Subject: RE: [NYCGA-IWG] IMPORTANT>>>> OWS internet/outreach/social media folks, please post in visible places
From: "Charles Lenchner" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:24:30 -0500
To: <>

Devin, welcome back from jail!


I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t agree with all of them, but your motives are decent and you work hard (much harder than me) for the movement.


The one quibble possibly worth putting out there is a kind of logic tree. If X doesn’t happen by a certain date, then let’s do Y. Efficiency isn’t an all or nothing proposition. But we humans can decide in advance how much inefficacy is worth paying for a particular reward. We should be able to articulate those things in advance, in terms of months, weeks, days and hours. If a worthy solution with great motivations is assumed to be workable in two weeks, then fine. But a month? Two months? At some point, on the day of the decision, decision makers need to set limits, have ‘plan b’, and make it easy to pivot back and forth.


I don’t value the principle of horizontalism enough to let it extend task timelines indefinitely. And I think decision making on the fly will always be less transparent than the kind made at formal meetings announced at the start of an effort, as opposed to the middle. I think that missing repeated deadlines or technical forecasts are and should be a reason to focus on the business process that allowed them in the first place. I think solutions should be able to compete with each other in real time.


I’m up for Friday madness, so let’s do it.




From: [] On Behalf Of Devin Balkind
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:25 AM
Subject: Re: [NYCGA-IWG] IMPORTANT>>>> OWS internet/outreach/social media folks, please post in visible places


Elly, information is easier to access if we all use the same wiki. has lots of stuff already filled out in it and it's open source.  If you want to wiki about the occupation, please use that one.  there's a dozen person team incubating to build it out and we're connected to a bunch of other wiki project.

Charles, sometimes effectiveness sucks.  If we focused on deploying effective turn key solutions we'd very likely have a 100k person email list running proprietary software and operated by a group like the people (aka people not accountable to our GA, much less the GAs at other occupation) that spews official sounding messages and defines the movement from the top down.  Instead, we've let the movement building group mature to develop authentic contacts at a wide variety of occupations, the outreach group has created their own interim solution, and everyone is excited to move forward with a responsibly managed Civi.  I consider this a great position.

So, Charles and others with Civi experience - let's put together an amazing civi workshop and strategy session for the movement building and outreach folks.  Maybe we could aim for a Friday event?  Let me know if you'd like to meet beforehand to work with me on developing the workshop/session. 

I apologize for the missing the civi meeting today.  I was in jail, where I had lots of time to think about civi permissions.  I'll post some ideas on the wiki tomorrow.

On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM, Sam Zimmerman <> wrote:

all -


Following up on Charles' comment that a plug-and-play CRM tool was available 10 weeks ago, let's take the work that has happened in the past 10 weeks as a realistic measure of the group's bandwidth, and going forward for the near future assess needs and potential solutions with that yardstick.


imo, getting stable systems off the ground rapidly to effectively outreach and engage potential participants in the movement is of tip-top importance so we can scale rapidly, even if rapid scaling comes at a cost of not "owning" all of the systems, not fully open source, etc.  Holding out for purer solutions could result in losing the moment when momentum was greatest.  Marches and rallies in NYC could be much bigger by now if people only knew what was going on or where to reliably turn to for information.


- Sam

Devin Balkind