After more emails and a phone call from Stephen Gordon, Getz finally tells us the quasi-decision. It sounds a lot like design by committee to me:
Thanks again for the suggestions and offers of help. I’ve forwarded all your correspondence to Joe [Seehusen], so he’s in the loop as well.
But I think we all might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves and I don’t want either of you to waste any effort. As I mentioned to Steve Gordon last night, we’ve been taking a hard look at reworking the entire site, so some of this duplicates what we’re already doing, others are things we may want to do in the future.
And throughout the process we’ll be consulting a lot of individuals, both inside and outside the party. Obviously you two have unique insights by virtue of your longtime activism, and in particular your work w/the presidential campaign.
As for me, right now I’m on a tight deadline with a couple of projects (and need to spend Friday at CPAC) so I may not be able to scrutinize all of these details for awhile.
Thanks for putting me on your discussion list for this project, and of course you’ll be on my list as well as the project progresses.
Here’s a prediction for everyone at home:
- There will be a panel discussion with lots of people talking about what should be done with the site where everyone will agree… yes, something has to be done.
- They will then ask Gordon and myself what should be done, which we will tell them (for the second time).
- They will then discuss this in another panel at which point they will determine that someone should do these things.
- A design firm will be hired that will promptly get to work on a proposal that disregards any kind of specification the panel gives them.
- The panel will discuss the design proposal and realize it is not what is needed (or maybe they won’t!), and ask Gordon and myself to talk to the panel and design firm, where we will then tell them what must be done (a third time).
- The design firm will go off an do some work, show it to the panel, who will be enthusiastic that there is a new site and not realize it is not nearly what we told them was needed.
- They will ask Gordon and myself what our thoughts are (maybe) and we will tell them that this is close, but not nearly the size or scope of what we initially proposed.
- We will then tell them a fourth time exactly what needed to be done.
- The panel will collectively shrug and decide what has been done is good enough.
- The whole idea of a community-based lp.org will be so watered down that it will no longer be there. This will equal failure when the DNC strolls past us with their web strategy miles ahead of ours.
I’m tempted to not post this at all and instead just put that prediction in an envelope and mail it to myself so that I can have a big “I fucking told you so” when this is over. But then again… fuck it, I’ll do both.
UPDATE: Actually, I could see myself working with a committee, but there’s one catch:
I have one stipulation on being part of any design by committee. Everyone involved is required to read Joe Trippi’s book — The Revolution will not be Televised — before they can be a part of it. If we are going to devise a web strategy as a group, I want everyone to know exactly what we are going to be facing and why from the DNC. Right now they are having the same conversations, and I’m betting the older-generation democrats are balking just as much as the older-generation libertarians here. The GOP is probably somewhere in the conversation as well.
I will not be flexible on this, and it is my only ultimatum.