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Specification of Guild of Writers Leadership Structure

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:49 pm
by Trylon
The following document specifies the leadership structure used by the Guild of Writers.

Latest Revision: 20 February 2011

Guild Councilors

There will be three Guild Councilors.

The roles of the councilors will be changed to suit the current and future condition of the Guild of Writers. Previously we have tried to focus on general areas that the guild would focus on. These new position will instead give the councilor a well defined job and reason to keep working on things. The new positions will

Councilor of Artistic Direction: This person would initiate, oversee, and seek to get approval of all guild projects for the GOW. An example would be the showcase age. This could be as simple as delegating work to Directors (see below), or taking the project manager role him/herself on important projects for the GOW. This person is also responsible for creating an environment within the GOW that is friendly to artists, authors, and musicians.

Councilor of Technical Direction: This person oversees and approves tools, plugins, services, internet-based systems, and any other technical needs of the GOW. This person will run all of the tool projects created within the GOW, and they will ultimately be in charge of any code the GOW recieves from Cyan.

Councilor of Human Relations: This person is responsible for all communications between the GOW and outside entities, including but not limited to Cyan and the general Uru community. This person will communicate any council plans for non-critical changes and experiments to the rest of the GoW. This person will be responsible for helping any GOW members who require assistance publicizing their GOW-related project(s). This person will oversee any guild recruitment drives. This person will assign any GOW liaisons to other Guilds, and be responsible for communicating with the liaisons from other Guilds.

Disagreement on tasks: In any situation where the councilors disagree which of them is responsible for a given task, a Guild Director will be appointed by majority vote of the councilors to manage that task.

Shared responsibilities: All councilors are responsible for initial proposal creation.

In most non-critical matters the Guild Council has the authority to make decisions without the need of a proposal or representative approval.

These non-critical matters include:

- Day-to-day guild operations, like forum layout, adding new features to the website or guild infrastructure.
- Start-up of (non-permanent) special projects, either inter-guild or intra-guild.
- Matters concerning any of the tools developed at the GoW
- Organization of events, public-relations actions and other one-time activities.
- Any other matters that are of a non-permanent nature.

Matters that are clearly structural or permanent in nature, will be excluded from this arrangement and will need a proposal.


For trying out possible structure changes or projects that may be made permanent parts of the guild, the Guild Council has the authority to start them up "as an experiment". In cases of possible permanent structural changes, the time for the experiment will be one month maximum. For any other experiments it will be two months maximum. After the time for the experiment has expired, the Guild Representatives (see below) will vote on its continuation as a normal proposal. All experiments must be completely reversible. The representatives can counteract on these decisions immediately. For the counteraction to be considered valid, the proposal procedure has to be started within 48 hours of the decision being made public knowledge. This means that a simple draft proposal to counteract the decision must be posted in the decision forums.

Added procedure for Guild Councilors removal

If a Guild Councilor has been inactive or unreachable for four months or more, and s/he has not stated a valid reason for his/her absence, they will be declared MIA and automatically removed. The Council (aided by the Representatives) will search for a replacement, which will then be instated through representative vote.

The Guild Councilors will find people to fill the new positions of the Guild Directors. The positions of Guild Directors will replace the Assistant Councilor position.

Guild Directors

The Guild Directors are expected to help the members of the Guild Of Writers. If they cease to be active, they should be removed at the discretion of the Guild Councilors. They are the responsibility of the current Guild Councilors to maintain and pick. The requirements below are for the Councilors to follow when picking new Directors.

Requirements for Guild Directors

A candidate for Guild Director must meet the following requirements:

* Needs to be a GoW Representative. If one is taken off the list of Representatives it will also mean automatic discharge from the Guild Director position
* Needs to have some experience in the field e.g. the Tool Development director should actually know how to make tools for age building.

Guild Director positions will be made as they are needed by the Guild Councilors. It may end up that a director's job ends once a project is done, there by eliminating the need for the position. As this is replacing Assn. Guild Councilors, it should be noted that since the director position is more fluid, permissions and access to areas will be decided upon when the position is created. Certain positions may require more or less access depending on what the job requires.

Some Guild Director jobs will be, for the most part, permanent. These positions will not be treated any different.

Guild Representatives

Becoming a GoW Representative

Membership of the GoW representatives is open to anyone who wants, provided the following:

a) You feel you are a member of this guild: You haven't just signed up for the forum discussions.
b) You are able to be contacted through forum or PM's at short notice (not counting vacations).
c) You contribute to the forum at least semi regularly (ten posts or more)
d) You follow the rules of the forum, wiki, and any other web site the GoW utilizes.

If you cease to fit these requirements you will step down. If you are inactive on the forums (and haven't been in contact otherwise) for more than two months, you will be automatically taken off the list. This is only for practical reasons (e.g. vote count), once you return, you are welcome to rejoin instantly.

How to sign up

People who comply with the requirements set up in this guild structure document for Guild Representatives will go to your UCP Usergroups panel. They will fill out the form information and then hit the submit key.

