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Re: [meta] When and for what to use IRC in telecons?

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 09:29:22 -0500
To: "Michael Schneider" <schneid@fzi.de>
Cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <14435.1201789762@ubuhebe>


> Just a general question which came to my mind, being new to the WG: For
> what uses is IRC meant in a telecon?
> 
> Of course, for technical things like self muting, and for voting, IRC is
> needed, that's clear to me. But most minutes I read always had pretty 
> large portions of parallel /relevant/ discussion on IRC. And if I do not know
> about these IRC discussions, then I would miss important information, I
> believe. So I concluded that IRC is generally regarded to be equally
> important to voice.
> 
> But when I tried to follow both channels in the two telecons I participated
> now, I always got a headache after a few minutes. Well, that's my problem of
> course, I'm not accustomed to use IRC, and I will try to get familiar with
> it over time. But I only wanted to know what is the current "IRC policy" (I
> don't find a better word, sorry) in our WG.

One bit here is easy: the IRC channel is *not* as important as voice.
When you are in a meeting, you are responsible for following the voice
channel, and you are not responsible for following IRC.  For instance,
the meeting chairs generally do not (can not) follow IRC.  When
chairing, Ian Horrocks has several times asked people to keep the
conversation to the voice channel.

My personal two cents: I don't usually follow IRC, either.  I find I can
maintain concentration through hours of phone meetings much better if I
walk around during the meetings, rather than sitting at my computer.  If
I sit, I'll often end up looking at my e-mail, or the web, or something,
and get distracted.  At the same time, sometimes I have a strong
reaction to what was just said, and I feel a strong need to share it.
Mostly that's +1/-1 -- the kinds of things you could see on my face if
we were in a room together.  Other times, it's the kind of thing I want
to whisper to my neighbor.  That's when I'll type it on IRC, and risk
being rude and distracting from the speaker....  Mostly I manage not to,
but there's a difficult balance -- sometimes some IRC chatter can help
the meeting a lot.

    -- Sandro
Received on Thursday, 31 January 2008 14:32:03 GMT

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