WAA Elections: I Support the Slate
While the voting period is mostly over I wanted to drop a quick note and offer up some thoughts on the candidates and process for the current Web Analytics Association elections. This year is clearly different thanks to a new process, one that has the membership voting on both a “slate” of candidates and two “at large” positions. While initially I didn’t understand the need to change the process, upon further explanation and a little reflection, I believe the new process makes sense and has the best interests of the Association and it’s membership at heart.
Before you go and Tweet “he’s lost his mind …” hear me out.
As the Web Analytics Association has grown the few board positions have become less of an obligation and more of an opportunity for people. In that, in recent years, we have seen an almost staggering number of people nominated into the election process. This, in my opinion, has created a problem in that A) most of the candidates, despite qualification, are relatively unknown to the web analytics community and B) because of the relatively low number of voters, a “popular vote” has become relatively easily gamed. I have certainly thrown my weight behind individual candidates in the past and, because my blog has tens of thousands of readers worldwide (many of whom do vote in WAA elections), I believe I have been able to help folks get elected.
Yeah for us and our friends, but boo for the process in general.
The popular vote has led to some truly great people participating in the WAA — folks (and my bias here) like John Lovett, June Dershewitz, Matt Langie, Dennis Mortensen, Ed Wu, and Peter Sanborn. But the popular vote has also led to some less-than-stellar participants in my humble opinion — people who either quit the board mid-stream or who served more as obstructionists than participants.
This new process, with what I believe to be a pretty well vetted board “slate” and list of “at large” candidates, has tremendous potential to do one very important thing: allow the Association to maintain the momentum they have today. From where I sit, in the past year the Association has:
- Hired a very qualified Executive Director in Mike Levin
- Started a very successful “local” event in the Symposium
- Launched a very important community initiative with the Code of Ethics
- Held a wonderful recognition event in the Emetrics/WAA Gala
and more. Plus, while I am not privy to any greater level of detail than anyone else, my general sense is that the current board is more productive and more collegial than many (or any) past boards and that bodes well for all of us.
So when it comes to the current election cycle, the “slate” has three returning Board members in Peter Sanborn (currently the Board President), Ed Wu, and Alex Yoder plus two new members who are, in my opinion, tremendously qualified to serve in Jodi McDermott and Shari Cleary. I have faith in Peter, Ed, and Alex based on their past work, Jodi has been a passionate contributor to WAA Standards and a number of other initiatives, and Shari is one of the most intelligent, level-headed people I know in life, much less web analytics.
The “at large” positions do create some problems, to be sure. The proposed group was whittled down from a larger group of folks, several of whom were qualified, passionate, and motivated, but my understanding is that the “secret selection committee” (which I offered to help with but asked too late) made decisions based on demonstrated commitment, involvement, and a willingness to work within the processes the Association has already established for the benefit of the membership. This strategy ends up recognizing folks like Chris Berry, a huge supporter of Research and Standards, Eric Feinberg and Lee Isensee, the “Laurel and Hardy” of the WAA and critical members of the membership committee, and Bob Page and Joe Megibow, two individuals who represent the level of leadership in web analytics that many (if not all) of us aspire to. In short, a brilliant group.
This list leaves off some pretty nice people as well, and this I think is what is creating some of the recent consternation in Twitter, but from where I sit the opportunity is clear: Participate in the WAA at the level that Chris, Eric, and Lee have, or build the reputation that Bob and Joe have, and you’re a shoe-in for the “at large” slots in the future.
For the record I am voting for Joe Megibow and Bob Page for the “at large” positions. Both are brilliant, both are passionate about measurement, and both serve as an excellent example of the kind of work we should all be doing. The Association needs more practitioners to represent the real needs of our industry and I cannot think of two better people to fill that role.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, I too was confused about the “slate” process and this election, but hopefully like me you are willing to give the process a chance.
I welcome your comments.