1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Can You Come for a Visit? My ME/CFS Says No
My daughter and son-in-law just had a baby last week. We are thrilled. But we won't be able to see the baby or hold her any time soon. We won't be able to take over little gifts or help out with housework or babysitting.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Phoenix Rising Board Statement Re: Cort Johnson’s Announcement

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes:
    1,779
    Cort himself has been candid about his salary concerns: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ving-contest-to-start-soon.19155/#post-293061
    Firestormm likes this.
  2. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    OK, I've reviewed the article and it states Cort's rate of pay at the time of writing about a year ago as $500/month, which is correct to my recollection. It also states an approximation of overall monthly costs at the time of £1200/month, which includes Cort's pay and is a little out of date.

    It seems that the original article was replaced by Cort on Dec 15 2011, apparently to correct a broken link, and although the content of the article was replaced at that time, the article does exist in several other places, as you've found. If I recall correctly, that article looks like one that was also sent out as an email around about the same time.

    Dainty, I hope you're now satisfied that there was no attempt to conceal the information in that post, either by the editing/removal of the post or by my comments above about the voluntary status of the board and volunteers. If there's anything in all this that you're still uncertain about, please do reply and I'll do my best to clear up any confusion that may remain.
    Firestormm likes this.
  3. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Likes:
    519
    Washington State
    I do now see that the post was not removed. I apologize for that...I searched, I could not find it except by the above specified means, and thus reached the logical conclusion. I can only blame brainfog.

    I am not fully satisfied. Rusty was asking a specific questions about Cort being paid for the articles, and asked how far back it goes. Your response was assurance that none of the current board members or volunteers are being paid. It was the truth, yes, but it left out an extremely important part - the part relating to rusty's question. If you cannot disclose that, then you should say as much rather than explicitely saying you are able to answer and then giving an answer that reasonably implies no salary.
  4. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Dainty, my post #19 above, which you quoted, was a response to jenbooks, not to Rusty.

    My response to Rusty, who has asked a lot of questions, both in this thread and elsewhere, was in #26 above, and I said:
    A lot of questions have been asked, and I'm afraid I/we can't answer them all in detail at this time. I was cautious about answering all the questions about Cort's pay at this time for a variety of reasons, but basically I do not want to say anything that is inaccurate or incomplete. If I had given partial information about Cort's pay, you could make the same complaint that I was being misleading if you later discovered some other detail about Cort's remuneration or expenses that I failed to mention. So if I/we are going to answer questions like these, we must do so carefully and accurately and give the fullest answers that we can.

    This is why the board made a statement explaining that we will have to meet and review carefully before making any statements, and asking everyone to bear with us. The timing of all this, during the holiday season, was unexpected, and we're doing the best we can. I've done my best to answer questions on this thread where I feel I can do so accurately and without controversy, but perhaps it is better if I just say nothing further until we are in a position to publish full accounts.
    beaker, taniaaust1, Lou and 3 others like this.
  5. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

    Messages:
    920
    Likes:
    338
    Brisbane, Aust
    Well I guess one of the reasons is that there might not have been enough money to go round, especially if regular payments, and perhaps irregular payments, were eating away at the available funding.

    Also, the mind set of the board is different. Now it appears to be more like: 'what can we do for the patients - we are prepared to work as volunteers for the betterment of the community.'
    adin likes this.
  6. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Likes:
    519
    Washington State
    Yes, at times posting more can create more confusion. And, Ido realize you've spent a lot of time in this thread with many other things to do.

    As I said in my other post, I have no doubt PR is headed that way and I'm glad for it. Saying so much while leaving out certain factors is always a risk for people filling in the blanks.
  7. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    A discussion about moderation policy that started on this thread has been moved to the Moderation forum:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/moderation-of-personal-attacks.21166/#post-322324

    Since some members seem to be thinking that Cort's departure might suggest a possibility of changes of direction in areas like forum moderation, I'd like to make it clear that there is no reason I can see why this should be the case. Cort hasn't been involved in any way in forum moderation and administration, or the oversight of forum moderation and administration, for over a year now (quite a bit longer if I recall correctly) and all the staffing in those areas remains as it was. We don't have any particular plans to change how the forums operate. There are one or two thorny issues in the rules that we might want to improve - there's always room for improvement - but my feeling is that's going to be a much lower priority for the organization than some of the other areas we want to develop.

    I think there are going to be some significant changes and exciting new developments in the coming months, but most of those have been in our plans for a while. As a very rough guide to what I think we're aiming at (this is just my own summary of areas we're looking at, and not an official board plan), we're looking to appoint a Content Team (obviously the situation with article/blog content is the main thing affected by Cort's departure), an Advocacy Team and a Fundraising Team (two parts to that, fundraising for PR and for other orgs).

    We're looking for a lot of people there, to share the work, and perhaps it's better to think of those teams not so much as 'volunteers' but as groups of people working in a similar way to the way members already work on forum threads. By that I mean that forum members already do a lot of work, within forum threads, on advocacy and fundraising-related issues, and we'd like to structure those people into teams/groups and give them more support and resources (like back-stage wikis and communications tools, which we have available) to allow them to co-ordinate better on that work and bring the best of it together 'officially' under the PR banner. Like setting up 'working groups', if you like.

