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Cages, Cutlery and Controling Access

January 25th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

In the earliest Market7 days I was talking to a colleague about my belief that we needed to integrate some fairly precise concepts of different roles people play in video production projects, and to determine the access and privileges of each role accordingly. He discouraged, telling me this parable by Jimmy Wales:

Say you’re going to open a restaurant, and you’re going to serve steak. There are steak knives that can be used to kill people. What do you do? You lock people in cages. By increasing barriers to doing bad things, you prevent people from doing good things.

And one only need look at Wales’ Wikipedia for evidence that this works! While the site’s openness makes it inadvisable as a sole source for composing a dissertation, it is generally reliable, and there are much-more-than-offsetting benefits of it being so open such as tendency to be very current and to provide a rich array of perspectives on multifaceted topics.

The facts of the matter are that despite opportunity we are practically always inclined to not stab each other with restaurant knives  (and in rare exception moments perhaps we are finally constrained by fear of our weapon-wielding fellow diners), and that mischief on Wikipedia is infrequent enough to generally be overwhelmed by participants’ corrective efforts that are themselves enabled by the site’s openness.

This is the perspective we’ve taken in building Market7 too. Even though there may be projects in which certain users should only access certain aspects, or just be able to review and not modify, so far in our environment people have full rights with regard to every aspect of the projects of which they’re members. We’ve received requests to incorporate more access controls. Our response has been that we expect most people to contain themselves to the most appropriate aspects of a project for themselves, and regardless they’re likely too lazy / busy to venture farther afield and muck up other parts of it. This tends to be borne out. But we’ve anticipated that the time for access controls in video.Market7 would come.

The time has come. Our release later this week will have an initial implementation of access controls. Come back to this blog in a few days and a demo should be up.  You’ll notice that by default we continue to assume that everyone will be able to do everything.  It will be interesting to see what happens with use of access controls. My expectation is that they usually be disregarded and no figurative Ginsu stabbings will result.

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One Response to “Cages, Cutlery and Controling Access”

  1. [...] each project’s home, enhanced our team management section, and added a major new feature with access control of script versions. All demoed [...]

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