I found the jabber logs helped me decide when to move between sessions, when
micro-timing of schedules wasn't apparent and I had to be in 'both' sessions.
I found sidebar conversations carried the subjective information you missed. I
don't think we can yet intuit the consensus of the room to put that into
jabber in the wide, one mans bozo is another mans guru and all that...
I think you are right to characterize the recordings as 'being there with
sanity checks' -The jabber stuff was a way I found I could meet two goals:
1) let other people know whats going on in the room
2) compile the data which the WG chair wanted as a log of the session
tending towards the official minutes
On the whole, I liked having the jabber even if the value is moot. Writing a
jabber log is very painful. RSI returns!