- Ben RattayCEO, change.org
- Mark DimasCTO, change.org
Change.org Needs to Listen to and Empower their Members
To the chagrin of this writer and many of my friends, some who have left change.org for the reasons stated in this action, the powers that be (PTB) seem to be more interested in cosmetics, glitz and personal power than reliability, simplicity effective advocacy and are often not asking either their staff or membership for feedback before implementing changes. Community Manager Justin Isaf had at least listened to member complaints and suggestions regarding how the site could be improved and actually told some of us what change.org weas planning. But, he is long gone and the blog he set up for members is, too. Meanwhile, like management and ownership almost everywhere, it's all about the $$$ and personal power for Ben & Co., who seem to be increasingly steering the membership toward Facebook to recruit for petitions.
A few of the "improvements had been good, such as the select all option regarding recruiting and the weekly petition update. But, now that we can't invite our change.org friends to sign petitions in the traditional manner, the select all and petition updates are meaningless. But, that was about it! We no longer can see how we're done regarding recruiting for specific petitions, or how others are doing, or even if they have signed, unless they're the 100th signer, or some other round number, or one of the last ten. Plus, recently the management decided to hide all but the 15 friends who have avatars on our personal profiles from us, something that they reversed on February 15 woo hoo! But, then they took this back again on February 17, so the childish games by change.org mismanagement continue as the causes on behalf on needy people and animal languish... But, then we could access our friends page again on February 23, but for how long? This meant that someone with 1,000 friends, can again only easily access only 15 of those 1,000 friends during those days long periods of the "error" messages!. Meanwhile, change.org claims that it polls the members before instituting any changes. But, I know this to be a prevarication, because none of my 1,200+ friends have been polled to my knowledged and I have polled them regarding this question! We also lost the ability to send complements and as nobody can see how we've done regarding recruiting for an action, we had one less thing to receive a complement for, or receive a friend request for, especially those of us with hidden profiles. Also, long gone is the list of top activists, recruiters, or fundraisers. I used to look for potential "friends" on some of these lists and it had become that all the top activists and recruiters knew each other. Perhaps change.org feared some Egyptian style palace coup - LOL?! Otherwise, there are older complaints such as Ted Nunn's Department of Peace being eliminated as were such causes that I supported as Medicaid Waivers for the Developmentally Disabled. Plus, I continue to receive irate e-mails and personal messages from people who have had their petitions and even their profiles deleted. I had counseled them that it was probably just more change.org bungling. Oops!
But, the latest invasive changes where we are asked to submit our personal passwords to recruit through change.org have crossed the line and it's apparent that the change.org management only cares about making money and that the very active members, who had worked so hard to advocate for the causes are expendable. It's just a question of when the change.org staff, starting with the rank and file members become expendable, too. This is because such sociopathic social/power climbers, such as Ben Rattay, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich only have loyalty to their lust for fame, fortune and power. People are just stepping stones to them...
Then, there were increasingly annoying featured and advertisement petitions for causes that the change.org staff wants to push. or is getting paid to push. I won't sign something until I read it. Also, I've signed some of these petitions, but continue to get prompted to sign them again. Seems like something I'd expect in Chicago under the first Mayor Daley!
And, these error messages and undetected (by change.org staff) errors are unfortunately all too common, but while there are fewer messages about the site being down for "upgrading." I have yet to see anything that I would call an upgrade, other than the site generally working more quickly, until lately, and the ability to comment on all petitions and the now gone select all option, but occasionally I feel like I'm using dial up when on this site...zzz... Plus, there are enough "bugs" in the system for an entomologist to have a field day! I feel that change.org needs to continue to try to reach out to its membership, as Justin tried to do, if it wants make MEANINGFUL changes that enhance the site for the members and maximize attracting new members. Most of us are on change.org, because we hope to be part of making meaningful positive change, and that's what the site needs to concentrate on. If change.org wishes to empower their staff and membership regarding advocating for positive change in the wider world, the management should remember that such empowerment begins at home. And, if it does this, there might be some $$$ in it, too, as change.org charges the non profits to post petitions and the higher the number of signatures on a non profit's petitions, the more that change.org could charge. Therefore, they should love "free help" like this writer, who has officially recruited well over 400,000 people to sign change.org petitions!
