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

Christian Hopps <chopps@chopps.org> Tue, 12 April 2016 14:21 UTC

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Subject: Re: Remote only meetings? [Re: Concerns about Singapore]
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From: Christian Hopps <chopps@chopps.org>
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Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:20:58 -0400
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To: Mary Barnes <mary.h.barnes@gmail.com>
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Cc: Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org>, "<ietf@ietf.org>" <ietf@ietf.org>
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> On Apr 12, 2016, at 10:09 AM, Mary Barnes <mary.h.barnes@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 8:37 AM,  <chopps@chopps.org <mailto:chopps@chopps.org>> wrote:
> 
> Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org <mailto:rsk@gsp.org>> writes:
> 
> > On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 07:57:53AM -0400, chopps@chopps.org <mailto:chopps@chopps.org> 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]

I myself am on that remote list. I've heard the B.A. meeting was hard for many people (although this is anecdotal), and is a separate issue of contention for some. This is why I suggested the last 3 meetings, and a year of email so that the sample was large enough to not run in to particulars for each attendee who may not have been able to attend all, but rather some meetings.

I also think we have ways to make meetings more affordable, but Rich indicated this was only one of many concerns.

I think we need to look at a good sampling of the data at this point.

Thanks,
Chris.

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