Re: RDIG Call for Presenters

At 12:58 PM 2003-02-24, Markku T. Hakkinen wrote:
>Looking forward to your input.


The timing here couldn't be worse.  This activity is in competition with
the CSUN conference and comes in the teeth of people's engagement with that
conference.  How can we ask for submissions at a time when 2/3 of the people
we are soliciting are wrapped around that competing axle?

This Call for Participation should follow more closely the best current
practices for workshop and event ads.  It should have

- a "who should participate" statement that names names of specialties

- more concrete guidance on how to present and format the materials that are
initially and will ultimately be asked of the participant.  What is asked
for should be friendlier to the work habits of academics and gather
references and not just summaries.  [Also if you are going to record, which
I recommend, that participants are required to consent to this.]

The event should be pitched as an interdisciplinary conversation.  Not an
exploration of a recognizable atomic domain.  Make it clear that you want
people to orient others to their home domain as well as report deep research
findings as well as reflect on others' input in the light of their
background and expertise.

The topic of this event should be located for the CfP reader by the
intersection (logical AND) of the following more recognizable conditions:

+ Deliverable-oriented Knowledge Work[1]
+ By dispersed teams[2]
+ Including PWDs[3]

For the general issues that come up in this domain, my latest survey [very
rough document] is at

You should think about including a bullet-list summary of ideas like the
ones in that reference in a "some of the issues in this domain that you may
be able to shed light on include:..." section of the CfP.

The entire lifecycle process of the event should be better laid out at least
in terms of how the real-time discussions will be reported in public and
what control the participants have over that information release.


[Caveat:  I haven't reviewed the templates.  Some of what I am asking for
in the CfP can be handled by brief summaries with links for details to the

The CfP document: this document [call for participation] should follow more
closely the genre as practiced by people who organize and advertise
meetings that draw an ad-hoc collection of participants.  [as opposed
to meetings of standing bodies.]  Compare and contrast this with
one email CFP that is contributed by each individual in the planning group.

The event: frame this as an interdisciplinary conversation.  You are not trying
to establish the topic of this conversation as the theme of a continuing series
of meetings.  You are trying to invite participation in a conversation which
falls within the loose topic and goals of the RDIG.  This conversation is not
to continue the advancement of knowledge in an established or proposed domain,
but rather to cross-inform workers in domains that touch this topic.  Out of
the process a clearer research roadmap for "the accessibility domain" may 
but it is not presumed

Not just the ACM, the commercial event promoters.

"who should attend"

"you will learn"


I don't see from this draft how the researcher is told what is in this
opportunity for them.  I see the rationale in terms of the glowing
greater good, but where is the answer to "What's in it for me?" from
the perspective of each researcher reading this?

I see two attractions:
- visibility -- gain recognition; credit for publishing (standard
   inducement for academic publishing, weak position for RDIG in this regard)
- learning -- each researcher is briefed with a focused executive briefing
   by others doing work that may bear on their own knowledge accumulation,
   either bringing things that they can reuse or warning them not to seek
   recognition for what others already have laid claim to.

While it is hard to demonstrate academic researchers acting on the latter
incentive as opposed to the former, it is probably the best carrot that
this group (as a magnet-wannabe) can offer.

 From my personal experience I can testify that it does work for those who
will suspend disbelief and invest in the process.  I always come away
invigorated from a brush with people doing real things in neighbor domains.

But this does cast a doubt on whether you want to go for a pure-researcher
population.  It could be more constructive to call for participation by
researchers and practitioners.  The objective is to improve the statement
of the "interesting research questions" in this area.  This is the standard
mission of the workshop that NSF runs prior to committing a line of funding
to a topic.

I am bothered that the current draft is plain text and not hypertext, and that
you didn't encourage hypertext in the response.

The domains and some exemplars that I would invite to cast light on this 
topic include:

- organizational behavior and sociology Lee Sproull, Lipnack and Stamps
- organization and workflow and information architecture design Nick Ragouzis
- operations research Barrett Caldwell, Wolf Kohn, Anil Nerode
- groupware infrastructure Geoffrey Fox
- psychology, esp. EdPsych
- cognitive science
- software engineering
- human-computer interaction
- assistive technology
- disability studies

It is not clear from this writeup if there is only one class of participants:
only those invited to speak are listening (in real time) or is it more
like a town meeting where there is a section with questions from the floor
and a broadcast channel of the telcon channel in real time to listeners who
can only assert stuff through text messages.

I believe you have a process template that talks about the life after the
synchronous-time rendezvous to get to a static patch-of-web content.

individual researcher who is solicited
to do the work of filing a brief, here and possibly participating in the
telephone conversation

>Thanks for joining the call on short notice. Your comments were helpful, and
>a reminder of where RDIG needs to go. We have, after alot of deliberation,
>settled on a less agressive, narrow model for the first topic. However,
>anything you can contribute toward the use cases or call would be most
>Attached is the latest draft of the call, reflecting comments from the
>planning group.
>Looking forward to your input.

>Call for Submissions
>The W3C WAI Research and Development Interest Group announces a call for
>submissions for our first International Teleconference on Document 

This makes it sound as though the topic of the [c.f. ISSN] whole series of 
is Document Collaboration[4].

Title the event "Tele-Workshop on Universal Access in Team Work" then after
naming the event, say "first in a series of research-focusing events in the 
area of accessibility and Web-related technology."

