HTML Writers Guild Guild Operations Events 2001 Meeting

2001 Membership Meeting Log

26 April 2001

[20;33] <debideaux> also is very slooowwww
[20;33] *** thom has joined #townhall
[20;33] <frank> The agenda for the 2001 member meeting is;
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[20;34] <frank> 1. Welcome and Introduction of GB Members; Frank Boumphrey
[20;34] <frank> Welcome all!
[20;34] <Julia> Frank, message from mom; machine is acting up... working on getting in
[20;34] <frank> As I introduce the board members would they like to say Hi!
[20;34] *** Joe sets mode; +o thom
[20;35] *** Joe sets mode; +o Gretchen
[20;35] <frank> Senior board member and immediate past president is Joe Cline.
[20;35] <Joe> Hi Folks, thanks for coming tonight.
[20;35] <Julia> ok, if anyone can see me typing... I can't see anything
[20;35] *** debideau1 has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer.)
[20;36] <Joe> Hi Julia we can see it
[20;36] <frank> Next is Kynn bartlett also a past president. i think he' out of the room
[20;36] <Joe> (note; the majority of the meeting will be moderated until the open discussion period at the end)
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[20;37] <frank> Fred Barnet is our secretary. He's also an astronomy wiz.
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[20;37] <Fred> Hello everyone.
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[20;38] <frank> His astronomy club spots asteroids. Fred will probably know whether we are all doomed about 2 hours ahead of the rest of us
[20;39] <frank> next in seniority is myself, you new president
[20;39] <Carole> Hello Everyone! ;)
[20;39] * Kynn is back
[20;39] <Kynn> HI, I'm back, sorry everyone, I had a phone call from my boss.
[20;39] <frank> Marshall Jansen is next. Are you ther marshal?
[20;39] <Joe> welcome back kynn.
[20;39] <frank> Say Hi kynn
[20;39] <Kynn> Hi Kynn
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[20;40] <frank> Gretchen lowerison heads up our education section
[20;40] <Gretchen> Hi Everyone!
[20;41] <frank> Chris Higgs is our treasurer. 
[20;41] <Carole> Evening, everybody.
[20;41] <frank> You there Chris?
[20;42] *** Joe sets mode; +o Carole
[20;42] <frank> Chris hails from Oz. We believe in physically separating our treasurer from the petty cash
[20;42] <Joe> I dont' think Chris is here yet, stall on the Treasurer's report ;)
[20;42] <frank> New board members this year are Carole gay
[20;43] <frank> Carole has already said hi, she heads up the Gutenberg project
[20;43] <frank> Lauren patrick
[20;44] <frank> and last but not least thom dunaway
[20;44] <Carole> Hello Everybody! ;)
[20;44] <frank> Item 2 on the agenda
[20;44] <frank> 2. Overall State of the Guild; Frank Boumphrey 
[20;45] <frank> Yr 2000 was a year of big changes
[20;45] <frank> We started the year by appointing full time staff
[20;46] <frank> in the middle of the year it became apparent we may be having some management and financial problems
[20;46] *** Kynn sets mode; +m
[20;47] <frank> A Fact finding site visit by the then President Joe Cline and treasurer revealed severe management and book keeping errors
[20;47] <frank> I was then the treasurer
[20;47] <frank> Financial crisis was engendered by serious book keeping errors
[20;47] <frank> Several activities were producing loss including majority of classes
[20;48] <frank> Several activities were producing loss including majority of classes
[20;48] <frank> Gross extravagance in application of HWG funds
[20;48] <frank> Overgenerous travelpolicys etc.
[20;49] <frank> We initiated;
[20;49] <frank> Complete Reorganisation of Guild staff
[20;49] <frank> New (and better) office space
[20;49] <frank> Kef Moulton appointed executive director
[20;50] <frank> Chris Weiss appointed comptroler
[20;50] <frank> Debts were consolidated
[20;50] <frank> Overhaul of management activities
[20;50] <frank> Overhaul of business activities
[20;50] <frank> Overhaul of classes
[20;51] <frank> It was touch and go for a while, but we weathered the storm.
