Questioning the use of 'Official'

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I absolutely agree with your comments about mandatory processes. In the wiki/open source communities I come from, the one thing I have learned is that the large majority of members are incredibly fickle. I truly admire my fellow teachers for their passion for education, but I don't think professionals are immune to the fickle phenomenon. To date, most of the precedent is found in the computer and software professions, but that precedent, shown by the Mozilla foundation, the World of Warcraft addon communities, and others, proves that for every successful project, there are ten that go unfinished. The idea has been that "friction" in the environment contributes to this behaviour. The environment includes policy and collaborative situations.

This article on meta wiki provides a good example of the woes of over zealous policy making. The example talks about the result of someone screwing up, but I've also seen this sort of thing happen for more selfish reasons. Someone gets offended because they were not included, or didn't get what they wanted, and a suggest a process which makes the situation more favourable to the individual. The group often takes it up as being more "fair", rather than beneficial to the situation.

I'll admit, I'm a bit colder to emotional situations, an not always successful at attending to a team's emotional needs, but I tend to look at this sort of thing as a matter of "keeping one's eye on the ball". This is perhaps a more American idiom meaning that the utmost priority must remain utmost, no matter the situation, otherwise that priority is devalued, and the results will not be equivalent to the team's potential. WE's "ball" is providing free education resources to the world, which is done at the ground level by authoring content.

Policy aside, I think you will be very interested in the style guide workgroup. I think these are a good example of what this community can achieve with an Apache project-style "do-ocracy" (I really love that word!). I'd like to hear your opinions on the process we've devised for both the workgroup and the guidelines. In fact, we have discussed a guideline that encompasses your language policy suggestions.

Jesse Groppi (talk)15:19, 15 September 2009