The PageMaintainer policy first met skepticism, because it was expressed in the language of authority, rather than in terms of what it made possible. After discussion, we found language suggesting experimentation, diversity, leadership, and natural patterns.
Before PageMaintainer policy was first presented, it was presented in a page called “BenevolentDictatorProcess,” (couched in the language of BenevolentDictator!), and then, in turn: “DesignatedMaintainerProcess” (DesignatedMaintainerProcessArchive).
The first presentations focused on authority, the social mechanism by which experimentation and reworking could be practiced or experimented with. (See PageMaintainerAuthority for more on this subject.)
This was a very unbalanced presentation, and solicited skepticism. The language solicited images of people claiming sections of the wiki, cordoning them off from others, commanding people, cutting the wiki into pieces, observing a single process, and so on.
We talked, discussed, questioned, explained, explored, and developed a very different understanding.
The picture that emerged was that this was not so much about authority, as it was about:
That is, that this is about diversity, experimentation, exploration, rather than conformity, a single process, or rigidity. There is always authority and protection, but it is not the overriding concern.
The conversation roughly (paraphrasing) went like so:
KeithHopper: “What’s that for? What good is that?!”
LionKimbro: “We’ve tried those, but they don’t work.”
SamRose: “This is so that people can practice leadership in their diverse ways.”
KeithHopper: “Okay, I see. OK, I like it!”
This is an incredibly simplification of the conversation; To see the conversation in all of it’s complex glory, just read: DesignatedMaintainerProcessArchive.
This is the page that makes me most nervous, because I’m not really clear of what realizations or transformations happened in everybody else’s heads.
So, if I missed something critical, that was part of the answer to skepticism, please, by all means, let us know what it was!