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RIF Telecons and Zakim (IMPORTANT: Please Read before telecon)

From: Christopher Welty <welty@us.ibm.com>
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 11:34:19 -0500
To: public-rif-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF8C984C7D.3B76C53A-ON852570DE.005CF56D-852570E8.005B07EB@us.ibm.com>

In order to reduce the amount of time spent in administrivia in this 
enormous working group, we are strongly encouraging members to more 
actively take on simple administrative tasks on telecons.  This requires 
being in the IRC session for each telecon and understanding at least the 
basics of how to use Zakim.  READ ON.

In past WGs it was acceptable for most people to be fairly ignorant of 
Zakim, but this group is so large we lost track of who was joining in the 
initial deluge of incoming calls during the first telecon.  Nearly a third 
of the ports were not identified correctly because we coulnd't keep up. 

Zakim is an "agent" that sits on the IRC session and also monitors the 
teleconferencing system.  It reports people joining and leaving the 
telecon, and can associate IRC nicknames with telecon ports.    When there 

is noise on the line, Zakim can help us identify the source, and if your 
phone doesn't have a mute button (or even if it does), Zakim can handle 
muting, and helps us to manage the speaking queue.  But in order for this 
to work properly, we have to know who is on each incoming phone line 

Here is a simple strategy to help us keep this information (who is on each 
port) accurate, as well as maintain a record of who is on the call: 

1) BEFORE YOU DIAL IN, login to the IRC session for the telecon.  Give 
yourself a meaningful nickname that obviously reflects your name, keeping 
in mind the distribution of names in the WG (initials are usually not 

2) Dial in. Moments after you hear the "beep" that you have joined, you 
will see in the IRC channel that Zakim will report a new port has joined 
the telecon.  Most likely that is you, so type the following into the IRC: 
"Zakim, ??P53 is me".  If Zakim reports the port with a long string like 
"+44.456.334.aaff" you only need the last four characters, e.g. "Zakim, 
aaff is me" (in these cases, you shoudl recognize the starting digits of 
your own telephone number).  There are a few other variations, mostly 
intended to be informative, but if you can't figure it out, most likely 
someone on the chat will do it for you - WATCH AND LEARN and try to do it 
yourself the next time. 
Once the relationship between your IRC "nickname" and your dialin port is 
established, you can use commands like "Zakim, mute me".  As mentioned in 
the telecon etiquette note 
using zakim to mute you is in some cases more desirable than using a mute 
buttom on your phone, as the latter does not always eliminate echo.

If you havne't followd the simple procedure above, so that Zakim doesn' t 
know what line you are on, then "Zakim, mute me" will not work. 
Furthermore, if we find noise coming from a line we may mute it, and we 
may not know who is being muted, thus you will try to talk and not be able 

Finally, if you call from the same number, Zakim will learn who you are. 
For this reason, it's possible at the next telecon when you dial in (and 
try to follow the procedure above) Zakim will think you are someone else 
(since we got some wrong this time)!  If that happens, just correct it 
with the "Zakim, x is [really|temporarily] me" (where x is whoever zakim 
thinks you are - the optional "really" tells zakim to change its record 
permanently, the optional "temporarily" tells zakim its just for this 
call, e.g. "Zakim, BorisP is really me").

If you want a turn to speak during the phone call, use the "q+ [to note]" 
command.  This adds you to the end of the speaking queue (which we 
actively monitor).  The optional "to note" is a string that can be used to 
remind yourself what you wanted to talk about (very useful especially when 
the queue is long, as people can forget what they wanted to say!), e.g. 
"q+ to tell Chris what a great WG chair he is".

If someone else says what you wanted to say before your turn comes up, 
please just take yourself off the queue with the "q-" command.  When it is 
time to speak, the "ack" command (e.g. "ack me") will unmute your port (if 
it was muted by Zakim) and take your off the queue.

For the full documentation on Zakim (you are strongly encouraged to read 
this), see http://www.w3.org/2001/12/zakim-irc-bot.html

Dr. Christopher A. Welty, Knowledge Structures Group
IBM Watson Research Center, 19 Skyline Dr., Hawthorne, NY  10532
Voice: +1 914.784.7055,  IBM T/L: 863.7055, Fax: +1 914.784.7455
Email: welty@watson.ibm.com
Web: http://www.research.ibm.com/people/w/welty/
Received on Saturday, 31 December 2005 16:34:27 UTC

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