Participating by e-mail proxy

Discussion and feedback on the SJTAG Initiative Group weekly meetings.
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Ian McIntosh
SJTAG Chair
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: Leonardo, UK
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Participating by e-mail proxy

Post by Ian McIntosh » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:04 pm

In order to accomodate those members who are disadvantaged by timezone, language, etc., we have allowed contribution by e-mail in response to an advance draft of the minutes.

My question is, should we view e-mail participation as "attendance" and therefore count towards eligibity to take part in formal ballots?

Undoubtedly, the best contributions come as a result of the interaction during the live discussions, so meeting attendance should be encouraged, and proxy participation reserved for exceptional cases. But, my personal view is that it would be unfair to exclude those members, as their contribution is still significant.

This raises a number of side-issues:
  • If e-mail contributions are counted as attendance, then the member is unlikely to be available at the following meeting, making the logistics of approving the minutes more awkward.
  • Similarly, the member is unlikely to be present if a ballot is held during the "live" meeting, although electronic balloting (e.g. using these forums) could be employed.
  • Maybe the answer would be clear if we were sure of the aim of the rostering criteria: Is it
    1. To encourage attendance at meetings?
    2. To ensure votes go the active members?
    3. Some other reason?
Edit: The following is from the IEEE TTSC policy document (section 4.1):
Each member is expected to attend meetings as required by these procedures. The Secretary records attendance for members who attend at least 50% of a meeting's duration. Attendance at a meeting via teleconferencing and/or electronic means, e.g., Internet conferencing, shall count towards the attendance requirements.
Is it possible to measure electronic participation to determine if the "50% of duration" criterion has been met? - I suspect not.

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Jim Webster
SJTAG Member
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Integellus, Bonnie Scotland

Post by Jim Webster » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:20 pm

Personally I'm against email participation - I think many of the discussions need to be interactive at the time of raising and it slows down any conclusions having to wait on solicited email responses.

I think that we should keep to the IEEE TTSC policy.

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Bradford Van Treuren
SJTAG Chair Emeritus
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:06 pm
Location: NOKIA / USA

Post by Bradford Van Treuren » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:41 am

Jim Webster wrote:Personally I'm against email participation - I think many of the discussions need to be interactive at the time of raising and it slows down any conclusions having to wait on solicited email responses.

I think that we should keep to the IEEE TTSC policy.
I understand Jim's position, but the problem faced by the group is there are people wishing to join the meetings that are unable to participate on a regular basis because the meeting time conflicts with their time zone. We are also holding one meeting a month on a different day to try to accomodate others in similar time zones that have conflicts with the regular time slot. There are others that would like to respond in writing because English is not their first language. We are trying our best to accomodate as many people as we can, but for a global committee as this is, there will always be some people discriminated against based on locality.

The major point of our efforts right now is to gather as much information on our discussion subjects as we can to better support and ensure accuracy for our white paper on SJTAG use cases. This paper will be the basis for the work we are to perform as a formal IEEE working group in the near future.

I am still struggling with logistics of who should receive the draft minutes. At first the draft minutes was sent to only those requesting it formally. That worked for the first couple of meetings. The recent draft of the minutes I sent out to the reflector to try to include more people for feedback. Still, I only received feedback from people who usually are regular attenders that missed that specific meeting. I find their input still beneficial eventhough they were not present at the meeting.

The bottom line is a live discussion is best, but we need to capture all the ideas - including ideas from people who were unable to attend the meeting but have significant comments and feedback on a subject. The forum site is an alternate, but few are joining in the discussions there. I am trying to use every form of technology I can to move the SJTAG effort forward to completion.

If you have suggestions on how to improve the communications between members and get a fair representation of ideas from everyone, I would like to hear about it.
Bradford Van Treuren
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff
NOKIA MN

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