HTML Writers Guild Guild Operations Events Post Meeting

Post 1999 Membership Meeting Log

18 February 1999

Post-meeting discussion after 1999 Membership Meeting.

[21:48] <Kynn> Adjourned.
[21:49] <Kynn> heh //gavel
[21:49] <felan> Long waiting time there, Kynn, for opposition. :)
[21:49] <Kynn> Okay, NOW if anyone would like to say something, please /msg me.
[21:49] <Kynn> Oh, what the heck, we have a tiny audience -- if ya'll agree to behave and not talk over other people, I'll just turn off the +m.
[21:49] *** Kynn sets mode: -m
[21:50] <felan> Don't be shy, anyone with questions please speak up. :)
[21:51] <Kynn> Anyone here want to say anything? If not, I'll just go home. :)
[21:51] <Whirrett> I would like to discuss ways to get the general membership more involved in town meetings and things.
[21:51] <felan> D'you have any ideas, Whirrett? Anything you do have, we're open to listening for; we're not sure what else to do, besides the newsletter and an hwg-announce posting.
[21:52] <Rick> I' am new here ,so please forgive any ignorance I may show.
[21:52] <Whirrett> I don't think many people actually read the newsletters or the List FAQ's for that matter.
[21:52] <Whirrett> I'm all for dragging them in :)
[21:53] <felan> Probably not. That's a general feature of documentation everywhere.
[21:53] <greens> Tonight, there is what 10 to 12 attendees and 4 or 5 board members? ANd the new appointee did not show.
[21:54] <Whirrett> As a member of the LGP, we here the grumblings when something is not going right but no one wants to show up and be heard.
[21:54] <greens> Leanne, how many members total (didn't see a fianl count just deltas)?
[21:55] <JoshG> I find the report about the lack of quorum disturbing - out of 90,000 members (2,500 Full members), one would hope there'd be a little more enthusiasm
[21:55] <felan> Do you encourage them to go to the meetings? The whole point of the meetings is so people can talk to us directly if they want mroe than just email.
[21:55] <felan> Oh, er, 90,000.
[21:55] <Whirrett> What kind of response do you get on the HWG website as far as the suggestion box? Do people take the time to even make suggestions?
[21:55] <greens> Did anyone send out a reminder for the session today/last night?
[21:55] <Kynn> We get maybe one suggestion each week or two.
[21:55] <Whirrett> Yes, I try to remind everyone on my ICQ list to attend as well.
[21:55] <felan> There are generally one or two a month; sometimes they're things that aren't appropriate, such as requests for help that would do better on a mailing list, or a request to be removed.
[21:56] <Kynn> Josh, the lack of quorum disturbed all of us, too. :(
[21:56] <felan> Those that are like that, we redirect them to the right place, every other suggestion is carefully considered.
[21:57] <felan> It disturbed me, certainly. I was on the Nomination Committee of last year, and it was very depressing to go through months of hard work for... I think it was 56 out of the required 89 people voted.
[21:57] <Whirrett> I don't know if anyone keeps track of the occupations, etc. of the members but it is my opinion that the majority are HTML hobbyists with regular jobs.
[21:57] <Whirrett> I think the GB is overwhelming to some - it was to me when I first joined.
[21:58] <Kynn> We are planning on having a comprehensive member survey sometime this year to track that kind of information, Lisa.
[21:58] <Whirrett> Great! I'd be really interested to know for sure.
[21:59] <greens> I'm not sure overwhelming is the right term. They just may not understand what rules it plays by/with
[21:59] <felan> Really, greens?
[21:59] <greens> yep!
[22:00] <FredB> Well, that comes down to people not reading...
[22:00] <Kynn> Lisa, the GB or the HWG?
[22:00] <felan> What sorts of rules are we talking about? The only true serious rules are in the bylaws, everything else can be modified to suit. Eg, we have a new rule-of-working about the Town Meetings, for instance, but...
[22:00] <FredB> cause the bylaws we have to operate under are posted.
[22:01] <Whirrett> Is there anyone who acts as sort of a liason between the board and the membership?
[22:01] <greens> By Lws, yes. But as Leanne says everything is modified to suit ...
[22:01] <Kynn> Something we plan to work on soon is introduction material for new members -- an orientation, so to speak, for both new members and old members looking to get the most of their Guild membership.
[22:01] <felan> Not the bylaws. We don't modify those just on a whim, as it were.
