February 25, 2015

Jakob's CSM Ballot Recommendations

So, it's voting time!

The way I'm approaching CSM X is to build a strong portfolio of candidates.  When you are making a portfolio of investments, you want exposure to a mixture of sectors and you want strong returns.  You'll want some positions with consistent and unexciting returns, and depending on your own personal risk flavor you'll want to take a chance on some positions that may have great returns but on a lower probability.  You may also consider some sectors of the market more valuable to you.  My returns from this portfolio I hope to be a better game, and greedily a game that I personally will enjoy more.

So I want to see a CSM that has a wide variety of aspects of the game covered.  I have a bias towards lowsec, so that will get heavier weighting, but I want to see nullsec, highsec, wormhole space, PVPers, PVEers, industrialists, traders, mercenaries.  The whole lot of them.  So let's see what I can find for a portfolio of 14 candidates.

Portfolio by Sector

Let's envision parts of the game as sectors of a the investment world that we might want to invest in.  If I want to have that diversified portfolio, while still having emphasis on what's most important to me then who would I put my votes with?

Security Space:
Lowsec: Ashterothi (FW), Sugar Kyle (Pirate)
Highsec: Mike Azariah
W-space: corbexx
Nullsec: June Ting, Psianh Auvyander, (see also "Off Balance Sheet Assets" below)

Activity Type:
PVP: Gorksi Car (solo), Ashterothi (small gang), June Ting (null fleet)
PVE: Mike Azariah (missions, incursions), Ashterothi (exploration)
Industry/Trade: Steve Ronuken, Sugar Kyle
NPSI/Social: Bam Stoker, Jayne Fillon
Mercenaries: Psianh Auvyander
NPE/Marketing/Wildcard: Chance Ravinne

Where I'll put my voting investment

Sugar Kyle - Proven High Return, Low Sec Sector and Strong Communicator
She's the undisputed hardest working member of CSM 9.  She covers low-sec as well as industry and trade activities in her expertise.  She's a huge communicator.  Really, what more could I ask for in a CSM? In fact, she's so focused on communication that you can see her helping to publicize her quieter colleagues work for them.  Speaking of which...

Steve Ronuken - Proven High Return, API and Market Sectors
He's the opposite of Sugar in publicity, but right up there with being praised by existing and candidate CSMs for his hard work (by Sugar, corbexx, Sion, Bam, etc).  There is no competing candidate who can do what Steve can do when it comes to the API, though there may be some competition in the depth of knowledge of the markets.  Steve should be on list for pretty much everyone in the game. (for amusement value, see Sugar's comment on his CREST API blog post)

Ashterothi - Multiple Vital Sectors, Strong Market Leverage
As a Faction Warfare pilot I don't see any candidate who can better represent FW lowsec.  As someone who is excited about the intersection of the Lore and the game itself there is no candidate who can speak to that like Ash.  As someone who prefers small gang action there are few candidate on the same level, particularly if you then restrict it to engagements in the lowsec environment.  As a bonus put in his potential as a communicator though High Drag and Hydrostatic Podcast.  Ash is a natural vote for me.

corbexx - Proven High Return, Wormhole Sector
Like Steve it appears corbexx has done far more work than he may get credit for.  Just as you've probably all seen in RL, sometimes the kind of people who do hard work are the kind of people who aren't good about advertising themselves.  In possible reinforcement of this point, after I posted about his interview from CapStable I got an email from corbexx.  He was polite in his email and argued his position on specialists versus generalists very well.  Now it is very nice as a small time blogger to get a response from a CSM, and it shows that he's keeping a finger on the wider community outside the top sites and blogs.  Wormholes aren't hugely important to me right now, but I wouldn't want them to go unrepresented.  And if you're going to pick a top rep for wormholes, it's corbexx.  There's just no argument.

Mike Azariah - Solid Blue Chip
Mike is a prolific communicator and one of the few strong voices for the casual player (which is very important to me) as well as highsec and to a lesser extent the incursion community.  I don't know that he's a huge contributor from what I hear compared to people like the ones above, so not a "big return" investment, but a solid consistent one.  I can be confident Mike will continue as he has and not blow up in some fiasco or go off the rails on an ego trip.  This may sound like a weak argument, but you don't have to read much of the Eve media right now to see people you might regret voting for later.

June Ting - Solid Null Sector Opportunity
I was very impressed with her interview, as I said in my earlier post.  She has a good background and an even better professional attitude.  I think she will help balance the bloc-null opinions in the big null work that is generally expected during CSM X, and after hearing the other HERO-bloc candidates interview I think she's also the best of that group.  As Ali Aras' campaign manager she also knows what she's getting into.  I'm not terribly worried about the fact that she won't be able to go to Iceland given her RL skills and the reports of CSM 9 candidates who have been able to be effective remote attendees.

