Some of this does not quite ring true...
OK. Good, there are no limits to bringing up ideas, even controversial ones.On Saturday, 31 October 2015 07:24:32 UTC, Jacques Rentzke wrote:
From the information now available, form many different posts, this is what seems to have happened:
- Some of the volunteers on the Capital Committee (who's job it is to find new income sources) were exploring an idea with a new advertising partner.
Seriously, was there nobody who said "Hang on, how will the users, developers, designers and PLT feel about this?" before taking it to a board meeting. Did everyone think this was an OK idea?- The idea progressed to where it was discussed at a Board meeting.
Erm, well from the outside it looks like it was much further along. Not just the "unfortunately worded" email (I truly think it was an accurate reflection of what was happening). But the fact that external discussions had taken place and contracts were being drawn up before any public (or even wider within the leadership teams) consultation had happened.- OSM did not approve it outright, but decided to get input from the PLT
Before following an idea like this (advertising and privacy are contentious topics at the best of times), the correct way forward would be a simple question to the leadership teams and their members. Something along the lines of:- The idea was for an ad from this Partner (for their services), to be displayed in a specific section of the Joomla admin area, above the Install From Web Joomla extensions listings. (some could call those extension listings ads)
Should we consider placing ads in the "install from web" view?
I am sure the response would have been a resounding NO.
Everybody goes back to doing their thing. Nobody does more work, or contacts potential partners, drafts contracts, talks about how much money, or waste theirs and others time.
It was not an impression. It said clearly that it was a done deal.- A PLT member, who is a liaison on the Capital Committee, drafted an email to the PLT
- The text of the email (apparently wrongly, according to him) gave the impression that this was a done-deal.
It said "A deal has been made"
Nothing unclear or open to interpretation there.
It said "Google is paying 15k$ for a trial of three months"
Again, this is not unclear. The deal is done, this is what we get.
I am sure that the deal was done, and now there is significant backtracking and much work happening behind the scenes to undo this deal.
Do I have any evidence? No.
But I do see OSM and others running to vilify the "leak" and say how wrong that was - without mentioning the reason for this leak was a genuine concern for Joomla.
To me this is indicative of a problem with something being found out and exposed, those who are exposed for doing something "unfortunate, or accidental" blame the one(s) who did the exposing for the problem.
Again, vilify those who speak out and about it. Blame those for not discussing what was presented as a done deal, instead of taking responsibility for what has happened and for not doing the discussing themselves before it got to this point.- Some PLT members responded with outrage, but instead of discussing it with the Capital team, or simply replying with a No, they chose to share their outrage with their friends.
Because how else can the wider community show its displeasure?- Some of them, and their friends, took to twitter, and ranted there about how stupid they viewed the idea to be, and some also took the chance to have a go at OSM.
It didn't detail the negotiations, it presented the end result of those negotiations. A 15k$ payment for the advertising placement. That's a number that goes in the public accounts.- A CLT member thought it was a good idea to share a screencapture of a private letter with the details of the negotiations with the ad Partner.
And whose fault is that?- More public outrage followed, and a lot of it based on wrong assumptions and/or partial information.
Those who react to what is a clear statement of a done deal, with a "do not talk about this" caveat attached?
Or those who failed to open up discussions about placing advertising in the users websites?
Those who failed to respond quickly and clearly as soon as the "leak" hit the public.
Early communication about this idea (prior to talking to partners, drafting contracts, etc) would have prevented all of this.
Where is the official statement?- PLT members responded in various places, making it clear that the majority of them (if not all) are against this idea, so that's where it will end.
If I write emails in other languages I get them checked for accuracy and meaning. In this case, if it was a poor choice of words, I feel for the person. It wasn't just words, it was the whole tone and overall content and context of the email.- Capital Committee and OSM members also responded with more details, and the (non-english) PLT member apologised for the poor choice of words in the email.
As I said earlier, the whole email presents it as a done deal, and the PLT are only being asked to implement or advise on implementation - not to discuss the deal itself. This is, in my view, not a poor choice of words but a serious issue with how the whole idea has been presented. This person wrote the email based on how they were told about it, and how it had been discussed and presented to them.
I agree, and so does pretty much everyone else. So why did this idea get so far?My take on this: I personally do not like this advertising idea (for various reasons).
Yep. As soon as the idea to advertise in the product was raised.It would have been better if the PLT was consulted much earlier, since this involved the CMS.
Yep. Assumptions are the mother of all [censored] ups!In fairness, there was a PLT member involved in the talks, so there could have been a wrong assumption that he was keeping the PLT in the loop, but assumptions should not be made on such matters.
Did anyone do this? There is a line in the email that says any questions should be put to Sahra Watz.It would also have been better if the PLT requested clarification first, debated internally, and if they still did not like the idea, then either get wider input, or simply say No. That would have ended the matter.
It would be nice to know if anyone did ask for clarification, and if they did, what response they got (before it all went public).
Which is why they should have been consulted as soon as the idea of advertising within the product was raised. If it affects the product then any work that happens without the PLT support is wasted time and effort. OSM, the Capital committee and anyone who understands the structure must know and understand this fundamental fact. So why did this get so far along (draft contracts, talking to potential advertisers, etc)?The Production team is responsible for what gets added to the CMS code. No other team can force Production to do what they don't want to. (that's not likely to change even in a new structure)
In general it would be great if the Joomla leadership could manage to talk about things (even between the different teams) before the community feels forced to react.In general it would be great if we in the Joomla community could manage to talk about things without waving forks around. We expend an enormous amount of energy on these very public outbursts, and to the Joomla sponsors, partners, users, clients, and potential users, it surely does not give a good impression of us. Many of us feel very passionately about Joomla and the Joomla CMS, but we only hurt ourselves and those around us, when that passion goes over into angry rants and in some cases hateful comments.
This kind of thing is damaging. The responsibility for that rests with the project leadership, mostly the OSM board and Capital committee for their poor decision making and poor communication. Without the trust and support of the wider community, who care passionately about the Joomla CMS, the project and everything around it suffers.
The passion and emotion that lead to rants and angry comments is why Joomla has such a strong community. If people didn't care, didn't rant, didn't get angry, there would be no community, and no Joomla.
Phew!Lastly, it bears repeating again that the clear indication from the Production Leadership Team is that this ad idea will not go ahead.
Is that an official statement from the project, the PLT, OSM, or just from one person?
This whole debacle has harmed Joomla. It will take time to recover. If I were contacted by Joomla about sponsorship, or advertising, or any financial transations I would be very wary. Has it been approved, how much time should I spend on this, will I be negatively affected by any potential fallout if it fails.
I have no doubt that internal relationships have been harmed, external relationships have been harmed, perception of the project has been harmed. Someone needs to take responsibility for all of that.
Leading in a FOSS project, full of volunteers, is very different from leading in a commercial company. In a traditional business, leaders pull the employees along. In a FOSS project, leaders require people (volunteers) to follow them - Some people are now openly questioning whether they are willing to follow the current leaders. This needs to be addressed, and quickly, in public.
I hope for the future of Joomla, but I have doubts.