Part 3 of the interview....
Jeff Koinange: So how do you feel about the groundswell of support that you have received.
Acolyte: I am thankful to those who have come out and offered their support to me, irregardless of how it may make them look and to those who may have come here not to offer me support but to support the right to free speech plus not forgetting the usual misfits who come in to offer insults, innuendo and try to change the focus of the issues at hand without even reading the posts.
Jeff Koinange: What do you think can be done to prevent this from happening again?
Acolyte: One of Kenya's blogging icons touched on the situation in a post on his blog. I think he has said it very simply and clearly, it's time some questions were answered.
Jeff Koinange: Change in leadership?
Acolyte: No not at all! We have no right to remove Mental and his team from their positions, nor do we have the power to after all KBW is not a democracy and I think that is one mistake we have made in thinking. But those in power should also know that without the members there would be no KBW! Just a webpage with lots of google ads on it that bring in nothing!
Jeff Koinange: So what do you have in mind?
Acolyte: First of all a clear and concise vision statement and how this vision will be achieved. Then a system of procedural checks and measures should be put in place. You have seen how many different ways membership status has been translated and changed with every question. I didn't know that a simple email could have so many meanings before this situation.
Jeff Koinange: Don't the administrators have enough work already?
Acolyte: A fact that Mental doesn't forget to remind us. Not to take their work forgranted but I think that KBW should have the founder at the head like a CEO and several departments under him. Such as Membership, Member Relations, and Technology.
Jeff Koinange: So how would those departments work?
Acolyte: Well each department would have its head and they would have 2 - 3 trusted and proffesional bloggers under them to assist with the work at hand. In that way Mental and the current admin team don't have to feel that they are sacrificing themselves for KBW. Also this would create a closer relationship between Members and the Administration, this whole issue has made it look like Members are just passengers and not an integral part of KBW when we know that without members there is no KBW.
Jeff Koinange: Do you think that your idea will be accepted?
Acolyte: I don't think so but KBW has over 300 members and if it grows any larger do you really think that 5 people can do a full time and effective job of administering it? Besides a time may come when it will be inevitable so why not now? After all nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.
Jeff Koinange: I understand that you sent a mail seeking to settle the manner in an amicable manner to the administration and Mental.
Acolyte: Yes I did, in fact here it is:
Dear Mental and company,
It seems the situation is coming to a head. Irregardless of your opinions it is not my wish for KBW to implode. I am more than willing for us to find a solution to our current quandry.
If you are willing to dialogue on the issues at hand, so am I.
As you can see Jeff, I try to be simple and to the point.
Jeff Koinange: Was the answer amicable?
Acolyte: Oh no, not at all! Here it is...
As you misread our last email we will make this one very clear for you.
After your recent attacks and insults in the past few days directed at the KBW project in general and the KBW Admin Team in particular, we will not be drawn into a game with you. That you expect us to believe that your e-mail is in good faith displays a deep naivety on your part. Our previous email to you made our position clear. We stand by that position, united in our conviction. You will not insult us one day and then engage with us the next. As far as we are concerned, the situation has been handled.
We find laughable your claims that the webring will implode, it will not. We find it ridiculous that you feel you can decide when things come to ahead, you can not. We do not recognise the quandary of which you speak.
Jeff Koinange: Seems someone has come out fighting
What we do recognise is a vibrant, growing, engaging and powerful webring that will continue to serve Kenyan bloggers.
We suggest that you do whatever it is that you do best, and we will do what it is that we do best, administer the Kenyan Blogs Webring.
Acolyte: Ha! Ha! Ha! They sure have, and it seems that I am not the only one who "misreads" emails. At no point whatsoever have I insulted the KBW project in my interviews, I have lauded it time and again! I also have not said the webring will implode, I said that I do not wish it to implode. As for the non-existant quandry, much as the issue has been resolved in their eyes; I think that people will not see KBW in the same light again. I have presented all the evidence I have but it seems like pouring water on a duck's back; nothing seems to be sinking in.
This issue and how it is being handled is a crowning example of what can go wrong with Kenyan institutions.
People seem to be unable to look beyond the issue at hand and make it only about them.
Jeff Koinange: How do you respond to the fact that your omission from the aggregator is being denied as censorship by Mental?
Acolyte: Thinker asked the questions surrounding that issue really well, all I can do is draw this analogy. KBW is a newspaper that purports to promote free speech and abhors censorship, but the editor tells one of the reporters for one reason or the other that he will not be publishing his articles at all but he is still a valued journalist for the paper and will still be able to write in his note book. That's the kind of situation we have here. So you can make of it what you want.
Jeff Koinange: So are you agitating for re-instatement?
Acolyte: Well according to the last post by Mental it seems that I am still a member even though I don't show up on the members list on the official homepage of Kenyaunlimited. I guess I now know how Harry Potter felt when he was hidden in a room under the staircase by his Uncle and Aunt.
Jeff Koinange: Are you agitating for reforms.
Acolyte:Yes I am and in fact I am going to put up a banner that bloggers can put on there blogs to say that they support a free and transparent KBW. Those who support the cause and change can put them on their blogs. I will put them on the sidebar of my blog where people can download them and post them on their blogs.
If we learn nothing from this and KBW stays exactly the same, it shall be a sad state of affairs.
Jeff Koinange: What about your absence from the aggregator
Acolyte: If the Admin decide to put me back on it or not that is now up to them. To be honest it is not such a big issue because those who want to read my blog know where to find me and so do those who dont! Besides I am clocking 3 figure readership numbers on a daily basis so the issue has been put out in the open.
Jeff Koinange: So is this the last we are hearing about the issue?
Acolyte: Indeed yes. I think that if I post anymore the focus on the issues at hand will be lost. I hope that bloggers learn from this experience to learn to ask questions when they need to be asked.
Other members are more than welcome to blog about the issues at hand. For me life must go on.
Jeff Koinange: So how can readers get hold of your blog if they want to read upcoming posts?
Acolyte: Well on the sidebar there is a section called "Get Acolyte in your in-box". They can go there and sign up to have my latest posts sent to their email address where they can read them at their own leisure or they can make their own aggregator at http://www.newshutch.com where they can enter my url and subscribe to my feed and those of other blogs they enjoy reading.
Jeff Koinange: Our studio time is coming to an end, Thank you for being with us.
Acolyte: No Jeff, thank you for having me! And thank you all for visiting!
Soundtrack: "You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you" -Joni Mitchell