[20;51] <frank> Joe Cline was magnificent and a tower of strength
[20;52] <frank> At one time he said "I wish i was a quitter so i could get out of this mess"
[20;52] <frank> Luckily for all of us joe is not a quitter
[20;52] <Joe> you're too kind Frank.  Thanks.
[20;52] <frank> Kynn helped initiate some hard policys. our thanks to him
[20;52] <Kynn> I tend to do the jobs nobody else wants to touch. ;)
[20;53] <Joe> (btw folks, the room is moderated at the moment, we will open up for general discussion at the end)
[20;53] <frank> All the board members were magnificent, but I think it is true to say that without Joe and Kynn we would not have a guild today.
[20;53] <Kynn> (yeah, our intent is not to silence you but rather to let us get through our "presentations" in a timely manner)
[20;53] <Gretchen> I agree!
[20;53] <frank> the guild is now back on track with;
[20;54] <frank> 1. New classes being taught
[20;54] <frank> 2. Leaner and more active management
[20;54] <frank> 3. New board members
[20;54] <frank> 4. Good Professional help
[20;54] <Kynn> Don't let Frank fool you, he EARNED his presidency.  Even if he's too humble to say, he did a great job.
[20;54] <Lauren> hI!
[20;54] <Kynn> In very trying times! And we are now stronger than ever.
[20;54] <frank> We are now a proper organization with an outstanding future!!
[20;54] <Kynn> (man, we are all patting ourselves on the back here, sorry folks)
[20;54] <frank> that is the end of my address
[20;54] <Joe> Frank was really our only choice.  He was instrumental in the Guild's recovery.
[20;55] <frank> Next agenda item
[20;55] <frank> 3. Treasurer's Report; Chris Higgs
[20;55] <frank> But I don't think Chris is here!
[20;55] <Joe> I don't think Chris is here yet, can we postpone his presentation?
[20;56] <frank> Yeah Lets postpone that
[20;56] <Kynn> Makes sense to me.  I suspect it's a timezone problem.
[20;56] <frank> Next item
[20;56] <frank> 4. Specific HWG activities;
[20;56] <frank> A. Online Classes; Gretchen Lowerison
[20;57] <frank> over to you gretchen
[20;57] <Carole> You should, Guys.  You were supurb!!!
[20;57] <Gretchen> Okay
[20;57] <Gretchen> Through the online survey we are able to see what courses *you* would like to see the Guild offer
[20;57] <Gretchen> We then take the results of the survey and see which courses "win"
[20;57] <Gretchen> Based on this information a call for instructors was posted in the newsletter
[20;58] <Gretchen> The response was tremendous! (we have done it twice now).
[20;59] <Gretchen> All of the people who expressed an interest were grouped according to subject and as a result we have a few new classes!
[20;59] <Gretchen> There are more to come.  We will soon be offering mini classes which specialize in specific topics such as TABLES
[21;00] <Gretchen> or specific JavaScript topics, etc.
[21;00] <Gretchen> Filling out the online survey or requesting classes lets us know what courses you are interested in!
[21;01] <Gretchen> That's it for me for now - I am sure that I will have more to say during the discussion!