[22:01] <Kynn> Liaison? Not as such -- anyone is free to approach anyone on the Board with concerns, suggestions, and thoughts.
[22:02] <Chris> esp useful Kynn, since things have changed so much!
[22:02] <felan> Any change to _those_ rules has a LOT of thought and discussion put into it.
[22:02] <felan> What sorts of things would a liaison do, in your view, Whirrett?
[22:02] <Chris> I'm sure there are members who joined under one system but don't understand there is a new system in places
[22:02] <greens> By laws, yes. But as Leanne says everything else is modified to suit (it's late over here)
[22:02] <Whirrett> I think a lot of people think of the board as unreachable... if that is the right term. Like a "is anyone really going to care what I say" kind of mentality.
[22:03] <Kynn> Chris, yes, there are likely some, although at the time of changeover we emailed both all the (new) Full members and the general membership as well.
[22:03] <greens> Just last week, one of the list guides posted that the hwg-ops list is active
[22:03] <felan> (It's entirely possible that we don't understand what people want from us, that's why we want to talk to people at the Town Meetings, to find out...)
[22:03] <felan> There's an operations forum on WebX, greens, did they mean that?
[22:03] <Chris> Darn!! That still slips through occaisoinally!
[22:03] <felan> You'll fix it, yes, Chris? :)
[22:03] <Kynn> Lisa, do you have suggestions on how we can change their perceptions? Have those people tried the suggestion box or the town hall meetings, or emailing the Board?
[22:03] <greens> yes, she? said she update the message/faq
[22:04] <Whirrett> Liason - just a regular member or a few that people would feel comfortable with
[22:04] <Chris> Often a cut and paste error when LGs are preparing weekly FAQs
[22:04] <greens> who are responsive (as in quick response)
[22:04] <Kynn> Yes, the references to hwg-ops are just simple human error -- sorta like how the newsletter was doubled, the latest issue. :)
[22:04] <Whirrett> For me personally, I am totally overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge the GB members possess.
[22:04] <felan> Knowledge? Us?
[22:05] <Kynn> Felan knows nothing and denies everything. :)
[22:05] <FredB> You've met me, have you Lisa. <VBG>
[22:05] <felan> I do not! I deny that!
[22:05] <greens> no, the other GB members (just kidding)
[22:05] <Kynn> Lisa, if you want a really personable GBer, you can try Fred here, who is one of the nicest people I know.
[22:05] <Whirrett> Like the Basics list says "there is no such thing as a stupid question here" but a lot of people think their questions are stupid so they don't ask.
[22:05] <FredB> Make that "never" met me (can't type tonight!!)
[22:05] <Kynn> I'm not saying he lacks knowledge himself :), but I know he is a lot less intimidating than, say, me.
[22:06] <Whirrett> You? Intimidating?? :)
[22:06] <felan> Fred is so nice as to be scary. Lisa, the problem is, I don't know how they'd get comfortable with them.
[22:06] <felan> Kynn is a big bear.
[22:06] * JoshG asks for the conch shell
[22:06] <greens> HOw many active volunteers are there (out of 90,000)?
[22:06] <Whirrett> Joining the LGP made me feel more comfortable.
[22:06] <Whirrett> I wouldn't have went to a Town Hall Meeting if not for that.
[22:06] <FredB> I find Gillberg intimidating (1000 points to the person who identifies the reference)
[22:06] <Kynn> Lisa, the main problem here is _perception_. People think that because we have been silly enough to accept Guild responsibilities, they don't think they can approach us.
[22:06] <Chris> LGP - about 19 volunteers
[22:07] <Kynn> There's about 50 Guild volunteers, all told, I'd say.
[22:07] <FredB> we had about 12 Logo Team members when I left.
[22:08] <Kynn> So, you see, the problem is perception rather than the truth; the truth is, the Guild is pretty responsive, at the GB level, to what the members have to say.
[22:08] * JoshG has a number of lines prepared...
[22:08] <Whirrett> Without the membership, there'd be no Guild and there has to be a way to make people understand that it is "their" Guild.
[22:08] <felan> Or at least, _we_ perceive it as such.
[22:08] <Kynn> Sometimes, though, the members simply don't speak up. We've given them as many channels as we could in order to do so.
[22:08] <JoshG> In a recent note to Mike McGhan, I offered assistance with some of the services on the web wite. I said,
[22:08] <JoshG> "As a member of a couple of professional organisations (IEEECS, ISOC, ISOC_AU
[22:08] <JoshG> and, of course, HWG), I have a particular pleasure in volunteering my time
[22:08] <JoshG> to lend assistance.