Meanwhile, I had noticed for about a week that I got a "server is misbehaving" message when I sent out a friend request. It was more like the change.org mismanagement was misbehaving and didn't want to tell the members, or even many of their staff how they are devolving into a dictatorship, but this error message disappeared on February 16, but we the peons (the 99% are still waiting for the high lords of change dot dorkdom to allow us to enhance their popularity and profitability by allowing us to send out invitations for change.org petitions to our change.org friends...?!
First they came for the Jews.
Then they came for the Gypsies.
Then they came for the Poles.
Then they came for me...
This doesn't have to be?!
- CEO, change.org
- CTO, change.org
- The world's platform for change
To the chagrin of this writer and many of my friends, an increasing number who continue to leave change.org, the powers that be (PTB) seem to be more interested in money, personal power and fame than simplicity and reliability, empowerment of the members and advocacy for the positive social change that they claim to cherish. The continued wholesale changes in format have been disconcerting to many, and the recent disenfranchising of the members is contrary to the avowed purpose of this site, which is to empower the powerless and change things for the better. Also, if the management is asking us to support actions asking for greater transparency in government and involving the people more in the decision making process, they should do the same regarding the change.org membership and non management staff. In other words, the members and rank and file staff should be polled before any major changes are made and there should be a notification to the entire membership when a significant change is about to occur.
Also, while there had been a few changes for the better, most of the changes appear to have been both unnecessary and confusing. I would not fix what isn't broken and again reach out to the membership for suggestions, as we are the ones using the site, and the ones recruiting new members to the site, which means $$$ and fame for change.org. This reaching out to customers and rank and file employees is what is called "quality management," as opposed to the disasterous top down management seen in most corporations and organizations, including change.org. Such things as the select all, ability to comment on all petitions and improved hardware were member suggestions and many of we members had hoped for a voice at change.org, just as we hope for in our plutocratic governments and mega corporations. None of us are getting any younger and we hope to see the planet be something other than a war torn tyrant run toilet during our lifetimes!
I just wonder how long it will take for the non profits that change.org bills for posting petitions to notice that the recent changes mean less signatures for their causes? It's just a matter of time before Ben and company end up on the scrap heap of history with so many other greedy individuals who chose to listen to the sycophants that surround them, rather than those pursuing truth, justice, and a better world for all...
And, when you have the nose, it grows, whether its a Bozo nose or a Pinocchio nose, as the many and long lived "error" messages and ill advised recent and ongoing changes in format and methodology show - if you are having trouble with technical issues as it is, you don't complicate things more by making unnecessary changes lest you shoot yourself in the foot! You also don't remove the ability to recruit for the non profits, or start steering everyone to Facebook without asking either your rank and file staff or membership for feedback first. And, it appears that the members' suggestion that we be allowed to comment on petitions without signing has been ignored. Perhaps this didn't look like a money maker to management?!
Meanwhile, one on and off change is a the "server is misbehaving" message when I sent out a friend request is now gone and I again make a friend request, but what for if I can't invite them to sign petitions? It's more like the mismanagement was misbehaving and didn't want to inform either the members or their rank and file staff of what their plans are. How long will it be before the members are cut off from communicating with their friends altogether, have to go through Facebook to do anything, or there is some bizarre and unexplainable change? And, how long will the rank and file staff have jobs on this sinking ship? If Ben and Co. can cast the hard working members that made him a success into the darkness when we're no longer needed, he can do this to the change.org staff, too?!
But, another possibility judging from the continued glacial speed of the site and numerous error messages is that change.org just doesn't have the hardware or software capacity to accomplish what they were trying to do? Perhaps, they want to hide this from the non profits that are paying them to post petitions? Or, maybe this gives them plausible deniability, as Ben's 2/23 petition regarding bad advice from the mysterious Joe Greenstein seems to be? Then, it would make economic sense for them to vastly eliminate member services to better serve their paying customers. However, by doing so they lose the members that were pushing the petitions of these very same paying customers, something I'm sure they don't want their paying customers, the non profits that pay to have their petitions posted on change.org, to know, as mangement can only feature and/or push a limited number of petitions. I know that it would hurt his Supreme Scrooginess, but perhaps Ben needs to spend money to make money?!
It appears that like almost everywhere else around this increasing polluted and warn torn planet, it's all about money and power at change.org! Members, vendors and change.org staff beware!!!
Andrew Heugel started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,017 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.