At 21:40 23/06/2005, Dave Crocker wrote:
How many people compose "a body of seriously active folk"? Beats the heck
out of me. But let me suggest that if we make a point of looking honestly
at an effort during its formation and as it is prosecuted, we will
typically see very clearly whether the activity is of a few folk pursuing
a personal -- albeit possibly appealing -- whim or is of a seriously
active industry constituency.
Asking the question honestly is the hard part.
May be a ratio would be to consider: the participation curbs. If you see
there is an attrition of initial participants (for example, to the Charter
identification analysis/road map consensus period) to the benefit of the
same final small number of participants, you may consider a consensus by
exhaustion, organised by an affinity group which only draw IETF resources
to label their own pet position. If there was no common Charter analysis it
is also a good indication.
A participation analysys tool should not be complex to develop (number of
participant over a sliding period of one week, participation pattern,
etc.). A famous case on an @large list permitted me to identify the
existence of specialised servers to help people wanting to organise a "Deny
of Thinking" on a mailing list; and to detect some of the people being used
or maniplulating the list. They use such tools.
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