[22:08] <JoshG> "Members' contributions should be more than just fees paid. The articles of
[22:08] <JoshG> these types of organisations, if they do nothing else, hold up collaboration
[22:08] <JoshG> and cooperation of peers as the primary purpose of association. If we aren't
[22:08] <JoshG> doing that, we are just sucking up information and giving nothing in return."
[22:09] <JoshG> Now that my subscriptions to the mailing lists are coming through, I have already started responding to some of the queries, either to the list or to the individual.
[22:09] <JoshG> I'm suprised that there are so many members. The activity belies that fact. Even the "hobbyist" organizations I belong to with a couple of hundred members generate far more activity than HWG at present.
[22:09] <JoshG> The HWG certainly has a critical mass, even in Full members, to become an active and rich source of information for its members.
[22:09] <JoshG> I would hope that we all go away and think about some ways to stimulate the membership. I don't have much off the top of my head.
<Joe> what do you mean by activity Josh?
[22:10] <greens> Well, is the 90,000 real? Or is it that 90,000 people at one time or another joined HWG?
[22:10] <felan> At last estimate, and I haven't made an estimate in several months, there's only a few thousand people subscribed to the 'regular' lists (eg, everything excepting hwg-news, to which everyone is).
[22:10] <felan> Classes is drawing a fair amount of attention.
[22:10] <felan> 90,000 *currently* in the Guild.
<Joe> I don't understand. Real? it's the amount of current members.
[22:10] <Kynn> The 90,000 is "real" in the sense that they have completed the application and joined the Guild, as per the bylaws. :)
[22:11] <Kynn> The mailing lists are only a small portion of the Guild, and no individual list has more than say a few thousand subscribers.
[22:11] <greens> Right, but are they still "there"? As I understand Trial M., you join but never have to upgrade or re-indicate interest
[22:12] <JoshG> Joe: when I join an online-based organisation, I'm usually swept away with a plethora of information and things to get involved with - sometimes too much
[22:12] <Kynn> In the sense that anyone is 'there' in a virtual organization, I would say that the vast majority of the 90,000 are 'there'.
[22:12] <FredB> They're "real" if they're still subbed to -news.
[22:12] <Kynn> Josh, lots of members got "swept away" and thus unsubscribed from the lists due to volume. :)
[22:12] <JoshG> fair
[22:13] <Whirrett> I feel like I am not making a whole lot of sense - nothing unusual there :) Let me put it this way... Kynn, it is well known that you have your own business, travel to various conferences, etc... therefore, people assume you are too busy to be bothered with their ideas. Does that make more sense?
[22:13] <JoshG> Looking at the $$ from membership and, particularly, the class, though, I'd have to say that there is super interest in the organisation - just not a lot of members putting something back into it (per my message to Mike M)
[22:14] <felan> That's a good way of phrasing it, Lisa.
[22:14] <Kynn> Trial members are contacted at the end of a year as trial members -- and offered the chance to upgrade, or continue as trial, or I suppose resign if they don't like it.
[22:14] <greens> That's my question. "swept away". Most folsk can ignore a once a month mailing. <grin>
[22:14] <Kynn> Yes, Lisa, but it's not a good assumption, as anyone who's written me with a Guild concern could attest. :) It's my _job_ to read this!
[22:14] <felan> Twice a month, now!
[22:14] <JoshG> MAybe this overlaps with Lisa's point that there may not be a sense of "ownership" by the members - despite the hard work by the board.
[22:15] <FredB> and Kynn isn't the opnly GB member either.
[22:15] <greens> Not yet! <grin>
[22:15] <Kynn> Sarah, most people may want have an ignorable Guild. :) To be honest, many people want just what the Guild gives them: affiliation and a logo
[22:15] <Kynn> So, if we have a Guild that is ignorable, in some way, then we are meeting the needs of THOSE members.
[22:15] <JoshG> ::shrugs:: I tend to agree with Kynn
[22:16] <felan> The Board doesn't mind such people, but unless they ask for more, we focus on the ones who do contact us asking for more.
[22:16] <Chris> And those responsible for writing a website may only need help once a year when they update it.
[22:16] <Kynn> And if we have a Guild that is ignorable _and_ provides other services for those people who want more, then we are meeting nearly eveyrone's needs!