[21;03] <frank> NThankyou gretchen
[21;03] <frank> B. AWARE Center; Kynn Bartlett 
[21;03] <frank> Sorry next item is B. AWARE Center; Kynn Bartlett 
[21;04] <Kynn> Okay, the Guild's Accessible Web Authoring Resources and Education Center (AWARE) has been around for several years now, and this year it's taken on even more importance. (more)
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[21;04] <Kynn> Why?  Because recent regulations in the U.S. -- called "Section 508" -- have been enacted that require all federal web sites and web applications to be accessible to people with disabilities. (more)
[21;05] <Kynn> This has sparked increasing interest in the AWARE Center and other activities related to web accessibility. (more)
[21;05] <Kynn> In previous times, we didn't have much of an "AWARE team" -- most of the work, sorry to say, has just been done by me.  When I started a new job over a year ago, that left little of my "spare time" to work on the AWARE Center. (more)
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[21;06] <Kynn> Thus, the web site got a little out of date, and we haven't had any new articles or links for a while. (more)
[21;06] <Kynn> I'm proud to say, however, that we have recently organized a new team of volunteers to help keep the center site up to date, produce new resources for our members, and help spread the word that "accessibility is important"!  (more)
[21;07] <Kynn> I am very enthused by the number of people interested and the quality; if anyone reading this wants to help, is the address to volunteer, and is the web site. (more)
[21;07] <Kynn> April is our annual accessibility month, and this is our fourth year doing that special focus, and we're pleased to be able to highlight the importance of this issue.  Also, a new version of the D201 Web Accessibility class started this
[21;08] <Kynn> That's about it for the report; if there are any questions, I will be happy to answer them in the discussion period.  Thanks! (done)
[21;08] <frank> Thanks kynn!
[21;09] <frank> next item
[21;09] <frank> E. XML and Project Gutenberg; Carole Gay 
[21;09] <frank> Over to you carole
[21;10] <frank> Yo there Carole?
[21;11] <frank> I will proceed with the next Item
[21;12] <frank> 5. Thanks to Retiring Members; Frank Boumphrey
[21;12] <frank> Gerald Oskoboiny
[21;12] <frank> gerald was one of the founding members of HWG
[21;12] <frank> he also writes the W3C validators
[21;13] <Joe> yes, sorry he's not here tonight.
[21;13] <Carole> Thanks, Frank.
[21;13] <frank> He is still active in Guild affairs though.
[21;14] <frank> I also want to mention jim barchuck
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[21;14] <frank> Jim is still active on the lists
[21;14] <frank> And he still gives invaluable advice to the board
[21;14] <Carole> This has, indeed been a very busy year.  The near and dear to our hearts Project Gutenberg is on the move.
[21;15] <frank> go ahead Carole
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[21;16] <frank> Carole you there?
[21;18] <Joe> I think Carole may be having technical difficulties.
[21;18] <frank> OK!!
[21;18] <frank> Last on my list is leanne Phillips
[21;19] <frank> Leanne has been with us since long before i joined
[21;19] <Carole> XML is being called, in some parts of the community, the ASCII for the 21st Century.  The beauty of XML is it's flexibility.  It's name explains much about what it is.  For those of you who don't know this, it full name is eXtensible Markup Language.  In XML, we are allowed to create our own tags.  It is for this reason that we use XML to markup the etexts we download for the Gutenberg Project.  I would urge all our members to enroll in t
[21;19] <frank> She was secretary, and always took on the difficult jobs
[21;19] <frank> She to stil stays in touch
[21;20] <frank> all three of them have earned their clocks!
[21;21] <frank> Chris has not given the treasurers report. We will post the three missing reports on the site
[21;21] <Kynn> (by the way, the reference to "clocks" is that an engraved desk clock is the traditional gift for retiring GB members)
[21;21] <frank> That is the end of the formal part of the meeting. joe, can we open the floor?
[21;21] *** Joe sets mode; -m
[21;22] <Kynn> Hi, members, are you guys still here? ;)
[21;22] <frank> Any Questions?
[21;22] <Joe> All set frank, everyone should be able to post.
[21;23] <L_Floyd> ;-)
[21;23] <AaronSw> approximately how many members are there in the guild?
[21;23] <Joe> Hi Aaron, approx. 125,000
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[21;24] <Fred> In over 150 countries at last count.
[21;24] <Joe> Hi Chris!
[21;24] <AaronSw> wow -- guess not all of them showed up tonight. ;-)
[21;24] <ChrisH> Hi Joe - apologies for being late
[21;25] <Gretchen> Think of the party we would have if all of the members showed up for the meeting!!
[21;25] *** Joe sets mode; +o ChrisH
[21;25] <frank> Aaron is a semantics whiz!
