Lets finish this out, your voice is important! Vote in the IGDA elections before they close March 18th. Check your inbox for the ballot! Let everyone you know, know that his is important! http://ow.ly/4g8pO
Also check out this video that was made to help bring awareness to voting.
There has also been a lively discussion of the election going on over here.
Here is an extraction of questions and my answers.
Sally McNoodlecrumbs III
Ok, so here is one: Whats is your 2 year growth plan for the paying membership base as far as new or innovative benefits go for this changing industry – on a National level? On the Local level?
GS: As I mentioned in my statement I think growing the membership should be done as you say at both the local level and international level. Chapters and the org must provide value to the members so that they not only want to be a member but feel they NEED to be a member. There are already a lot of great benefits for members that most people aren’t aware of, as Corvus said we need to make these more visible to the members so that they can easily find out what is available. I feel that a lot of awesome benefits are in the works and I can’t wait to see what people think of them. I also think as Corvus said we should have more open channels for the members to voice what it is they want. To answer the question my two year plan is to continue to add value to the membership through partner sponsors and local chapters value as well as bring back the webinars that are members only.
I’d like to extend that to the international level, being on the north side of the 49th parallel.
GS: I think a lot of stuff that the other candidates have mentioned are very valid. This is a unique challenge for each country that will require local representatives to help us understand the challenges. Part of the solution that I have been talking to others about is similar to what Corvus mentioned where there are regional volunteers who will support an entire region/country’s chapters by helping solve unique challenges. I feel there is no reason that all of our members shouldn’t get the same benefits and we must work to make sure they are available to all.
I have a new question (please move to a new thread if appropriate). What are the candidates, and the IGDA in general, going to do to keep me from joining/starting a union instead? The elites in this industry (publishers and some ruling members on the developer side) have way too much power and the IGDA isn’t doing much to fix this (not an insult, just an observation). We need more transparent contracts, bonuses beyond termination, higher salary for devs + overtime pay etc, but none of this is going to come as long as those in power remain in power (which they will because they have all the money and aren’t as desperate as we are after layoffs). The power imbalance is _the_ _main_ _problem_.
tldr; What are you going to do to fix the power balance in this industry? Because whatever you don’t do I will, and I’m young and brash so I’ll do it sloppily 😛
GS: I don’t have all the answers to your questions but I know forming a union isn’t the correct one, especially at this stage. As Brian and others have mentioned the IGDA currently does a lot for the Quality of life issue and I know there are plans to do even more. Each studio is unique, and each member’s situation is also unique, I don’t believe there is a blanket solution for everyone, but I do believe that the IGDA has a responsibility to be an advocate for the developers in this industry. How we do that will be different for each situation that arises, but I believe that the current board has done a fantastic job dealing with some really tough issues and I think we will only mature as an organization and be better equipped to deal with new situations as they arise.
As far as the IGDA being sponsored by studios I don’t see this as a problem as long as those studios don’t have more of a say than any other member in how the organization is run.
If adding value to the membership is your goal, I suggest a complete overhaul of the organization’s website. As a member for only a few weeks, I’ve already lost confidence in the $48.00 I laid on the line simply because I’m refused access to most online areas. At first I was hoping for a way to connect with other developers in my area and abroad, but can’t even connect to the “Members Only” section.
GS: I know the site is currently being migrated so the problems you are having are unique to the migration. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any problems you are having. As far as the site, I agree 100% that we need to redo the site. That will be one of the tasks I would like to take on if elected to the board.
Please outline how each of you propose to get feedback and information from the IGDA membership in order to properly make decisions about the future direction of the organization? How granular can you get? Active/Passive? What do you see the membership doing for their part to bridge that gap?
GS: I feel like we should have one simple location to give feedback on the new version of the site, but until then any way that a member wants to get in touch with us they can and should. Be it facebook, twitter, email, snail mail or signal fire. How granular can we get? Well there are 12 people on the board, so I think we can filter through pretty much everyone who is interested in giving ideas/feedback. We should be active in our community seeking feedback and ideas, that is what will drive this organization to be great. The membership should come up with ideas, ACT on those ideas and volunteer when possible. Also just giving feedback is incredibly valuable.