[hackerspaces] Productive conversations (was: Unified Open Source / Open Development dashboard for projects)

Tim Saylor tim.saylor at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 18:21:35 CEST 2011

It's kind of an accepted thing that happens at our space.  When we
have a proposal to put to the membership for a vote that might spark
some kind of discussion we build in an extra week for everyone to
offer their favorite color of bikeshed.  However, these discussions
aren't always entirely trivial, they can sometimes influence and
improve the proposal.

The solution I've proposed at our space a couple times is to give all
decision making power short of bylaws changes to the board of
directors like a lot of organizations do.  They can make a decision
much more effectively than the full membership.  I feel like the
members either trust these people to be smart and act in the best
interest of the space, or they shouldn't have elected them.

On Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM, Nathaniel Bezanson
<myself at telcodata.us> wrote:
> This is a process known as bikeshedding, or painting the bikeshed:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_Law_of_Triviality
> Simply being aware of the phenomenon, and raising it (like Godwin's law
> when an argument becomes silly, or The Complicator's Gloves) at the
> appropriate time, can bring conversation back on track and lead people to
> focus again.
> I'm forking the subject line here, because I think this is an interesting
> topic I've been meaning to ask on this list for a while: How do you keep
> etiquette on your hackerspace's mailing-list or forum? How do people
> manage to be productive, when there's so much temptation to discuss
> trivialties ad nauseam?
> I feel that in part, it's been an especially big problem at i3detroit
> because so many of our members are do-it-yourselfers but not computer
> experts, and not netiquette-savvy, and turning a single shouting noob into
> a considerate community member takes a whole lot of time and patience from
> an ever-larger group.
> Thoughts?
> -Nathaniel-
>> "What if open source projects would have possibility to use unified
>> dashboard instead of creating one for every project?"
>> In my opinion the answer to that question is "Then they would fork the
>> code a thousand times to make similar but slightly incompatible
>> versions of that dashboard for reasons that are ultimately trivial but
>> that the developers think are very important to their projects."
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