Psianh Auvyander - Solid Null Sector Opportunity
As I said in my original analysis of Psianh and June, I felt they were very close.  Both un-affiliated (ish) null-sec leaders with all the experience with the corp interface and POSes that this implies.  Both with a legit claim to back up NPE planks in their platform that was beyond the "I'm a new pilot, so I know how to fix NPE."  Both with medium-ish size fleet leadership experience.  Psianh has the additional kick of being a mercenary leader I can respect (sorry, highsec griefers) and an opportunity to be a communicator through the Declarations of War podcast.  At the time that both of the interviewed I thought I might have to pick only one.  Having seen the other candidates, I think my ballot is best served with both.

Bam Stroker - Niche Social Sector, Promising Returns
Bam comes to his candidacy with a list of bona fides as a community organizer and the fact of the AU time zone.  In my original analysis I spoke entirely of his Social and NPSI aspects,  which is pretty much all he's running on officially, but we shouldn't ignore that he is also a null sec resident with the mindset of PL.  The risk is that he'll be a one trick pony, but I think that's balanced with a broader base that comes from his wider social network.  Even if he isn't running on other topics, with a rolodex like that he should be able to call on experts in pretty much any topic.

Gorski Car - High Risk, High Return
I was back and forth on Gorski, but I have to say that Sugar Kyle saying that he has blossomed as a CSM and transcended his troll nature means a lot to me.  Having someone who can represent the solo PVP playstyle should be very good.  I can imagine that the interaction between Gorski / Rise / Fozzie on ship rebalancing would be amazing to be able to eavesdrop on.  The risk here relates to his engagement level and how well he can keep his head and influence CCP and the other CSM.

Chance Ravinne - High Risk, High Return
In my review on his interview I said I wasn't sure if I'd rather have him as a CSM or for CCP to just hire him.  I can't influence CCP hiring him, but I can vote for him to be CSM and bring some of that infectious energy and marketing brainstorming into the equation.  Maybe they'll hire him afterwards.  The risk here is one of the candle that burns twice as bright - will he survive a full term at the energy level he's exhibiting now?  It's enough to put him on my ballot, but I admit he isn't going to be near the top.

Jayne Fillon - High Risk, High Return
Many candidates were tainted by the blow-up that was Funky Bacon, with the blogopodosphere largely laying that at the door of media types.  I think it was more of an ego thing, which makes me worry about Jayne - at that's the High Risk of this investment opportunity you see before you.  The High Return is very similar to Chance Ravinne: huge amount of energy and a representation of what can help energize Eve and bring in more players.  My gut is that Jayne and Chance will be one-CSM-and-done, either through burnout or blow-up.  They're the kind of candidate I might regret later, but if they pay off it could be big.

Off Balance Sheet Assets

But Jakob, I hear you say, you left out some really incredible people!  There are many people who are guaranteed (or nearly so) spots due to their position on null-bloc voting rosters.  The second contains people who may be strong in particular areas but who I think are bested by others.  So allow me to review:

Endie / Manny: As I mentioned in their interviews, these guys both really impressed me.  I've heard some rumbling that these guys might not be locks because of other people running from their blocs.  That really puts me on a fence for including them on the voting list since I think it would be a real loss if they aren't on CSM X.  You'll notice I only have eleven candidates above.  While it may not really matter, there's a strong chance these guys will fill out my ballot, perhaps also with...

Xander Phoena: I'm up in the air on Xander.  His demeanor on his podcast had been rubbing me the wrong way, which pretty much played right into the allegations that Sion has had.  I think that Xander has made a strong defense of himself on Crossing Zebras, but now I have enough doubt that I'm recalculating what contributions I think he's made.  In the end I'll leave it that if he is elected on the strength of his bloc and his media presence then I'll be happy enough with that, but if he doesn't make it then I won't be sad either.  I hope that if he doesn't make it then he can be a strong, positive light on the CSM and CCP and won't be made too bitter by the struggle with Sion and whoever is part of his faction inside of the CFC.

Sion Kumitomo: I was very impressed with his interview on CapStable and his articles on TMDC.  Sugar Kyle thinks highly of him, and that carries a lot of weight for me.  But let's not kid ourselves here, the CFC will elect him without the help of the likes of me, so my vote is best spent elsewhere.

Sortdragon / Thoric Frosthammer / corebloodbrothers / UAXDeath: So these Null folks are going to get voted in by their respective blocs.  For an independent person like me what this means is that they effectively take away slots I can help put people in.  If wormholes are an area of the game that I like to dip into from time to time, I have much less interest in null so even if I had more votes to give they wouldn't rise to the borderline level of Endie or Manny.

If you're in the independent group, realize that 6-7 of the 14 CSM slots will be taken by these heavy bloc folks.  The question is who will be the other 7-8 CSMs?

So get out there and VOTE.


  1. Jakob, thanks a lot for your support! It's an honor being included in so many people's ballots!

    1. Jakob should ask you for your eye implant.

    2. Sugar, at first I meant that because of how Blogger once again shifted fonts on me (grr!! does that happen to you too?) ... but now I see Psianh's avatar.