[21;25] <AaronSw> ;-)
[21;25] * AaronSw blushes -- thanks!
[21;25] <Kynn> Yeah, our meetings tend to be sparsely attended -- in general people seem to prefer the "services" of the Guild, like mailing lists and classes, than the "administrivia" of the guild like coming to MEETINGS.
[21;26] <AaronSw> heh, seems to be a pretty common thing. ;-)
[21;26] <Fred> Tell me about it. ;-)
[21;26] <jewels`> are there any plans to offer a class on design theory?
[21;26] <L_Floyd> Has the Guild ever thought about hosting a conference?
[21;27] <Kynn> Gretchen, you want the "design theory" question?
[21;27] <Gretchen> Yes! There is a class on design theory in the works.  SHould be available by the summer.
[21;27] <Kynn> I could take the "conference" question after that, or someone else can. ;)
[21;27] <jewels`> great ;)
[21;28] <Kynn> About a conference;  Yes, we've thought about it; mainly there have been logistics concerns and to date we have been concentrating on our internal infrastructure. (more)
[21;29] <Kynn> We all want to have a conference of sorts -- we just don't have the ability right now to support one. Various partners -have- approached us about a HWG conference and it is on our plans for the future, including our long term strategic 
[21;30] <Kynn> (done)
[21;30] <L_Floyd> Excellent.  I look forward to the first HWG conference!
[21;31] <Kynn> Me too.  I would say not this year, end of next year at the EARLIEST, it depends on how we go.  Our problems last year (which frank alluded to) set us back a bit on long term planning.
[21;31] <ChrisH> The HWG has been very active participating at other conferences
[21;32] <L_Floyd> Well, let me ask this (in the mean time);  what conference(s) does the Guild... uh... "recommend"?  The recommendation can be unofficial. ;-)
[21;33] <L_Floyd> (pardon my speeling )
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[21;33] <Kynn> Good question. Actually that might be a good question to ask on the hwg-techniques or hwg-basics mailing list(s) -- you could get more opinions than just those of the Board members that way! ;)
[21;34] <L_Floyd> Will do...  thanks.  (And perhaps I spoke too quickly regarding my spelling.) 
[21;35] <Kynn> Any other questions?
[21;35] <Kynn> This is your time to make suggestions, ask questions, share your experiences.
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[21;36] <L_Floyd> (we're a quiet bunch)
[21;37] * Kynn listens to the crickets chirp.
[21;37] * L_Floyd watches a tumble weed go by...
[21;38] <Kynn> Well, if anyone has any questions they didn't get asked, you can always write to me or other board members, or address the whole board by writing to Frank at and he can bring your questions to us.
[21;38] <ChrisH> OK guys - I'm about ready
[21;38] *** Kynn sets mode; +m
[21;38] <frank> Go ahead chris
[21;38] <ChrisH> My apologies for the delay getting here - we've had floods recently and a few road closures slowed me down
[21;39] <ChrisH> For the 2000 financial year, the Guild posted a loss of $25,199.78
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[21;40] *** Fred sets mode; +o Carole
[21;40] <ChrisH> Our cash on hand and assets were sufficient to cover this loss.
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[21;41] <ChrisH> This result was not entirely expected, and major changes have been instituted over the past 4 months to reverse the situation.
[21;41] *** Carole sets mode; +o Joe
[21;42] <ChrisH> There have also been significant management changes.
[21;42] <ChrisH> Some "one-only" expenses also make the fiscal situation look worse that it appears.
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[21;43] <ChrisH> In contrast, our outlook for 2001 looks much better, with a net income projected at around $60K (conservative estimate)
[21;44] <ChrisH> Some fo the changes we have made include a shift to new offices, the appointment of Kef Moulton as Executive Director, and Chris Weiss as Financial Controller
[21;45] <ChrisH> Already we are seeing improvements to operating efficiencies and the projected income for 2001 is quite realisable.
[21;46] <ChrisH> This isn't really a forum appropriate to lots of facts and figures, so I'd me happy to answer any specific questions.
