Avoiding Duplication of Efforts

Discussion in 'CASAA' started by Webby, Sep 15, 2009.

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  1. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    In an attempt to avoid any duplication of efforts, what do you all see as the similarities and differences in the mission and core plans and goals (albeit proposed efforts in some cases) of the Right to Vape group and CASAA?

     
  2. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Was thinking that as I read through a couple of othe threads. I have a feeling that 2 or even 3 organisation will be better than one. As to their different foci, scope and modes of action, no immediate thoughts, but good to see this come up for consideration; it will probably need time to evolve ...
     
  3. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    Let me toss out a ball of string...

    From what I see, there seem (IMHO) to be several organizations handling somewhat different activities, all with varying degrees of success. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. All have similar visions, but different strengths. We all want to change the world’s preconceived conceptions of e-cigs, but no one’s resources are unlimited, so let’s be realistic:

    ECA (Suppliers) is strong in legislative issues and an active eye on Washington.

    Right to Vape (Users) has heavy pro-activism roots (i.e.; Amicus Brief and other efforts) and an established forum member base.

    CASAA (Users/Suppliers) is the new kid on the block, but we have different (and evolving) viewpoint, a very strong IT/PR/Marketing base and deep supply of networking/graphic design/IT resources.

    Each group has their own strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I see no reason we can’t all share in research, resources and member base to work toward a common goal. Where we disagree, we simply disagree. But where we come together, we create a formidable force.

    I had a very interesting phone conversation today with someone from another “camp”. It was enlightening and quite informative, although I could tell there were some core differences in our philosophies that made our core beliefs incompatible. No one was right or wrong; mind you – we just had different ways of seeing this battle fought.

    It did make me realize, however, that our differences are not so great as to say were fighting on totally different fronts. After talking with several other people (on all sides of this big picture) it is my realization that we don’t have to fight every battle together, but where we DO come together we should fight alongside each other.

    CASAA shouldn’t have to fight a war in Washington, ECA has that covered. ECA doesn’t need to coordinate grassroots efforts with user, that’s Right to Vape’s job. Neither Right to Vape nor ECA should waste time and resources designing a knowledge database CASAA is better equipped to build and run.

    Not to say we don’t ALL build toward these goals, we just don’t each try to reinvent the wheel (to steal a phrase from a friend) and dilute our efforts trying to be the end-all, be-all for the e-cig community.

    ECA and RtV, the olive branch is tossed. Individually, we have a lot to bring to the table in rallying the user community, although we may not agree on enough to incorporate under one umbrella. As a collective, with shared resources, we can do what none of us have been able to do separately.

    What say ye?
     
  4. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Agree.

    If we are a navy, say, then we are better as a (somewhat) coordinated team of submarines, tankers and speedboats that a committe deciding that either a tanker or a speedboat is best and having a fleet only of those.

    I feel good that we are pretty close to an idea arrangement of forces.

    And never forget the silent one by one 'resistance' movement that is every one of us as individuals spreading the word in our daily lives ...

    Plus those who submit a comment on a news item, get on their local radio etc.

    One last thing. I really hope that while we have forthright debate, we do try to understand the other side, particularly when it is a minority voice; we should try to maintain some openness of mind to keep our integrity. And not get personal. It;s usually more neneficial to ponder the thoughts of those who see things differently than the thoughts of those with whom you agree.
     
  5. JustJulie

    JustJulie CASAA Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I am only one volunteer over at RtV, but I feel confident in saying that RtV would welcome the opportunity to work with other organizations to achieve common goals. In fact, our Mission Statement specifically recognizes our desire to work cooperatively with other organizations:

    Right to Vape is an international volunteer organization aimed at initiating and supporting activism and education on behalf of those wishing to use personal vaporizers, including nicotine where desired, and to encourage scientific study, product safety and effectiveness. Right to Vape holds no national or political allegiances and aims to work with other organizations world-wide which share its goals.
     
  6. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    That is in the CASAA remit too. It's just good sense :)
     
  7. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    Too be fair - here are the apples to compare it with -


    Mission:

    The mission of the The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association is to inform, educate and promote and preserve the consumer's right to choose safer and more effective alternatives to smoking. It is an unbiased, non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy of its members and their rights.


