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

Ted Lemon <> Tue, 12 April 2016 16:01 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:00:59 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Remote only meetings? [Re: Concerns about Singapore]
To: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Cc: Rich Kulawiec <>, "<>" <>
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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 <>

> 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, <mailto:
>>> 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