Nothing else can be said about the undertaking that the crew of the Cap Stable Podcast has been tackling this election season of the Council of Stellar Management. After CSM 8, the team of Cap Stable took up the mantle of conducting personal CSM interviews since the prior person conducting these interviews, Xander Phoena of Crossing Zebras, was running for CSM 9. When last year’s CSM election season was in full swing, Cap Stable conducted almost 30 interviews with prospective candidates…
Now we’re at around 100 applications for this CSM election cycle according to CCP Leeloo. Hoots and the crew have a long season ahead of them.
So what is the CSM?
The Council of Stellar Management is a democratically elected body of 14 players chosen by the community every year to represent the player base to the developer, CCP Games. For more specific details on the purpose, use, and mission of the CSM, I’d encourage everyone to have a listen to the latest interview conducted with CCP Leeloo and CCP Falcon by Lanctharus.
Space politics bears a great resemblance to its real life counterpart. Passions for both the game as well as a candidate’s particular voting block brings about the full spectrum of emotions ranging from the optimistic, the very serious, to the overly dramatic. If you follow these interviews, you generally hear this displayed in all its naked and unadulterated glory as the thirty minute interviews are generally not edited for silence truncation, “ums”, and someone tripping over an answer. This raw approach gives you a truer sense of what a candidate is really like.
Now that Cap Stable has pretty much concluded their announced interview periods, I asked Lanctharus if he could enlighten us on what goes on behind the microphone to make these interviews possible.
The long answer is a bit more complicated. Besides the aforementioned reason we really wanted to make a mark and transform what was then just a silly little podcast about internet spaceships into a community resource that not only benefitted new players but embittered veterans. We sat down and talked and next thing you know we were shoving mics into peoples faces. We took Xander’s original premise, transformed it, made it better and made it our own.
“How has your interview process improved since last year?”
Better organized as we now have tools that allows us to better coordinate scheduling (no more going back and forth with candidates), research, collaborative writing, editing and fact checking. In addition we have reached out and begun asking the help of trusted collaborators from outside our circle.
First of all individual interviewer availability, anyone involved is free to pick and choose the interviews that are available during their time slots. Special consideration and swapping is done if there are any RL conflicts, restrictions or if there are any publicly revealed reasons that a interviewer has against any particular candidate.
We strive to make the interviews as neutral and impartial as possible so to allow the listeners to make up their minds for themselves regarding the viability of of the candidate being interviewed.
“What was your total interview count last year vs. this year?”
Bhock put it best:
Last year, we had 28 recordings (27 candidates + 1 x CCP)
This year, we expect 50 recordings (42 candidates + 2 x CCP + 6 x Analysis)
“With CCP Leeloo announcing close to 100 applications for CSM, are you reconsidering your cut off date?”
Luck favors the prepared and if you want to be considered a serious candidate you need to take into account and prepare for the variables that every CSM campaign period brings along with them. Getting in line early and prepping for these interviews goes a long way to signal your preparations and your willingness to be an active participant in the CSM process.
If you wait until the last minute or try to sneak in your candidacy with little public scrutiny you are waisting people time and the opportunity to build upon the CSM discussion is wasted.
Then there is the logistics to consider. Every interview takes time to prep, research, schedule, record, edit, post production, publish and finally listened to. If you do not take this into account you are shooting yourself in the foot and limiting your message and the time it has to permeate among the electorate. Our cut off date is designed to maximize the exposure of the candidates who willingly and actively engage with not only us but the larger EVE community.
“Have you been put on life support yet?”
Not yet, like a cockroach I continue going on but the exasperated looks from my wife still haunt me at night.
“Let’s assume Xander doesn’t run next year. What happens to the interviews?”
A very good question.
It is very obvious to us, particularly with the explosion of candidates that the process is going to have to be radically retooled for the next election cycle. The sheer number of candidates, the varied game play styles, plus the ever changing time window required to produce and individual interview will necessitate growing the CSM Interview Project beyond the original scope that we at Cap Stable initially started with. We now have a tried and tested backend process to organize and streamline the procedure, we just need to find out if it can scale effectively to deal with the larger volume of candidates.
In addition we are also in very early talks with our various collaborators and will be attempting to grow our pool of interviewers, researchers, writers, and editors from the EVE community so that we can more effectively and efficiently push out more interviews in a timelier fashion.
The Cap Stable Podcast will continue to be the core nucleus with full editorial control of the project but we will be attempting to transform this EVE community resource and service into an EVE community project that will hopefully benefit from the varied expertise of the people we will be approaching.
“Any final thoughts, tidbits, or behind the curtain confessions? ;)”
Get yourself a good mic, decent set of headphones and check you ego at the door.
Always interview and record with a wingman.
Also I always make it a point to stream House of Cards on my tablet while researching and writing.
I post this image over my screen when in full CSM mode.
If you are at least 60 days into the game, you can have a voice and vote in the next election.
I definitely want to get some of the members of Cap Stable on a future episode of The Neocom Podcast. For now, I will let them relax, sip their alcoholic beverage of choice, and bask in the knowledge that what these six people have done this year has totally made a difference in the CSM selection process.
Take a few days off, boys. You’ve earned it!