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RE: Disclosure and information proposal

From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2014 00:22:23 +0000
To: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
CC: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <9e5630f7524a471d9759c5c0943108f9@BLUPR03MB488.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
> Michael - what about survey bit... Comments?
> > Can we send out a questionare and maybe even actively ask people a few questions about their participation

It would be great to have good data, but I’m skeptical that people who don’t respond to W3C ballots will answer survey questions as to why they don’t, and those who do answer are not representative almost by definition given the turnout rate. If the team did a real sample survey of AC members AND try hard to get an answer out of, that could be interesting but the cost would be non-trivial to do a good job. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_poll has a summary of the challenges – representative sampling difficulty, non-response biases, question wording biases, etc.

So I’d ask a meta-question: is the Silent Majority issue a real problem for W3C worth investing in?  From a quick look at https://www.w3.org/2000/09/dbwg/orgs about 1/4 of W3C members don’t participate any ANY groups besides the AC.  That’s way down from the last time I looked a few years ago when about half the entries in that table indicated “1 participant in 1 group”.  (That might be a statistical question for the team: are non-participants in WGs more likely to be non-voters?)  I’m not  sure it’s a problem if lots of people out there decide to donate to W3C without getting involved in the work or the politics.  Lurkers numerically predominate over active participants in almost every community.  As an incurable non-lurker I’m interested in why, but not sure there is a pragmatic need for an answer.


From: Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:55 PM
To: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org
Subject: RE: Disclosure and information proposal


On Jun 4, 2014 7:47 PM, "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com<mailto:Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>> wrote:
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> > For a candidate, it seems like they should have access to the AB list for the duration of the campaign.
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> AB list or AC-forum?  I think the thinking in the (old) AB was that we should do as much as feasible in the view of the AC if not the public, so going forward there shouldn’t be much on the AB list that is not either administrivia or potentially sensitive.
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Whoops! Yes, obviously (i hope) i meant the later... Typo.
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> > It also seems that their own numbers should be available them privately upon reques
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> That is the status quo, more or less. Several of us have mentioned that we had useful conversations with the team after failing to get elected to the AB that helped decide whether it was worth running again.
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It might be done today, but is it told to candidates?  I'm advocating it should be normal policy, not just arcane process few are aware of.
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> > It might make things more competitive and stimulate participation.
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> That’s where there is no consensus.  Some like the model of AB/TAG candidates competing for votes, along the lines of the electoral systems in many countries.  Others see this as an antipattern – do we really see the polarization, “gotcha” politics , and general toxicity of various countries’ political systems as a model for W3C? Shudder.  I remember thinking fondly of W3C’s quaint, inefficient consensus culture while watching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Cards_(U.S._TV_series) J
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Fair enough, but i think it's understood that until there are no longer elections (which maybe is valid with other reforms) that my own pandora (and i hope others) is out of it's box, so ...

Michael - what about survey bit... Comments?

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> From: Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com<mailto:bkardell@gmail.com>]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:14 PM
> To: public-w3process@w3.org<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org>
> Subject: Disclosure and information proposal
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> Ok, spawning a new thread.  I am a pragmatist.  I think the best deal is the one you can actually reach and I see no reason to belabor an argument which, at best, has to be put to ACs anyway.
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> It seems that we've set something of a precedent in getting very basic figures cited.  I'd like to propose (if I may) that AB resolve to ask whether data (or maybe Jeff can just decide and it is so) can be provided with each election going forward.  It is enlightening to some and spawned some interesting new conversations and efforts to find ways to increase involvement - all good things IMO.  I would also charge that basic information like this for the last 5 years is helpful information.  I know some people were kind of taken aback by Jeff's seeming "I'm pleased" about that - but I think that such information puts it into context.  My own read of this is that participation before Jeff came was something ~ 1/3 to 1/2 of that at best.  While it still seems dismal, this is indeed something to celebrate IMO - we're going in the right direction.
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> It seems that at least without significant more efforts we're not going to get anything like the details that we see in examples cited (even in countries where cultures are very different, I think).  I think that the unfortunate bit about this has little to do with trust concerns and more about the fact that that information is a valuable cog in any democratic process that allows a number of things that have been discussed in various other threads.  So, let's assume we can't get that for now - is there any other way to get 'mostly there' or 'enough there' in terms of the valuable data.
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> For a candidate, it seems like they should have access to the AB list for the duration of the campaign.  It seems several people agreed to that.  Does anyone specifically oppose that idea?  Can we AB support or rejection of that?
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> It also seems that their own numbers should be available them privately upon request, several people voiced support for that.  Can we AB support or rejection of that?
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> Note: I think that personally it would be nice if basic data (including this) could be available to them throughout the election as well... It might make things more competitive and stimulate participation.
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> Can we send out a questionare and maybe even actively ask people a few questions about their participation?   I can create a google form and this could be completely anonymous data we could use to provide many of the answers we'd be scanning the data for or speculating on. Note that this can literally be done unofficially without the support of the AB by any 'reporter' - but it seems like something AB should support:  Do you vote never, sometimes, always?  If you don't vote - why? Here's some possible answers and a space for you to provide your own.  Even a few questions submitted by a statistically significant number of members would be valuable information that could be used to help AB and the W3C improve.
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> --
> Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com<http://hitchjs.com>
Received on Thursday, 5 June 2014 00:22:54 UTC

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