The Watcher Emeritus on Aug 27 2008
These are the rules and procedures of the Watcher’s Council as received from our original Founder in 2003, including subsequent updates and addendums voted on by the Council:
There already a number of contests in the blogosphere trying to get people to submit their best posts… I thought I’d try something along those lines. I decided to call mine the Watcher’s Council, and here are the rules for participating:
Joining — The Watcher’s Council will contain a maximum of fifteen members, including The Watcher if he or she is also a sitting member. When openings are available, those wanting to join should send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org with “JOIN REQUEST” as the subject. Potential members must either have their own individual blog, be the host of a group blog, or have permission from the host of a group blog to be the sole representative of that blog on the council. When applying for membership, please include a link to 3 of your own more interesting entries. These 3 links must all be to the same blog… if you are posting to multiple blogs, you need to pick one blog to represent. After reading the submitted blogs, I will submit potential applicants to the Council and we will vote as a body to choose the new members of the Council. In the event there is no consensus or votes are tied, I will choose the new member. To even be considered, your blog absolutely must have working permalinks of some kind.
Reciprocal Links — All council members must maintain a list of links to all other members of the council… this list must be kept in a place of prominence on the member’s blog and kept separate from all other blogrolls on the page. When a member actively refuses to comply with this rule, I have the power to remove that member without holding a vote. The links don’t have to appear in any particular order, but each member must be linked to once and only once. Only officially recognized members of the council are allowed to appear on this list. Image links (approved by the blog being linked to) are allowed to be used in this list, but they are not required.
Nominations — On a weekly basis, all other council members will be asked to submit 2 links to me. The first link must be to a blog entry of their own, and the second link must be to something written by someone not sitting on the council. Also, the second link cannot be to any blog entry hosted on a group blog represented by a member of the council. I will post these two lists of links, and council members will be asked to vote via email or via the site for their favorite link in both categories. If a member is unable to make the required nominations in time, then I may choose these nominations on their behalf. If a member unwittingly makes the same non-council nomination as another member, then I will attempt to give that member a chance to nominate something else… if they are unable to find a replacement in time, then I will make that nomination on their behalf. Be sure to read the section on results posts below, because extremely belated results posts may result in nominations being declined. [Note – The weekly deadline for link nominations is every Tuesday at 7:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time]
Voting Procedure — Voting is required, but members are forbidden to vote for links to their own writing… though members are permitted to vote for any links submitted in the non-council category, even a nomination of their own choosing. I will also be adding 2 links to be voted on, but they will not be links to my own entries… I will be submitting 2 links in the non-council category. If the Watcher is not a sitting Council member he or she will not be allowed to participate in the voting unless there is a tie that needs to be broken.
In the event of a sitting Council member acting as Watcher, that member may vote, but not vote for his or her own council posts. He or she will also not be allowed to vote for their own post in the event of a tie with another member.
When voting for their favorite links, members must split their vote into primary and secondary choices for both the council and non-council categories… four choices from each member. While tallying the votes, I will count the secondary choices with half the weight of the primary choices. This vote splitting is meant to make the vote more accurate without the extra overhead of a runoff vote. If a member is unable to vote in time, then that member’s vote tally will be subtracted by the amount of one primary vote. [Note – The weekly deadline for voting is every Thursday at 7:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time]
Voting Results — Once I tally all the votes, I will announce the winners and display the breakdown of how many votes each link received. All members of the council will then be required to make a blog entry of their own, which announces both winners and prominently displays both links… each member’s announcement must also link to my post announcing the full results. This announcement post can also contain whatever commentary, criticism, or other links members happen to feel like adding. When members are late (after the next nomination deadline) in posting the links to winners, then this post must meet the additional requirement of linking to all entries that received the equivalent of at least 1 2/3 votes. If it isn’t made by the next deadline after that, then this post must also link to all entries that received at least 1 whole vote. If it isn’t made by the next deadline after that, then this post must also link to all the entries that received any fractional votes at all… and once things have reached that point, the late member’s votes will not be accepted until the required post is made. When a member develops a backlog of more than a dozen belated results posts, I have the power to remove that member without holding a vote.
Impeachment — My membership to the council will be permanent, but any member of the council can call for the removal of any non-permanent member. The motion to remove a member must be made publicly in a blog entry as well as via email to me. I will then hold a vote to remove… if I vote against the motion, it will take 11 votes (including the person initiating the vote) to remove the member. If I vote in favor of the motion, then it will only take a total of 7 votes to remove the member in question. And of course, members are always free to voluntarily give up their seats at any time… but outgoing members cannot name their own successors. Their link must be removed from the list of member links described in the second section of the rules, and I will choose all replacements using the same procedure described in the first section.
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