If the person passes, they will be sent a private message that states they have been added to the representatives group. This gives them write access to the Representatives sub-forum and the ability to create and vote on proposals.

Representative booting

If a representative exhibits undesired behavior, a proposal can be put before the council to expel said representative from the position for a specified or unspecified time. In this special case, a discussion for the proposal is not needed, as long as a good explanation for the removal is given in the voting poll itself.

Proposal voting and proposing things

As a GoW Representative, you are expected to vote on proposals. However, you can also select the abstain option in any vote.
All votes will have three options:

* Accept
* Reject
* Abstain

Before a Council proposal is formally introduced, it will be put before the representatives for comments and suggestions.
After four days of review, it will be put on as a formal proposal, which cannot be changed during the voting process.

Procedure for proposals
1. A proposal is drafted by a representative or the council.
2. A new topic is made for it in the "Representative Discussion" section called "Discussion: <proposal name>".
3. The representatives and the council have four days to suggest changes to your proposal. If valid suggestions are made, the proposal procedure is suspended until those changes can be incorporated into the proposal.
4. Once all discussion and changes are finished a new topic is posted in "Submitted Proposals" called "Vote: <proposal name>" and the discussion topic for the proposal is locked. This new topic will have a poll in it and the final proposal (after discussion) This poll will stay open for 5 days. The representatives (and other guild members if they so choose) will vote "yes", "no", or "abstain".

Vote quorum requirements

Proposals need a vote count of at least 60% of the representatives to pass.
Generic proposals must get more than 50% of the votes to pass (this is 50% of the reps).
Proposals to change the guild structure, or to remove a councilor from the council will need 60% yes vote.

If a quorum is not reached, the proposal will be considered as Rejected. It can be reproposed afterwards however, if the need arises.

Representative forums

The "Internal Discussion" subforum will be renamed to "Representative Discussions" and repurposed to serve as the discussion forum. It will be publicly readable, yet only representatives will be allowed to post there.

Official proposal polls will be put in the "Submitted Proposals" subforum. The "submitted proposals" subforum will gain two subforums:

* Accepted Proposals
* Rejected Proposals

This will help separate current proposals from past proposals.

Voting by non-representatives

Non-representatives who have special interest in a certain proposal, can request the status of "temporary representative" for one proposal only. This position will be automatically granted on request, provided that the member in question is not currently a banned representative, or otherwise banned from this position by the representatives.

As of October 13, 2008, the GoW's Structure has been completely overhauled, in accordance with the specifications of the old Structure. The old Structure shall be kept here for archival purposes.

Latest Revision: Revision 1, December 2, 2007

Organizational structure

Guild Councilors
There will be a council consisting of 5 members to do the main administration.
The members of this council will be known as “Guild Councilors” or “Councilors“ for short

The following list describes the Guild Councilors and their duties:
  • Guild Councilor of Communication and Public Relations
    Maintains communication with other guilds, explorers in general, and Cyan.
    Also responsible for taking initiatives that increase positive public opinion, including the writing pub imager.
    In Council discussions, he/she will be discussion host.
    He/she will also be first choice for representing the Guild at public meetings.
    (This does not mean anyone else of the Guild or Council is excluded from visiting these meetings.)
  • Guild Councilor of Forum Management
    In essence the forum administrator, who can add forums, and manage moderation
  • Guild Councilor of Tool development
    While not in fact chief tool developer, he/she is the main person to come to with questions on tool development. Also responsible for ensuring good tutorials, and up-to-date documentation.
  • Guild Councilor of Building
    Responsible for coordinating the actual writing efforts. This person should be somewhat familiar with 3d modeling, Python and game engine building.
    Duties of the GC of Building also include e.g. overseeing a possible object repository (or even proposing to make one), giving advise on building, and perhaps (help) assembling teams for special request ages. He'd be coordinating efforts that need coordinating.
    He/she will also be of assistance to the Guild Councilor of Tool development with the creation of tutorials.
  • Guild Councilor of Sound and Vision
    The "Artists" Councilor. Coordinates everything in the area of concept art, musical accompanying of ages, and the initial process of envisioning new Ages. Comparable to a creative director.
There will be no set term for Councilors.
However, if they are no longer able to do the job, they should step down.
Guild Councilors are in no way prohibited from doing other work in the guild

If for some reason a Councilor is not performing satisfactory for the guild, a Member Proposal or Council proposal can effectively end his term.

A new Councilor will be selected by the Councilors, who will then submit this as a proposal to the guild.

Assistant Guild Councilors
The Guild Councilors can assign - with approval of a majority of the Assistant Guild Councilors - up to 5 assistants each. These will be called Assistant Guild Councilors for now. Assistant Guild Councilors are also in no way prohibited from doing other work in the guild.

