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(IIZaadz) Dialog on Multiplex Forum Issues

Last post 07-27-2007, 10:22 PM by tamgoddess. 3 replies.
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  •  07-27-2007, 2:51 PM 26457

    (IIZaadz) Dialog on Multiplex Forum Issues

    Arthur/adastra says:
    This is a duplicate of a thread I just started on IIzaadz, FYI.

    Hi all

    For anyone who hasn't completely lost interest in the Multiplex and how those forums are run, here is a Private Message exchange I had on Zaadz over the past few days with Paul/iKarma (initiated by him).  I feel his perspective is worth hearing and he agreed to have this PM dialog posted publicly.

    Paul/iKarma:

    In my opinion, the impression of II that is presented to the world is largely formed by the words they read on the II forum.  It's one of the few areas where non-paying members can lurk around and get a feel for what Integral is all about.  The problem with this is that such a large percentage of the content on II is produced by a small group of active posters.  The most active poster of course is none other than Helene.  With over 1400 forum posts to her credit, Helene is the Public Face of the II Forum.

    I thought about writing a note to Robb, the new CEO at II.  But I know you've delt with this issue so I thought I'd ask you what you thought about this first.

    Perhaps this has already been discussed in depth at higher levels.  I noticed that when I tried to pull up her post count using this link , and any ability to find her historical posts seem to have vanished!    She has more forum posts than you but she seems to have been declared a non-person as far as the database is concerned.  Or perhaps she's really just a decoy to unveil people like me with lingering red tendencies that she seems to bring to the surface.  LOL

    Any thoughts?

    ~~~~~

    Arthur/adastra:

    Helen(e) was banned from the forum by Lindsey just before Lindsey got canned by I-I.  (It would have been dealt with earlier - albeit still years too late - back at the beginning of this year, someone else was going to ban Helen but got laid off before taking that action, so Helen got months more clown-trolling (or whatever you want to call it) in before someone with THE POWER had the discriminating wisdom to do right by the wespace. 

    So that's been dealt with, at long last.  I share your perception of the damage she was allowed to do to the forums; I know for a fact that some serious integral people have been disgusted by the forums in general and her presence there in particular.

    It's nice to see you around again; I've been getting a kick out of some of your posts lately - I hope you'll feel like contributing more to IIzaadz, but whatever - it's all good.  Both Liz and I thought your posts on the John Makey thread were interesting.

    What do you think of the new CEO?  (In general and/or in terms of the forums.)  Some of us were quite upset about Lindsey being pink-slipped, and I wasn't really happy about how the discussion went on the Dead Forever? thread, or elsewhere for that matter. 

    I feel my energy is wasted - and quite unwelcome - on the Multiplex, so I focus my attention on IIzaadz.  I wish I could say I feel confident that the forums are in good hands, but at this point I really can't.  I'd love to hear your opinion on any of that stuff though.

    ~~~~~

    Paul/iKarma -

    My most recent post on the subject is here.  I never saw any problem with usernames,  but rather see the problem being one of general inattention to the forums altogether by those producing the site's multimedia content.  It's like everyone at II is living on the second “tier” above and totally unaware of anyone or anything going on downstairs in the “tier” below.  LOL  So basically Second Tier as as described by their actions rather than their words is like a crappy apartment building.  They get the view and we get to listen to then banging around to us through the floor.  :) 

    As for Robb as CEO I'm still fine with that.  I pretty much came to Integral through Orange myself, so I can relate a bit.  I know Ken things that the only path to second tier is through Green, but I was really excited about the idea that the world of business would come to that point as a natural process of expanding systems theory and game theory to include a greater number of perspectives.  In other words, greedy businessmend discover that knowing the customer is good for business.  They then come to REALLY know all aspects of the customer using the Whole Foods model and learn about themselves in the process.  Leading of course to a world of highly effective and profitable second tier businesses with one foot on a solid foundation of Orange and the other foot firmly in Teal.  Anyway, that dream is hitting a few roadblocks now as John Mackey goes through his problems.   I like Zaadz and I should really post here more often.  I was kind of hoping they would do some kind of joint venture or merger with my company, iKarma.  I know Brian has been searching for a way to really change the world of business and if he were to take the lead and integrate iKarma into the Zaadz business section it would be mutually beneficial for everyone.

    ~~~~~

    Arthur/adastra:

    Thanks, Paul, interesting perspective.  Do you mind if I share what you said with my co-moderators of IIzaadz?  I think they would find it interesting (and it's much in line with what we've had to say on the subject amongst ourselves).

