The W3C has a wide and diverse community of participants. Yet, a few louder voices dominate. We may be missing out on a lot of good ideas from the silent majority.
For years we have implored speakers to speak more slowly, and to not use jargon. Most cannot seem to remember to do so. What else could we try, to help the bulk of the audience better understand presentations and contribute to discussions?
Many, for whom English is not the first language, are shy to speak out, fearing their English isn't adequate. For others, their culture is traditionally not as out-spoken. Yet others are embarrassed to admit they don't know how some of the tools work (such as IRC). And then the realities of time zones and distance add additional confusion.
This Task Force is open to all!
Please help us with any ideas that might smooth the path to encourage and enable better participation. If you want to join a little 'task force' to work on this subject, put your name on this page: Participation Promoters
What other barriers have you experienced, limiting your or others' participation in W3C? (You are invited to contribute, even if you don't want to join the team.)
Some categories that have been mentioned are as follows. Please contribute, or add new categories!
- 1 What Do We Mean by Participation?
- 2 Problem Statement
- 3 Examples Where Lack of Participation is Harmful
- 4 AB Task force
- 5 ToDo
- 6 Barriers to Participation
What Do We Mean by Participation?
INSERT HERE: clearly define what participation means for this context. For example, is this about lack of participation in the Consortium's technical work, lack of participation in the TAG, lack of participation in ...
It might help to consider 'life-cycle' phases, and the attractors and repellents in each phase. One acronym in this field is AIR -- Attract, Incorporate, Retain. What about the W3C attracts or repels likely members? Once attracted, and they try to join, or join, do they feel that they are getting 'inside' effectively, or do they remain 'un-incorporated'? Once on board, do they stay on board, or do they try to leave once the initial impetus has been satisfied?
When there are key stakeholders not participating in W3C's work, we run the risk of developing something that is not suitable for some segment of the relevant "market". Doing so wastes our investment, and provides an opportunity to develop a more relevant alternative outside W3C. If a better alternative is developed, then it also contributes to fragmentation - precisely the problem W3C is meant to reduce.
@@clearly define the Problem Statement.
Examples Where Lack of Participation is Harmful
INSERT HERE: enumerate examples where lack of participation has been harmful. Quantify the consequences if Members or Communities A/B/C do not participate in X/Y/Z
AB Task force
Objectives (Goal of this Task Force)
- Primary focus: Identify best practices to help Members improve participation; especially addressing issues of:
- time zones
- ... what else?
- Overlaps with questions of:
- effective AC / TPAC meetings (wiki started by Yosuke Funahashi: http://www.w3.org/wiki/ACMeetingValueProposition)
- ability for people to join (continuum from CGs, BGs, invited experts, members, participation on public lists, Office outreach, ...)
- create initial work space (wiki: http://www.w3.org/wiki/Encouraging-Participation) [done; 9 Oct 2013]
- announce the Task Force, seek participation [done; email and tweets 9 Oct 2013]
- announcements of plans ahead of time [need target date]
- at TPAC, initial introductions (champions, IRC demo, barcamp intro, questions via IRC, webcast?, solicit inputs and reactions, ...) [need target date]
- post TPAC, seek reactions & data [need target date]
- ongoing: TBD, pending results from above [need plan and target dates]
- Wiki(s) where we're inviting contributions
- Question: do we need a mailing list? Or (my preference), should we use ac-forum, or another already in existence?
- Provide venues for people to share or seek advice in private (e.g., private note, telephone call)
- Activities / approaches we will line up for TPAC, as experiments
- Ahead of TPAC, write to the AC-forum on what is going to be done to facilitate participation at TPAC (IRC projected, q+ in IRC, etc.), and how people are expected to proceed.
- At TPAC, have someone quickly introduce key aspects of this activity. Preferably, we will designate a few people to assist or field questions, and can introduce those people as such. (NOTE: can we put some sort of identifier on these people?)
- During TPAC, make clear that the TF work is being tested and any input/suggestions during and after the meeting are welcome. Again, designated champions preferably are identified as the people to go to (at breaks, at lunch, whenever) for that. Perhaps we can add a couple questions about these activities in the follow-up questionnaire?
- Follow-on, after TPAC ... TBD
- October 2013 (launch of AB objectives 2014) to the end of 2014 (since it's part of AB objectives 2014)
- hopefully, ongoing
- Clearly relate this effort to the W3C's Value Proposition such as the ACMeetingValueProposition wiki.
- Define the (Public) e-mail list this effort uses.
- Define the deadline for comments, inputs, etc.
Barriers to Participation
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