leader election

Nicholas Clark nick at
Fri Sep 24 16:20:40 BST 2010

On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 03:45:11PM +0100, Denny wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-09-24 at 15:25 +0100, Nicholas Clark wrote:
> > > > However, it can't organise pubs or techmeets, which makes it of limited
> > > > utility.
> > 
> > But *seriously*, it's all very well having a joke candidate, but if there's
> > no-one actually getting the thanks (and CV points) for doing the work, no-one
> > will. The joke candidate won't.
> Seriously then, I propose that we consider being an autonomous
> self-organising collective instead of having a leader.  Aren't pub meets
> and tech meets (and dim sum, and heretics) already organised by
> different people anyway?

Yes, [position vacant - hence no techmeets], [position vacant, hence no
dim sum], Yes.

Heretics are a rule unto themselves. The leader doesn't need to worry about
heresy happening (or not happening).

> Doesn't help with CV points, but might take some of the stress out of
> things.
> Alternatively, is there a duties and responsibilities list for the role
> of leader somewhere?  That might lead to some more serious consideration
> of good candidates for nomination.

OK, I've not done it, but I think the (incomplete) list is

a: get someone to organise socials. If you can't delegate this, do it yourself
   Or they don't happen.
b: ensure that someone talks to new people who show up at socials.
   Else new people don't stick around, which isn't good.
c: get someone to organise techmeets. Or do it yourself. Or they don't happen
d: dim sum. Same rules
e: get someone to keep the website up to date. Or do it yourself. Or it goes
f: get someone to run the mailing list. Or do it yourself. etc
   [however, gellyfish has been running the list for many years, so this one
    seems to be quite effectively delegated]
g: answer e-mail sent to leader@

A lot of it is "the buck stops here" if a job can't be delegated.

Organising the social meetings is a bit more fiddly than it seems at first
sight. Sure, any group of half a dozen people can arrange to meet in a pub.
However, what a social wants is

1: a room or reservable space
2: in a reasonably decent pub
3: for 20 to 40 people - we can't tell you in advance
4: without a hiring fee
5: without being able to guarantee a minimum spend

and "reasonable decent pub" - well, you can't please all of the people all
of the time, but if you don't please most of the people most of the time,
then pretty soon that problem starts to solve itself, because you won't
have many people left. The general desire is

1: sufficient space, and reservable, for no fee
2: decent beer
3: food
4: some veggie food
5: no music
6: central
7: near enough transport

which starts to cut the options down pretty drastically.

This was why muttley was so keen that

a: we always were polite
b: we always left promptly
c: if the kitty was in surplus, we left a tip

so that the staff would have reason to *remember* us, and be happy to have us
back, and give us a room for free, even if they usually charged for it.

Nicholas Clark

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