Well, it's over and today is the day CSM 6 officially takes our virtual seats. I want to take some time and look back on how I got here and thank everyone for everything they did to help put me in a position to represent you.
When I left CCP last year, my first question was, "When can I get Seleene back?" My second was, "When can I run for CSM?" I've been slowly building my advisory team and talking with current and past CSM members for months. By the time applications for CSM 6 were ready to be submitted, I had my blog up, had already organized artwork and had a lot of my campaign points ready to roll out. Even with all of that prep, I was still caught flat-footed by some things, I had to learn to use Twitter and I spent an extraordinary amount of time using EVE Gate to answer evemails. Then there were the debates, the interviews and a ton of other things. Honestly, I don't see how people do this for RL political office but it was actually a lot of fun.
What made me want to be a Spaceship Politician? Well, I think it had something to do with this graph:
|So much truth.|
If you've played EVE for any length of time, you'll probably be able to relate to this. Well, I want to help fix it. I've been on both sides of the table so CSM just seemed like the next logical step to take.
'They' said that I would probably need at least 2,000 votes to get a council seat. I knew that I was going to need more than just an alliance bloc or depend on past 'e-fame' considering the field of announced candidates for this election so I made it a point to reach out in as many directions as possible.
I got help from unexpected areas. People I'd not even realized were still playing EVE contacted me. "You're running for CSM? Will CCP let you do that?! How can I help??" It was humbling and encouraging and, despite so many people saying I was a 'shoe in', I needed the encouragement. Perhaps I could have just coasted in, but I didn't want to take any chances, plus I really wanted to try hard to raise awareness of the CSM as a whole. Judging by the final numbers, it worked!
Oh, the glories of election time, where Photoshop and Paint artists go nuts. Here's a few of the more memorable things I saw on the campaign trail.
|Flowcharts are awesome.|
|I'm going to get shirts with this made for the other delegates.|
|Virt really enjoyed making me look like a space hooker.|
|Trebor just looks... creepy.|
In no particular order, I just want to single out a few people and organizations which helped me believe I could make a difference and kept me going.
Everyone that sent me an eve mail or posted in my Jita Park thread - Thanks for taking both the extra time and the interest to ask me a question directly. I tried to answer you all. Help keep the CSM working for you!
Virtuozzo - Wall of Text King and Internet Man of Mystery. After dealing with him in game on and off for over five years, I finally got a chance to meet him in person at FanFest this year. Yes, he's real. :) The numerous promotional pics that he plastered of my avatar everywhere certainly got the word out. His incredible insight into the business world is something I've come to rely on.
Mynxee - The outgoing CSM 5 Chair was simply invaluable to me. I first met Mynxee during one of her 'focus groups' when she was running last year and decided right then that she was someone I wanted to watch and listen to. Her calm advice and numerous insights into her CSM term will continue to prove invaluable to me for a long time to come.
Atrisha - My main propaganda artist, responsible for the rotating banner and sigs. I'm still waiting on my CSM Sig, Trish!
Manfred Sideous - Leader of my current alliance and long time friend. The list would be too long so just thank you for everything, man.
Dierdra Vaal - Dierdra has consistently been one of the most productive CSM members over the years. He was right at the center of what's become known by the community as the 'Summer of Rage', largely a result of his 'Excellence?' presentation at the first CSM 5 summit last year.
EVE University - Just by the fact that they exist and are still going strong, these guys inspire me every day to try to help make EVE better.
Scrapheap Challenge - While some may consider this forum 'bittervet central', there's not another public (non-alliance / non-CPP) English speaking forum where the day to day happenings of EVE are discussed in more detail.
Christos Hendez - My Russian translator, AAA diplomat and all around chill dude. So much energy sometimes I think he's made of sugar.
Herculetz - The current leader of AAA. I have no idea how many of my former alliance mates voted for me, but I'm sure he's the reason for it. Much love, man.
Cascade Imminent [FAIL] - A better alliance ticker in EVE there is not!
Body Count Inc. - My family. I promise I'll make it to Australia soon, guys!
|This was the slide at FF 2011 that announced the results.|
After all of the work and talking and chatting and craziness of the past weeks, I was pretty confident that I'd at least landed a seat. When this screen went up at FanFest I was stunned. My personal guess was that I'd land somewhere in the 2200 - 2500 vote range which would place me in the middle of the pack. It was fantastic to see that so many people picked up my message of Iterations and ran with it.
If you missed the actual dev blog and want to see a full break down of the results, here's a link.
|Nifty login screen a few days after the election.|
When he announced the election results at FanFest, Hilmar said this: "I have to say, knowing some of these people... either directly or indirectly through the internet, I have to say this is going to be some Council of Stellar Management. It's going to be interesting."
