MISLEADER was effective or not, the point is that, IF I HAVE IT RIGHT, Soros did not, at the end of the 04 cycle, feel he got good bang for his buck. And I happen to believe that, at the time, MoveOn had a recognizable "brand name" in the progressive realm, so good people like Soros threw money in a very focused way at them... while many very viable and worthy projects died on the vine for lack of any startup capital to hit critical mass.

          Your question is a very important one, as we now start to see the first substantial  blossoms of the netroot seeds planted over the past 6 years... ePluribusMedia blossomed up out of a project begun within this community. For me, I'd like to see the Rescue Rangers get funded as a project, because I believe they have way way more reliability as an editorial filter than does the automated Recommended Diary system. I'd fund the dkosopedia project -- only if it were specifically to be integrated inot the home page and site of dDailyKos -- rather than being off in a distant forgotten land.

          And I'd fund a Citizen-based Collaborative Research and Analysis team -- much like drational's -- and buy them the resources they need.

          I know this may sound anathema here, but I personally would rather have netroots donating dollars to self-fund these initiatives -- vs -- spending on candidates that someone recommends as "worthy". That's a tricky argument and maybe one best left unsaid (DOH! too late!).

          But with these grassroots projects, I damn well know quality work will get produced... Whereas all these candidates CONTINUE to throw money at these no-talent "everyone uses them" crappy DC-Beltway Media Consultancies --- such as Trippi's old firm -- local TV used-auto-lot advertising at its finest -- and the agency Obama is using,  same one MoevOn joined at the hip with -- and they are lousy lousy warmed over recycled interchangeable-part ad formulas lacking in originality, and lacking in authenticity that speaks to people in today's day and age.

          (As a quick aside, the guy who made the unauthorized "1994" apple-style ad for Obama, landed work at another campaign:  )

          --- McC: Real news | Access Corps: 1 - 2

          by rhfactor on Fri May 11, 2007 at 02:18:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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