W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > June 2014

Re: Don't disclose election results

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 23:54:08 +0200
To: Jean-Charles (JC) Verdié <jicheu@yahoo.fr>
Cc: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.xgx9sijxy3oazb@chaals.local>
On Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:24:45 +0200, Jean-Charles (JC) Verdié  
<jicheu@yahoo.fr> wrote:

> (omnibus reply)
> * I acknowledge there are cultural differences which make it tricky to
> publish results given it was not stated before the election began. But
> this is an assumption. That'd be great if someone neutral (within the
> team?) contacted each candidate in person to get their actual feeling
> about it.

I'm not sure I qualify as neutral. But I have talked to a lot of  
candidates and potential candidates over the years, and I thnk it is  
pretty clear that right now publishing the number of votes named  
candidates receive would have a chilling effect on how willing some good  
candidates are to stand.

> * I'm not sure these cultural differences still make sense when it comes
> to anonymised results. If we read that candidate "A" got 3 ballots and
> candidate "B" got 98, that's probably fine with respect to the future
> life of candidate "JC" or "Virginie", given that it's not so easy (out
> of 12 people) to identify who is A and who is B.

Right. For the moment, I would not support releasing more identifying  
information than that.

> * We're not a democracy nor a country FWIW. We belong to a consortium
> and our companies pay an insane amount of money to get there.

(I'm not sure it is insane - in our case we regard it as an important  
investment, if not a cheap one - but Yeah).

Indeed. And when it comes to voting, we are a relatively small group who  
find such data about what our competitors do quite valuable. Which is why  
I think it is reasonable to be cautious in releasing it. I believe that  
too much transparency will have an effect on the way votes are cast, and I  
doubt this would be a good thing.

Secret ballots are secret for good reasons. Given the size of our  
community, it isn't unfeasible to make some decent guesses and have a  
pretty strong sense about what the data really means,

> …I'd like
> to understand how such an amount of money do not bring people to believe
> it's important to contribute, at least when it comes to voting (for
> AB/TAG but also for chartering).
> * Same thing on different angle, I was not aware of such a poor
> engagement. Probably some more work needs to be done here. AB?
> Elsewhere? I'll be happy to help.

I think it is unfortunate that AC members cannot afford to be more  
engaged. But then, a lot of the members are quite small, and the cost of  
serious engagement in everything the AC does is quite high. Focusing on  
areas of priority to an individual member makes sense, so I doubt we'll  
ever get the sort of engagement we would really like to have. Indeed, if  
we are successful in becoming more directly relevant for developers and  
others on a large scale, I suspect the price will be that they are even  
less able to follow everything we do - not because it isn't transparent  
but because the volume of information is too great.

A couple of things can help:
+ dashboards
+ information architecture

W3C has a pretty chaotic, as well as large, pile of information it  
produces. This is not altogether a surprise - they devote their resources  
to the most urgent things we scream for, as a rule, and a little to the  
important things that have to be done. But taming and chanelling the  
information flow to make it more efficient to process, and therefore more  
effective, is a major task, and a very difficult one. Helping with that  
strikes me as the single most valuable thing to do to increase engagement.

> * As Daniel stated for himself regarding last year's ballot, I'd really
> like to know my own results. It's important for me to know if I needed
> two other ballots to get elected or if I had 0 casts. That would
> determine my future willingness to run again or not BTW. If this is
> really humiliating then may be the W3C can communicate this information
> privately to candidates.

I agree this information should be available to individual candidates if  
they want it, in confidence (i.e. they would not be at liberty to start  
de-anonymising the public data without more general consent).

> * I don't mix transparency with trust. I trust the W3C not to tamper
> with the results (but I trusted a lot of companies not to tamper with my
> data until some revelations happened last year so...). but trusting the
> W3C does not mean I do not want to understand what's going on. The
> results of the last 2 AB ballots bring a lot of  information about the
> direction the AC Reps want the consortium to take, detailed results
> would probably bring a lot of additional valuable data.



Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 21:54:45 UTC

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