So there I was in December. The summer summit minutes were long overdue, but I didn’t feel it was fair to put out a CSM 8 midterm grade without the summer minutes. Christmas passed. And New Years. When the summer minutes at last arrived, it was time for the winter summit. “I’ll see what the tweets and blogposts of CSM members show,” I said, “and then I’ll put out the midterm grades.”
And then the CSM knocked out their part of the minutes in record time. “Well crap,” I said to myself, “the minutes will be out in a week or so, I’ll just wait for the winter minutes.” And time passed. I sent an evemail to about half the CSM angling for opinions about what I might have misread from the outside looking in. I got several courteous and helpful responses. And I waited. And waited. Surely Dolan would post soon.
And then Sugar Kyle posted her candidacy for CSM 9 and all of a sudden I was too late. People piled in and it was full-on CSM campaign season. Minutes still weren’t out a week before the election, and I changed focus, deciding to chuck the idea of a grading post all together. Then Dolan published the minutes, 4 days before the election.
So now, after months in draft, here is the grading. Not midterm, I’m afraid – these are final grades. They may seem heavily weighted toward the top end. They weren’t at first, since I was primarily judging them against one another rather than against the standard of CSMs past and present. CSM 8 Chairman Trebor Daehdoow was one of the CSM members I reached out to, and he reminded me that this CSM has been far and away the most consistently active, and with the most members participating.
He has a point. And given that, I bumped a number of people up due to their better position on an absolute, rather than relative, scale. CSM 8 on the whole was a strong group, arguably the strongest CSM ever. And at least 12/14 of them deserve your thanks.
- Ali Aras. Ali was a complete unknown a year ago. No one had heard of her. She was a noob in Providence. Since that time she took the elections by storm, won the seat of Vice Secretary, and proceeded to absolutely knock it out of the park from a participation perspective. She created her now-famed Google+ Hangouts weekly. She listened to all comers. She participated on forums and very much on Twitter #tweetfleet. She joined the Declarations of War podcast as a new co-host and appeared as a guest on many others. She has been highly visible and in my mind, highly effective – in ways that reached many audiences.
- Ripard Teg. I had Ripard as a full-on A until the very end. Ripard did a spectacular job, even better than Ali, in keeping the blogger community informed. He was active and verbal in every interaction. His weekly CSM updates were effective and informative while carefully walking the NDA line. It is obvious that he was a strong and effective participant in both summits. The only knock I have on Ripard is his handling of the Erotica1 situation. Not that he was wrong to be concerned, mind you. But his method of handling it, which dragged a lot of people through the mud, including at some level the victim of the scam, set him back a bit in my mind. Still, when weighed against the immense value he provided the reading and CSM-watching community, that’s small potatoes. Agree with him or not, you can’t say he didn’t communicate. I will very much miss his “voice on the inside” weekly posts.
- Mynnna. Mynnna was clearly a leader in both summits and continually brought good information to the table. He was active on Twitter and in forums. I certainly don’t always agree with him (especially when it comes to griefing mechanisms) but he is a very sharp guy who worked hard and contributed well. I would have liked to see him be more broadly communicative, however – he has lots of great stuff in his head but you have to pull it out of him to get it in long form.
- B (in alphabetical order)
- Chitsa Jason. Of the two wormhole reps (both in my corp) I rarely agree with Chitsa, and I almost always agree with James. But I admire Chitsa’s enthusiasm, drive and commitment. He’s all over the minutes even when he wasn’t there. He was very visible on the forums, even when he was suggesting crazy nullsec stuff. He was interviewed time and again on podcasts.
- James Arget. I supported James strongly last year and he didn’t let me down. He was obviously working hard in any forum I watched, even if not as visibly as Chitsa. To that end, I am hoping that James puts forth a far more public face this year if he gets in again.
- Mike Azariah. Mike was clearly present and in the public eye. He was all over the first summit and highly visible on his blog. He spent a ton of time on podcasts as well. It is clear that he was often the “voice in the wildnerness” I thought he might be, and that just reinforces how valuable it was to have a voice like his in the group.
- Trebor Daehdoow. Trebor continued to put in a solid performance this year, but clearly took a step back from the podium in doing so. I found him far more vocal and visible in past years – this year he seemed to adopt the Elder Statesman hat and lead from behind the scenes rather than up front, letting some of the newer members step to the fore. I think this was actually a smart move if intentional. I’d like to thank Trebor for his 4 years of service to the game.
- B- (alphabetical)
- Malcanis. I think I’m giving him a B- because I really expected to give him an A when I looked at where he was a year ago. I thought he’d be the surprise communication driver and face of a positive CSM. He’s been interviewed for several podcasts. While I did see Malcanis around the forums, it wasn’t as much as I expected, and often when I found a Malcanis post it was snarkier than I expected. Still, there’s no debating that he was active and useful in the discussions at the summits, and I’ve found his strong forum lobbying over the last few weeks to get people to vote a positive step to close out his CSM term.
- Mangala Solaris. Mangala is another one I was expecting more from in the first half of the term, and was a bit disappointed. He came out of his shell in the second half, though, and was far more visible after Christmas. His column at Crossing Zebras has helped a lot to bring him back to the general public as well.
- C (alphabetical)
- Korvin. Korvin is an utter mystery to me. I had to figure out how he did less by watching his performance than trying to figure it out by reading between the lines. As far as I can tell, he was a vocal advocate for the Russian players, but no one really seems to know whether he was effective or not, or whether he was communicative or not. What I do know is he was active, so C seems to be the only fair grade I can give him.
- Progodlegend. When I drafted the original midterm post, PGL was a D or D-. I was totally unimpressed with what I had seen (or more to the point, not seen). But somewhere around January or February he suddenly reappeared from nowhere and became both active and visible. Reading between the lines it’s possible that this was tied to some RL difficulties. He’s all over the second summit minutes with some insighful and intelligent commentary. He was interviewed a couple times for podcasts. But I can’t quite bring myself to move him up to a B given his touch-and-go first half, and he always seems to almost not show up for things (and then a wild PGL appears). If he gets on CSM 9, I hope to write in a year about his A/B performance – which should be a slam dunk if he keeps up his 2nd half level.
- Sala Cameron. Like Korvin, I had to intuit most of my understanding of his performance. He seemed very involved in the first half, less so in the second half. It was clear that he was spending some of his time working on behalf of the German player base, but whenever I asked some of the German players I got … “Who?” so I’m not sure how effective it was. Regardless he gets points for effort.
- Sort Dragon. I couldn’t give him a D since he participated in summits. But that’s about all the credit I can give. Maybe he was visible to his constituency.
- Kesper North. Despite everyone oohing and aahing about Kesper’s RL qualifications as a communicator, he was a no-show after the first few weeks. If you voted for Kesper, you wasted your vote.
- MVP: Ali Aras
- Best Communicator: Ripard Teg
- Best New Member: Ali Aras
- Most Improved: Progodlegend
Next post we’ll talk about CSM 9 endorsements (I have a lot of podcasts to listen to in the next two days), and after that, voting lists.