     
  8. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    " aims to work with other organizations world-wide which share its goals."

    Surly no difference in that.

    I wonder though why CASAA would be getting into newbie FAQs for example. It is trying to do everything / too much. I have already put a lot of effort into building a FAQ, and some others, such as Soupourvapor, and the ECF will also be doing so. Then CASAA says it will do so too. There can be too much concentration of activities. I can understand ECF wanting to do this - though nothing happened when i pushed for it many months ago; and it's a different style to what I have done, so I don't care about it. My FAQ is open to anyone to edit and anyone can add articles. I don't get why CASAA wants to duplicate this effort by ECF, myself and others when you could simply link to them and concentrate on your key goals.

    What starts out as an advocacy organisation is already becoming a monolith.

    I only just saw the thread detailng these plans. I was feeling positive about CASAA as a campagning and public education group, but it seems to want to do everything.
     
  9. eric

    eric Forum Supplier ECF Veteran

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    There is no competition between organizations with similar goals, only different agendas to reach those said-same goals; especially in this field. Period.
     
  10. Mister

    Mister Super Member ECF Veteran

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    I only just became aware that RtV is doing anything like this. I've now browsed the RtV site a bit to try to form a picture.

    I does seem that the two groups have many similarities. And that there will be duplication of effort if both continue independently without finding a way to avoid duplication and/or to share resources.

    Some differences I can see so far:

    RtV wants no involvement by suppliers, not even as users. CASAA welcomes suppliers, relying on its mission statement, objectives, membership, and blocking of advertising to ensure that supplier concerns will be secondary to consumer concerns when there is a conflict. Due to the donation of effort by suppliers (thank you especially Webby!) CASAA may have better resources in specific areas.

    RtV seems to be evolving from an e-cig user community site. It isn't clear whether they'll operate as an extension of that site or branch off. Their name suggests that they'll stay there as an extension of that community. CASAA will be starting from scratch with a new web site devoted to its goals, not to also becoming an e-cig community.

    CASAA is at the moment evolving openly on these forums. RtV is not evolving in the public eye. So I can't tell how much progress RtV has made and can't compare its status to CASAA's. In visible developments CASAA would appear to be a bit further ahead - web site mockup and finalizing its objectives. In practice I suspect that RtV is further ahead. They've been at it longer and seem to have more active participants. But this is guesswork on my part.

    I do hope that more RtV members will post here. They can see the state of both developments and hopefully will have thoughts about how the organizations can proceed most productively.
     
  11. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    KB,

    No one is trying to grab anyone's "turf" or steal their content and hard work. Let me explain what mirrored hosting does:

    By hosting a collaborative “site” of links we protect ourselves from DOS (Denial of Services) attacks. Zombie bots will issue millions of requests for information from a single hosting provider in an effort to crash that site. (I own an ISP - trust me, I deal with it daily)

    Your site (any many others) will push (or have pulled) content on a random schedule via FTP. CASAA will host a copy of those sites with a table of contents. Links to the CASAA site will randomly change, although the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) will go to a DNS server which resets DNS at a relatively low TTL (time to live) to mirrored copies of your site.

    In English: you FTP to your hosting provider and make changes as you’ve always done. CASAA grabs a copy every few hours, and hosts a page that links to mirrored copies of that site (and many others) DNS changes randomly as traffic increases beyond the server’s capacity to handle the load.

    Case in point: In 1998, the New Orleans Saints went from 40,000 hits per day to 6.5 million hits per day. (Ricky Williams had just signed and they had made the playoffs for the first time in…oh…well…ever.) Our BellSouth server racks crashed every 30 minutes and we started redirecting traffic (every 15 minutes) to an army of mirrored copies of their web site – all on different servers, hosted by different networks. (see where I’m going?)

    That was 11 years ago. In internet technology it was light years ago. What we did then is now done by scripting and multiple hosting networks. A lot of the guys I worked with then now work for me. CASAA isn’t looking to steal or take credit for anyone’s efforts, what we want to do is protect them from DOS attacks and attempts to shut down any ONE collective site that attempts to house all these resources.

