I read the blog, and I came away feeling...somewhat off. I couldn't really put my finger on it for a couple days. After I've had time to chew on it, I realized something.
It's an expectation that we should just move on from the hurt. That the data was gathered in good faith, and that, while it was a mistake, it wasn't meant to be malicious.
Perhaps it wasn't meant to be. But it certainly felt like it was. Starting with the Welcome Wagon, there was so much feedback provided you couldn't swing a cat without hitting some really well written arguments that how it misunderstood the problem, that leadership, of all people, had lost touch with the very people that built and maintained the site. It didn't help that the very start of this kickoff made the implication that curators were mean by just trying to maintain quality standards.
One of those arguments challenged the false dichotomy statement, and Nick responded with, and I quote, "This idea is total garbage". It was later softened to, "completely wrong", but the implication held; Meta was Mean, and now SE had to Do Something to fix it.
And Do Something they did. Monica summed it up very well, but the perspective was clear: We Were The Problem.
So curators were not only ignored, but were actively seen as the problem to be fixed. Moderators were threatened, publicly, when an attempt was made to properly explain the disconnect. I understand that an apology was made in private regarding that, but that just highlights the problem; it reinforced the fact that the company saw us as the problem to be solved. No public apology was made for that debacle.
I could go on, listing example after example after example where curators were maligned, ignored, and all of it justified by, "data". 0.015%, anybody? Easy to do when you you're the only ones with access to it. All pleas for at least some communication and idea for direction have gone unanswered. Curators have been open to helping with changes, and just wanting some idea, any idea of where SE wanted to go.
SE hasn't just let the bridge between them and their communities fall into disrepair, they've actively mined it and blew it up, thinking they didn't need their communities to maintain the sites. Yes, I know it's never been said, but the implication has only been reinforced by this attempt at a mea culpa. Now that data shows what the community has been saying from the start, it's all, "a misunderstanding". "We moved forward in good faith".
Bridge building happens from both sides, and the community's been working constantly to repair the bridge. But we've been dropping like flies, losing faith in SE. I hung up my mod hammer at the end of last year, after the completely robotic statement to Monica about how, "you regret there was hurt". I was active daily, not only on my site, but here and MSO as well.
This blog post rings hollow. Like...really hollow. I kept expecting a sincere apology, and when I got to the end, I still didn't see one. Even here, I still don't see a sincere apology. People are having to explain to the Director of Public Q&A how to interact with the community. How to take responsibility and show sincerity. I'm explaining this, and, to be honest, I'm pretty bad at interpersonal interactions online. Apologies are a start to healing the hurt, a start to reconciliation. I'm not interested in grinding it into faces. I just want one, made sincerely. I see a lot of dodging, but...still no apology.
I might be misunderstanding the blog. But I still don't feel valued. I don't have to justify it, because when someone tells you how they feel, you can pack up your magnifying glass and clue kit, cuz that’s the answer. You’re done.
And I'm done. I'm done trying to repair the bridge. I tried and tried and tried. I'm tired of trying. This is something SE actively destroyed, and, well, I guess they win. I'm the bad guy. I'm the problem. If SE wants to rebuild the bridge, awesome. About time. But I'm not going to help in that. If the company makes it over the gap, maybe I'll pick up my hammer again. I want to hold out hope it can. But one step away from putting down the hammer is walking away. I don't want to; I love the community I've helped build, the friendships I've made, the people I've gone to see, in person. Those are roots I want to keep.
So I'll be waiting.