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   Re: [xml-dev] "Standards Business Technology" development effort requir

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Excellent points, Bob,

I actually prefer middle of the night teleconferencing in to F2Fs on 
the other side of the globe simply because the phone doesn't ring and 
I don't have to be available to the normal workaday folks, but 
nothing replaces those ad hoc informal dinners and off-the-record 
conversations, so I don't think there really is a single, consistent 
best practice, and because those high-level management individuals 
ensure uptake, that element is needed as well. However, good 
collaborative tools can provide a tremendous boost to realtime remote 
interactions and increase productivity. Posting the day's 
interactively aided and produced work onto a TC's or WG's document 
repository can enable a limited form of asynchronous collaboration. 
It would be far from perfect, but it could allow someone who has to 
miss one day to catch up and provide input the following day.


At 7:04 PM -0700 5/1/04, Bob Glushko wrote:
>At 09:16 PM 5/1/2004 -0400, Michael Champion wrote:
>>On May 1, 2004, at 7:24 PM, Bob Wyman wrote:
>>>	Currently, the standards business seems to rely a great deal
>>>on face-to-face meetings in addition to mailing lists and telephone
>>>conferencing. What might make sense would be to do a concerted effort
>>>to either develop or select technology that could be used for hosting
>>>remote discussions and working sessions over the Internet.
>>Great ideas in this post!  I have thought about this over the years 
>>quite a bit but don't have real success stories to point to.  A few 
>>- The problem with any flavor of voice or audio conferencing is 
>>that it is intrinsically synchronous.  It's all very well and good 
>>to open up that meeting in Tokyo or Paris to remote participants, 
>>but the time differences are still a killer to real participation 
>>by people 9 timezones away.  There's got to be some asynchronous 
>>component to capture proposals, allow voting (formal or informal) 
>>over a 12-24 hour period, and get the decision recorded in a useful 
>I was going to point out the timezone problem.... this has been 
>especially tough in the UBL project because the head of the 
>subcommittee that did most of the model and vocabulary development 
>was Tim McGrath  who lives in Fremantle, Western Australia, and he's 
>done conference calls in the middle of the night for years.  So even 
>if the meetings are held by conference call there is still the "home 
>court advantage"  issue.
>But as much as I'd like there to be a technology solution here, i 
>think that there are some very important reasons for face-to-face 
>meetings.  First of all, for a lot of people doing standards work in 
>addition to day jobs it is  easier to get things done if go away 
>somewhere for a week than trying to do it an hour here and a hour 
>there.  You need the block of time without the usual meetings and 
>distractions -- conference calls just don't do that because they are 
>part of your regular day wherever you are.
>But more importantly, i think, is that the longer period of time in 
>the face to face meetings let people talk (off the record, in ad hoc 
>informal meetings at dinner, in the restaurant bar, etc)  about what 
>they really were trying to accomplish in the standard and often this 
>involves strategic or  coalitional activity that would never arise 
>in a conference call.
>And finally, while the technical people might be willing to get 
>everything done on a conference call, frankly the "junket" aspect of 
>going off to Tokyo or Vancouver or Vienna attracted people who might 
>not have as much to contribute technically but whose support of the 
>activity might be as essential in getting the work done and the 
>standard deployed afterwards.   Without high-level management types 
>occasionally going to the meetings who would approve the travel and 
>commit to putting the specs into products the efforts can collapse 
>into self-absorbed geek-fests.   I've played both the geek and the 
>high-level management roles in these things and i bet i added more 
>value in the latter than the former.

Rex Brooks
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA, 94702 USA, Earth
W3Address: http://www.starbourne.com
Email: rexb@starbourne.com
Tel: 510-849-2309
Fax: By Request


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