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WebEx reservations for Working Group and Task Force calls

From: Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 08 May 2015 14:20:13 -0400
Message-ID: <554CFE5D.5020609@w3.org>
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, "Richard S. Schwerdtfeger" <schwer@us.ibm.com>, Joseph Scheuhammer <clown.idi@gmail.com>, Lisa Seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>
CC: Member Archive <www-archive@w3.org>
As you know, the W3C Zakim teleconference bridge will soon be 
decommissioned. As a supposedly interim solution, W3C will use WebEx for 
teleconferences. I am about to schedule WebEx reservations for the 
groups in my area of responsibility. For each reservation, I will have 
the system send the chair / facilitator of that call information about 
the reservation, for you to include in your agenda. This message is to 
let you know to look out for those messages and explain why you'll be 
seeing them.

A number of notes about this:

  * Please keep the mail you receive from WebEx. I do not know of a
    lookup service to find information about a given call if you forget
    it. As the scheduler of these calls I can look it up if needed, but
    it would involve a loop without guaranteed fast response. It will be
    best for you to save the email in some place you know to look.
  * I am scheduling calls that I can remember. I don't attend all calls
    so may forget about some I need to schedule. Please ping me if you
    don't get a WebEx reservation within an hour of this message for a
    call you need to keep running.
  * I am not at the moment scheduling WebEx reservations for joint task
    forces, because I don't want to cross wires with the staff contact
    of the other group. If you would like me to be the one to set up the
    reservation for a joint task force, let me know. I will also try to
    check with the staff contacts of joint task forces to work it out
    with them directly, but it's best if facilitators work directly with
    whichever staff contact they want managing the call. This matters
    because only the person who originally scheduled the call can make
    changes to it, so you should work with whichever staff contact is
    closer to that particular group (sometimes me, sometimes not).
  * WebEx does not allow us to choose the meeting code, so we can't get
    mnemonic codes. Each meeting will have a different 9 digit code, but
    recurring meetings will have the same code week to week. So while
    each different meeting will have a different code, the connection
    information for a given meeting is the same week to week and you can
    copy forwards from your agenda messages. Because we will not have
    mnemonic codes and there will be different codes for each of the
    several W3C meetings some people attend each week, it will be
    important to provide the full connection information in each week's
    agenda. Note there is also a URI to join the meeting which some
    people will be able to use without needing the code, you should
    include this in your agenda also.
  * WebEx uses a meeting "password" in addition to the code. The
    password is something I can choose and will try to make obvious
    choices for our meetings, and it will be in the automated mail you
    receive. Let me know if you prefer a different password.
  * I strongly recommend you test the WebEx system with your group
    within the next couple weeks, if you have not already done so. There
    will be some startup pains as people figure out what connection
    method works for them, get their devices working with the WebEx
    tools, get out of the habit of using Zakim, etc. Scheduling time in
    an upcoming agenda where you can test the WebEx system, while also
    having the Zakim bridge open so people can fall back to it and say
    "help" will help smooth the transition.
  * My understanding is Zakim will be decommissioned at the end of June.
    You can switch to WebEx at any time before then if you like, once
    you have tested it out with the group. If you do not test it out
    before the end of June, you will be forced to switch anyways and
    should expect some bumps at that time.
  * WebEx has features beyond audio teleconferencing, such as screen
    sharing, whiteboard, chat, video, closed captioning, file transfer,
    etc. In my initial experiments with WebEx I have found that these
    features can be very distracting if not well managed, and as far as
    I can tell it's not possible to do things like only allow one person
    to share their screen - anybody else can just take over at any time
    which really interrupts a presentation. So for the moment I am
    setting up meetings with most of these features turned off. If you
    would like your meeting to support one of these features, let me
    know and I can turn it on.
  * WebEx defines a "host" that has some extra call management
    abilities. There can only be one host at a time, which I believe is
    either the first person to join the meeting, or somebody with a code
    that allows them to take over the host role. Initially I plan to be
    the "host" while we work out kinks, but will give chairs /
    facilitators the host code so you can manage your call. *Please do
    not share the host code for your meeting with participants, as chaos
    could ensue.*
  * Although the Zakim teleconference bridge will disappear, the zakim
    IRC bot will not. It will not longer be able to identify callers,
    but its agenda and queue management features will still work. The
    current expectation is that groups will continue to use the usual
    IRC meeting minutes tools etc.
  * General information about WebEx is available from
    https://mit.webex.com/. This is also where to go to to join a
    meeting if choosing to do it via the web client or request a dialout.
  * It is possible to dial into WebEx using a local or nearby number in
    many areas. These numbers are listed at
    http://www.cisco.com/web/about/doing_business/conferencing/index.html.
    You can point people to this page in your agendas if you want, or
    you can include specific local numbers for your participants if you
    think it would be helpful.
  * Some suggestions for using WebEx for W3C calls are available at
    https://www.w3.org/2006/tools/wiki/WebExBestPractices. This resource
    may evolve. Let me know if you think of something that should be
    added to it.
  * Keeping track of attendees in the meeting will be a challenge. Users
    of the web client will be able to see a participants list, but some
    of the participants may be just a phone number or something, and we
    don't have a way to tell the system which connection belongs to
    whom. You will need to use the "present: " or "present+ " commands
    in IRC to get participants listed.
  * Muting noisy lines will be a challenge. The web client does indicate
    who is speaking / making noise. However, only the "host" can force
    mute someone if that person doesn't mute themselves. As far as I
    know, there isn't a feature for people to unmute themselves with the
    phone keypad, so keep in mind that if you mute someone they may be
    unable to speak up unless they are in the web client.
  * The WebEx web client isn't fully accessible to all users, so some
    people may not be able to use WebEx that way. There are smartphone
    apps for the major phone systems that are reportedly more
    accessible. It's also possible to dial in using the plain old
    telephone network. Some people have been exploring the accessibility
    gotchas and workarounds, and hopefully there will be some
    documentation about that you can share with your groups.

Good luck! I expect there will be startup challenges so let me know when 
you need help.

Michael
Received on Friday, 8 May 2015 18:20:17 UTC

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