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coppro
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icon Department of Grand Constructions Debates (+1)  
This thread is to be a public political debate (not so much arguing but mainly answering people's questions) for those who are running for the position of Director of the Department of Grand Constructions.

In this thread, the public may ask questions, and the candidates get to answer them. A candidate does not have to answer any question, however, he may provide a reason not to, so as not to come up as an ignorant jerk who doesn't care and doesn't actually want to be elected. Please though, make questions relevant.

It is asked that no candidate edit their post within this thread. If a candidate changes his mind, it's best that he write another post explaining why. If a question has been responded to, it also should not be edited.

The current list of candidates is:
* jbluestein
* Chaco
* MeckMeck GRE
08-18-2007 at 04:22 AM
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silver
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icon Re: Department of Grand Constructions Debates (0)  
I have a question in the official thread which I posted before you made this thread, feel free to address it here if you like.

Speaking of, I didn't see a post from MeckMeck announcing his candidacy in that thread.

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[Last edited by silver at 08-18-2007 05:19 AM]
08-18-2007 at 05:18 AM
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coppro
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MeckMeck made a post in the Bereaucracy forum.

Also, could you restate your question so that it's clear to the candidates what you're asking?
08-18-2007 at 05:40 AM
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To the candidates: What proccesses are you going to use to be collecting new things for caravel?

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08-18-2007 at 06:07 AM
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silver
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okay, I'll repeat it here: "So maybe I'm stuck in a pre-internet mindset, but I kind of want to know about the candidates ages and real-world work experience. I think the position is highly responsible and needs to be filled with someone who has some actual practice at this kind of responsibility."


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08-18-2007 at 09:40 AM
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Jason
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Question: How much time do you actually have to devote to this cause?

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08-18-2007 at 09:46 AM
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Chaco
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Whew, you've certainly all asked a lot of questions! I like that, though, since it means you're all exercising your rights of expression and questioning here on the forums. I believe that all citizens should retain these rights and they should be protected from all bureaucratic interference.

Whenever I refer to any position-holder with a pronoun, I will use the pronoun "he" rather than the awkward "he/she" or "(s)he" combination. To promote looking at the general picture and not finegling with little things like gender, I will use "he" and "his" appropriately. It is not the case that I will not elect female job-holders - it is the case that I don't want to waste your time with trivialities as I answer your questions.

quote:

CuriousShyRabbit asked:

What qualifications and attributes will you look for in the future Prodder, Chief Editor, Art Finder, Voice Finder, and Forum Reporter?



For the Prodder, I need a person who can come to the forum once each day, for maybe an hour or two, and keep it up. As the Prodder, they need to be on the forum consistently enough so that they can notice whenever anybody else isn't on consistently enough. It's highly necessary that the Prodder enjoys their job and will keep at it, for the simple reason that we don't need a Prodder-Prodder, or a Meta-Prodder, or anything like that. I'd like to avoid meta-positions if they aren't needed.

A Prodder should be:

* loyal
* active
* persistent

A Prodder should have:

* spent more than a month on the forum

The Chief Editor has to be somebody who wakes up in the morning ready to go to work. His schedule will be a little looser, but he will still need to be here often in order to keep up with what's happening on the forum. Since his job mostly involves taking what others have made, determining its quality, and putting it up on the site, I think he can determine his own hours as long as he submits those hours to the Director before they take effect.

A Chief Editor should be

* responsible
* well-informed
* interested in what's going on in the forums

A Chief Editor should have

* spent more than two months on the forum
* some form of writing experience
* an ability to make constructive criticism

The Art Finder and Voice Finder are very similar jobs, and other types of Finder positions could also be made by me or someone else, so I will address the general yet hypothetical job of "Finder" - someone who finds resources to assist architects in building holds. Art Finders and Voice Finders then follow as specific subtypes of Finders who find art and voice, specifically.

The Finder's job is to talk to people and find things, so the Finder should be able to come to the forum several times a week. He needs to be able to distinguish good, helpful talent that can be directed towards making a hold, from good, unhelpful talent that, while still quite excellent, is not quite what is needed for the job. The Finder will also be talking with a lot of people in the talent field and the architectural field, so he needs to know what can be done on either end.

A Finder should be:

* persistent
* personable
* persuasive

A Finder should have:

* Good interpersonal skills
* The ability to recognize whether talent is usable or not

The Forum Reporter's job is not called upon very often. I'll refrain from calling it easy or simple because, first of all, I've never done the job myself, and second of all, I'm fairly confident that if I asked Erik or Tim whether the job was easy or simple, the answer would be "No, Chaco, it isn't." What is true, however, is that the Forum Reporter needs to gather topics for the Illumination, which currently comes out "whenever Erik feels like it" which seems to be less than once a month.