    So if anybody is interested in any of that - especially if anybody's interested in co-organising or heading up one of those teams - please get in touch with me; we'll start recruiting for those teams more actively in a little while but it wouldn't hurt to register your interest now. :)
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,868
    Likes:
    4,791
    Sth Australia

    Ok.. You've really confused me. On the link the other provide in which Cort comments dated Sept the 3rd 2012, he says his salary was $600 per month. So I dont understand your comment about an article replaced by Cort on Dec 15 2011 (unless you did a typo error for the year but it still says $600 per month)..

    Corts 3rd Sept 2012 comment quoted below.

  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,868
    Likes:
    4,791
    Sth Australia
    That sounds great and certainly the ME/CFS field does need teams working on those things. I have an interest in advocacy (and of late have been trying to research a little on how other groups advocate and trying to research where we are failing and how other groups succeded) and also an interested in fundraising as I think fundraising is ESSENTIAL to us and the ME/CFS needs... I do have some BIG ideas (one is huge) in the fund raising area (I mentioned it to cort a month back but he said to contact others on the board about it but I havent as yet) which could be be followed up on by a phoneix rising group with the backing of the non profit PR site (my ideas are big and would need to go throu an org of some kind to put them into place). So Im certainly interested on being on a fundraising team and sharing the ideas I have to see if they could be put in place in some way.
  10. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Sorry for the confusion, this is probably why it was better not to go there at all, we could go on and on into the detail. Cort's salary increased from $500 to $600 per month in between those two dates, I think it was early in 2012 when it increased but I would have to look up exactly when. The original Dec 15 2011 article mentioned the $500, the Sep 3 2012 comment mentioned the $600. Hope that clears that up well enough for now.

    Great to hear of your interest in the fundraising and advocacy teams. The first job in both cases is simply to identify people who are interested in taking part in such teams, approaching them and coming up with a list of names (and then after that, explore possibilities for a person to 'organise' the team and liaise between the team and the board), so feel free to be on the look-out for others who may be interested...:)
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Messages:
    7,025
    Likes:
    435
    Raleigh, NC
    thanks Beaverfury I really appreciate your nice words and your hoped for blessing :))) as well...:)
    Liz likes this.
  12. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

    Messages:
    6,616
    Likes:
    5,430
    Albuquerque
    Suggestion from the bleachers!

    These questions are all pertinent and interesting but why not wait for the detailed statement promised by the Board in January?

    Reason?

    It has been noted many times that there are only a handful of volunteers keeping this forum going. These are the same people who have promised to an informative statement in a few weeks. If you besiege them with questions now, that takes away from the time they could be using in preparing a statement...that would answer most of the questions being asked!

    So, we are actually delaying the answers.

    I am going to post this on a couple of relevant threads.

    Sushi
    Sasha, Valentijn, Mark and 3 others like this.
  13. K2 for Hope

    K2 for Hope ALways Hoping

    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    330
    Jacksonville, FL 32258
    Sometimes change is difficult to accept. But to spend enormous amounts of energy trying to reverse the order of things may not be productive for anyone.

    I have found that some things that have happened to me in my life that seem to be "bad" at the time, have, in fact, turned out for the better. So, to condemn something that has already happened without knowing what the future brings may not be the best use of energy for people like me with this illness.

    I applaud Cort for taking the initiative to go forward in his life at a time when he felt it was right for him to do so.

    I also will continue to support the Phoenix Rising website in the best way I can.

    I hope that Cort's new website as well as the change at Phoenix Rising will show that that the ME/CFS community is continually growing, evolving and ME/CFS patients, caregivers and others will benefit from both sources and it will be another step in the right direction for the goals we all seek to attain.
    Enid, barbc56, Dainty and 1 other person like this.
  14. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Thanks you very much indeed Sushi. That is absolutely correct.
  15. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Absolutely.

    The more I have reflected on things in recent days, the more I find myself thinking about the future as well as the past, and those thoughts about the future are sooo positive. Cort has already noted some of the opportunities this creates for us all, and in the last day or so looking around on Cort's blog I've noticed loads of positives for him as well.

    It's still sad for all of us, but Cort, I would guess will now be blogging much more often than he has been able to for ages. He's still welcome to blog for us and the way things are working out, with his new revenue streams, and us as a backup whenever he needs it, I would hope his previous income level will be at least secured and, in the longer term, likely increased. While his business model is different from our non-profit business model, we can access different revenue streams. I would imagine (guess) he's perhaps enjoying regaining a bit of a taste of freedom from the constraints of working in a team. He can look to build the future, so can we, and really what we have in common in our vision and values remains far more significant than where we differ over details, so we'll remain friends I expect. So I'm starting to see so many positives in all this, despite all the pain, and I know Cort's such a positive guy he will be doing that too. Phoenixes rise from ashes, is that not how it works? So I hope the community can stay positive too, and if so, I reckon we've all got a lot to look forward to in 2013.
    beaker and wdb like this.
  16. Johannes Starke

    Johannes Starke

    Messages:
    7
    Likes:
    8
    Davis, California
    While I haven't participated in the forum rising forums, I've followed Phoenix Rising since its inception, have been helped tremendously by the information provided here, and feel motivated to share my thoughts on this transition.