    I know it’s (borderline paranoia, and) a leap of faith to trust anyone you meet online, but you should know by now that my efforts for the e-cig community are genuine. I know CASAA’s weaknesses and I know its strengths. Building the network that can withstand (the inevitable) attacks from our enemies is what we do. I wouldn’t be so asinine as to try to encompass the e-cig community’s research bank in one physical location, or try to take credit from any friend’s hard efforts.

    See: WebOperations.net
     
  12. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    Actually, RtV does allow suppliers to be volunteers - just not officers or card-carrying active members. Kinda puts user|supplier|advocates like me on the sidelines.

    My name is Michal Douglas, and I am...

    >insert heavy sigh<

    ...a supplier.

    I understand their reasoning, in RtV's defense, being a user-only group makes them exempt from vendor bias or anyone having anything to gain.

    But in defense of most suppliers, I have to say that we aren't the E-Cig barons you may think. Most of us are just users who liked the product so much that we decided to be resellers. To me, that makes us DOUBLY concerned with the future of e-cigs.

    This is why I like CASAA's standard - one user - one vote. No one has priority over the other.
     
  13. webtaxman

    webtaxman Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Can't really comment until I know exactly what the conflict/dispute/misunderstanding? between ECF and RtV is all about. I just know tension exists. I will not even ask for someone to PM the information, as I know that is an exercise in futility. Or so I am told. I guess I'm always the last to find out what is really going on. 'Tis okay, I'm used to it. :rolleyes:
     
  14. JustJulie

    JustJulie CASAA Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    To be perfectly honest, this is the first I've heard suggested that there is some tension between ECF and RtV. :confused:
     
  15. LaceyUnderall

    LaceyUnderall Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    Just like the world around us, no one group is going to be fitting for us all. There are different missions for different people however, when the goals are the same in the end, it really is ridiculous to fight one another, especially when the others we must fight are made up of groups who have been around for a long time and are financially backed with an arsenal like you wouldn't believe (and will also go to great lengths to make up falsities).

    Personally, I have participated at Right To Vape since January of 2009 because as Webby points out, suppliers are consumers too... and in the end... if we do lose our livelihood, some us do plan on standing strong to continue the fight as a consumer. I also completely accept that as a supplier, I cannot have a vote at RtV... however, as I do whole heartedly share in their mission, I do not need a vote. It isn't about power... it's about participation/activism and that is my contribution to them.

    My company, Instead, is a member of the ECA, and my husband sits on the BOD. The mission of the ECA is:

    The Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA) is an association of private sector companies engaged in electronic cigarette technologies. Member companies are involved in all sectors of the creation and promotion of electronic cigarettes. ECA’s mission is to provide the tools and information necessary for policy-makers, opinion leaders, media, and private sector companies worldwide to make informed decisions about the management and use of electronic cigarette technologies, particularly the most recent advances and applications. The association was founded to institute and promote industry-wide standards and a code of conduct, work to maintain sound professional practices, educate the public and policy-makers on the industry’s activities and potential, and ensure the ethical use of electronic cigarette technologies.

    I do everything I can with whomever shares the same goals I do:

    1. Ensure the legality of the PV.
    2. Ensure that the product is safe and clean and any regulations are fair and just in comparison to Tobacco Cigarettes.
    3. Ensure the PV is socially accepted.

    As far as CASAA is concerned, and this is MY opinion and not that of the ECA's...

    I am all for any group who wishes to help in the battles. I do have concerns regarding supplier participation for funding a consumer based organization as it will lead to having to use resources and defend in arguments about vested industry interests if any studies are done and presented as data in the future. However, that said, I do not want anyone to take that as a bash against CASAA. I have been at the receiving end of some serious bashing to the ECA and having been through what CASAA is going through right now... I respectfully submit my one concern for CASAA's consideration.

    The battle has only just begun. And that battle... should not be between any of us.
     