[22:16] <JoshG> :)
[22:16] <Whirrett> I just used Kynn as a reference. To the housewife in Michigan, you all appear very busy with more important things. I just think a lot of people would feel more comfortable with someone like them. Basic psychology really...
[22:16] <felan> People like you folks, the people who asked for classes, etc. :)
[22:16] <Kynn> Whirrett, do you know what Fred does for a living?
[22:16] <Kynn> Er Lisa.
[22:17] <Kynn> I try to call you by your first name if I know it, not your IRC nick. :)
[22:17] <felan> But Lisa, how do we convince them that we're just like them?
[22:17] <felan> I don't travel. I hate travelling. I do work, but not in web design.
[22:17] <greens> Okay, I'll bite. What does Fred do?
[22:17] <FredB> Nothing
[22:17] <Kynn> :)
[22:18] <FredB> I'm disabled, and can't work.
[22:18] <FredB> Not at a "regular" job anyway.
[22:18] <Kynn> Fred is a Guild volunteer, too, and a damn good one. :) So you _do_ work, lots of it, but not the typical "jet setting high profile web guru" type.
[22:18] <felan> He works just great for _us_, though. :)
[22:18] <Whirrett> Maybe something on index of the HWG site that tells about "Your Governing Board" - some personal interest information or something.
[22:19] <FredB> cut it, I'm starting to blush over here. :-)
[22:19] <felan> Like the bios? Where is the bios, Kynn?
[22:19] <Kynn> I asked for it, Lisa, and almost nobody wrote anything for me, present company excluded.
[22:19] <felan> Did I write anything for you?
[22:19] <Kynn> I think I have bios from Leanne and Fred that I need to put on the site, plus my own, Ann's, Gerald's, and Frank's.
[22:19] <JoshG> And maybe a Mentor programme where those less timid (moi) can help those looking for help
[22:19] <felan> I don't even remember.
<Joe> No, I haven't written anything yet Kynn
[22:19] <felan> There's a mentor program if I could just get my volunteers to get back to me.
[22:20] <Kynn> Joe, you work for an ISP in Michigan, right?
[22:20] <JoshG> ...In a more direct way than the lists provide
[22:20] <Kynn> Minnesota.
<Joe> I've started to about 80 times, but just haven't gotten to it
[22:20] <Kynn> Sorry, wrong Mi* place.
[22:20] <felan> If you want to email me about it I'll send you the program description and draft you to help, Josh. :)
<Joe> Yeah, I'm a network admin at a Mpls ISP.
[22:20] <Whirrett> Kynn, I would feel more comfortable with you if I knew what you did besides the professional stuff. I visited your site months ago, then your wife's and after visiting your wife, felt like you were more approachable :)
[22:20] <Ryan> I'm a mentor, and I haven't heard anything about the mentor program in a couple months. I'm all ears, though!
[22:20] <Kynn> Heh.
[22:20] <felan> I did send you that, didn't I, Ryan?
[22:20] <Kynn> I'm more approachable than my wife?
[22:20] <felan> I have this List Of Things To Do.
[22:20] <Ryan> Yeah, you did. I haven't heard anything else, though.
[22:20] <JoshG> n/p Leanne :)
[22:21] <Whirrett> Your wife made you seem human... hehehe
[22:21] <Kynn> Ohhh, okay.
[22:21] <JoshG> ?
[22:21] <felan> Yup, Josh.
[22:21] <greens> No, you're more approachable because of your wife. & the Tibetan Mastiffs
[22:21] <Kynn> You mean after seeing Liz's page, you decided I'm a normal person.
[22:21] <Whirrett> or maybe just the fact that you had a wife... just kidding!
[22:21] <Kynn> Maybe I should put _her_ bio on the Guild site!
[22:22] <felan> Here's a thought that I have no idea if we'd ever implement it, but why not mention it in the spirit of brainstorming?
[22:22] <felan> Anyway, the thought:
[22:23] <felan> If we wrote a monthly or, say, bimonthly short mailing about a specific program or thing we were planning, longer than the very short things in the newsletter, and sent it out to -news, would that be a) irritating to people b) skipped over by people c) rea
[22:23] <felan> Sort of like having guest speakers at the town hall meetings, as I've done a time or two.
[22:23] <felan> er, read and found useful
[22:24] <Ryan> I think it's a good idea, but it kinda sounds like the same thing -announce is supposed to do.
[22:24] <FredB> Didn't I suggest using -news a bit more once??
[22:24] <felan> Well... I was thinking more along a letter from the editor style thingie.