The Forum Reporter needs to come to the forum often so he can see what is going on over there. He should keep a log of interesting things he sees and their uniform resource locators (or URLs as they are often known) so that it can eventually be turned into a list of topic picks. He should also be interested in wordplay and writing, for a short summary of each topic traditionally accompanies it in the list.

A Forum Reporter should be:

* Pleasant
* Active
* Creative

A Forum Reporter should have:

* An interest in what goes on in the forum
* An ability to be terse and brief
* An enjoyable job

Phew! All this for only one part of one question! I'd better posts this and take a break.

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08-18-2007 at 12:10 PM
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Chaco
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quote:

CuriousShyRabbit asked:

How will you go about filling these positions?



Whoever wants a position will need to make their case for being in the position they want and send it to me in a private message. The goals this accomplishes are twofold - I don't need to fly around the forum wondering if the person I've shoulder-tapped for the position wants it or not, and I get to know immediately whether the person has the qualifications or not.

After the application is in, I'll look over some of the posts the person has made - making sure some are in the Other Boards category, where you can talk about anything, and some are in the DROD Boards category, where you direct your talking about DROD, in both its official and unofficial ways. If I think that person has the attributes and qualifications necessary for the position, and there are no existing alternative candidates, I'll probably give the person that position.

If I think two or three people are all more or less equally good and qualified for the position, I'll probably give the position to all three of them.

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08-18-2007 at 12:27 PM
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Chaco
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quote:

CuriousShyRabbit asked:

What experience do you have in directing groups of people who work together?



I'll be perfectly honest with you: I don't have any experience at all. I don't know what being a Director will be like, but I think it's a job I can perform well and I think it'll be a fun new experience for me. Besides, I don't have any bad habits or bad testimonials about my directing ability!

I think that people without directing experience should be able to get that directing experience somewhere. Why not here, at the bureaucracy, where you can be elected into that position by tens, hundreds of people, rather than at a "real world" job, where you need to be elected into the position by one, two people?

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08-18-2007 at 12:39 PM
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Chaco
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quote:

golfrman asked:

To the candidates: What processes are you going to use to be collecting new things for caravel?



As near as I can tell, Caravel Games already has a consistent, working system for collecting new things to use in their official Smitemaster's selections and Big Official Holds (Journey to Rooted Hold, The City Beneath)

In my opinion, the Department of Grand Constructions is about helping the general forum citizens (as in, all architects who are not people who work on Smitemaster's Selections or Big Official Holds) make their holds as good as possible, and not help Caravel Games. If I am elected Director of the Department of Grand Constructions, I will make no initiative on my own to help Caravel Games collect new things. Of course, if asked by Caravel Games while in office, I will gladly offer my help and my department's services to their cause.

Please ask again and clarify what you mean by "collecting new things for caravel" if I've answered the wrong question.

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08-18-2007 at 12:55 PM
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MeckMeck GRE
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quote:
silver wrote:
okay, I'll repeat it here: "So maybe I'm stuck in a pre-internet mindset, but I kind of want to know about the candidates ages and real-world work experience. I think the position is highly responsible and needs to be filled with someone who has some actual practice at this kind of responsibility."



I'm 17,5 years old and I think I'm neither too young nor too old. My real-life profession is doing my A-Levels (which will be done in 2008) and after that I'm going to university or to the "Zivildienst" if duty calls.

As a student I don't have work-experience, nor do I have a bachelor in management or anything like that. Although that, I'm suitable for this position.
08-18-2007 at 06:08 PM
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Tell me, candidates, what do you see you be your greatest flaw? Other than the fact you don't have any.

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08-19-2007 at 04:17 AM
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I have two questions.

* How do you plan to respond if an appointment that you make does their job well but rubs people up the wrong way?

* How do you plan on dealing with people who aren't interested in using the system? For instance, someone interested in putting something on the site might just send it straight to Erik.

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08-19-2007 at 08:47 AM
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MeckMeck GRE
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quote:
Mattcrampy wrote:
I have two questions.

* How do you plan to respond if an appointment that you make does their job well but rubs people up the wrong way?

* How do you plan on dealing with people who aren't interested in using the system? For instance, someone interested in putting something on the site might just send it straight to Erik.


