This is simply a huge working group and the telecons are going to be a real challenge to manage. It is really quite critical that EVERYONE try to do the best job they can adhering to a set of accepted "good behaviors" while on the telecon.
MUTE YOUR PHONE when you are not talking. This is so important. Many phones produce an echo, especially if you are using a speakerphone or a (cheap) headset, and pick up a lot of extraneous sounds that you might not even notice (breathing, typing, coughing, throat-clearing, moving your coffee mug, children, colleagues, doors closing, etc. etc.) but when combined with 50 other people on the call can cause interruptions, block out the speaker, and makes it especially difficult to understand people with different accents (I'm talking about the English, of course ;-)). Note that in some cases, muting your phone with a mute button does not clear up an echo, in which case you must use the Zakim mute feature (see UsingZakim).
- Identify yourself when you speak. In many cases the chair will do this when he recognizes a speaker, but it is best to start with "This is ...".
- Do not talk on and on, do not repeat yourself. Do not give sermons. Do not advertise. Do not say the same thing over and over, in a slightly different way each time. With such a large group and 90 minute telecons, we do not have time for it. The chairs will become increasingly "agressive" about cutting people off when we judge you are not adding new information. Note that the point here is not to prevent people from speaking, but to make the information flow more optimal. If you have said your "peice" and are just restating it, you may be cut off. Occasionally our judgement may be incorrect (i.e. someone listening may still not understand what was said), in which case it will be fine to try restating your point. Don't be offended or take it personally if you get cut off.
- Use the IRC first. There are many simple things you may want to say that is much more appropriately said on the IRC, the most common of which is "I agree with ...". Try using the IRC for that instead (we are watching it). The simple IRC notation for saying I agree is "+1". This follows the previous point as well: in addition to not repeating yourself, it is also good practice not to repeat what someone else said, just so everyone knows you agree. As with other things, this is not hard and fast, we must all use our best judgement. But you will start to hear us challenge people, "are you adding something new here?".
- If you are using a non-obvious IRC nickname (like your initials), please be sure to let the scribe know who you are.
- Watch the IRC session and, if you have spoken, check the scribe's record of it and correct your name or what was captured.
This will be a learning process for many people, and I don't think even the most experienced of us has dealt with a group this large before, so bear with us. Things will smooth out as time goes on. Special thanks to Jeremy for agreeing to scribe our first telecon and providing some suggestions.