Example of Assistant Councilors positions, that might be currently needed:
  • Assistant Councilor of Pub Imager - Responsible for keeping the Pub Imager clean
Forum Management
  • Moderation Assistant Councilors - essentially the forum moderators
Tool development
  • Assistant Councilors for Tutorial writing/proofreading/translating
  • Assistant Councilor that maintains a list of ages currently in development
Sound and Vision
  • Assistant Councilor that maintains a music database, and maintains a list of needed parts

Assistant Guild Councilors can be assigned by the appropriate Councilor. This does require support of the majority of the Councilors.

Assistant Guild Councilors can lose their job by personal choice, or choice of the majority of the Councilors, as well as by a Member Proposal.

Guild Advisors
Additionally there would be room for a number of guild advisors when needed and available. These will have no official capacity, except for being a referential authority on their specific field, whose advice is generally recognized as valuable.

Example Guild Advisors:
  • Guild Advisor on modern building techniques
    Can advise people who want to design realistic looking buildings that look like they're built with human techniques.
  • Guild Advisor on musical underscores
    Someone who can advise on the correct use of musical underscores in certain parts
  • Guild Advisor on camera technique
    Can advise on use of camera's in ages
  • Guild Advisor on Tool development
    This position would be given to current tool developers.

We will distinguish between the “Main Council”, consisting of the five Guild Councilors, and the “Full Council”, consisting of the five Guild Councilors and the Assistant Guild Councilors.

Administration forums
There will be a new root forum, named "Administration".

In this forum there will be four sub-forums:
  • Public discussion
    Councilors can put a topic up here and everyone can reply.
    Only Councilors can add a new topic here.
  • Internal discussion
    Only Councilors and Assn. Councilors can post, but everyone can read.
  • Private discussion
    Hidden forum, for private discussion among Councilors. A section of this will exclude the Assistant Councilors for Main Council discussions.
    (Also see the “Special cases” paragraph below)
  • Submitted proposals
    Used only for publicizing proposals made by the Councilors, in the form of a poll (agree/decline), and reactions on it.
    Everyone can post here, but only Guild Councilors can create a new topic.
    This forum can be heavily moderated, if it is necessary to keep discussions on topic.

The root Administration forum will be used for special announcements and documents only, and will allow posts only from Guild Councilors and Assistant Guild Councilors, and new topics only from Guild Councilors

Process of making decisions
For minor decisions, influencing only a small portion (under 20-30%) of the guild functioning, it is sufficient that the majority of the Councilors agree on the issue.

For major decisions, having influence on more than 20-30% of the guild functioning, the following structure will be used:

Council Proposal
Definition of “currently active forum members”:
The forum members that have been active within the last six months.

The Councilors will prepare a proposal (called a "Council Proposal"), and post this as a poll in the Administration->Submitted Proposals forum.
Proposals will only have two options: Accept and Reject.
In replies, members can specify their reasons for accepting or rejecting if they so desire.
The poll will last two weeks, and the topic will be locked afterwards.
This will be called a "Member vote"

If after this week more than 20% of the currently active forum members has voted, the vote on the proposal is final.
This and any other vote mentioned here will be a simple majority vote, meaning that if over 50% accepts it, it is accepted, and if over 50% rejects it, it is rejected.

If under 20% of the currently active forum members has voted, there will be a "Council vote" on the issue.
A Council vote means that the Full Council will vote on it.
However, the result of the poll will count as two additional votes in this process.
This poll will be posted in Administration->Internal Discussion

Member Proposal
Sometimes, guild members will have their own proposals to submit (called "Member Proposals").
These proposals will be submitted and treated in the same way as normal proposals, with the following exceptions:
  • Member proposals will be posted in the Department Discussions->General Discussion sub forum, and it will be the duty of the Forum Councilor to transfer it to the Administration->Submitted Proposals sub forum. Member proposals will only be transferred if valid
  • Member proposals are valid only if backed by at least five guild members, who will need to confirm this by a post in the Member proposal's thread.
  • Member proposals need a vote count of at least 40% of the currently active forum members, and will be void otherwise.

Special Cases
  • Any proposal regarding change of these rules will need at least a 50% vote count of currently active members, and will be void if this is not reached.
    The vote regarding this proposal will last for three weeks instead of two.
    In case of a Council vote on the issue, the result of this poll will count as five additional votes.
  • If there is suspicion of the Guild Councilors in the publics eye, a member proposal can be submitted to have someone outside of the council be granted access to the private areas and freely quote any post therein. The proposal will need a vote count of 50% of active members within the past 6 months. The vote will last for the default two weeks.
    The person chosen to do this will have to be included within the proposal..
    The poll should state "Should we grant (name here) access to the private areas to audit the councils actions?"

Initial establishing
For initial establishing of the Councilor positions, Trylon, Bad and Pryftan will make up a list with possible candidates, and contact potential candidates. They can select themselves for positions should they so choose.

Meanwhile, the Administration forums will be made, and this structure posted there, in a closed post in the main Administration forum.

Once the list is complete, it will be submitted as a standard Council Proposal, requiring 20% vote.
If the 20% is not made, the proposal will fall under a Council vote, with Trylon, Pryftan and Bad voting as acting Councilors.