    It would be great if I-I and/or Zaadz wanted to play with you.  When I read what you were saying on the “Real Names” thread in regards to your company, I thought, “Hey, shouldn't Robb want to at least talk with Paul about this stuff?” 

    ~~~~~

    Paul/iKarma -

    Feel free to share anything I've said with anyone.  As for Robb I'm sure he's overwhelmed right now with everything on his plate.  One one hand he's trying to take charge and set a course for II, and on the other he's getting bogged down in self appointed focus groups on what he thought would be the small stuff.  Part of the problem is that while Holocracy seems to be the emerging form of Integral Business structure, it's such a new concept that no one really seems to know how do it yet.  Have you read the papers that were posted on II about Holocracy?  So much of the focus and content at at II is in the area of Spirituality and the Integral Business area is pretty dead, so it would be easy to miss.  It's actually quite interesting and it would be great if II ate its own dog food and practiced it.  I use it at my company, but it's easy because there are only four of us and a collection of outside vendors.

    ~~~~~

    Arthur/adastra:

    Thanks, Paul.  I've cc'd the relevant parts of our conversation into the SUPER-SECRET “Tuquoise Mod Squad Pod”  Bwahahahahahahaha!  (sound of me drunk on power…not).

    Haven't seen the Holocracy papers, doesn't sound like something I'd get around to reading anytime soon, although I think it's important and would welcome the opportunity to work in a healthy work environment attempting to use those or other experimental 2nd-tier organizational principles.

    My take is this: I don't know how nifty-keen Robb Smith is for I-I as a whole, but I can say that he sucks as far as involvment with the forums is concerned.  He doesn't get the wespace, and has already made significant  blunders.  His best bet would be to have someone with the right skill set - and it's more of an art than a science - to run the forum side of things.  I have little confidence this will happen - and even if it does, the forums have been so damaged over the years, and so far every single time I-I has had a chance at renewal they've blown it.  By now there's very little (if any) trust left, and great people have left the forum in droves.  His passive-aggressive talking-down to the forums in recent posts is not likely to help matters much, either.

    sheeshing out,
    arthur

    ~~~~~

    Paul/iKarma:

    I can sum up the Holacracy system by saying that it is a fairly simple way of ensuring that an organization listens and gives respect to even the smallest voice at the bottom.   And it manages to do this while still remaining free of clutter and paralsys at the top.  If the guy in the basement says the planned expansion of the sales department will blow out the pipes, then the expansion doesn't go forward till the plumbing problem is delt with.  It's funny, because this system really does apply to the current forum situation and is a prime example of those at the top not practicing what they preach to the bottom.

    Anytime someone gets a little power it's tempting to walk the halls and see if the first impression off the cuff suggestions they have take root.  I'm hoping that this is what Robb was really doing and that he realizes your suggestion (and mine) for more active and enlightened moderation is the way to go.  If he really intends to micro manage the forums then I'll be pretty disappointed.  I also hope he realizes how much the forum is like a fragile plant.  You can't ignore it, forget to water it or dump the wrong fertelizer on it and think that your mistakes won't result in lasting damage or distruction.  I was very new to II and had only been posting for a few months when they changed to the new forum.  I can honestly say that I was kinda pissed.  I had spent a lot of time in some very established threads and the switch felt like I had just suffered from brain damage.  The collective wisdom of so many people and so many carefully crafted posts from tens of thousands of man hours just got pushed off a cliff like yesterday's news.  Just a fraction of it was mine, so I can't even imagine how you and the other really active posters must have felt.

    I will say that in my opinion I think Ken seemed to be actively courting various Mean Green groups and raiding their members during this past few years by not calling them on their mean green attitudes toward Orange.  Every guest on IN is butt kissed for a moment or two before the interviewer cuts in and wraps the guest's theory or religion in an integral wrapper.  In my opinion this has enabled Integral to grow more rapidly at the expense of lots of people with non-integral beliefs thinking that everything they believed before is integral.  I include myself in this delusional group.  Since II fully controls the content they put out, the forums are really the biggest hotbed of non-integral mis-information they have to deal with.  So it's likely that this is the reason they keep treating the forum like a turd that got stuck to their ass hair. 

