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From Joe Schaefer <>
Subject On parks, commons, and websites
Date Tue, 17 Jul 2012 18:04:17 GMT
Since I'm still not satisfied that people have understood
the point I've tried to make about the CMS and website management,
let me couch it in a more familiar analogy so you can better
understand where I'm coming from and why I do what I do.

Imagine your website as if it were a giant park that various
citizens of the planet come to observe, visit and participate
in.   What would you do if by chance you were a park visitor
and noticed that some other citizen had left behind a little
bit of trash in the park?

A lot of average citizens would say to themselves "Hey, I'm just
a visitor here, it's not my problem" and go on with their
activities ignoring the trash.

A more concerned citizen might say to themselves, "hey, someone
should do something about that trash.  Lemme go ask the park ranger
to clean it up."  Eventually the park ranger might do something
about it, but a more enlightened ranger might say to the camper
"I've gone ahead and put out trash receptacles in lots of convenient
locations.  Is it possible for you to take care of this yourself?
I'm quite busy tending to other areas of the park, including other parks.
Thanks.  I'll put up more signs explaining to visitors the importance
of cleaning up after themselves."

Some citizens might react badly to the park ranger's response, and
go away pissed off and ignoring the trash.  They might then complain
to other citizens that the park is being badly managed and should get
more help.

Other citizens might see the trash but instead of tackling the problem
themselves, ask another park visitor to clean it up.  Not a bad thing
to do, but a little bit imposing on the other visitors of the park.
Those people might wonder about why the original citizen did not clean
up the trash themselves, but occasionally you come across citizens
who are happy to just honor the unusual request without issue.

Other citizens, those acting with enlightened self-interest, will
react differently to the park ranger's advice.  They realize the trash
problem is a social problem for citizens to solve, not something a park
ranger is equipped to deal with.  They will work alongside the park
ranger to post advertisements about civic responsibility, conduct community
awareness meetings to teach others about how to deal with trash, etc.
And most importantly, they will pick up whatever trash they are made
aware of without fuss.  Citizens like this are often recognized by the park
itself as friends, stewards, and volunteers of the park, and given membership
in the entire park system's oversight and governance.
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