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Re: About IRC meetings...

Jérémy Bobbio wrote:

As this is my first mail to the Debian-Women, here is a collection of short statements about me : Debian user, wanting to contribute ; male, aware of gender issues, not feeling well in most geeks circles due to sexism, competition and other common behaviours ; still not really knowing where to fit in the D-W project. [1]

Hello Jérémy, and welcome :)

After some private talks on IRC, I would like to share some feelings about previous D-W meetings to the list.

First, the flow rate was really too high, with a lot of different ideas being discussed at the same time. It's IRC and not real life discussions, so there is no such thing as interrupting someone [2], but I think it would be a lot better if we could focus on only one speaker at a time. That would help non native english speakers to follow and to have more time to write their own ideas.

OK, I think that point 5 from that link ypu posted (http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/ImcIRC), is a good idea. Namely to have the moderator change the topic of the channel to reflect the current question or sub-topic of the meeting. Hopefully that would help the non-English speakers to follow things too.

Point 6 from the link (having a mechanism whereby people raise their hands to take it in turns to speak) is an interesting idea. I am not sure whether I think it would work well for our meetings or not, bearing in mind how long it took us to do a similar thing in the first meeting (ie go around in order for people to introduce themselves).

I think the "raise your hand" idea might be worth a try, to see how it works. Basically I think there might be some advantages, like getting a discussion that is easier to follow, and some disadvantages, like losing the "conversation" aspect of the meetings we've had so far.

Has anyone tried this in an IRC meeting of similar size and how did it work?

Second, in order to keep the discussion moving forward, it would be great to make a more detailed agenda of the meeting. Its elaboration could be a collective process using the wiki. The facilitator would then keep atendees in focus and move forward between points as time goes.

OK, I am not sure that this one is possible, given the way our meetings have worked so far. We did have a clear topic and a list of potential areas within it to discuss, in both previous meetings. These were announced before the meetings, to the mailing list and they were posted to the DW website. That much was good, I think.

However, to go futher than that and lay out very specific things to discuss is harder. It could imply that someone has to decide, before the meeting, what ideas are actually going to come up and be worth discussing. This might not work well in a meeting that is partly a brainstorming of ideas about to approach something.

Does anyone else have an opinion about this?


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