[Foundation-l] Advertisement

Andrew Gray shimgray at gmail.com
Fri Dec 29 15:18:24 UTC 2006

On 29/12/06, Oldak Quill <oldakquill at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have been subscribed to this list for about a year and read (or
> skim) everything which passes through it. There has not, before a
> couple of days ago, been an explicit mention of the agreement with
> Virgin Unite.

Yeah, Virgin was first named specifically a couple of days ago.
Skimming back through the list (hurrah for gmail search), Brad
confirmed there were "two corporations" (then unnamed) on the 15th,
though people's attention was taken by how to handle the "anonymous"
chap in the sitenotice. Erik told us from the Board that matching
gifts were "probable" on the 12th, and the idea was originally put out
and kicked around by JamesF on November 8th.

But there was little response to these. On the 15th, no-one said
"wait, we're thanking the anonymous guy in sitenotice, what are we
going to do about thanking the corporations?" When the idea was
originally discussed, JamesF made a comment that a logo *might* be
excessive - no-one really picked up on it, though in retrospect the
tone of that discussion wanted something more muted than we got.

The problem is, we're applying an ex-post-facto standard. We want to
be told, well in advance, of "sensitive" decisions. But if you go back
and look through the foundation-l archives, this doesn't seem that
contentious - we all just let it slide when it was brought up, or
didn't realise the implications of what was being talked about.
Looking at it *without* the benefit of hindsight, the makeup of the
sitenotice doesn't seem particularly sensitive at all. Do we want
every decision the Foundation makes to be laid wide open for approval?

Yeah, we'll need to do better next time - we know this is contentious
now, and I am sure that'll be reflected in the next fundraiser. But I
think it's worth remembering that there were good reasons that people
could simply not have realised it would be contentious, even with the
community (well, foundation-l) informed of the outline of what was
going on, and that if we just rely on a "well, the community need to
know about things that will be contentious" the same sort of problem
is likely to return and bite us, no matter how hard we try.

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk

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