1.) Patiently telling them how to rub people up the right way ;).
2.) No problem. Not everybody (e.g. Banjooie, Briareos) likes a bureaucracy and it's 100% correct if Erik stands over his own bureaucracy. I mean, it's his site. So Erik should decide then if he puts the thing on the site or hand it over to the department.

@NiroZ : To be honestly, my biggest flaw is to get unmotivated or nervous when things go all wrong.
@golfrman : I don't think that we need to support CaravelNet, because these guys are strong enough on their own. Like Chaco, I would focus on the "small architects".

@CuriousShyRabbit ("What experience do you have in directing groups of people who work together?") : I have a lot of experience from school. Working in groups is quite common in the upper classes and in groups I'm usually the initiative guy who wakes up the sleepers or do the work on my own if others don't want to do something.

[Last edited by MeckMeck GRE at 08-19-2007 09:39 AM]
08-19-2007 at 09:23 AM
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jbluestein
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Apologies for not being online in the past day -- life intervenes, and family time is important to me.

I'll try to address all of the issues here.

quote:

okay, I'll repeat it here: "So maybe I'm stuck in a pre-internet mindset, but I kind of want to know about the candidates ages and real-world work experience. I think the position is highly responsible and needs to be filled with someone who has some actual practice at this kind of responsibility."



Well, I'm a 39-year-old software developer working in a medium-sized technology company. I'm technical lead for a small but critical component (SNMP), so usually I work by myself. But I have had experience supervising others and interacting with other engineering groups who need to make use of my component.

But I'm not really sure that it's fair to say that someone should have real-life experience in order to perform this job well. What's most important about involvement on this site is a high interest in DROD and CaravelNet, and a desire to work to make things even better. I think that the position is one with a responsibility, definitely, and also great potential to effect positive change in the community.

So, while I'm clearly the oldest and most professionally experienced, I'd ask that people not place too much weight on that.

quote:

CuriousShyRabbit asked:

The person elected as Director of the Department of Grand Constructions gets the honor/punishment (?) of determining what roles, if any, the rest of us forumites will play in the very beginning stages of the Bureaucracy. So, I'm curious:

(a) What qualifications and attributes will you look for in the future Prodder, Chief Editor, Art Finder, Voice Finder, and Forum Reporter?

(b) How will you go about filling these positions?

(c) What experience do you have in directing groups of people who work together?



There are quite a few people who have shown affinities for the kind of work that these positions would require. I think it would be inappropriate to name names at this time, but I think we all can hazard some pretty good guesses.

Primary requirement for all positions would be involvement with CaravelNet in some way. It needn't mean 100 posts per month, but the person in question needs to be a participant in some form.

As to the individual roles, well...let me say that my opinion about the Prodder is that I'd like to make it the least important role in the department. Ideally, the other roles should be filled by self-starters, and then the Prodder should have very little to do. That said, Prodder should have strong diplomatic skills and a skill for discussion without confrontation. This seems like a role the exercise of which is prone to hurt feelings.

Voice Finder and Art Finder are facilitative roles. You need people who are willing to act as a conduit to others on the Forum, helping architects and people with other types of projects (whatever those may be) find the resources they need. Good judgement is important, and also artistic or technical skills. These people will need to be organized, with the ability to request participation from the Forum and to properly organize and evaluate whatever submissions they receive.

Forum Reporter -- well, you need to be involved in the Forum. I think that this is an important position, but I think it could be filled by anyone who was willing to dedicate the time to identifying the important subjects of the previous month. So involvement and focus would be critical here.

Of all the roles, I think that Chief Editor is the most important one. The fan website has the potential for some really great content and an Editor with the time and motivation can really do things to improve the community and even draw in more participants. The person in question would need strong content management skills. I don't know how much real technical skill is involved, but I'd bet that some familiarity with web design wouldn't go amiss.

So that's my take on the roles. What skill do I have managing groups of people? My real goal professionally has always been to find people who don't need managing. Set a task, then go off and do it. Periodic checkins to make sure things are on track, and intervention only if really needed. So the act of choosing the roles is going to be the most important here.

quote:

Jason asked:
Question: How much time do you actually have to devote to this cause?



I have as much time as I'm likely to need. I'm active on the Forum and don't expect that to change. I don't live here, but I'm a frequent visitor and participant.

quote:

NiroZ asked:
Tell me, candidates, what do you see you be your greatest flaw? Other than the fact you don't have any.