[21;47] <Kynn> Thanks for the report, Chris!
[21;47] *** Kynn sets mode; -m
[21;47] <frank> Thanks Chris
[21;48] <ChrisH> More details will be available from the website when the Guild posts it's 990 forms
[21;49] <frank> Back to A and Q's
[21;51] <ChrisH> Looks like it's happened again - one mention of financials and everyone's eyes glaze over.
[21;51] <L_Floyd> 
[21;52] <Kynn> Well, that's good news then. ;)
[21;53] <ChrisH> It certainly is - and I'd like to publicly thank both Kef and Chris who have both worked very hard to achieve this turn-around.
[21;53] <Joe> I second that.
[21;54] <frank> So do i
[21;54] <Fred> And me.
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[21;54] <Kynn> Yes, I am very pleased with the EXCELLENT effort put forth by Guild staff during some very trying times and I would like to publically thank them as well. Bravo, well done Kef and Chris.
[21;55] <ChrisH> That's Chris Weiss, not me (for clarification ;-)
[21;55] <ChrisH> I think thanks is also due to our instructors
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[21;56] <ChrisH> They have done a great job, coping with continual changes as we strive to "cost" the courses appropriately.
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[21;57] <Carole> I commend them, too.  An excellent team!
[21;57] <ChrisH> I'm not convinced our current "formula" is ideal, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
[21;58] <Gretchen> Hi, Julia is having trouble posting.  She asks; I need to figure out why exactly my mails to the techniques list and the critique list won't go through to either list, all my settings are for straight non-HTML text MIME is turned off etc... but still they won't go through
[21;59] <ChrisH> Hi Julia - try sending me a post  and I'll deal with it after
[21;59] *** Joe sets mode; +m
[21;59] <ChrisH> Moving on to the mailing lists...
[21;59] *** Joe sets mode; -m
[22;00] <ChrisH> Our List Guide team has done a wonderful job keeping the lists running smoothly
[22;00] <ChrisH> The various topics-related lists appear to be working well.
[22;00] <jewels`> 'nite everyone ;)
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[22;01] <ChrisH> In line with keeping up to date with current trends, we have discontinued one list and are looking at introducing a replacement.
[22;01] <ChrisH> HWG-Standards was gradually phased out as it's charter was assumed by HWG-Techniques and HWG-XML
[22;02] *** Gretchen has quit IRC (Ping timeout.)
[22;02] <Julia> Attempts to post again
[22;02] <ChrisH> A potential list being considered is HWG-Testing - a list dedicated to critiquing web applications
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[22;03] *** Joe sets mode; +o Gretchen
[22;03] <ChrisH> HWG-Critique would remain for testing "web sites"
[22;04] <ChrisH> I'll close with a "THANKS" to all the List Guide volunteers.
[22;05] <Joe> thanks Chris.
[22;06] <Kynn> Yay, list guides!  They really help the quality of the HWG lists.
[22;08] <frank> Its approaching the witching hour! Shall we wrap it up?
[22;09] <Gretchen> It does seem pretty quiet
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[22;09] <Joe> Any questions, or items to discuss Aaron, Julia or L_Floyd?
[22;09] <Kynn> Or maybe just Aaron or Julia. ;)
[22;09] <Joe> er yeah
[22;10] <AaronSw> ehm, not really
[22;10] <Joe> ok!
[22;10] <Kynn> Yay!
[22;10] <Kynn> We can go home now. ;)
[22;10] <AaronSw> thanks all
[22;11] <Joe> thanks
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[22;12] <frank> thanks all
[22;12] <Gretchen> Thanks Frank!
[22;12] <Joe> motion to adjourn
[22;13] <Kynn> Second!
[22;13] <Fred> Thanks to everyone for coming.
[22;16] <Gretchen> Bye
[22;16] <ChrisH> Bye
[22;17] <Joe> Frank may be having technical difficulties, so I'd like to officially adjourn the meeting.
[22;17] <Joe> meeting adjourned.

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