News, views and what I choose to dos

Nairobi going ahead: ICANN asks for remote participation tips

Category : ICANN, Internet, Internet governance · by Feb 16th, 2010

Updated: A new announcement from ICANN has just gone up, highlighting additional security precautions for Nairobi and making it clear the meeting is going ahead as scheduled.

Recognising that several companies have already decided not to attend (but noting that many are still attending – particularly the ccNSO), the last paragraph talks about improving remote participation – something I pointed out a few days ago could be the silver lining in the security cloud.

A post on the ICANN blog will apparently go up soon [update: it is up here] where you can post your comments to questions such as:

  • What does enhanced remote participation look like in the context of an ICANN meeting?
  • Remote participation is a challenge when a minority of participants are using that mode; if many were, how effective could that be?
  • How would this work with scheduling, time zones, and the expected meeting formats we’ve used?

I don’t know whether it is a good idea or a bad idea for me to comment given that I set up ICANN’s remote participation facilities. But one thing I would be grateful if people pointed to, and took to heart, is my five “rules” of remote participation – which you can see here and I’ll repost below.

The five “rules” of effective remote participation

  • There has to be a dedicated person in charge of engaging with remote participants in each session, who explains the situation surrounding engagement. That person needs to be given equal importance to physical attendees i.e. sat on stage and entitled to interrupt.
  • Remote participants should be given priority over physical attendees since there are unable to adapt as quickly to real world discussions and so their input loses relevance faster.
  • The more participative approaches there are, and the easier they are to find and access, the greater the effective participation. Particularly useful is a single space where video, audio, chat, questions and presentations can be presented.
  • The earlier you can advertise participation tools, their location, and the way they will be used, the more effective subsequent participation will be.
  • If someone is presenting or commenting remotely using their voice, it is crucial that the sound quality of that input within the room itself is very high. Otherwise, combined with the lack of physical presence, the impact of that participation will be low at best.

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