  16. bonniegirl

    bonniegirl Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I speak only as a member of right to vape. I hold a "title" at RTV which is sometimes a heavy burden as most do not understand what it means. I am the Liaison to the ECA for RTV. That title means that I maintain a close tie to the ECA and report to our volunteer members what is pertinent news and such. This prevents the notion and conjecture of "What is the ECA doing?" That could lead to the apathy..."The ECA is doing nothing." When consumers are educated....the fear dissipates, RTV members KNOW the ECA IS DOING something. That being said and out of the way, I speak not as an ECA liaiason or on behalf of RTV but only on behalf of myself.
    I beg to differ the above notion that "We are way ahead of RTV" How could you make such remark without asking a RTV member where the organization is at this point? And,there is no race with each other.True, we have no fancy web page designed, true, we do not have moving objects on our home page, true, we do not "look" like anything from the outside....but we are building from the inside out. Not better, not lesser....just from a different perspective. Our focus is the main organizational format and believe me it is work to reach the point to be recognized as a not for profit in the USA...I have done it before...it is an expensive lengthy procedure with very specific necessities required PRIOR to the application. This is our main focus along side that of the support of activist groups worldwide. There is no harm in having differing views regarding PVs classification. We at RTV NEVER discuss which classification is the best, we support any and all users to CHOOSE their own way to define. It is a matter of CHOICE. Once an organization "pigeon holes" itself into a statement of intent to classify you narrow the focus of your work and exclude others from "buying into" your premise. I do believe, consumers are intelligent and have that right...to choose.
    Working together is simply the most intelligent thing we could do as we have the same goals and mission.
    Could someone please point out to me the ways in which we differ from your organization?
    Thanks for the OP
    Bonnie
     
  17. Webby

    Webby Moved On ECF Veteran

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    As I pointed out we all have different strengths. If CASAA and ECA's supplier involvement taints the objectivity of a study, let RtV conduct it! My recent readings on the RtV forum and after speaking with bonnygirl all leave me with the utmost respect for what they are trying to do. There is a depth of medical knowledge and spearheaded efforts that only add to their strengths. Snazzy web sites and databases don’t make a group any better; they are just a strong suit CASAA has. I’m not fighting the battle in Washington and don’t necessarily see where having a whole slew of lawyers (in clashing Matlock suits) fighting for the minor differences of opinion within our organizations would do anything other than muddy the waters for our unified cause.

    As Lacey mentioned many organizations have multiple advocacy groups for whatever reason. Many towns have more than one burger joint. Each one does things a little differently to satisfy a public need. If Chambers of Commerce filled every small business need there wouldn’t be a BBB or Downtown Alliance in any city – yet most towns have all three. Each promotes business, just a little differently.

    This thread was started to discuss the differences between the groups, not to bash each other, but to see where we collectively can combine forces and where we can share in each other’s strengths so valuable time and resources aren’t wasted duplicating efforts.
     
  18. bonniegirl

    bonniegirl Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Webby,
    Well said and straight to the point. We serve our community much better standing together and sharing resources. A very positive direction in a sometimes very apathetic world.
    Kudos
    Bonnie
     
  19. Thulium

    Thulium Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    I'm 100% in favor of all 3 groups and any others who'd like to join us and I totally agree with the points you are making here.

    However, this "avoiding duplication of efforts" thread is not just important now--its going to be important throughout the lifetimes of all these groups. We need to keep this door (or one like it) open for business, and probably by official action for all the groups involved. In order to keep the association between groups strong yet maintain each's individual identity from conflicts of interest, I suggest that each related organization commit to using e-cigaratte-forum.com as the intra-organization pow-wow/summit. Create an established protocol for representatives for each group to present a voting question to the others and that transaction should, IMO, continue to occur here.

    In this way, if one group has an idea they want to share with another group that might be better equipped to handle (needing more or less ties to a consumer or needing more/less ties to distributors or needing more/less cooperation between consumers and professionals) they would come here to have a documented contact between organizations and all the organizations would have the ability to pass information along without also passing undue influence to the other organizations. A users only group (or pro-only, or combination) needs to maintain some level of autonomy from the other groups, and I think we best maintain the autonomy while allowing for collaborative effort by going back to our common roots here at ECF.
     
  20. Kamanjah

    Kamanjah Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Oh, my. Is there a need for a liaison person between CASAA and RtV?
     
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