Proposal for face-to-face meetings and telecons in 2008

We haven't had much of a chance to continue the discussion by email about 
how to increase attendance and participation in 2008, but we did begin to 
have some attractive ideas at the end of the last telecon that I would 
like to continue discussing tomorrow.

Here is a proposal based on the discuss:

*How about we have only two face to face meetings, but have two calls per 

There is an obvious benefit of reducing the cost of participation, which 
is important to the survival of smaller organizations and even important 
to those at larger organizations where approvals are hard to come by.

There is also the obvious benefit of reducing the schedule upset to 
oneself and one's employer.

However, I also think this will result in significantly accelerated 
progress.  It is hard to commit a large chunk of time to the group, so 
committing any time tends to get put off; indeed, the recent face to face 
attendance is really just one manifestation of this general point.

Having an extra hour *scheduled* in weekly would therefore accelerate us 
by quite a bit by giving us more time in increments that people can 
manage.  And if you have to miss the occasional call, it's not so bad as 
missing a whole face to face.

I also think it would be possible to get people more engaged in doing at 
least one action item between the calls.  And as people get better at 
doing action items, they become less of a bother because they can be done 
more quickly.

Here are a couple of logistical notes:

If this option is selected, I would think we should consider moving the 
Raleigh face to face out to May, then meet at the tech plenary in October.

If this option is selected, I would think the second call should take 
place during our old time on Thursday mornings (7am pacific, 10 eastern, 

If this option is selected, we may need the approval of a higher 
authority, such as the CEO of W3C.  I think it is quite unlikely we would 
have to recharter because we are holding telecons in lieu of face to face 

Finally, note that I did also thinking of the alternative of going down to 
three meetings and having a 90 minute call.  But that alternative scores 
quite a bit lower on all of the above metrics.  It doesn't cut costs in 
half, it doesn't cut the big schedule upsets in half, and it doesn't do as 
good a job accelerating the group because we'd still be meeting only once 
weekly, so no chance to break it up and get people to do action items 
between the calls.

Please post your thoughts about this proposal.

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM: Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab


Received on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 21:38:48 UTC