build personal contacts outside of meetings [was IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input]

Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> Mon, 23 May 2016 23:26 UTC

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Subject: build personal contacts outside of meetings [was IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input]
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From: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <484467c4-8490-ac2b-a89f-9f1bf2a0e14f@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 11:26:01 +1200
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Christian,

On 24/05/2016 09:32, Christian Huitema wrote:
> On Monday, May 23, 2016 9:23 AM, Paul Wouters wrote:
>> ...
>> According to https://www.ietf.org/blog/2016/04/ietf-95-summary/ we had
>> 14% participation from the region at IETF-96. Those are people that were
> new
>> or possibly rarely attend. I can tell you that I would have never become
> an
>> active participant in IETF if during my first meeting I hadn't had so many
> great
>> face to face talks with people who took the time to help me with my ideas
> and
>> my (lack of) knowledge and procedures. That is quite unlike the mailing
> lists,
>> where things tend to get heated, buried and somewhat unpleasant.
> 
> Paul is onto something there. Most of the time, when I read messages on an
> IETF mailing list, I can picture in my head the face of the writers and even
> imagine the sense of their voice. I can often remember their priorities,
> their personal point of view, and maybe discount some oratory effects. (Not
> always, man is fallible :-). This helps a lot with assessing trust, getting
> the subtext in the messages, etc. But I cannot do that with messages from
> most newcomers, and the newcomers probably cannot do that with most
> participants.

Yes, when I read messages from Christian I definitely hear his very
characteristic voice ;-)

> Our "remote meeting" efforts address the participation in discussions, but
> they are still a bit dry. We do have mentoring efforts, but they seem to
> only happen during meetings. If we do believe that personal communications
> are important, maybe we should take that as an explicit target. Maybe some
> form of electronic mentoring. Maybe some simple steps like making the
> pictures of participants available somewhere. Maybe have people record video
> greeting messages. Yes, you get some of the effect in meetings. But
> technology has progressed somewhat since the 80's, and we ought to be able
> to build personal contacts outside of meetings as well.

A great idea. Maybe somebody can set up a quick way to test this sort of
idea - those of us who've been around for a while could surely each create
a one-minute video. If you're worried about public access, require an IETF
tools login to view the videos.

    Brian