You know Ryan, I've got to agree with you on most every point. Over the last year, we've seen a large decrease in general in the customizing hobby. All of the newbies that paint only clones are gone. The really older talent hasn't been seen in months. Heck, whatever happen to DD and our Purple Pimp Daddy? That was a fun thing that was ashamed to see stopped by someone adding the figure to his permanent collection. If you look at our main customizing section, its pretty dead. I see a similar story over at RS and Yak.
I've got to admit that I've made some mistakes over the last seven months. My leadership style has been to assign something with minimum direction and let the person use their creativity to find a solution. That works great for a software development team but not so good in this setting. I've had no real way of dealing with someone that doesn't meet expectations because we need as many people as possible on the project. But what I didn't realize is that someone that wasn't meeting expectations probably isn't someone that the project needed in the first place. Keeping feelings and friendships from being hurt is a hard thing.
Another mistake I made was splitting the discussion between jd and yak. I did it mainly to keep Chewie involved when certain moderators here at JD pissed him off. However, I found it a really difficult thing when I started to get emails from my leadership saying that they were going to bail because of what happen to Chewie. My solution was to keep it at both places in order to keep the leadership happy. I knew all along that it wasn't necessary to keep it at both boards since the same customizers read both sites. I had hoped that the secretaries would keep us informed on what was happening between them thru their newsletters and act as recruitment drivers. I was wrong.
The chats were a good thing but next to impossible for me to participate. I can't spend hours on a chat line when I've got work to do and kids to deal with. I absolutely hate instant messengers like AIM. When I'm on the computer I don't like little messages popping up from people. It just annoys the crap out of me. I also see it as security risk. That is why I've been totally against communicating via instant message.
As for our secretaries, I would regularly send them information and bother them to send out a newsletter. I've tried to make it perfectly clear to them how important it is to have something sent out every week to keep interest. That pretty much fell on deaf ears. I mean considering how often I see our secretaries on line, how hard it is to write one simple email in a paragraph in length? I don't buy the school argument. I write on average 20-25 emails a day, work 10-12 hours a day, have a wife and kids and a new baby but I'm still able to send out a mass email once a week. After a while, I just gave up. Maybe it was an age thing but that is why I assigned two people to it.
As for others, I have given out assignments from time to time. Some of them as simple as starting up a new thread. Almost every time it never happens. Sorry guys but without help and at least a effort nothing will get done. I had my reservations about sending out our resume to LFL. That is why I waited until the last minute to mail it off. I wanted to see it if was really possible that we could pull this off. My worry is actually getting the booth space and then sitting there with absolutely nothing to show.
As for transportation, I do have a few friends with trucks that are willing to help me move everything and setup. Heck my truck can easily move a boxed up diorama twice the size of the one we are looking at all by itself. As part of my project resume, I did ask for a booth bigger than 10x10. We'll see what happens. Even if we don't get a booth, I do have connections to were we can get a free building near the convention center for display. We'd have to advertise its location pretty heavily and setup viewing times.
I realize starting up this project last June was a little premature but LFL was supposed to have fan booth details back in late July/ early August. I bugged then and bothered them and always got the run around. I can't help that they finally got their act together by Halloween. Heck we still have to wait until February to see what will happen. This has really bothered me and I'm pretty sure that if I can't get in as a exhibitor for some site, I'm not going at all. (no matter what stupid exclusives are given out)
Now, I've got to admit. The artwork we have generated so far has been incredible. There is a lot of talent still in the customizing hobby (even though our numbers are tiny). But right now, we need to knuckle down, stop debating and actually get work done. I think I need to start playing hardball with everyone here no matter who it is and what feelings get hurt.
If we are actually really serious, then I'm going to take Greg's latest map and split it up myself. I will define what each building is and how big it will be. Then I will assign it to each of you. There will be no crying that this person got a certain building instead of himself. There will be a number of deadlines for work in progress reports. If you do not complete it by a deadline then you are completely out of the project no matter what you have contributed in the past or how far along you are. I do however run the risk of people getting mad for being kicked off the project but the way I see it if you can't meet a deadline than you probably will never contribute anything of substance anyway.
Sorry but I really think this is the only way we can get this completed on time and not have an empty booth come May. Sorry for sounding a little harsh but that is what I'm feeling right now. I can't do this all by myself. I need everyone's help! It's time to wake up and get to work. No more excuses accepted.