[22:24] <felan> Probably, Fred.
[22:24] <Whirrett> It would be nice to know what is going on behind the scenes more often, but again, whoever wrote it would need to be careful not to have it sound too business like.
[22:24] <felan> I draw my best ideas from other people's ideas. :)
[22:25] <Kynn> Well, one thing we are planning is a sort of journal/ezine on the web. We're planning both some "harder stuff" (technical how-tos, etc), and "softer stuff" like this.
<Joe> "ah, if you become a volunteer, you'll get first hand knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes ;)
[22:25] <felan> Oh, that's true. I forgot that stuff would go in there too.
[22:25] <FredB> I know I thought about it, just don't remember if I ever actually brought it up.
[22:25] <greens> could try a brainstorming mailing list
[22:26] <Whirrett> I for one would volunteer to write something now and again about what the GB and others behind the scenes are doing.
[22:26] <Chris> resurrect HWG-Talk
[22:26] <Kynn> Email me and when the journalzine gets beyond the planning stage, Lisa, I can put you on the project.
[22:26] <Chris> If you wanted a brainstorming list that is.
[22:26] <JoshG`> (rassin frassin Pacific links)
[22:26] <Kay> How do you become a volunteer? -and what do they do?
[22:26] <Whirrett> Okay. Thanks
[22:27] <Kynn> You see something you want to do and you ask the right people and you do it, Kay. :) It depends on what the specific task is.
[22:27] <felan> What they do depends on the program, Kay. There's the List Guide program (although they have plenty of people right now, YAY), the mentor program, other things.
[22:27] <FredB> The web site site has a list of openings, and there's also a -volunteers mailing list.
[22:27] <Kynn> Lisa, maybe you could write a regular 'spotlight on volunteer/GB member' feature for the journalzine.
[22:28] <Kynn> -volunteers got supercede by -announce.
[22:28] <Kay> Are those one of the things that are limited to 'real' members?
[22:28] <FredB> Ooops! Thought it was still active.
[22:28] <Kay> Not including Trial
[22:28] <felan> Volunteering? Lordy no.
[22:28] <Kynn> Full members? No, Trial members can do anything in the Guild besides serve on the Board.
[22:28] <felan> Anyone can volunteer, and is encouraged to.
[22:28] <Chris> Anyone can volunteer Kay
[22:29] <Kay> Okay then, I'll look into that -thanks
[22:29] <JoshG`> I volunteer Kay (/me loves English ambiguity)
[22:29] <JoshG`> heh
[22:29] <Kynn> And, in fact, there is a new program that will be (is?) in place that allows volunteers to earn credits toward full membership. Chris, has Ann officially released the details on volunteer credits to program managers yet?
[22:29] <Kynn> I can't remember the status of that (it's one of Ann's projects, not one of mine)
[22:29] <felan> I don't think it's officially available yet; Ann and I wanted to do a trifle bit mroe work first.
[22:30] <felan> more, even.
[22:30] <Kynn> Probably something we can work out soonish.
[22:30] <felan> We need a better tracking method, so we can make sure no volunteer gets lost in the cracks with it. Yeah, we're planning for soon.
[22:31] * JoshG` was hoping there'd be something sensible like that
[22:32] <Chris> No Kynn, not yet (sorry - had a visitor)
[22:33] <Kynn> Okay, yeah, it's still under final revisions then. :)
[22:33] <felan> I need to head off, but as always, anyone who wants to email me to talk about things is welcome to.
[22:33] <greens> an idea on activating the members: talk to the folks or java lobby and see what numbers they see
[22:34] <JoshG`> Well, I have a late client luncheon to attend (Friday schmoozing). It was nice to meet you.
[22:34] * JoshG` waves 'tata'
[22:36] <Whirrett> I need to head out too. Nice talking to you all. Kynn, which email address should I contact you at -
[22:37] <Kynn> is preferred, or, or
[22:37] <Kynn> They all end up the same place.
[22:37] <Whirrett> Okay. Goodnight everyone :)
[22:37] <FredB> Night Lisa
[22:38] <Kynn> Looks like this is breaking up for the evening.
[22:38] <FredB> Yep.
[22:38] <Kynn> If anyone else has any comments, here's the time to make them!
<Joe> thanks all. Goodnight

[Valid HTML 4.0!]
This page is maintained by Last updated on 25 February 1999.
Copyright © 1999 by the HTML Writers Guild, Inc.