W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > April 2015

Re: Suggested response to the Yandex "cannot iive with loosening of TAG participation requiremens"

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:27:14 -0400
Message-ID: <CADC=+jc_icarL77jp=rpPALHnx11yex2WRiwuGQqRvj1KhU1Mg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Cc: David Singer <singer@apple.com>, Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 12:37 PM, Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com> wrote:
> Beyond that, there is a small set of large companies with a very large
> number of participants across the many Working Groups in W3C.  In an
> election of the 400 members, name recognition value of being from one of
> those companies may be fairly high.  It may be harder for someone from a
> company less well known to get elected if the entire group could be composed
> of employees from the top few companies in W3C participation.    Those
> companies do have people with years of valuable experience and obviously
> make major contributions to W3C, but given the TAG and AB are so small,
> allowing multiple people from the same company could limit representation
> from the wider membership.

I'd like to speak to this idea of name recognition and relation to big
companies because I don't think that that is the problem... Consider
this:  Name recognition is known input to success in any election.
You might argue that it shouldn't be, but I hope not.  The truth is,
you want to know the kind of person you're voting for not just
someone's campaign materials which are crafted to make them look good.
An unknown person might look pretty good on paper, but you weigh the
risk of the unknown against the good/bad of what you _actually_ know.
So, yes, name recognition matters and yes, it's probably kept out some
good people - but I'd say, not permanently - if they're good, they'll
be back with better name recognition.  The reason being is that name
recognition is high generally because those people are seriously
involved, and I think that history has proven out that good and very
involved people without a very big company/budget behind them
regularly beat out people who do come from that kind of background...
We have had numerous people who aren't from browser vendors or even
traditional tech powerhouses (sometimes not even members!) get elected
because people believe in them based on what they've done/been
involved with in the public sphere.

Where it gets tricky is that for the same reasons, companies want
them.  That's by and large a good thing for the Web because it means a
company is willing to foot the bill for more serious involvement
still.  This economics does tend to migrate the 'best' candidates
toward being employed by big companies over time, but at the end of
the day roughly 99 percent of member companies will not have an
employee sitting on TAG and at some level, what everyone is debating
is whether something like .25% of membership is "better represented"
by not having two members with the same employer for _part_ of a TAG
term, in which they were elected by said membership and are supposed
to not represent their employer but the people who elected them/the
larger Web.

I can understand the concept that one would want to prevent a resource
rich company from just hiring up as many people who sit on TAG (or AB)
post election and orchestrating a coup of sorts, but on another level
this seems like a lot of prevention for not a lot of value with the
wrong interpretations of things in mind.  The truth is, TAG and AB
don't have any formal power and instigating big change through either
of them takes more than one election cycle and we're talking about
much less - _part_ of one election cycle.  Seems to me that if
membership saw this kind of evil, you can probably bet that that org
would pay in the next election and lose all their seats.

If there are people who get elected to TAG and switch employers after
some time, we should let them finish the term they were elected to
IMO.  I don't see anything in this which personally causes me to
question the institution - it seems like it will mostly take care of
itself if you have reasonable constraints on the elections themselves.

Not to sidetrack this discussion, but abetter strategy for more
diversity would be to slightly expand the number of seats, perhaps
proportional to membership such that it's equivalent to say 3% of
membership (currently I think that would mean 12 seats instead of 9)
but always remains manageable.

Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com
Received on Monday, 13 April 2015 17:27:42 UTC

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