    Even though I have this turd theory about the forum, I've come to understand that had it not been for the forum, I wouldn't still be at II.  They would have lost me long before I even really understood the basics.  I saw the ad they placed in Yoga Journal and thought there might be naked people here.  I downloaded of of the free downloads that left me with the impression that Integral was some kind of crazy color cult.  I'm fasinated by crazy cult people so I clicked into the forum and started reading.  I still thought everyone there was crazy (and sometimes still do) but once I started reading things I had to stay until they stopped making sense.  It was my frustration with not being able to post that pushed me to give my credit card.  It was the smart active moderators and posters on the forum that talked and argued with me and addressed the individual questions and concerns I had about II.  II never had a chance of hooking me without the forum.  Now I'm an active donor, my daughter Leslie just interned for Stuart Davis this summer, I've attended a Wet Weekend in Miami and I've bought Integral books and ILP kits for friends and family.  I fear that II may be totally unaware of the value that the forum provides and may be thinking that 99% of all new members are here because of the fantastic content they put out, when in reality it may really be the other way around.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to go on a rant, but I do share your concern for what happens to the forum.  I know that you're still the most active poster there (aside from Helene) even though you are also an active poster and moderator here on Zaadz.  Unless you and they are engaged in some kind of Integral Sunni vs Integral Shiite conflict, I think they really need to pull you in and get you a seat at the table.  If they don't, it might be fun to start your own website called Integral Adastra where you discuss the flaws of Wilberian second tier thinking and it's inability to put belief into action.  Perhaps the giant sucking sound as we all follow you there will get their attention.  :)

    Peace,
    Paul

    ~~~~~

    Arthur/adastra:

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for your addtional impressions.  All of the I-Izaadz mods have found your perspective refreshing - especially great to hear what we've been thinking and observing coming from someone who hasn't been that centrally involved most of the time (alas).  Personally I find your largely orange perspective well worth hearing.

    Part of me thinks that it would be great if you posted a lot of this stuff (pretty much this entire PM you just sent me for example) - for one thing it demonstrates that the forums have, in fact, pulled people in.    Your speculation about the I-I management not having control over the content of the forums is interesting.  It seems to me that they let the forums go totally adrift, whereas they could deliberately cultivate a stronger integral vibe there in various ways. 

    Another, (probably larger) part of me thinks the whole thing has gone too far.  It reminds me of a study that reportedly showed that a neighborhood could function in a healthy way if a certain percentage of the people living there were “professionals” - and it didn't have to be a very high percentage, but there was a threshold.  Above the threshold, the neighborhood would tend to thrive.  But if the percentage dropped very far below the threshold, the neighborhood would go into a decline from which it was very unlikely to recover (think grafitti, crime, gangs etc.)  I think the Multiplex forums have long since lost a sufficient percentage of people who are operating at a certain cognitive level and a certain depth of being - and the neighborhood has gone to hell in a handbasket.  It took a long time to drive out so many of the good people, but it's been accomplished.  Now it would be very difficult to attract such people to the forums again, and I don't see much evidence that they have what it takes to accomplish it.  What I see for the most part is more of the same.

    forum death spirals,
    arthur

    ~~~~~

    Paul/iKarma:

    I'm definately on the outside looking in.  So most of my comments are based on speculation and outside impression.  But to an Integral organization, all views should also be heard and given consideration.  So feel free to post our thread where ever these issues are being discussed.  So that readers don't think that I'm totally at odds with those in charge of the forums at II, I would like to add that I think forums will always have turnover, and this should be expected.  The threads I read now are not the ones I would have read when I started.  So I can invision a fair number of people moving off the boards and into other real life circles for information and conversation.  The loss of many of the good posters that have left may partly be chalked up to natural turnover and the fact that real life generally takes priority over virtual life.  Management will always be imperfect and those heavelly invested in the outcomes of their mistakes will always find this painfull.  With reguard to the forums and the amount of your life and love that has been spent in them, it is only natural that you would feel the greatest loss and frustration.  You are largely the one who made the previous forums the great place that they were, and had you not been there, I doubt that hundreds if not thousands of us would be here now supporting II and its projects.  If I was Ken Wilber I would hire you tomorrow and make you Forum Zar.  But I'm also not expecting II to deliver a perfect solution.  I'm just hoping that they are integral enough to build a better one and to include some of those who gave so much to the old system a seat at the table when these decisions are being made.  It's the integral thing to do.  Peace.  :)

    ~~~~~

    Arthur/adastra
    :

    Thanks, I might do just that - post the whole PM thread in one or more of the public forums, that is.  (Minus irrelvant personal stuff, such as the parts about adding each other to our Zaadz friend lists.) 