Heh. While there are certainly some well known people on CSM 6, I'm pretty sure that a big chunk of that remark was undoubtedly leveled at myself and one other gentleman.
A Cuddly Mitten??
There has been much hurf blurffing about our elected Chariman, and not without good reason. Mittens has certainly 'earned' the attention by conducting what is easily one of the most distinctive and memorable CSM campaigns yet. Plenty of other blogs and countless forum posts have discussed what has happened so far so let me speak on what I believe is more important - is Mittens good for the CSM? In my opinion, yes, and I'll tell you why.
|Me & Mittani - CSM 2011|
While Mittens and I have nearly polar opposite approaches to how we present ourselves and our ideas, we both have an abundance of energy and many things in common when it comes to EVE itself. I started playing EVE before it was even released back in Beta. I reached my 'peak' in terms of gameplay near the end of 2007, right around the same time I had to stop being a relentless mercenary overlord because CCP was telling me, "Hey, you really need to stop being a relentless mercenary overlord so you can go public as a dev."
Mittens came along a bit later and his approach to EVE was not the RAWR SMASH that mine was; he chose the role of the puppet master, preferring to stay just outside of the spotlight, even tho it invariably shone on him due to some rather... momentous events in EVE that he was involved with. Heh.
My point in bringing all this up is that no one can do the things we have done in EVE and not form similar opinions. No one that has played EVE for more than 3-4 years in the null-sec arena is going to find too much to disagree on when it comes to the actual game play of EVE. Sure, there may be arguments about certain specific mechanics, but overall we all want the same thing - a fun and balanced game to play.
Today, The Mittani is one of the 4-5 most recognized names in EVE which means when he says something, it's going to get attention. This will be important going forward because I believe you are going to see a level of feedback, information and interaction out of CSM 6 unlike any that has come before. Mittens has a LOT of energy and is already going 300 kph in trying to get things organized. It's kinda of fun to watch really.
All that being said, rest assured that if you voted for me that I'm not going to just go along with anything Mittens or any other CSM member says unless I agree with it. There are some very strong willed people on this CSM and, thus far, I've not seen much evidence that there will be some kind of attempt to steamroll a specific plan over the other delegates. So let me talk about them a bit as well.
CSM 6 as a whole
In terms of coordination and communication, CSM 6 is already shaping up nicely. We're all on Skype in a group chat 24/7, everyone has signed their NDA and are on the CSM forums and we're currently working on our initial set of messages to outline our agenda. So far, everything seems to be clicking rather well.
Despite prophecies of doom and gloom predicting that Trebor and Mittens would be at each other's throats, things are pretty chill. Meissa's been answering a lot of questions about past CSM's and we're looking at how to use that knowledge in putting together our plans. I've not had much of a chance to talk with xDeath but I did meet him in Vegas a couple years ago and he's a great guy to hang out with. I think Vile Rat is going to surprise a lot of people who just see him as 'another Goon'. I've been chatting to Vile on and off since late 2007 and he's one of the most level headed EVE players I know.
As for the others, I really don't know them that well yet but Skype is changing that and everyone seems very friendly.
While this CSM does have a preponderance of null-sec people on it, I'd urge everyone to bear in mind that many of us are old enough players to remember what it was like to work our way up from having nothing, long before being members of giant, rich alliances. I ran my campaign on Iterations specifically because I don't want EVE to be forgotten about as CCP moves forward with its other endeavors. I won't let the other delegates forget, what we all said we wanted out of this: an improved game for everyone, not just the players in 0.0. Based on what I've seen in the short time since the election, I don't think I will have to try too hard.
A Turning Point
In looking at the internal CSM forums, it became quickly obvious why past CSMs (prior to CSM 5) failed to make any significant headway. They were too busy trying to figure out just what it meant to be a CSM, how to deal with CCP and a hundred other factors. CSM 5 broke that paradigm and proved that with proper coordination, the CSM can be a factor for positive change that players can actually see.
This is a very important point for CSM 6. We don't just want to make a difference; we want to make a difference that players can see and point at. As CSM 5 motivated players to want to vote again, we want to see 75,000 people or more vote in the CSM 7 elections because of our efforts.
I have to tell you all, CCP has never seen anything like what is coming. What you have here are a group of delegates that are used to either running or being part of massive numbers of players. Social networking, information management and keeping large numbers of people informed about big events comes second nature to many of us. All of those 'skills' are going to be put to use for the benefit of the whole player base and I believe CSM 6 will set new standards by interacting more directly with the EVE community than ever before.
My CSM colleagues all seem pretty fired up about making the most of this opportunity. I am optimistic about what we may accomplish. I promise that this blog will give you a front row seat to anything we do. Stay tuned - as Hilmar said, "It's going to be interesting!" :)