Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CSM 7 Summer Update

Summertime - The Sandbox is a bit emptier than usual.
Yep, it's been a while.

So to make this more efficent, I will just do some blunt Q&A this morning to get the big communication ball rolling again.

What's the CSM been up to since the Summit?

The main focus of work has been getting the official minutes done and approved. There has been the normal day to day interaction with CCP but, in all honesty (and every EVE veteran will understand this), it's summer. I can tell you as both a former employee and a long time player that CCP's offices are a ghost town in June and July. The Icelandic summers are beautiful and about the only time of the year when the forecast is not 'Grey and Rainy'. If you look back at EVE historically, not much gets done in game either. EVE is an indoor ~sport~ and the real people that play it sometimes actually go outside during the summer months so things tend to die down.

All of that aside, work on the minutes has continued. Delays have happened primarily due to the above - lots of different people on vacation or being unavailable due to other commitments. The Alliance Tournament is yet another major culprit in this - any dev that was involved with AT:X was pretty much buried by it until after the finals. When you consider how much work guys like CCP Soundwave and CCP Sreegs put into the Tournament, you can see why the areas of the minutes that affect them took a bit longer for final approval.

A very good overall summary of the past few weeks is here: CLICK ME

My fellow delegate, and the CSM 7 Vice Secretary, Hans Jagerblitzen does a great job of outlining some of the stuff going on 'behind the scenes'. I am going to encourage him to push out more updates like this. Have a read of that before continuing.

CSM 7 doesn't seem as 'visible' as CSM 6

There has been some rumblings about how this CSM isn't being as loud or prominent as the last couple. Well, first I'd like to share another quote from Hans:
"I am quite fine with being damned to obscurity if it means a year without a crisis bigger than the unified inventory. :) I'd rather have the game in good shape first and foremost."
CSM 5 had to deal with a whole host of problems, primarily stemming from CCP being both vague and uncooperative in several areas when it came to transparency and understanding player's desires. This pattern exploded full force in CSM 6's collective face when we had to deal with everything from the Fearless newsletter to all of the 'Summer of Rage' fallout from Incarna. No Monocle-gate for CSM 7, sorry!!

The situation CSM 7 finds itself in is wholly unique - while there are still issues to discuss and a job to do, there has been no major crisis to deal with or ~player rebellion~ to lead / represent. Also, as I have written extensively elsewhere, CCP is a completely changed company from a year ago. As a result, CSM 7 is spending a lot less time banging our heads in frustration against brick walls, accomplishing nothing for the blood spilled, and a lot more time actually holding productive talks with CCP.

TLDR - I'll take quiet progress over rioting any time.

What is the current status of the minutes?

They should be out by the end of this week. I know, it seems like it's taken forever but here are some of the reasons it has taken so long.

First of all, these minutes are unlike any done previously. Past Summit minutes were criticized for their lack of both detail and transparency. People wanted to know more specifics about what was discussed (within the confines of the NDA) but, more importantly, WHO said what. When the minutes come out, you will know what the issues are and who to blame or praise as you see fit.

In order to accomplish this, both the CSM and CCP had to agree on... SO MUCH. Sheesh, it's been a slog. Trying to hit the right level of granularity while skirting the limits of what we could / couldn't and should / shouldn't say has been a bitch. Previous Summit minutes have been basically summaries with a very vague indication of actual opinions and severely lacking in detail on specifics. While the mindsets of the past seemed to prefer a more anonymous approach to things, resolving this dilemma and giving EVE players more transparency is something that I as Chairman and the rest of CSM 7 committed to early on.

As a consequence of the above, these minutes will be unprecedented in both length and detail. The current draft copy I received this morning is sitting at 165 pages and just over 66,000 words. The content itself is varied in that there are multiple authors and editors involved but we have worked hard to make it both an enjoyable and informative read. In addition to all of the detail and transparency, you will see a lot more 'personality' in these minutes than ever before.

Right now I am expecting the minutes to be released before this weekend. Delays have continued due to last minute tweaking and approvals. CCP is just as eager as the CSM to get this information out to you and CCP Xhagen and CCP Manifest in particular are to be commended for their efforts.

Personal Note

When CSM 7 started, we had to deal with a few things no previous CSM had. We also wanted to make sure that we improved on the whole CSM process as best we could. I personally spent a lot of time making the podcast rounds, going on EVE Radio and doing a series of updates that I published on this blog. During the Summit itself, I was a Twittering maniac. Directly after the summit I wrote up a pair of blog posts (Part I & Part II) which totaled up about 11.5k words. I knew the official minutes would probably take a while to complete so I wanted folks to have something to tide them over. It had been my intention to keep up this pace of communication but then the hammer fell.

About six weeks ago, I got hit with an avalanche of real life issues which required my immediate and complete attention. Work and family took precedence and I ended up traveling extensively as part of it all. I let the rest of the CSM know early on what was happening and also turned over responsibility for the three summit minute sessions I had signed up for as well.

So while I've been very busy recently, I have stayed abreast of everything going on in CSM land and kept my hand in. I do apologize for the lack of CSM-related updates and will be kicking things back into high gear now. I might even poke a couple of the other CSM members to do the same. I'm not the only one with a blog / voice, ya know? ;)

Official Closing Stuff

As soon as the minutes are released, I will do the Chairman thing and talk to the other CSMs about our next Town Hall meeting. We had promised to do one after the minutes were released and I will make sure that happens. Additionally, I will look into making the Town Halls a more regular thing (every 4-6 weeks possibly). Tentatively, if the minutes go out this week, look for an announcement about the next CSM Town Hall early next week, to take place sometime in the next 7-14 days.

If you miss the sound of my voice, I did a podcast this past Sunday on Voices from the Void!

VandV Podcast: Episode 51

Around the 7m40s mark is where we talk a bit about what's been going on with the summit minutes, which is basically just me ~saying~ all the stuff I've written above. Around 46m30s I go on a bit of a tangent about how CCP has changed since last year. The rest is a great talk about mining and industry stuff. The other guest, Gevlin, is like a Mining EFT Wizard and was pretty damn impressive.

I'll be rounding up a couple other CSMs and poking the various pod casts and EVE Radio so you can expect to see some of the others 'waking up' soon as well. Thank you for your patience and hopefully you will find our efforts worthy of the wait.


  1. You seems alot more milder, and toned down in a way compared to the podcast. Suppose players just don't piss you off as much as other things/people do.

  2. Mark "in person" and Mark in writing are very different; not surprised :) Writing something gives you time to reflect and edit; speaking requires you to shoot from the hip and tends to convey a lot more emotion.

    Good job, CSM7, on the Minutes. I advocated for individual attribution for Minutes and CSM devblogs contributions/comments back in CSM5 and am glad to see it finally happening. Even through the editing, this detailed approach give a much better feel for how Summit discussions really go...back and forth, up there and over here, and finally back to the point actually being addressed. I think it is good to give players a taste of that. The Minutes are very consistent in tone despite numerous authors...nice work on that, too.

    I was most interested in the CSM White Paper, Stakeholder, and Incarna sessions. It struck me how much of the same stuff has been put on the table for the past two years at and outside of Summits without a whole lot of milestones achieved. But it is good to see discussions between CSM and CCP being truly collaborative rather than contentious these days. I am envious of that; CSM5 was not very much fun. You guys seem to be enjoying your time in office.

    -- Mynxee

  3. You make it sound so easy. I am impressed on how you work on these things.