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

Mary Barnes <> Tue, 12 April 2016 14:09 UTC

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Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:09:36 -0500
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Subject: Re: Remote only meetings? [Re: Concerns about Singapore]
From: Mary Barnes <>
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Cc: Rich Kulawiec <>, "<>" <>
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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.

> Thanks,
> Chris.
> >
> > ---rsk