Re: Remote participation fees - do we need projectors?

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 15 February 2015 19:13 UTC

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Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:13:08 +1300
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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To: John C Klensin <>, Christer Holmberg <>, John Leslie <>
Subject: Re: Remote participation fees - do we need projectors?
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On 16/02/2015 01:23, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Sunday, February 15, 2015 11:44 +0000 Christer Holmberg
> <> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Do we really need projectors during the WG sessions?
>> Most participants have laptops/tablets where they could watch
>> the slides.
> Many participants are already too busy using their laptops to
> monitor email and/or participate in Jabber (or equivalent)
> side-conversations to also be able to monitor slides carefully.

Jabber is one thing, but I often find myself scanning the draft under
discussion or looking up related issues in other drafts or RFCs.
(Or even Google.)

Having the point under discussion summarised on a big screen is
useful in itself as a focal point for the discussion. Actually
this is one of the negatives of remote participation - my screen
is taken up with the video so it's hard to do the supplementary
things like jabber.

Incidentally, I don't think that scanning email or tracking progress
in another meeting is a misuse of a laptop. There's a lot going
on during an IETF week and it's entirely possible that something
going on in another room is momentarily more important.

> Some of us have even thought that IETF effectiveness would be
> improved if we banned laptops/tablets (or WiFi) from WG meetings
> except for minute-takers, Jabber scribes, and others actively
> interacting with remote participants.

I do think that's a narrow view, and in any case it would cause
a popular rebellion. I can still recall how frustrating it was
in the pre-wireless days to only be able to get on line for a short
time per day in the terminal room.

> There are other issues with projectors.  Some of us believe that
> interaction took a step backwards in going from overhead
> projectors to projected slides, but that is mostly a separate
> problem and slides available only on personal devices would, if
> anything, make it worse.

Yes. Also, I think most people have understood that slides should
not in general be tutorials. But we need to be reminded that for
many speakers, speaking from slides is enormously easier than just

>> ...and the presenter should keep his/her eyes on the audience,
>> not the slides :)
> Or on the tops of their heads or outside surfaces of laptops.
> No audience feedback there.

At least today, you can tell by looking who is paying attention.
That's another aspect of remote participation: the speaker can't
tell who's really listening.


>> Not sure how big (if any) impact removing the projectors would
>> have on the participation fee, but at least it would give a
>> little more flexibility when it comes to finding suitable
>> meeting rooms, as a projector is not required.
> Because, with occasional exceptions, the IETF, and not the
> hotels, provide the projectors, the consequences on meeting room
> flexibility would, I think, be fairly low... unless a policy of
> "except when you take an exercise break to walk to the
> microphone, nothing going on in the meeting room other than
> watching slides on your laptop, listening to a speaker whom you
> can't see because you are staring at your laptop screen" further
> reduced incentives for people to attend in person, thereby
> cutting requirements on meeting room seating and power.
>     john