While I see your point, and certainly agree in some degree, I also think
that any of the measures to look into who are "primary contributors" will
turn to be unfair and subjective.
In a so big community this kind of measurement will never work well, unless
everyone has the right to speak up for the venue selection, which will turn
to be absolutely impractical.
Just one example from your own one, not to be taken as any personal issue.
Why you have been queried for a schedule conflict (by the way "secretly")
while others have not had the opportunity for that (including myself) ?.
Clearly is not fair and is not consensus based, good or not, it may turn in
being the only realistic way and always could mean people being limited to
attend for this. How you know if there is much more people not being able to
attend because those who had been surveyed are able to attend and how you
measure how many of them are "more" primary contributors ?
De: Dave Crocker <dhc2(_at_)dcrocker(_dot_)net>
Organización: Brandenburg InternetWorking
Responder a: <dcrocker(_at_)bbiw(_dot_)net>
Fecha: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 08:43:33 -0700
Para: Brian E Carpenter <brc(_at_)zurich(_dot_)ibm(_dot_)com>
CC: "ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org" <ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>
Asunto: Re: IETF Meeting Venue Selection Criteria
What is the evidence that we will not gain that new
participation without hurting current participation
by primary contributors?
It's very hard to get those data... There is no objective way to
contributors' other than by assuming the regular attendees are
Which, BTW, means income that we badly need.
We also badly need hosts for financial reasons.
Unfortunately, the ultimate and practical meaning, of these kinds of
conclusions about venue selection, is that we do not place productivity
as a high priority. We have a collection of other priorities that take
precedence, for a collection of reasons. This means that the impact of
face-to-face meetings, on productivity and quality, is almost entirely a
matter of luck.
I should note that this is a similar problem with respect to Nomcom
member selection: We use highly indirect criteria, because they are
easy to administer, but which are certain to have poor correlation with
member expertise about IETF management -- although IETF management is
what is being chosen -- and then we hope for the best.
It is interesting that essentially all public discussion of these sorts
of stategic issues and the criteria for pursuing them almost always
focuses on what is easy or already established, rather than what will
work best for achieving the desired result. In particular, negative
implications appear to be entirely ignored, such as the one Eric Rosen
just pointed out, about encouraging participation by professional
For an organization that claims to care about the quality of its work
product, this all seems a rather strange approach to its management.
I suspect that organizations rarely achieve their primary goals by
making strategic and tactical decisions that ignore those goals.
p.s. "Primary contributors" could be operationally defined as previous
IETF attendees who are authors or chairs of current work. One might
always want to factor in mailing list activity levels for some
individuals, but that's also an indirect measure. However, all involve
objective data that are available. An additional approach is a
variation on something that is already done: Currently, some
participants are queried for schedule conflicts within the IETF week.
That could be extended to "venue conflicts" which would prevent them
from attending at all. And the primary point behind my making these
suggests is to point out that it is easy to give up on pursuing criteria
that are not trivial to enforce, but that that is not always warranted...
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