I'm lazy. I don't like doing unnecessary work. But laziness is actually a virtue in the software-development world, when properly applied. It leads to time-saving solutions and intelligent problem-solving. (Which is not the same as clever coding, something that one should view with trepidation.)

quote:

Mattcrampy asked:

I have two questions.

* How do you plan to respond if an appointment that you make does their job well but rubs people up the wrong way?

* How do you plan on dealing with people who aren't interested in using the system? For instance, someone interested in putting something on the site might just send it straight to Erik.



To the first question: Realistically, people are going to get on each others' nerves at times. Hopefully this is something that can be resolved amicably, but it's not always the case. I think it's important that all appointments view themselves as performing a service to the community, and not in positions of authority.

That said, it really depends on the situation. If someone needs help being diplomatic, I'd certainly offer whatever assistance I could. One would hope that steps beyond that wouldn't be necessary.

As to people who don't want to participate, well, there's no requirement to do so, is there? What's the realistic impact? Only the Chief Editor can add things to the website, so if you want something to go up there, you talk to him/her. Someone who wants to provide voicework or artwork to the community is certainly welcome to make their own arrangements -- the point of having a voice Finder and an Art Finder is to just make it a little easier for everyone, but it's a voluntary process.

I see this as kind of a non-issue.

OK, I think I've covered everything. If I've missed something, let me know.

Also, I'd just like to note that I do not have a legion of trained attack monkeys waiting to do my bidding.

Josh

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[Last edited by jbluestein at 08-19-2007 12:27 PM]
08-19-2007 at 12:23 PM
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Ezlo
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Okay, two questions for the candidates.

1. How important is the website to you?

2. How long do you think you will hold the position?
08-19-2007 at 02:16 PM
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MeckMeck GRE
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quote:
Ezlo wrote:
Okay, two questions for the candidates.
1. How important is the website to you?
2. How long do you think you will hold the position?


1.) The website is of minor importance than the forum but it's still an important thing. It's basically an archive of the best articles and stories published here.
2.) I think I'm going to hold the position for 1 year, because I don't think I have a lot of time for Drod while doing my Zivildienst.

[Last edited by MeckMeck GRE at 08-19-2007 02:22 PM]
08-19-2007 at 02:22 PM
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jbluestein
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quote:
Ezlo wrote:
Okay, two questions for the candidates.

1. How important is the website to you?

2. How long do you think you will hold the position?


I think the website has a lot of potential to be valuable to the community. At the moment, it doesn't get updated very often and as such I'd say that the value is low. But I think it could be a lot better.

I would expect to hold the position for a year or two -- possibly some sort of term would be established to keep things fresh. I don't mind holding it for longer, but I'm not getting my engraved 'Director For Life' cards printed up just yet.

Josh

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08-19-2007 at 04:00 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
NiroZ asked:
Tell me, candidates, what do you see to be your greatest flaw? Other than the fact you don't have any.


Of course I have flaws! We all have flaws, and it does no good for us to hide them from people. Especially when those flaws might impact the quality of our work.

I would say my biggest flaw is actually my memory. It's good enough so that I can remember many things and have faith in it, but all too often there's just this one minor yet important detail that it's critical I attend to, and sometimes I don't. And I think it's important that everyone know that, since Director is a job that has a lot of things to do and things to remember.

However, I think I can address this flaw much better on the forums than in real life, because on the forums all requests stand permanently, and I can go back to those requests and look at them. I also have an infinite number of text files to make lists with.

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08-19-2007 at 04:34 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
Ezlo asked:
How important is the website to you?



The website is very important to me. It's where I learned more about the Eighth and about some of the forum in-jokes, both of which I would never have discovered on my own.

I'd also like to note that the other candidates' answers also encompassed "how important is the website to the community". They've already said a whole lot on the issue, so I will refrain from answering that question, written or unwritten.

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08-19-2007 at 04:38 PM
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#1 THREAT
The number one threat to volunteerism is burn-out. How do you each plan to keep your teams and yourself from this ugly monster.



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08-20-2007 at 08:27 AM
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quote:
techant wrote:
#1 THREAT
The number one threat to volunteerism is burn-out. How do you each plan to keep your teams and yourself from this ugly monster.


Part of that is proper distribution of work, and also knowing when to step aside and let someone else take over.

I don't think you can ever really avoid burnout, but it can be postponed if you don't overextend youtself.