    Firstly, I am sad that Cort is departing from Phoenix Rising. The positive spirit and lucid style of his writing attracted me to Phoenix Rising, in the first place, and I’ll definitely miss it.
    I'm happy, however, that the tone in which Mark speaks about Cort is still very positive and also that Mark expects to stay friends with Cort. This indicates to me that the separation of Cort and PR was, as stated, due to differences about the vision for Phoenix Rising, not because of a lack of character of any of the involved parties.

    I'm also happy that Cort gets an opportunity to start something fresh and new. I have gotten to know him as a super creative, resourceful, hard-working, generous, ethical guy, so that I am very optimistic that his future contributions to the ME/CFS community will be terrific.

    One of the things I've learned to appreciate is that creating online resources and communities is easy technology-wise and can easily be adapted as they evolve. Who knows, I believe it's well possible that, as it evolves, Cort's new venture for helping people with ME/CFS may begin to cross-pollinate nicely with Phoenix Rising, so that one day Phoenix Rising and his latest sprout/venture will be reunited in the same thriving home/garden (mixing metaphors here) which will then provide abundant nourishment and hope for those affected by ME/CFS.
    Let it grow, and let's celebrate what's coming!

    Lastly, I also want to acknowledge Mark for his thoughtful replies to the comments in this post. Thinking about how much time and energy it must have taken to write all the comments in response to questions in this blog post, I can only imagine how much it takes to moderate the forums and do all the other behind-the-scenes work for Phoenix Rising. Thanks to you, Mark, and the entire Phoenix Rising team for all the hard work you put in!
    ahimsa, Valentijn, SOC and 1 other person like this.
  17. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Thanks very much for your vote of support for us all Johannes, and for your reassuring words: it's good to know that most of our members and readers are able to put this in perspective and have a sensible understanding of what's happened. It's also good to meet somebody who's been following us all the way through and only just felt moved to post on the forums. I hope your first post won't be your last - welcome to the forums! :)

    We know that there are at least 3 or 4 times as many regular readers of the forums as there are members who post, so to all of you out there I'll wave a quick hello and say that we know you're out there and we understand that there are many reasons why actually posting isn't appropriate or possible for everyone. I like to consider our non-posting friends as 'part of the family' too.
    ahimsa and Valentijn like this.
  18. Liz

    Liz

    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    13
    Atlanta, GA
    I realize that I'm late to be posting a comment here, but I just want to thank Cort for the work he has accomplished here. He gave a voice to those of us who are too sick to speak up, and he explained medical research in a way that allowed us to both understand and hope.
    Thank you, Cort! Please leave us a forwarding address!
  19. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

    Messages:
    282
    Likes:
    191
    New Zealand
    How is the board going with its statement of intent, plans for consultation etc? I realise this is a busy time with preparation for the FDA meeting but i would not like to see this drop off the agenda
    OTH
    By the way liked the very excellent letter asking for focus on ME not CFS ('splitting' rather than 'lumping').
  20. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes:
    1,932
    Sofa, UK
    Thanks for your question OTH, I'm acutely aware of this and trying to progress it. We've been rather stalled on all that recently I'm afraid but it is still high on the agenda. I'm very much hoping we will have something within the next month but I'm hesitant to make any promises. We've progressed various things towards that end but there are several parts to what we want to set out and some of them are proving to be more difficult to sort out than others. This is something we want to do properly and there are a number of different aspects to it.

    The biggest thing that interrupted us really was the CFSAC application. We felt it was important to apply for that seat but it took a lot of work to put it together. Before we got notice about that, we were getting there on the statement, consultation, transparency etc. Since then, there have been a series of things like the FDA work, contests and newsletters, and for me, the continuing job of organising and publishing articles leaves me with very little spare time. We actually had to migrate to a totally new server a month or so ago as well - you may have noticed a day or so of slight glitches but it was amazingly seamless for a major operation that took a lot of work to achieve. The other board members have been very busy with personal and health issues for the last few weeks as well. But I'm hoping that we have a window of opportunity in the next few weeks to get back to work on all that stuff.

    From my point of view, the thing that could make the biggest difference to me would be some help with managing the articles. More writers would be great, eventually, but in the short term I could use people to help with commissioning them, planning them, liaising with the writers, editing articles in wordpress, sorting out images, reviewing articles, and publishing them. If I could find a way to hand over all that work to somebody else (or a small team) that would free up my time to do more work on these other issues. That said, it's always a lot of work to train somebody up to do it and show them around, and communicate with them, until they can do the job without a lot of supervision, so it will need an investment of time on my part in the short term, but I have a free week next week so I'm thinking of spending that week on trying to expand the content team...anybody interested in that, please contact me....but note that good language skills and word processing are important for that.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page