Wednesday, July 14, 2010

whose yer members

so apparently i've been defending AMTSO a bunch lately. well, i think it's time to restore a little bit of balance to the force and show that i can be an equal opportunity critic.

you see, there's something i just don't understand about AMTSO. something that just doesn't make sense. i know it's members are people - it's members (sorry if the assumption here is wrong, i just can't tell which individuals are in it and which aren't for the most part) even admit that AMTSO is made of people - so why does the members page list companies instead of people almost exclusively?

way to present yourselves as sell-outs, guys and gals. it's no wonder people worry about AMTSO being a tool of the 'av industrial complex' with a membership that's so impersonal and corporate.

it's not as though you can't list the person along with their organizational affiliation - that's how the WildList reporters have been listed for as long as i can remember.

recently a joint post by several members was published that spoke about (among other things) transparency - so where's the transparency in AMTSO's membership? who exactly are you and why are most of you hiding behind vendor names when AMTSO is supposedly not a tool of the vendors?

i mentioned in a previous post that i mostly agreed that AMTSO wasn't responsible for the misconceptions people have about them, but on this one point in particular i think they actually are responsible. membership is basically secret - although i can find out names of who's on what committee, the union of those committees does not appear to represent the entire membership - and with a secret membership i'm left wondering if AMTSO qualifies as a not-so-secret secret society (least secret secret society evar!).

i really think AMTSO is sending the wrong message by listing companies instead of people as members of the organization. i think the members should stand and be counted, take ownership of their participation and the views they bring to the table, even if those views happen to not be in their employers' best interests. also if the membership page showed people's names it would be harder for people to fraudulently claim membership (it may not be a problem yet, but as AMTSO gains more mindshare it will be).


ashe said...

Interesting point kurt - and one that will surely be discussed. It really arose from the idea that the company could send any number of representative, but would only be allowed one vote - just imagine if say, K7 sent 20 people, and Eset sent one, and all those individuals had a vote - not particularly sensible way to go. However, those companies tend to be represented by the same (or a few of the same) people in the meetings. One thing that could be considered would be to publish the names of the attendees and their company affiliation after each meeting. I'll bring it up.

kurt wismer said...

OR... if your intention is to limit representation in voting to one vote per organization, you could simply explicitly make that a rule.

David Harley said...

Members can be individuals or entities: individuals represent themselves and are listed by name, whereas people who represent entities aren't members, and they can and do change over time (probalbly more often than WildList reporters do). I don't think there's a specific rule that says members or entity representatives do or don't have to be listed: it's simply administratively easier to keep it simple. Ashe's suggestion sounds feasible, though I'm not sure of the legal ramifications.

One vote per entity or individual is an explicit rule.

kurt wismer said...

@david harley:
"I don't think there's a specific rule that says members or entity representatives do or don't have to be listed: it's simply administratively easier to keep it simple."

so the membership page currently lists companies instead of individuals because that's less work to maintain? that's pretty much what i guessed might be the reason why, but there's a cost to taking that shortcut - that being that you present an image of a coalition of (mostly vendor) companies which seems to be an inaccurate portrayal of reality. that makes for poor image management.

David Harley said...

I wasn't involved with the design of that page, so I can't say that was a specific intention Since at that time, AMTSO probably had no public image at all worth mentioning, I don't suppose it was.

Since the price of a higher public profile seems to be that we attract more and more criticism, I guess image management is becoming a priority, so maybe some hapless volunteer is going to have to take on yet another job. It won't be me though. This camel has enough straws to carry for the moment.