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Who Owns the AAW Forum?

Discussion in 'AAW Information' started by Al Stramiello, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    Who owns the AAW Forums? The answer, of course, is WE do . . . the members of AAW.

    If that premise is, in fact, accurate . . . then a provision needs to be included in the Bylaws Revision. The proposal that I will be submitting to the Committee will address the following issues:

    a. Abolishing the present "Internet Committee" which is chaired by the current webmaster, Ed Davidson, and comprised of Board President Tom Wirsing, Board Member Kurt Hertzog, and John Hill.

    b. Formation of a five member Information Technology Committee which oversees the AAW Website, including the Forums.

    c. The duties of the Information Technology Committee will include, but are not limited to, overseeing the content of the AAW website as well as the operational procedures of the Forums, including rules for posting and being banned from the Forum.

    d. The Webmaster and Forum Moderators will provide input to the Informational Technology Committee.

    e. The Webmaster and Forum Moderators will fulfill the operational procedures as mandated by the Informational Technology Committee. Operational procedures include such activities as deciding what content will appear on the AAW website, video broadcasting and recording of BOD meetings, and forum rules and usage guidelines by members, including rules regarding posting by members.

    f. The Webmaster and Forum Moderators will refrain from expressing their personal views and ideologies when posting. They will remain neutral during any debates and will manifest behaviors that are impartial and objective.

    g. The five member Information Technology Committee will be comprised of one Board member who presents the decisions of the Information Technology Committee to the Board. All Committee members will serve a two year term and may be elected for two consecutive appointments. This Board representative will be selected by the Board. The remaining four members of the Committee will be elected by the AAW membership.
    The voting will take place online in the Forum. Eligible candidates will have been AAW members for at least two years and have made at least 50 posts prior to their nomination.

    ****************************************************

    To all who read this . . . please note that I wrote to Ed, Steve, Kurt, and John 24 hours prior to this post. I sent them the following message . . .

    "I have become increasingly concerned by the role of the the Webmaster and Forum Moderators. It is my thinking that those positions play a very specific and important function in maintaining the Forum. However, I also feel that those members holding those positions should remain neutral during times of debate.

    While I respect each of you and appreciate the many hours that you put into the Forum, I think you've crossed the line by presenting your personal views.

    I think this is a matter that the Bylaws Committee should consider. Who owns the Forum, how should it be run, and what is fair play in regards to the management of the forum.

    Most importantly, please understand that my post is not meant to be personal. As I said earlier, I respect each of you. I just felt that you should know that my post is coming . . . It will not be an attack on you."

    ***************************************************

    Please do not turn this thread into a debate about personalities. I would greatly appreciate it if we kept the focus on the Bylaws revision that I am proposing. Making comments about the individuals involved, will not be acceptable.

    I look forward to your comments about my proposal.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Garmar

    Garmar

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    Al, I agree with your assessment of current Forum "governance". It was/is very uncomfortable trying to walk the line, so to speak, fearing one or two persons intrepretation of civility or "mean spirited" discussion(s). I can only speak of my own experiences, and in reflection, I can see where I was over the line at times. However, it seemed that I was the ONLY person taken to task involving a TWO person dialog. That's what really bothered me. I openly admit that I DON'T support the present BOD and that isn't going to change. Admins/webmasters should and MUST be impartial with their governance. By inference or by simply looking at AAW BOD supporters list(s) one can get a fair idea of their political bent. And that's O.K. with me, they just shouldn't display that intension on the Forum. Personally, I very much like the mods/admins that rule the roost here, they have a very difficult task at times like these. I cede to your knowledge in how to "help" them in/with there Duties.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    too much bureaucracy

    Al,

    It would be unusual to codify an activity such as the forum in the bylaws.
    it is a service provided to members, used by few members, and has no direct bearing on how the organization functions.

    in my opinion the bureaucracy you suggested to manage the forum is way out of proportion to the AAW resources and members involved.

    -Al
     
  4. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo Guest

    Al S.

    I received your email to the bylaws committee.

    This forum will not be covered under the bylaws.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2010
  5. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Al, smallish problem with your initial premise. The entity known as the AAW "owns" this forum. But AAW members, while they have voting rights on many things, are not equity stockholders and do not own the AAW. This not like a condo association where homeowners have actual property rights. It is also not like a public corporation where stockholders actually own something of the company.
     
  6. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    For the record, here's the reply I sent to Al's "24 hour notice" PM:

     
  7. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    There is certainly an interesting array of viewpoints regarding this issue. I'm hopeful that the Bylaws Revision Committee will keep an open mind to this matter.

    Allow me to offer a few more points to consider:

    Think back to this post made by Ed Davidson on August 25th,

    "At this point, since Steve has retired, the forum is run by John and Kurt - full stop. I act as advisor and interface with the St Paul office and Board as needed - for example, if money is needed for some forum function, then I will generally be the front guy to go get it. Historically, the Board, its committees and the St Paul office staff (that’s about 50-60 people) have always been hands off the forum. So it is in fact a benevolent dictatorship. And the mods do have the final word. I suppose that the Board, ED or a committee chairperson could step in and ask us to do something different, or overrule a decision, but that has never happened.

