Meeting Procedure

Brandon Tomlinson thebwt at
Wed Jan 13 22:48:02 GMT 2010

At the meeting we discussed how to hold meetings. Sounds silly, and it kinda
is, but we do need a set code of rules for doing such things. Instead of
having an intense discussion of it in the chat, we decided it would be
better to take it to the mailing list.

First and foremost, what is the purpose of meetings? We shape this purpose
around the fact that not everyone can attend them, and that not everyone is
on an even playing field when it comes to expressing their thoughts (or even
on digesting the thoughts of others) at the pace that is sometimes needed
via live chat.
I see chat "meetings" mainly as a venue for brainstorming. We throw ideas
around and such, then come back with a digest of the meeting (you know...
the phrase digest ,in relation to email, never made sense to me until I
typed that...). In these brainstorming sessions we wont be very clean in our
expression of ideas and such. The idea is to get everyone on the same page
and then make progress.
In my opinion (and the opinion of everyone else who has been discussing it)
is that meetings should not be for holding votes. I think we all agree so I
wont address this further.

On running a meeting.
A meeting is composed of topics. A meeting is planned ahead of time.
Sometimes the topics follow a theme. For example we could hold a meeting to
brainstorm and discuss ideas for a state jam, this would contain multiple
topics pertaining to similar subject manner. Sometimes the topics are
generic. For example, we have held meetings that discussed meeting procedure
and future organization events.
We currently have general meetings the first Sunday of the month, so those
are already scheduled. To propose a new meeting, you should pick a time and
day on the /meetings calendar and start setting up a page description.
Meetings don't have to be approved by anyone; people will be there, or
people will not be there.
A meeting needs a bit of oversight to keep everything in order, and to keep
the discussions productive. For the most part, the person who proposed the
meeting should direct the meeting, unless he/she differs the responsibility
to someone else. The director has the ability to decide the order of topics
to be discussed, hopefully prioritizing the topics that will be productive
and then can be done in a timely manner.
A meeting ends once the last topic is completed, or some time limit is

On topics.
A topic is proposed by adding it to the list of topics on the meeting
description. Topics don't need approval, the meeting director will give you
the floor when it is time for your topic.
Topics should be held so that the topic proposer has +v and the room is +m.
The proposer Explains his/her topic fully, clearly, and then opens of the
floor by taking down -m. This process can be fully handled by TXBot. The
meeting director should also always have +v, but naturally not interrupt the
topic leader unless it is absolutely needed.
Topics will have a predetermined time limit for the most part. If there is
time left at the end of the meeting, topics that need more discussion can be
returned to. If your topic looks like it is going to run over your limit,
find a good stopping point and ask to be delayed.

Use of Bots
Bots will be great for handling the +m's and -m's of the channel, it would
be great if the bot could parse a meeting description page and grab the
needed content (this can be done with regular expressions and a well done
meeting template). The bot will defer to the meeting director and topic

General Meeting Director
At the last meeting we discussed having a meeting chair position for all our
general meetings, so far I have done it. I have no problem continuing to do
so, but I know some may wish to see someone else do it. Perhaps we could
work out a circular position that everyone gets to hold at some point?
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