Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Guild Power Structure

We need to set up a clear and well-defined power structure for the guild that involves regular elections for important guild positions such as president. If someone would like to take a stab at writing up some rules for handling that, well, that would be great. If not, I will try to find time to look over whatever SFWA has written up about how their power structure is handled and give it a rewrite to suit the FWG as soon as possible.

Can we get the reasons as to why there is a need? There is little point for the community to be parlay to the creation of the rules if they are unaware of why they are needed. The rules will mostly be like be insufficient or inefficient, without knowing what the rules need to address.

In the interest of keeping things as simple as possible, I’d like to suggest dealing with the position of president (or whatever we want to call it) solely, because if we start getting into boards and other positions that we don’t have a need for right now, it strikes me as overkill. Other elements of the structure can always be added later as needed (or we could possibly write that into the rules, that other positions can be added later, or somesuch).

There’s one thing that’s confusing me here, as someone who came to these forums when they were created and following the guild on FA for a few months now:

Who is deciding what is needed? I’m unaware if there is some group who is currently deciding what we need, and is then relaying that to the community, or if the community itself is being asked to decide what is needed.

That sounds reasonable to me. I’m already questioning my sanity in getting myself this involved right now.

This is exactly why we need a clear power structure. Then we’d all know what’s going on.

We do have a clear power structure. One person is in charge of everything, unless they choose to delegate. May not be optimal, but it’s clear. So my question remains. It appears to me that the community is deciding, correct?

As far as I can tell, those two sentences are completely contradictory.

Unless you take them in context.

This is what the first sentence means: So, currently there is one person in charge of everything that guild would consider outreach, as well as all things that the guild would consider internal community-building. That leader can choose to delegate these tasks to any other member of the guild, if the leader so wishes.

This is what the second sentence means: There are claims being made in this thread (by you) that there are things the community needs in one very specific regard. I am asking where those claims of ‘need’ are coming from: you, the community as a whole that you feel you can speak for, or a select group of guild members who you have talked to and feel you can vouch for. I was saying I assume you are approaching this from the position that you believe the community as a whole is asking for this. I would appreciate you clearing this up. My original question had a point, but you chose to sidestep it rather than answer it, making this much more difficult to extricate for all involved.

The bottom line is this: you are making claims about what the community needs. That’s great! Getting people involved is the key to a healthy community. I just want to know why you’re making these claims. If you’ve talked to other people about why this thing needs to happen, it’s not hard to present those reasons here so that people can help get things working. But if you don’t present the reasons, nobody will care because they cannot make an informed decision.

If you want your questions answered, then you should ask them more clearly. I wasn’t sidestepping your questions – I honestly did not understand it.

As far as I can tell, you’re asking who I’m speaking on behalf of? If so, then the answer is that I’m speaking on behalf of my own beliefs. I believe that establishing a clear power structure that will allow for passing power from one leader to the next gracefully and in response to a vote from the guild membership should be a top priority. I’ve held this belief for some time. However, as Poetigress pointed out, Sean the First created the guild, and, to a certain extent, that meant he had the right to hold the reigns to it for as long as he wanted. I don’t know either Sean as well as Poetigress seems to, so I don’t have as much faith in the new Sean as she seems to. That said, I think he’s done a pretty good job so far, and, if he ran for president, I would likely vote for him, even if I’m forced to run in opposition to him in order to make those elections happen.

The fact that I feel that this issue should be a top priority and others clearly don’t is a reflection of the fact that we will not all always agree with each other. We need ways to deal with that. Right now, the way we deal with that is that Sean chooses what happens. When does that change? When he gets bored or tired? When there’s an issue so divisive that the guild actually splits in half over it? I’d rather see us set up a way to allow that change to happen gracefully and appropriately whenever the time for it comes. And if we set that structure up ahead of time, then it will be there for us when we need it.

I appreciate you clearing that up!

Since terms are usually 6 months to a year, that doesn’t need to happen right now. Calling for it so soon is unnecessary, and as I said in another thread, comes off as insulting to someone working for us for free. So I think we can wait a bit to tackle such things. A democratic power structure seems best, but I believe we can wait until Seon has less work to do for the community to put this on his plate.

I think that would be fine – as long as we had a specific, established time at which we can expect to see an election held.

To be blunt, this whole election thing will not happen until I get the following:

1: A majority support from active guild members. What do I mean by active? I mean ones ones who are still posting stories within the furry fandom. Whether or not they are on this forum is a moot point. I will be posting about this on the FA page and on Twitter. I’m not going to be implementing a major organizational change just because one or two people say so. If I would do that, I would have implemented major changes without consultation.

2: Anyone that wants to run must post why they want to run and at least a couple ideas of what they’d do if they were elected. We won’t be having an election for the sake of having one. If people actually want to run, that’s fine.

3: The terms are no more than six months and there is a two week grace period after each term as started for the new elected offical to decide if they actually want the office or not. Face it, furries have a worse track record for following through on projects/their word than most anyone else in the world. It’s absolutely terrible.

Like I said, I agree with your election idea. I feel that your timing for all of this is a little crappy and that I haven’t really been given a chance before this has been brought up, but these are the terms.

A journal has been posted on FA.

We will see what happens.

I know there are at least a few guild members who aren’t on FA, so if you want to be sure of reaching everyone, it might be good to send that same text out as an email to all the members, at whatever email addresses they used to sign up with the guild. I know Duroc had that contact info, so hopefully you have it now too.

I…don’t. I’ll have to ask him for it.

I guess it’s just not the Furry Writers’ Guild without some drama and hurt feelings.
Thanks for posting the journal, Sean. It would probably be beneficial for us all to take leave of this discussion until we get more feedback from the larger community. Otherwise then the five of us here arguing become default cabinet members, I guess, and we’re back in the same boat.

No problem.
Like I said when I first took over this thing, I want as much community input a feasibly possible. Not going to limit what kinds of issues I take input on. This isn’t my guild, after all. It’s our guild.

If you think this is “drama,” you haven’t been paying attention to issues coming up with SFWA over the last several months. :slight_smile: These things happen because people have strong opinions and disagree. Not necessarily a bad thing and certainly not pointless or superficial.

Otherwise then the five of us here arguing become default cabinet members, I guess, and we're back in the same boat.

To be clear, we’re only talking about the office of president, nothing else. None of us are quite crazy enough to want to get into cabinets or boards or anything else at this point.

I also want to be clear once again that I haven’t been arguing in favor of elections because I have any personal issues with the current leadership or because I want to see the guild die or am somehow rooting for Sean to fail, or anything else of that sort. It’s only because I do still care very much about the guild and what it stands for that I’m here putting in the time and energy to argue for or against anything.

Very true. It’s a combination of written word masking intent behind questions and statements, and people caring. The second is a good problem to have. The first is just life.