Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY

Mary Barnes <> Fri, 13 February 2015 15:46 UTC

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Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:43:18 -0600
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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY
From: Mary Barnes <>
To: Ted Lemon <>
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On Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 9:16 AM, Ted Lemon <> wrote:

> On Feb 13, 2015, at 3:05 AM, Dave Cridland <> wrote:
> > And what do you expect when we make it absolutely clear that this is the
> only thing that counts?
> Dave, to be fair, what Russ actually said was that some people say the
> most important thing that happens at IETF _meetings_ is hallway
> conversation.   I tend to agree with that in a sense: I think that the
> discussions that happen in the hallways are actually triggered by people
> thinking about presentations and discussions that have happened in
> meetings, so I don't think you can have the one without the other.
> One of the things that I obsess about when I'm thinking about attending
> remotely is how to get the same effect, because I agree with Russ that it's
> important.   But I look at it kind of the opposite of the way you
> expressed.   I think it's important for offsite attendees to be able to
> participate meaningfully, so what I want is to figure out how we can export
> the hallway conversations, not how we can exclude people who can't
> currently access them.
> I think Melinda is on to something with her discussion about
> telecommute-friendly versus in-person environments.   Rather than just
> getting discouraged, I think we should try to actively work on this.
> [MB] I totally agree with Melinda's points.  I worked in any environment
where it was more the norm than the exception to have folks working from
home for eons.  In  my last job, video calls were also the norm. Those can
dramatically improve the experience since so much of our communication is
visual, which is one of the reasons why hallway interactions and small
group discussions can be so effective.   I now work in an environment where
I am the only one that works from home and the difference in my day to day
interactions is startling.  People do forgot about you. Audio calls in
particular are only about 10-20% effective due to poor audio setup in
meeting rooms and whomever is running the meeting not adequately taking
into consideration the remote participations.

So, personally, I think it's time to consider whether we can do everything
on mailing lists between meetings.  In one WG I chaired, we had weekly
audio calls for our design team, which was comprised of anyone that was
willing to contribute to the work (i.e., text, detailed document reviews,
etc.). Those can work fine when everyone knows everyone as you've learned
to pick up on tones of voice and you know one another fairly well from the
face to face meetings.  We carefully documented decisions and produced
publicly available minutes, etc.   There was one participant and key
contributor that has only been to one or two of the face to face meetings
for the WG.    I would posit that these meetings can be equally as
effective as face to face meetings in making progress. Once we started
those meetings, we didn't find that we needed f2f interim meetings.
 There of course, the timezone issue with these sorts of meetings, but that
can be managed.    But, we do have all the tools to make work between
meetings more effective and more open to remote participants that I don't
think we're taking advantage of.

Of course, I still believe that we need face to face meetings for these
hallway discussions.  I believe that there are, however, some decisions
that might be made amongst a smaller group of contributors that ought to be
better communicated to other interested parties.  I don't think we always
do this.  And, in the spirit of the transparency that was the objective
behind the changes in the email notifications recently, I think folks
should ensure, for example that discussions that are related to WG
activities are communicated to the WG.  This does happen sometimes - just
not frequently enough IMHO.   I think this touches on Dave Cridland's point.