Josh

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08-20-2007 at 11:42 AM
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I know that burn-outs in volunteer groups can be reallly dangerous. Because of that I would put a lot of effort into preventing burn-outs. This will be done by delegating the work that way, that everybody does the thing he likes. Also I would employ more volunteers than we actually need to keep the work load for the single volunteer low and to be more flexible if someone quits or makes a break. In case someone bruns out anyway, she/he can quit or make a break at any time she/he wants to.
08-20-2007 at 12:53 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
techant asked:
#1 THREAT
The number one threat to volunteerism is burn-out. How do you each plan to keep your teams and yourself from this ugly monster.


Burnout isn't really something you can keep everybody from, but it can be fought back and postponed by removing stress from the work environment. If anybody in the department doesn't like part of their job, or is tired, or is burned out, or whatever, they can discuss things with me and I'll see if I can make a new position for that job, or let them take a vacation for a few days from that position, or if necessary move them to another position that we both think would be better for that person.

I will also attempt to make positions involve duties that are not very repetitive and instead are comprised of interesting things... like my DROD rooms :)

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08-23-2007 at 01:37 AM
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quote:
Ezlo wrote:
How long do you think you will hold the position?



I can't give you a specific amount of time, however I will resign from my position if one of the following things happens:

A. I no longer want to work in the position due to stress, not having enough time, boredom, wanting to work in a different position to gain more experience, or some other arbitrary thought of mine.

B. There is widespread anger and confusion about the way I'm doing my job.

C. I become unable to use computer systems.

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08-23-2007 at 01:47 AM
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techant
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Thank you all for your answers to my #1 question about burnout. After much consideration and investigation I have to decided to throw my vote and support behind...


:thumbsup Vote MeckMeck GRE :thumbsup
For Director of Department of Grand Constructions

I have updated my signature to reflect my support. I was impressed with his answer about dealing with burn-out. I also saw that one of his first postings was to post a hold. While he skipped the Architecture board he handled being reproved about that well and went on to make many other holds. This demonstrated to me his enthusiasm about new construction.


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[Last edited by techant at 08-23-2007 06:03 AM]
08-23-2007 at 06:02 AM
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Tim
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I still have some questions left:

For all of you:

* How much time in a month do you think you will need to spend on this job?

* How much of Erik's time do you think will be saved because of your actions?

Specific Questions to Candidates:

* Chaco: Does this new job means that you won't be manking any more holds? After all, there are conflict of interest here.

* Josh: Do you think you will have time left doing HA work? It seems like some conflicts here as well.

* MeckMeck: What is your point of view about people who copy other people's stuff and claim it's theirs? Because I don't want to see anyone in a Department of Grand Constructions who makes big holds by simply copying other people's rooms. (Seeds Dungeon anyone?)

-- Tim

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[Last edited by Tim at 08-23-2007 11:35 AM]
08-23-2007 at 07:02 AM
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Chaco
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quote:
Tim wrote:
* Chaco: Does this new job means that you won't be making any more holds? After all, there are conflict of interest here.



I'd like you to explain to me first why there's a conflict of interest. Does working in a bank keep one from depositing money there? Does working at a fast food restaurant keep one from eating hamburgers?

Specifically, I'd like you to explain where the problem is I'm supposed to be solving for you, because so far I don't think there is one. I think I'll be perfectly capable of making more holds while I'm Director of the Department of Grand Constructions - I have a hold on the Architecture forum, and I'm still messing around with the editor and finding neat and interesting things.

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08-23-2007 at 11:50 AM
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Chaco
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quote:
Tim asked:
* How much time in a month do you think you will need to spend on this job?



I'll probably spend a half an hour or an hour on the forum doing my job - this is an estimate, a guess, based upon my duties so far, my imagined duties due to positions I'm thinking of making, and how long I think it will take me to do them.

An hour times thirty days brings us to thirty hours a month, which I think is reasonable for an online forum job and should help me avoid burnout.

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08-23-2007 at 11:57 AM
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Chaco
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quote:
Tim wrote:
* How much of Erik's time do you think will be saved because of your actions?



This is a tricky question - I'm not sure of even an estimate of how much time Erik spends on user-made hold oversight duties, but I don't think it's as much time as he would spend making a Smitemaster's Selection, for example.

I'll give a guess of "10 hours a month" for the amount of time a month Erik spends on user hold encouragement. As the Director, I'll try to lessen this load, but I don't think it can ever really be eliminated entirely. I'll see if I can reduce it to below seven hours or so, but I don't think we should really be worried about the exact amount of time I'm saving Erik - we should be glad that I'm saving Erik's time.

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08-23-2007 at 12:04 PM
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