From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: (Tim Skirvin)
Date:		Wed, Apr 26 2006 4:17 pm
Subject:        [B8MB] Proposal Guidelines, Draft 2
Newsgroups:     news.announce.newgroups, news.groups

        The above URL contains the current draft of our proposal
guidelines.  We have attempted to incorporate the suggestions made in
news.groups, and have included a section on the questions we have not yet
answered.  Again, this is not yet final; but we are nearing the point
where we can start running some sample groups through the system.

        The page's contents are below.  Again, please leave comments and
suggestions in news.groups.

        I have reproduced the page's contents below.

Proposal Guidelines

Note Well: These are draft guidelines. We appreciate feedback on these

These rules describe the process used to construct, evaluate, decide, and
implement proposed changes to the Big-8 hierarchy. Such changes include,
but are not limited to:

    * Creating new groups
    * Removing dead groups
    * Changing group moderation status
    * Changing group moderator
    * Changing group charter
    * Changing Big-8 rules

Note that we will not be allowing all of these proposal types at this
time!  See below for more details.

I. Informal Discussion

The first step is an informal public discussion of a proposed change. This
step is optional, but is highly recommended. Someone (the 'proponent')
makes a proposal suggesting a change, posts it to news.groups, and the
proposal is discussed. The proponent should address any concerns raised
and adjust the proposal as necessary.

A. Proponent suggests a change

   1.  The proposal may be posted directly to news.groups by the proponent. In
       this case, the format is completely informal.

   2.  For wider distribution, a properly formatted proposal may be
       submitted to news.announce.newgroups. If the B8MB approves, the
       message will appear in news.announce.newgroups.

   3.  The B8MB maintains a list of active proposals and posts it regularly
       to news.announce.newgroups. It is the proponent's responsibility to
       contact the B8MB if their proposal does not appear on the list.

   4.  Appropriate crossposting of the proposal to appropriate newsgroups
       is encouraged.

B. The proposal is discussed in news.groups

   1.  Appropriate crossposting of this discussion to appropriate newsgroups
       is encouraged.

   2.  Revisions of the proposal may be submitted to news.announce.newgroups.
       As above, the message will appear in news.announce.newgroups if the
       B8MB approves.

C. The proponent leads the discussion and Group Mentors assist

   1.  The proponent should respond to suggestions and criticisms, and
       adjust the proposal accordingly.

   2.  Group Mentors volunteers are on hand to assist the proponent.

   3.  Usenet Volunteer Polltakers (UVP), another volunteer organization,
       is available to conduct polls and votes used to develop and
       support the proposal. Polling announcements may be submitted to
       news.announce.newgroups, pending B8MB approval.

   4.  Board Members will help organize and moderate the discussion if

II. Submission of Proposal to the Board

At some point, the proponent will consider the proposal complete and
ready for evaluation by the B8MB. Submitting a proposal to the Board is
accomplished by posting the Proposal to news.announce.newgroups). The
Proposal will then be checked for conformity to the general ethos
of the Big-8 and formatting guidelines (see below) and either
rejected or accepted for evaluation and actually approved into

A. Proponent submits Proposal.

The proponent submits the Proposal to the Board by posting it to

B. The Proposal is checked against the Board's requirements

Either the B8MB or its delegate decides whether the proposal meets the
Board's requirements.

C. If rejected, the proponent may be notified.

If the proposal is rejected, the Board or its delegate may notify the
proponent and explain why the proposal was rejected.

D. If accepted, Proposal is posted to news.announce.newgroups.

If the Proposal is accepted, it is approved for posting to
news.announce.newgroups by the Technical Team. The proposal is discussed
publicly in news.groups and privately by the Board and any delegates.

III. Evaluation of the Proposal by the Board

After the Proposal has been accepted by the Board and posted to
news.announce.newgroups, the Board discusses the Proposal privately via
its mailing list and publicly in news.groups. Using the standard voting
rules (link), the Board votes on the proposal. The results are posted to
news.announce.newgroups and a minimum five-day waiting period begins,
during which the Board considers any new arguments or evidence regarding
the proposal.

A. The vote is determined by a majority of votes received.

B. Eligible voters

Eligible voters are the B8MB and any individuals or groups of individuals
specifically designated by the B8MB as having voting rights for the type
of proposal under consideration.

C. The voting follows the standard B8MB voting rules.

   1.  Maximum duration of one week, but may be less if enough votes are

   2.  'Active Member' policies apply to designates as well.

   3.  The vote is called by the Chair or his designate.

D. The vote result is announced.

The vote result is posted to news.announce.newgroups immediately; but no
action is taken for five days.

   1.  If the original vote result stands at the end of five days, the
       proposal is passed to the Technical Team for implementation.

   2.  If significant new issues are raised during the waiting period, the
       vote is repeated.

IV. Implementation of the Decision

The Technical Team does whatever is necessary to implement the Board's decision.



The proponent is the person primarily responsible for developing a
proposal and submitting it to the Board for evaluation.

Technical Team

The Technical Team is composed of one or more people on or appointed
by the Board to issue control messages, moderate announcement groups,
maintain the web site and mailing lists, and perform other
duties required to achieve the mission of the B8MB.

Group Mentors

Mentors help proponents understand the system, clarify their thinking,
and meet the minimum standards for submitting a formal proposal for a
decision. For more information, see the Group Mentors page.

Usenet Volunteer Polltakers

UVPs develop survey techniques and conduct polls as requested by the
Board. For more information, see the Usenet Volunteer Polltakers page.

Proposal Requirements

Formal Proposal - New Newsgroup

The format of a formal Proposal for a new newsgroup is still being
discussed. Some information that we know we will need:

   1.  Newsgroup Name
   2.  Newsgroup Description (short)
   3.  Moderation Status
         1.  Moderators
         2.  Moderation Policy
         3.  Contact + Submission Addresses

   4.  Newsgroup Charter

   5.  Rationale and/or Justification: popularity of the topic, need for
       moderation, intrinsic worth, etc.

Removing Dead Groups

We are not entertaining proposals for this topic at this time.

Changing Group Moderation Status

We are not entertaining proposals for this topic at this time.

Changing Group Moderator

We are not entertaining proposals for this topic at this time.

Changing Group Charter

We are not entertaining proposals for this topic at this time.

Changing Big-8 Rules

We are not entertaining proposals for this topic at this time.

Outstanding Issues

   1.  Do we want to explicitly encourage public discussion by the B8MB on
       the voting, rather than just assuming that there will be both public
       and private discussion?

   2.  How are we handling multiple proposals on the same topic?

   3.  Complete "The proposal is checked against the Board's requirements";
       we only have a start at the moment.

   4.  How do we decide what an 'active proposal' is?

   5.  Do we want to encourage RFD pointers and the term 'RFD' in subject
       lines (as suggested by Kathy)?

                                    - Tim Skirvin (
                                      Chair, Big-8 Management Board
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