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5 Steps to Destruction
Written by Awportals.com
Community Commentary by Hyper Anthony on Flaggs' 5-steps-to-destruction.

It is AWI's job to develop software and keep the ship running. We're the content creators, developing a community is left to us.

[quote=Flagg, 5 steps to destruction]Step 1: Attack it's volunteers and people of good will to a point that helping is now harder and scarier then doing nothing.

Step 2: Attack every post in the forums made by anyone you deem uncool, freindly, trying to make friends or asking for assistance without following your hidden format. You want to ensure users fear this place intended for community bonding and assistance.

Step 3: Establish superiority. Be sure to let you fellow community members know that you are better, smarter and faster than they are. If they fail to reach your superior level, make sure you point that out.

Step 4: Stage several revolts on things that, technically, are for other users. This will keep the focus on areas you don't use so you can ensure they don't get updated or tinkered with. Also Never, ever, ever use established channels for suggestions or complaints. Doing so would only allow people to address issues privately and certainly nobody wants that.

Step 5: Never encourage helping, chatting, building, exploring or having fun. Being friendly in this manner may lead people to believe their is a base purpose to your community[/quote]

And before I continue, I want to say that I'm guilty of part of the five-step hoomamabob. We all are, at one juncture at another. Those who attack others on these forums, those who strike out against organizations, those who dismiss constructive criticism as attacks, those who boast about what they've done but don't offer to help at all, those who need to put up or shut up - we're all guilty of something. We're human though, it happens, right? I say use this as a guide, and be aware of what you're doing, what you're saying, and the ramifications of your actions.

And with that said, I wish to disagree with you, Flagg, on one point:

[quote=Flagg]
Step 4: Stage several revolts on things that, technically, are for other users. This will keep the focus on areas you don't use so you can ensure they don't get updated or tinkered with. Also Never, ever, ever use established channels for suggestions or complaints. Doing so would only allow people to address issues privately and certainly nobody wants that.
[/quote]

There are organizations within AW that fall under an umbrella that I think is fair to deem as "Public Servants" - The Gatekeepers, The Peacekeepers, The Bingo Hosts, the AWTeen Staff, the AWNewbie Staff, the AWSchool volunteers, every program under the umbrella of ACT. All of these organizations exist to either protect users, inform users, or otherwise perform a task that requires resources provided by Activeworlds.

I think each citizen should have a passive interest in the functioning and effectiveness of these organizations. They all exist to serve users in one fashion or another, and their success is a great benefit to the community at large. If there is a visible problem (not something like a dispute between organization members - that should be left private) that is not being addressed, I think it is perfectly fair to take that to the public.

To draw an analogy, take a look at the American Government. Most citizens have an interest in some form of our government, be it local, state, or national. We hear almost every day what our President does on the evening news, and that's also true of our Congress. Local news outlets report the activities of local officials. If a local city council member or mayor is involved in scandal, are we gonna hear about it from the media? You better believe it.

[wrimg=The official forums are often a source of upset]/media/imglib_forums/2.jpg[/wrimg]
Likewise should be true of the public servants here in AW. I led AWTeen as a caretaker for over a year, and during that time I understood my role. AWTeen did not belong to me during that time - it was my job, my duty, to work with the community and keep the world running day-to-day. I worked to organize events, help towns get on their feet, patrol around GZ and work with the Teen Patrols, just general chores to keep AWTeen going. Now, if I were to display consistent incompetence, do you think I would get called out? Sure. Should I get called out? Absolutely.

Around February of 2007 my schedule got busier, to the point where I could no longer serve AWTeen efficiently. Did I hang on to the position? Nah, I resigned and Brock succeeded me as a Caretaker. AWTeen is not mine, and I had no right to be in a position where I served no greater purpose for the world.

Had I held on to the position, I'm sure people would have started complaining about my absence. In a community like AWTeen's, you don't have to do much to get people to complain about you. Most of the complaints aren't justified, but some are, and the ones that are need to be addressed by the community. If there is a despot in place or someone who is otherwise not helping the community, that is a problem that NEEDS to be addressed by the community. Behind-closed-doors stuff won't satisfy the community to that end.

The community deserves to know what's going on, and as a community I believe that our public servants, who are performing the roles they are in TO SERVE the community, should also be accountable to that same community.

Just because everyone isn't a Gatekeeper doesn't mean that they don't deserve to have an interest in what a gatekeeper does. Not everyone should be a Gatekeeper - other people have to be around to create content and actively build communities! There can only be one AWTeen Governor at any given time; does that mean that no one should have an active interest in the success of AWTeen beyond the governor?

Absolutely not!

Do not get me wrong, though. I do understand that a lot of recent complaints have been empty complaints by people who just have a bone to pick. However, laced within the naysayers were some legitimate concerns that were expressed by people with valid points and interests. They became overshadowed by naysayers and hateful comments.

The overpowering of rational concerns and reason that serve to charge accountability to our public servants by hateful comments and foolish people, in my opinion, is the true way to destroy the community.

Just my two cents.

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