>The web is bringing together inviduals and enabling them to collaborate in 
>and innovative ways. Today, diverse communities of people can come 
>together in
>virtual spaces for meetings and working sessions. This is particularly 
>as travel to face to face meetings can be difficult for budgetary or
>security reasons.
>Examples of such communities include standards development, engineering,
>knowledge management, software/content development, accessibility, scientific
>research, government/international rules and regulations, and education.
>Diverse, international groups currently use a variety of tools, such as 
>messaging, IRC, shared desktops, and teleconferencing for real time 
>as well as email, mailing lists, weblogs and proprietary format documents for
>asynchronous interaction.
>Collaboration, for example, on a design specification, is typically 
>by using several of the aforementioned technologies, with little real
>integration between the different tools.  Participants in the 
>collaboration may
>not all have equal access in the process, for reasons of disability, 
>firewalls, language, etc.
>Promising research is underway around the world, exploring innovative
>technologies and user interfaces for collaboration. We are seeking 
>from the research community (academia, industry, government, consulting) on
>state of the art work in document collaboration. In particular, we are 
>for research which can address requirements expressed in the following use
>     Scenario: An international Open Source Software Project consists of 
> software
>     developers from the US, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and 
> India.
>     Several developers have disabilities, including visual impairments,
>     deafness, mobility impairment, and deaf blind. The project is in its
>     planning stage and developers need to meet virtually to design and 
> create
>     the software specification. Regular face to face meetings are not 
> possible.
>     The goal is the shared development of a web-based specification 
> document,
>     with flow charts, diagrams, and screen layouts. Weekly teleconferences
>     involve collaborative review and editing of the specification and its
>     elements. Individuals must be able create and read annotations in a 
> modality
>     appropriate to their needs. For example, graphical annotations or 
> notes (a
>     circled word and added note), need to be visible to all participants.
>@@ insert use case 2 ...
>Your position paper should describe your research and indicate whether it can
>address some aspect of the scenarios presented in the use cases above, or
>addresses other aspects of collaboration. If you are uncertain as to how your
>work can meet specific use case requirements, it is acceptable to pose 
>this as a
>question in your position paper.
>The mission of the Research and Development Interest Group (RDIG) is to
>increase the number of Web-related researchers who incorporate accessibility
>into their research design, and to identify projects researching Web
>accessibility, and suggest techniques that may contribute to new projects. 
>desired outcome of more research in Web accessibility and awareness of
>accessibility in mainstream Web-related research should decrease the 
>number of
>potential barriers in future Web-related technologies.
>Event Information:
>The format of the event is a teleconference, augmented by web-based
>presentation material, and IRC. Registration is required for participation.

Will there be an audience?  or just the speakers, moderator, and recorders.

>Submission Information:
>Position papers are due by xx March 2003 and should be sent to the chair
>( and W3C staff contact (  The papers 
>be short (approximately 2 paragraphs) and be submitted in HTML or plain text
>format. Papers in other formats will be returned.

Don't limit the submission in this way.

A bibliography should be requested of citations to useful sources for the
subplot that the submitter frames as their position for the event.  Resources
that are available by Web links should be hyperlinks in the submission.  This
should then be fronted by a brief statement summarizing:

a) A rough scoping statement for the knowledge domain that the speaker 
would represent in the conversation
b) What is known vs. not known in this domain that bears on the topic of 
the conversation
c) What the interesting research questions would appear to be related to 
the topic of this conversation from the perspective of the submitter.

The meeting record will both collect b) and tighten the framing of c).

>The RDIG Planning Group (@@link) will invite the authors of particularly 
>position papers to make a presentation at the event to foster discussion. The
>invited presentations are to be approximately 15 minutes in length and should
>include slides or other presentation materials. Authors are also required to
>make the slides of their presentation available on the event Web site.

This call has to be clear on the format requirements for presentations.  What
level of description is required for visual materials?  What will the means
be of sharing presentation materials as the presenter presents?  Does the
presenter get to control events on at least one display window of the other
participants?  Or do they only get to pass an URL for a page and the other
people can be anywhere on the web at any moment?

Will there be discussion?  How will the discussion be captured and published?

This is a very practical matter.  The note-taking during the Device 
Authoring Techniques was only half organized (in terms of preparedness with an
organization) but it was an important function.

I suggest that you make it a requirement of participation that people agree
to be audio recorded and that you use iDictate or equivalent to create a text
record of the discussion on the call. But this 'verbatim' would go only
to the participants who could make changes in what the transcript said they
said.  Then it would become part of the public record of the event.

Do you have the labor hours allocated to do the editing work on the meeting 

>Position papers will be published on the public Web pages for the event, and
>must be available for public dissemination. Submitting a position paper
>comprises a default recognition of these terms for publication. The R&D 
>Group is chartered under the W3C Intellectual Property Rights policy
>(, and
>presenters and participants must acknowledge acceptance of this policy.

[1] Find an authoritative reference for this term in the Workflow literature
or replace it with an equivalent that has such backing.

The term 'document' is unfortunate in this regard other than to distinguish
the topic from totally-ephemeral conversation.  There was a paper at XML2002
that used a phrase something like "the age-old document/data conflict" and
I would attest to the existence of such a tension and that a software design
is more data than document in those terms.

[2] As conceptualized in the book "Virtual Teams" by Lipnack and Stamps.

[3] In the terms of the WHO disability taxonomy.  [The 'new paradigm' is
too circular to be useful in framing this research dialog.]

[4] Tech-editing rant:

The initialCaps style indicates a Term of Art, a defined 'thing' which if
this is the first, is a class of things, of which this is just the first.
But the phrase with the caps is not the title of the series, it is the title
of the instance.  This styling and phraseology combined is an error in the
application of the initialCaps affect as generally understood in
knowledge-industry writing.

Received on Tuesday, 25 February 2003 13:27:10 UTC