    So that readers don't think I'm totally at odds with those who run I-I either, I'll add the following:  I believe everybody involved is acting from the best of intentions, whether or not they are lacking in skillful means in certain areas.  I continue to be on friendly terms with number of past and present employees of I-I.  I liked Robb Smith's interview that was broadcast recently - he seems like a nice guy, and I'm open to the possibility that he's great for I-I as a whole, or for the part involved in producing content and other projects - that's not my concern.  What I've been saying should be read insofar as it pertains to the forums, and in that domain I know what I'm talking about.  I have not been impressed by his actions in that wespace and - based on various comments that have appeared in the forums as well as in private conversations - I'm clearly not alone in that view. 

    From what I've seen, I-I continues to make the same mistakes over and over again, not realizing how much it's damaging their reputation, or how much energy and enthusiasm they've lost.  Right-quadrant techno-fixes are only part of the story, and however wonderful the new Portal may be from a technological standpoint (we'll see), fatal errors or lack of competence in the Lower Left will continue to undermine the whole thing if the past several years (right up to the moment I write this) are any indication.

    To reiterate something that's been said by others as well as myself to I-I: if you can't figure out how to nurture integral forums yourselves, and you won't put in place (or refrain from laying off) people who do have some demonstrated competence in that area, then please for the love of all that is Good, True, and Beautiful get out of the forum game altogether and focus on what you can do well.

    spiral out,
    arthur

    ~~~~~

    Well, there you have it, FWIW.  If you've made it this far without lapsing into a coma, please comment if you feel so moved.  :)

    spirals,
    arthur


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  •  07-27-2007, 4:32 PM 26465 in reply to 26457

    Re: (IIZaadz) Dialog on Multiplex Forum Issues

    I'm very much in agreement with the general points being raised here.

    Check out this thread for background info.


    peace
    Pelle

    http://pelle.zaadz.com/
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  •  07-27-2007, 6:19 PM 26469 in reply to 26457

    Re: (IIZaadz) Dialog on Multiplex Forum Issues

    This clarifed a major point for me ~

    Paul/ikarma: 
    "I can sum up the Holacracy system by saying that it is a fairly simple way of ensuring that an organization listens and gives respect to even the smallest voice at the bottom.   And it manages to do this while still remaining free of clutter and paralsys at the top.  If the guy in the basement says the planned expansion of the sales department will blow out the pipes, then the expansion doesn't go forward till the plumbing problem is delt with.  It's funny, because this system really does apply to the current forum situation and is a prime example of those at the top not practicing what they preach to the bottom."


    Like Paul, I have also benefited far more from participating in the forum discussions since last July than from anything else I-I had to offer. Most guest appearance thingies linger in my email box, unopened. People who are no longer seeking spiritual advice will look for a thriving community of kindred spirits. And for an online gathering to go on thriving, you need some very exceptional hosts - writers who function as pillars of the community, who set the tone and deliver a great variety of goods day in, day out. Well, we had all that and more... it happened on its own. Why? Because like attracts like.

    Good hosts are a rare commodity. I would be more than happy to pay Arthur for doing the job he now does for free as chief cultivator of the most diverse, interesting and cutting edge salon I know of on the web.


    Spirals to you too, buddy,

    M




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  •  07-27-2007, 10:22 PM 26474 in reply to 26469

    Re: (IIZaadz) Dialog on Multiplex Forum Issues

    Arthur/adastra says:
    Wow, thanks for the lavish compliments, Mascha (and Paul, in our PM exchange quoted above).  Stick out tongue [:P]  Of course, it has always been a group effort.  At Integral Naked, in days of yore, there was a whole "core group" of people who arose within the early community [see Clay Shirkey's excellent article A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy for more on the "core group" concept and why it matters to forum communities] - I was just one member of that group (for "core group" feel free to substitute "group of obsessives who have nothing better to do than tickle keyboards all day").  Then, when I was asked to officially moderate the forum, there were around five other moderators working alongside me. 

    More recently, I did initially become the main (in effect, "only") moderator at IIzaadz and put in a lot of hard work there - but as soon as the forum  ("pod") activity levels really picked up, I needed to get some co-moderators (Maryw and Pelle) to help me.  There is no way I could keep that place going by my own efforts alone.  Pelle in particular has put a huge amount of work into the forums.  Maryw, Pelle and I all have our own individual strong points (as well as weaknesses) and work well together.  In addition, there are a lot of great community members (many of them Integral Naked "alumni") who are a vital - dare I say "integral" - part of that whole scene.   It's always, as I say, a group phenomenon.

    That said, it feels good to be appreciated by the effort I've put into these forums over the years.  So thanks for that!  Smile [:)]

    spiral out,
    arthur


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