    As a point of reference, Steve and I were holding our collective breaths when Malcolm Tibbetts posted his 6/22 message that started all the public uproar – we had decided to let it run, based on the notion that Malcolm was actually in the room and had an important 1st hand perspective – the call from the Board to pull Malcolm’s message never came, so the non-interference precedence has been maintained throughout this entire episode. Now, if some of you would like to change any of this process, by all means – send your recommendations to the Board, the ByLaws committee or whomever else you feel might be willing to take the ball and run with it. But Al is correct in saying that the way AAW works is - if you really want something done, you have to take ownership and go to work to not only make it happen, but also to maintain it." Note: In his post, Ed is referring to "the other Al" . . . not me.

    End of Ed's post.

    ***********************************************

    Now . . . . suppose the Mods did, in fact, delete Malcolm's post? If that had happened, the AAW members would have been left completely in the dark about the actions of the BOD.

    Or . . another example for you to consider . . . . . the removal of the threads related to the AAW Great Debate. They're gone. Locked away in the archives until the the Webmaster and Mods decide to do whatever with those files.

    From my vantage point, there is nothing "benevolent" about the dictatorship. It is my contention that webmasters and mods should disengage themselves from controversial topics on the boards . . . unless they actually own the forum.

    And, that . . . is the reason that I am calling for a restructuring of the forum's operational procedures. I feel that appropriate safeguards should be built into our new AAW Bylaws.

    Thank you for you consideration of my wonderful idea! ;)
     
  8. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo Guest

    Al, Al, Al.

    Reread my first post in this thread.

    This is my last post in this thread
     
  9. Garmar

    Garmar

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    You are missing a chance here Ron; Al's suggestion(s) are spot on concerning the Forum.
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Al S

    I believe you have over estimated the role of the forum in initial information distribution.

    I suspect most folks got their initail information from other sources.
    emails to every chapter, personal emails, phone calls, posts on other forums.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone on the forum did not receive the same information through at least 2 other sources?

    -Al
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  11. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    Ron . . .

    Up to this point I have said nothing to question the integrity of the Bylaws Revision Committee. However, posts such as yours may lead myself and others to conclude that the Committee is not quite as open to suggestions as you would like us to believe.

    Furthermore, I would appreciate it if you would not talk down to me. I consider such comments such "Al . . . Al . . . Al" to be demeaning and offensive.

    I'm attempting to engage the Forum members in an intelligent discussion regarding what I consider to be an important issue.
     
  12. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    I guess I live in a cave, Al H. I have no connections with a local AAW chapter . . . nor do I have other AAW members who I speak with on the phone . . . . nor did I see anything about it in the other forums I frequent.
     
  13. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Al S.

    if the AAW is the only place you saw Malcolm message, then I apologize.

    I suggest you get involved with a local chapter there are lots of good ones in Georgia.

    -al
     
  14. Garmar

    Garmar

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    I didn't; I'm not a member of a club and only get to visit a club about twice a year. So, yes the Forum was the only way I discovered the BOD's actions.
     
  15. Marvin Hasenak

    Marvin Hasenak

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    New Mexico
    I am not a member of a chapter, I did not receive any emails, personal or from an AAW source. I used to look at this forum on a weekly basis to see what wyas going on. I saw the mess here and then on WOW. After posting on here I was then contacted by others. If I had not voiced an opinion only this forum and WOW would have kept me informed of the way AAW is being run.

    According to what I had been reading for the last few years everything was being run according to the wishes of the membership. It seems that I may have been mislead by what was being posted here. But as long as I am a member I will pay a lot more attention to everything that is going on.
     
  16. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    Location (City & State):
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    Al . . . .

    I'm a university professor. I often teach nights and Saturdays. The local AAW chapter meets on the same nights that I teach. Additionally, I asked the president of the local chapter to remove my email address from his mailing list. I was tired of receiving right wing political propaganda mixed in with meeting announcements.

    And yes, there are some really excellent AAW chapters in Georgia . . . . I just can't drive 2 or 3 hours to attend.
     
  17. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo Guest


    (I dislike to go back on my word - but here I am)

    In our conversations, both on the phone and in email, you told me you had experience revising bylaws. If what you told me is true, you would know that the bylaws could not cover this forum. Maybe your experience is not as you had informed me.

    You want a "intelligent" discussion regarding what you consider to be an important issue, fine. The bylaws can not help with this topic.

    I take insult to your innuendo that the committee is not open to suggestions.
     
  18. Al Stramiello

    Al Stramiello

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    Location (City & State):
    Georgia
    Ron,
    In addition to not talking down to me I'd also appreciate it if you did not question my veracity. I clearly explained to you over the telephone that I had extensive experience with bylaws revisions in academia.

    Please note that I will not engage in a spittin' match with you. It will only lead this thread off topic from my original post.
     
  19. fgvanatta

    fgvanatta

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
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    I didn't. All the initial information was gleaned from this forum and website. Only after the brouhaha began here did it begin to appear on other forums that I frequent, but most had references/links back to this forum, where almost all of my information on this situation has originated.

    This forum may be a more important source of information for people than you think.
     
  20. KurtB

    KurtB

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    Location (City & State):
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    Gentlemen,
    Before this disintegrates into a he said, no I said, the plain fact remains that this forum represents a very small portion of the entire AAW membership. That is a fact whether we like it or not. So even if this is the only place you gained any information about current events, let's recognize that the majority of the AAW membership gets its information from other sources, and not necessarilly from this forum.

    This post is intended to put things in perspective. No matter whether or not you think this is where you gain your information, it is such a small segment of the membership, it really doesn't count as far as what the membership as a whole thinks. That's simply recognizing what is. Let's discontinue the argumentative nature of this thread, and focus on something a little more positive.
     

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