Re: Remote only meetings? [Re: Concerns about Singapore]

"Joel M. Halpern" <> Tue, 12 April 2016 16:15 UTC

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Subject: Re: Remote only meetings? [Re: Concerns about Singapore]
To: Ted Lemon <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
From: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:15:00 -0400
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Ted, you missed my point.  Yes, I can arrange a call with the relevant 
people.  And I frequently do.
It is harder, but that would be acceptable.

The important part is that such calls are MUCH less effective than 
face-to-face discussions.  There are lots of well-known reasons for this.

And no, inc ase it was not obvious, without the face-to-face meeting, 
there is no way to arrange such face-to-face meetings.

Yes, we should work to make remote participation more effective.  Doing 
away with the face-to-face meetings reminds me of the old SF story of 
the ballet dancers who were forced to dance wearing extra weights, to be 
"fair" to the less talented dancers.


On 4/12/16 12:00 PM, Ted Lemon wrote:
> This is all true, but the idea that it can't be replicated online is
> silly.   How did you arrange to have lunch with these people?   You went
> looking for them, rounded them up, and sat down to lunch.   You can do
> that online as well.
> It is certainly true that random conversation in the halls can also
> happen and lead to useful consequences, but having taken heavy advantage
> of "running into people" in BA, I can tell you that a lot of it was
> deliberate, and the parts that weren't probably would have been
> triggered by WG meetings even if they hadn't been triggered by just
> running into someone familiar in the lobby of the Hilton.
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 11:42 AM, Joel M. Halpern <
> <>> wrote:
>     I believe that there would be a real cost in moving to remote-only
>     meetings.  Even putting aside the time zone difficulties, and the
>     reduced effectiveness of in-meeting interaction, there are aspects
>     of face-to-face interaction taht current remote technologies simply
>     do not capture.
>     It was very helpful in BA (and at many previous IETF meetings) to be
>     able to find time to talk with a small number of people concerned
>     about an aspect of one working group.  I did that over meals,
>     breaks, etc.  It sorted out issues far more effectively than email
>     conversations (in several cases, we had tried to sort it out via
>     email.  10 minutes face-to-face clarified what was being missed, and
>     found a good path forward.)
>     Even in-meeting, when the meeting works well it takes advantage of
>     the nature of face-to-face interactions.  Admittedly, many sessions
>     do not need this, but many do.
>     Yours,
>     Joel
>     On 4/12/16 10:09 AM, Mary Barnes wrote:
>         On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 8:37 AM, <
>         <>
>         < <>>> wrote:
>              Rich Kulawiec < <>
>         < <>>> writes:
>              > On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 07:57:53AM
>         -0400, <>
>         < <>> wrote:
>              >> Your suggestion of not having them would subtract value
>         from the process
>              >> though. I don't see the win.
>              >
>              > The win is that all of the time and effort and expense
>         (all of which
>              > are finite resources) that go into those could be
>         directed elsewhere.
>              The meetings and their fees are income positive, they
>         aren't a drain on
>              resource, the opposite in fact.
>         [MB] I would agree when it comes to dollars, but people (i.e., the
>         effort to which Rich is referring) are also a resource and
>         volunteers do
>         the work.  If the only volunteers you get are from large
>         companies, I
>         think the IETF does lose.  With improved remote participation,
>         individuals that aren't sponsored by large companies can continue to
>         contribute.  Without it, we become ineffective.  [/MB]
>              > These meetings select for a highly limited (by
>         circumstance, by necessity,
>              > and by choice) subset.  And once upon a time, when the
>         'net was much
>              > younger and more limited in terms of geography and scope,
>         that might
>              > have been alright, because the subset mapped fairly well
>         onto the larger
>              > set of people involved in networking.  But that's no
>         longer true.
>              > And the difficulties/expense of travel are only going to
>         get worse
>              > for the forseeable future: they're not going to get better.
>              I think it would be useful to get some real data to measure
>         exactly how
>              highly limited that subset of people are. Perhaps as a
>         simple first
>              shot we could take email sent to IETF working group mailing
>         lists over
>              the last year, and cross reference that against the
>         registrations lists
>              of the last 3 IETFs and see what percentage of people doing
>         IETF work
>              cannot or choose not to attend the on-site meetings?
>         [MB] There was a separate list of registered remote attendees
>         for this
>         recent meeting. You can take a look there and see a number of
>         long time
>         contributors and some WG chairs (myself included) that have
>         participated
>         remotely.  The very reason I did not go was due to lack of funding.
>         There are a number of us that have contributed significantly
>         over the
>         past 15-30 years that would like to continue to do so but as
>         independent
>         consultants, some of these trips are just not fiscally
>         possible.  I went
>         to Yokohama so couldn't even entertain the idea of attending the
>         meeting
>         in BA without a sponsor.    And, I seriously doubt I can
>         continue as a
>         WG chair if I can't get funding in the future.  So, in the end, the
>         current model self selects and benefits the larger companies over
>         individuals that really do want to do work for the "good of the
>         Internet" but just can't justify the expense.   [/MB]
>              Thanks,
>              Chris.
>               >
>               > ---rsk