Re: [111attendees] Positive observations and proposals for improvements to Meetecho (was: Re: Re: So, what are jabber scribes actually doing, these days?)

Nigel Hickson <> Fri, 30 July 2021 19:38 UTC

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From: Nigel Hickson <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 20:37:55 +0100
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To: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <>
Cc: Jay Daley <>, Bron Gondwana <>,
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Subject: Re: [111attendees] Positive observations and proposals for improvements to Meetecho (was: Re: Re: So, what are jabber scribes actually doing, these days?)
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Thoughtful observations.  I probably have not read enough of the "chat" to
make a comprehensive input; but just three thoughts:

1. Very much appreciative of folks of Meetecho for supplying this platform,
I liked it;
2. Agree with comments that would be useful to have speaker names;
3. I was joining (given late hours) on a smartphone (interface was fine) so
wary of too much sophistication; as guess many in some parts only have
option of joining by phone;



On Fri, 30 Jul 2021 at 18:39, Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> wrote:

> I should have changed the Subject a LONG time ago! But this thread has
> morphed into helpful observations and suggestions, so, if I might add a
> couple of things ...
> I agree that Meetecho has been improving (and just for fun, the Meetecho
> guys were participants in the MEDIACTL session I was co-chairing in
> Hiroshima at IETF 76 in November 2009, and they roped in a team member from
> Italy during the discussion using whatever the toolset was back then, so
> many of you have no idea how MUCH they've improved 😀).
> I see that we've already mentioned detaching the chat window, and usually
> I remember that we can detach the chat by Tuesday of each IETF meeting week
> at the latest, which is almost certainly a result of not having THAT much
> experience with Meetecho during the four months between meetings. Now that
> we can use Meetecho for interim meetings, that will help me remember more
> clearly, so good there, too.
> The one thing I've noticed this week is how difficult it is to figure out
> who is speaking if they aren't sending video, and there's a long list of
> people in the queue. The suggestion to move the speakers above the queue
> would improve that, and so would simply displaying the active speaker names
> in the screen space where their video would have gone, if the person had
> been sending video.One reason that matters, is that it's helpful for
> everyone to get the speaker's name right in the minutes. That's not just
> for new attendees, I'm starting to forget what people sound like, unless
> I'm talking to them regularly, or they have a very distinctive speech
> pattern, so I've definitely depending on seeing names when I'm taking
> minutes. .
> The one thing I was thinking about, as I read through this thread, was
> that we are kinda *not *talking about what the IETF thinks the target
> audience for our conferencing tool is.
>    - For probably the last couple of IETFs, I have a GREAT setup for
>    remote participation (my laptop screen, plus two 25-inch monitors). But I
>    do have tiled windows on all three screens.
>    - If we think people who can't throw a few hundred dollars at monitor
>    screens are part of our target audience, that's worth noting.
>    - If we think we're going to have hybrid meetings, in at least some
>    scenarios, it's going to be good to use Meetecho in the conference rooms
>    (especially if we need to be distancing, so more spread out, front to back
>    in the conference rooms).
>    - Even if we aren't doing hybrid meetings, I've participated in some
>    working group meetings from my hotel room, but I wasn't tryng to co-chair a
>    meeting, or even to present at a meeting.
>    - When Michael Richardson and I talked to the Cellar working group
>    participants about switching to Meetecho for our (monthy) interims, the
>    first question we got was, "is there an iOS/Adroid client?" I haven't
>    checked Meetecho on my phone in years, but I'd bet offhand that (1) it
>    would work, but (2) it might not be as easy to use as some other
>    conferencing systems, on those devices. Do people have experience with that?
> I'll let you folks continue to share these positive observations and
> proposals. Make Good Choices, of course.
> Best,
> Spencer
> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 6:15 PM Jay Daley <> wrote:
>> Thanks Bron.  Personally I think that’s a great usability adjustment and
>> will forward to the Meetecho team for them to consider.
>> Jay
>> > On 30/07/2021, at 10:58 AM, Bron Gondwana <>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > On Fri, Jul 30, 2021, at 05:21, Jay Daley wrote:
>> >> No we have absolutely not pushed Meetecho into being "just a
>> contractor", they are a valued partner and we work very well together.  If
>> you have any doubts about that then ask them directly.
>> >>
>> >> It is disappointing that you have escalated a personal concern that
>> you have with our services into such a strong criticism when that is
>> entirely unsupported by any evidence.
>> >
>> > Jay, I agree with your sentiment here - this attitude to Meetecho is
>> counterproductive.  They've done great work for the last couple of IETFs
>> and the experience is improving each time.  I have particularly appreciated
>> the embedded slide management, and I'm sure that will be even better next
>> time too.
>> >
>> > Regarding the specific interface issues that remain, I do think there's
>> a question of "where do we propose improvements in a way that will be
>> noticed"?  I've seen the suggestion made very many times that the "speaker"
>> area (where the video shows) should have additional lines for each person
>> sending anything, rather than that information being at the top of the
>> participant list.  This is much more like the experience with other chat
>> systems, for example Zoom shows either a photo or a blank item for somebody
>> who isn't currently sending video, but they're otherwise treated "the same"
>> as a person sending video in terms of real-estate and where to look for
>> their presence by default.
>> >
>> > Right now with meetecho, my eyes are normally at the video are when
>> people are speaking, but if a non-video person is speaking I need to look
>> across to the other side of the screen to see the audio indication.
>> >
>> > And as was also suggested in this thread, you can't scroll the
>> participant list to find someone to chat to, because they jump to the top
>> when they are sending, then back to alphabetical position.  This is also a
>> usability pain.  Separating "the list of participants" (which wouldn't move
>> about) and "the list of people sending something" with the video and audio
>> indications being together in one place would be a significant
>> improvement.  And as an additional benefit, when you're looking at the chat
>> window, you would still be able to see all the details of who is sending
>> (including yourself - if you're sending then the indicator of your own
>> audio should be the same as the indicator of everyone else's audio, rather
>> than being in yet a third location up under your own name).
>> >
>> > <image.png>
>> > So those two names would appear in the right hand side, and also still
>> have their name in the participant list, and the video feeds would each
>> have a "here's what's being sent".  Chairs would always have a presence on
>> the right, with whatever they were currently sending - and the
>> "participants" tab would only have the list of participants, and not be a
>> place you needed to go to see activity, so you could mostly keep the chat
>> tab open.
>> >
>> > Bron.
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> >   Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > 111attendees mailing list
>> >
>> >
>> --
>> Jay Daley
>> IETF Executive Director
>> --
>> 111attendees mailing list
> --
> 111attendees mailing list