ISSUE-19: WG communication channel explosion

channel explosion

WG communication channel explosion

State:
CLOSED
Product:
Raised by:
Henry Story
Opened on:
2015-03-10
Description:
During the Working Group call Tuesday 10 March [1] following on an e-mail thread [2] it turns out that one of the chairs ( Tantek ) and other members of the WG have a policy of not using the e-mail channel at all, and of not responding to it. Harry Halpin argued that the W3C process does not require any one to read the e-mails there, and that this was the condition Tantek posed before becoming chair.

[[
18:18:31 [tantek]
melvster because it was a condition of becoming a co-chair that we could ignore the mailing list
]]

So the question is how does one have a detailed conversation that can lead to consensus?

It was pointed out that there are three other channels:
+ the wiki
+ the irc channel
+ and this bug tracker

( But in fact these are not the only channels. The Social Web Working Group main wiki lists these others [4]:
+ Social Web Twitter https://twitter.com/SocialWebWG ( run by Erik Wilde )
+ Activity Streams issues https://github.com/jasnell/w3c-socialwg-activitystreams/issues
+ Activity Streams repo: https://github.com/jasnell/w3c-socialwg-activitystreams
+ Vocabulary issues: https://github.com/jasnell/w3c-socialwg-activitystreams/issues
+ Vocabulary https://github.com/jasnell/w3c-socialwg-activitystreams
+ Social WG Activity Streams issues https://github.com/jasnell/w3c-socialwg-activitystreams/issues
+ ... )

Things get a bit confusing here:
+ is there an automatic way to know when the wiki is updated? Instead of writing mails, should one open a new wiki page? How does one let everyone know about the wiki page? Do they comment on the wiki commenting section or on the mailing list? Who is following what there?
+ the bug tracker posts updates to the mailing list, so how are others notified?
+ the IRC channel is not always logged so it is difficult to know if one has missed posts there. One can leave a message for someone there so that they notice it when they come online, but what kind of message will do? Will a pointer to the e-mail archive such as [1] do? Or does the URL have to point to a blog? [5]

It is not clear who is using which channels. Is there a list of how to communicate with various members of the group? Which channels are the preferred channels of the various WG members? How can one have a conversation that implicates all members? (It would be good to be able to have these conversations asynchronously and not only on WG weekly meeting calls of course )

Tantek argued that the best way to communicate was using blog posts. But how does one know which blog posts various people are reading? Where are these discussions archived? How would one notify all the members of the WG about the discussion going on there? How does one avoid conversations being lost across blog posts, and people only being partially notified of them and so only having a partial view of the debate? What protocols do these blog posts have to implement so that communication works for all? Which of the many pinging mechanisms should be used? [3] Is it necessary to use Indie Web protocols? Or should one use others? And is that not assuming that the working group has already decided on what it is meant to deliver?

Does this not contradict the charter that says clearly

[[
Most of the technical work of the group will be done through discussions on one of the group's public mailing list and a list for public comments allows posts by anyone:

public-socialweb@w3.org (archive) for Working Group discussion
public-socialweb-comments@w3.org (archive) for general discussion and commentary
The group can use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a particular member requests such a discussion.
]]

The problem of the social web is currently exactly related to the explosion of channels. We are here to solve that problem, but it has not yet been resolved. We can take a simple example from a well known organisation named OuiShare. They already have over 60 tools that they categorised in 13 groups. Many of these are overlapping in functionality. The following use case for that organisation show a microcosm of the problems that best the current dysfunctional social web. The full use case is written up here:

http://bblfish.net/tmp/2015/03/10/OuiSharetechnicalcomplexity.html

It seems to me that this is exactly the use case this working group has been looking for: channel explosion. And that is what the WG should be setting out to fix. But as it has not yet been fixed, the solution cannot be assumed before the working group comes to a conclusion.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2015/03/10-social-irc#T18-00-02
[2] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-socialweb/2015Mar/0035.html
[3] a discussion of some of these pingback protocols can be found here: http://bblfish.net/tmp/2011/05/09/
[4] http://www.w3.org/Social/WG
[5] From the logs of the conversation following after the meeting posting links to w3c mail archives is not good enough: it seems that they have to be blogs and also have to be self hosted.
[[
# 11:26 bblfish ok so what about discussing the issue https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-socialweb/2015Mar/0032.html
# 11:26 tantek bblfish: I look forward to you sharing URLs to permalinks on your personal site.
# 11:26 Arnaud it's great that everyone can have a voice, the problem is that too many people think that means they need to say something :)
# 11:26 ShaneHudson joined #social
# 11:26 tantek if you're unable to share a URL to a post on your personal site then I don't believe you "have been building tools to do that".
]]
http://socialwg.indiewebcamp.com/irc/social/2015-03-10/line/1426011969254
Related Actions Items:
No related actions
Related emails:
  1. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org on 2015-04-22)
  2. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-22)
  3. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org on 2015-04-22)
  4. RE: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-22)
  5. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-22)
  6. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-22)
  7. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-22)
  8. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-22)
  9. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-22)
  10. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-22)
  11. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-22)
  12. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-22)
  13. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-22)
  14. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-22)
  15. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org on 2015-04-22)
  16. Gmail Filters (was Fwd: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal) (from jasnell@gmail.com on 2015-04-21)
  17. RE: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  18. RE: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal -- about blogs (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  19. Re: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from ben@thatmustbe.me on 2015-04-21)
  20. RE: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  21. RE: Issue-19 questions remain (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  22. RE: Issue-19 questions remain - a proposal (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  23. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-21)
  24. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org on 2015-04-21)
  25. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-21)
  26. RE: Issue-19 questions remain (from ann.bassetti@boeing.com on 2015-04-21)
  27. Re: Issue-19 questions remain (from hhalpin@w3.org on 2015-04-21)
  28. Issue-19 questions remain (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-04-21)
  29. Re: Social Web WG agenda for 31 March 2015 (from perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org on 2015-03-29)
  30. Re: microformats 2 and Linked Data (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-03-13)
  31. microformats 2 and Linked Data (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-03-13)
  32. Re: social-ISSUE-19 (channel explosion): WG communication channel explosion (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2015-03-11)
  33. social-ISSUE-19 (channel explosion): WG communication channel explosion (from sysbot+tracker@w3.org on 2015-03-10)

Related notes:

mistreatment of wg members from IndieWebCamp slack channel:

"Loqi elf-pavlik: tantek left you a message on 3/9 at 5:53pm: I'll check #social messages before the telcon. When did you become Henry's secretary? And perhaps you can encourage him to write his opinions as blog posts on his own personal site. I'm still preferring to focus on fixing microformats examples in AS. "

http://indiewebcamp.com/irc/2015-03-10/line/1426023297745"

Henry Story, 10 Mar 2015, 21:40:23

Henry Story, no mistreatment - you missed humor which recipient (elf) obviously got. Citation:

http://indiewebcamp.com/irc/2015-03-10/line/1426023519986

:D

Perhaps try affording a bit more presumption of humorous rather than paranoid intent in text comms?

Tantek Çelik, 10 Mar 2015, 21:58:06

P.S. Channel explosion has a simple solution, self-limit the channels you use. E.g. ignore the mailing list. It's amazing how productive ignoring the mailing list is.

Tantek Çelik, 10 Mar 2015, 21:59:15

Tantek, Elf is polite and always very friendly, so he'll always turn the other cheek. In any case your note is pretty ambiguous and on first interpretation does not go in the direction you wish. One would have to know you to know that you are joking. So you are asking us to give you the benefit of the doubt. What is sure is that it is not visible from the context. And yet that is the type of communication channel you are proning: one immensely susceptible to miscommunication.

A little later in the same communication channel you write:

[[
# 15:30 tantek we were both brought in to co-chair to help bring more practical perspectives to the social web wg
# 15:31 millette kylewm, what do you mean?
# 15:31 tantek but it seems like it has both slowed us down, and simultaneously few people there actually *want* to learn about indieweb or pump innovations
]]

http://indiewebcamp.com/irc/2015-03-10/line/1426026663530

But how should we know what you want? Did you try to interact with the WG on the mailing list, which is what the charter clearly specifies? Did you try to learn what the Linked Data members do? No: any mail I sent to the list would have been ignored by you. That is lack of communication.

Henry Story, 10 Mar 2015, 23:00:31

Tantek wrote: "P.S. Channel explosion has a simple solution, self-limit the channels you use. E.g. ignore the mailing list. It's amazing how productive ignoring the mailing list is."

But e-mail is just one of the many communication channels on the web. See the list by OuiShare for for a small subset of all of those that have appeared on the web

https://trello.com/b/YWRVp9Cu/ouisharetools

The problem of communication channel explosion goes way beyond e-mail. Ignoring the W3C charter principal communication channel does not help in communication with members of the W3C.

Henry Story, 10 Mar 2015, 23:18:39

IRC has some problems with weak identity, as we here here elf-pavlik imposed tantek
* http://www.w3.org/2015/03/13-social-minutes.html
* http://socialwg.indiewebcamp.com/irc/social/2015-03-13/line/1426242213149

Ben suggested enabling auth service
* http://socialwg.indiewebcamp.com/irc/social/2015-03-13/line/1426242403382

Pavlik elf, 13 Mar 2015, 10:32:01

Resolved on Apr 14 call

http://socialwg.indiewebcamp.com/irc/social/2015-04-14/line/1429031972038

https://www.w3.org/wiki/Socialwg/2015-04-14-minutes

Aaron Parecki, 14 Apr 2015, 17:21:23

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Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, Evan Prodromou <evan@e14n.com>, Chairs, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>, Amy Guy <rhiaro@w3.org>, Staff Contacts
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