What’s different about Quilt’s governance?
Most projects that you’ll find on the Internet are governed in a top-down manner, as a form of strict hierarchy. This often results in a tree-like or pyramid-like structure, in which the people at the top can, in one way or another, decide the fate of the entire project, and exert influence on the people below them.
By contrast, Quilt uses a far less centralized structure. This results in a separation of responsibilities and control, split between the teams that are best suited to deal with that particular part of the project. As of this writing, Quilt’s governmental structure is split into three major categories:
- The Admin Board
- The Community Team
- The Development Teams
While everyone that’s a part of Quilt works alongside each other on a daily basis, there is no enforced structure of superiority — only a separation of responsibilities. Hierarchies exist where it’s necessary and productive for them to, but they exist as a mechanism to further divide areas of work and to help staff members to specialize where they need to, not to act as an explicit chain of internal authority.
For a full listing of our teams and who’s part of them, please see the Team Listings page.
The Admin Board
The Admin Board exists to help steer the project’s overall direction, and to represent the project in situations where it’s not appropriate for the Community Team to do so — as well as handling miscellaneous tasks that require familiarity and oversight over the rest of the project. Their responsibilities include:
- Representing The Quilt Project in sponsorships and other types of partnership, other than community collaboration
- Acting as a form of oversight over the rest of the project, ensuring that processes are followed as documented and aiding with internal conflicts
- Acting as tie-breakers in Quilt’s internal democratic processes, voting on issues that are in stalemates to get them moving along again
- Managing The Quilt Project’s finances, and ensuring that income and outgoings are documented transparently
- Handing out access permissions to the rest of the teams as needed, and acting as an ownership group on platforms that require it and aren’t managed by the Community Team — such as on GitHub
- Aiding with the decision-making process by providing their expertise to the other teams, and taking charge on tasks that don’t fall under the jurisdiction of another team
Despite its name, the Admin Board does not hold ultimate power over the rest of the project or its staff — the other teams operate independently, and the Admin Board acts as a supporting group for the rest of those teams.
The Community Team is a specialist team that oversees all of Quilt’s community spaces, as well as its social media accounts and website, and handling any public relations tasks that come up. It’s further subdivided into a number of separate roles, in order to better distribute work and prevent abuses of access privileges.
The title of Keyholder refers to an individual that is appointed via an internal democratic election, and who exists to hold the position of “Owner” in all official Quilt community spaces that do not have a reasonable concept of group ownership.
Keyholders are reputable, well-known members of the wider Minecraft modding community that otherwise have no interest in Quilt, but who would personally suffer a large blow to their reputation if they were to abuse their position. Because of this, we hope that we can avoid any potential abuses of power.
A Keyholder will oversee the Community Team when required, help to ensure that Quilt’s policies are followed in internal Community Team spaces, and hand out permissions to the rest of the Community Team as required. They’re also welcome to weigh in on anything going on internally, but they’re otherwise uninvolved with the project.
Community Managers oversee the daily operations of Quilt’s official community spaces. As well as supporting the rest of the Community Team and acting as Moderators, they handle administrative tasks in the community spaces, lead interviews for Community Team applications, maintain and keep track of the tools used to keep the community spaces running smoothly, and create and update Community Team policies.
Additionally, Community Managers lead investigations into wider social trends and controversies in the Minecraft modding sphere, collating information and using it to supplement the Moderation Team’s decisions, often banning problem users before they cause any issues (or, in some cases, before they even enter our community spaces).
Community Managers have responsibilities that the Moderators don’t, but they aren’t superior to the rest of the Community Team — they have an equal say in decisions and votes, and only end up in a higher hierarchical position because most platforms require that to be the case.
Moderators and Trainee Moderators
Moderators are in charge of watching over Quilt’s official community spaces, resolving conflicts and removing bad actors. They’re the most important line of defense for our community spaces, enforcing Quilt’s rules and Code of Conduct, and keeping our users safe and discussions productive.
Trainee Moderators are newly-appointed Moderators, who have recently passed the Community Team’s interview and voting processes. They’re designated separately in order to allow them time to get used to how Quilt’s community spaces work, and generally remain in the Trainee position for around two weeks — before their performance on the team is evaluated and the rest of the Community Team decides whether to promote them to a full Moderator position.
Quilt’s Events Team is in charge of planning, organizing and running events in Quilt’s community spaces, and sometimes acting as extra Moderators during busy events. They work with the rest of Quilt’s teams (and the wider Minecraft modding community) to collate ideas and information relating to possible community events, and ensure that they come to fruition and go smoothly.
Events Team members are not Moderators, and don’t engage as Moderators outside the context of the events they’re running (unless that specific member of the Events Team also happens to be a Moderator or Community Manager).
The Outreach Team is responsible for running Quilt’s social media accounts, creating and posting mixed-media relating to Quilt (including the developer meetings podcast), and producing blog posts and articles for this website. They’re Quilt’s connection with the rest of the world in many cases, keeping the world updated on Quilt news and keeping track of how people perceive Quilt online.
Outreach Team members are not Moderators, and don’t engage as Moderators (unless that specific member of the Outreach Team also happens to be a Moderator or Community Manager).
The Development Teams
The development teams are responsible for working on the technology behind Quilt as a project, writing code, fixing bugs and generally working on maintaining the various pieces of software that make up Quilt. Each Quilt project is run by a specific development team, and that team oversees all aspects of that project’s development.
Development teams may also be split into sub-teams. This is generally done for larger projects or when a team has multiple projects to look after, as it allows team members to specialize and prevents any one team from having to take on too many concurrent responsibilities.
It’s worth noting that anyone can contribute to any of Quilt’s projects without joining one of the development teams, but contributors will still be interacting directly with whatever team is running the project they’re working with.