MAA Report #2


MAA Report #2

2 Weeks in a Row?!?

I don't imagine that I will be making reports on a weekly basis consistently. But there are some important pieces of information and changes from existing MAA policies that need to be made known.

Promoting the Promotions

Last week, I highlighted an Equite level promotion. This time, I'm going to showcase the 5 Journeyman promotions that have gone out over the last week. Getting promoted to the Equite, and eventually Elder, ranks are huge milestones for a member of this club. At the most basic level, these events are indicators of the dedication and commitment those members have for this club. The time and energy required to attain these promotions, often over a long period of time, can often feel ridiculous and overwhelming.

Which can all sometimes contribute to feeling like the Journeyman promotions don't mean very much. I know there have been times when I felt that way. But the fact of the matter is, the Journeyman ranks are where the future Equites and Elders are forged. It's where people can really catch a vision for the club. It's where they make their first connections to other people here in the DB that can become friends for years to come. All while trying to navigate the sometimes strange customs and traditions that we have accumulated over the years.

The following promotions have been issued since my last report, with my congratulations:


Darth Pravus was also recently awarded an Amethyst Kukri for his amazing contributions to the Dark Crusade.

Policy Change #1

The MAA Policies page on the wiki has been updated. It's not earth-shattering in any way, but it would be a good idea to read through it and make sure there are no surprises down the line.

Policy Change #2

In the past, we have had periodic AWOL checks once or twice a year. I always thought of these events as a necessary evil. We want to make sure that the people currently in units are active and participating. But this also results in a cycle of bloat-and-contract as far as the member count goes for the various units. Given how important the member count is, both in terms of the current Clan/House policies as well as how the Dark Crusade has been judged with participation ratios, today we are making a pretty big change to how the AWOL process will operate.

I've built a page, accessible by the MAA staff, that displays two lists of members.

The first displays all the members that have not been active over the last 30 days. There's a button next to each of them that will fire an email to that member, informing said member that he/she is in danger of being AWOL'd and moved to the Rogues.

The second list contains all members that were sent the AWOL warning email at least 7 days ago and still have not been marked as active. There's a button next to each of them that will send that member to the Rogue list (and fire an accompanying email).

So, what does it mean to be marked as 'active' for the purposes of this new AWOL check? At present the bar is set fairly low: visit the site while logged in. If you do that once every 30 days, you'll never show up on the potential AWOL list.

I had been mulling over something like this for a while, and then received inquiries from several different sources regarding updating the AWOL policy to something along these lines. (EDIT: The first person to approach me about updating this policy was Timeros, and then I later was informed that Yacks suggested something like this back in January.) And now here we are.

The first round of AWOL warning emails through this new system will be sent out next week. One week later, the first round of AWOLs will happen. After that, it will be a monthly occurrence. This should hopefully help prevent the bloat-and-contract cycle that our units have been dealing with for some time. The timing of this first AWOL check is intended to also help clear the inactive members from the unit rosters in preparation for the last chapter of the Dark Crusade.

We fear change...

Yes, I know this is a big change from the previous AWOL checks. I expect there will be problems, questions, and concerns.

Right now, this is an entirely manual process. While the end goal is to make it as automated as possible, we're going forward with this new AWOL policy with manual control. This decision was made specifically so that we can address problems as they come up. If we know someone will be unable to have regular internet access for a month, we can simply not press the AWOL button for that person. If you have any questions or concerns about the new AWOL policy, please do not hesitate to email me (and Dash & Howlader for good measure). I will likely feature any questions or concerns that are brought to me in future reports, just in case anyone else has the same questions later.


Grats to the Journeymen on their promotion.

That AWOL Policy looks familiar...

Yea, didn't we have a thread about this also? Good work, Arion, congrats to the Journeyman :)

Man that headmaster dude "writes" a lot of Journeyman promotion requests.

Good stuff, Arion! Love the change... well maybe not love ...

Any chance we'd let leaders mark up comments on people before they are AWOL'd, like "Was on IRC on X/Y/Z" so that they may not be automatically awol'd?

Right now this is an entirely manual process. If someone is showing up to a leader as being in danger of being AWOL'd, the MAA staff should be contacted and provided with whatever information is relevant as to why that member should not be AWOL'd, if such information exists.

So awesome!


This is heresy!

Are the summit of the prospective AWOLed member mailed?

I'm still of the view that we as units should control our own AWOLs, but I may be in a minority here.

The summit of the potentially AWOL'd member are indeed CC'd on the emails.

Love the new system. Will there be a way to contact the MAA staff if you're going to be absent for a bit and won't be able to log in?

I'm mulling over several possibilities along those lines. For now, email will have to suffice.

Did we not have a LoA opinion in the admin section of the old site exactly for that reason? Maybe if we brought it back for this we would actually see people using it correctly.

The LoA functionality from the old site was, to quote several people I've consulted on this matter, "the most misused feature of the old site".

If you're only going to be out for a few weeks, you might be fine, and if you're worried, notify your summit and the MAA staff. On the other hand, if you're going to be out for longer than that, you should consider moving to the Rogues and transferring back once you've returned. Months-long (or even years-long) LoAs is not something we want to support directly in the code with the new site.

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