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Re: [council] Fw: [wg-review] Concerns

Dear Names Council,

Below is the response I sent to Dr Gendron as chair of the wg. I hope you 
will agree that it is appropriate, and that I haven't misrepresented the 
NC's positions in any way.

It seems to me that we have a chicken and egg situation with outreach and 
consensus. Many people don't participate because they don't think they'll 
be taken seriously. At the same time, the NC has trouble taking material 
seriously when there isn't broad participation. Certainly a more 
standardized and published methodology will help. There is one other thing 
that might help as well, and only you can do it.

Explicit public statements from the NC members that despite the relatively 
small number of active group participants, you support the WG in it's 
attempts to quantify responses and will consider those responses carefully 
would help. Because of the dilemma above, I recognize that this would be a 
leap of faith on your part. I believe it would be justified, and would give 
us something concrete to point to when trying to persuade more people to 


At 06:49 AM 1/25/01, Dr. Michael S. Gendron wrote:

> > I think our work is vital, but we need to model ourselves on standard
> > business processes.  Some ideas - set agenda's, have focus group/moderated
> > discussions, set interim goals so we know when we have accomplished
> > something - not goalss like "get the report done,"


We have a work plan with established goals and dates. We have an agenda of 
items to deal with. Yes, it's very frustrating in many ways here. One of my 
personal frustrations is creating a work plan, posting it for comment, 
having it ignored, and then reading posts about how "we need a work plan". 
You can review the most recent version of it at 

This week was supposed to be for discussing the multilingual issues and 
suggested ideas. Pilar posted the summary of the discussion points several 
days ago. There has been very little response to the specifics of it, which 
is extremely disappointing.

Tomorrow we will revist the constituencies discussion for 4 days, finally, 
and hopefully come up with some more concrete proposals. As we move through 
the schedule, we need someone to summarize prior discussions and collate 
our material on the General Assembly, on the Names Council, on Working 
Groups. Eric has volunteered to do this for Outreach. Joanna is working on 
creating web pages for easier reference to our prior agreed upon documents. 
David Farrar has offered to help formulate our polling and voting questions 
so that we have a more professional approach on that aspect of our work. We 
have volunteers to help in doing translations. Joop is administering our votes.

Producing something like Kent Crispin's document on Working Groups can 
provide an excellent starting point for a topic area. I haven't asked Kent 
yet, but if he doesn't object, I'd like to use that as a basis for 
discussion when we get to working groups.

We need someone to collate all the suggestions about technology support 
into a summary for discussion and recommendations. This isn't a theoretical 
exercise, either - the NC is going to be looking at different hosting and 
secretariat arrangements in the very near future. If we can identify what 
kinds of infrastructure would make our work easier, we will have 
contributed directly to the specification process.

It's easy to take the "broad overview", and much harder to do the mundane 
work of collating, summarizing, writing, and fleshing out the plan. All of 
those people are doing that, and we need more volunteers to handle more of 
it. I think Kent posted at one point something along the lines of "a 
working group is for doing work", and part of the work are the rather dull 
tasks of actually following the plan.

Is ICANN is taking what we're doing seriously? The Names Council is. During 
the NC teleconference, which I was in as a listen-only participant, people 
appreciated the amount of material which we were able to get to the task 
force by the 15th, despite the time constraints and misunderstandings. The 
questions we've voted on will be incorporated in the review copy of the 
task force report, and those position papers we agree on will be posted to 
the report during the comments period, and can key directly to those 
references in the report.

The Names Council could have said "WG-Review expired on January 15th, and 
no longer exists." That was part of the initial terms of reference. They 
didn't - they asked us to continue. Are they going to accept everything we 
produce as is? Probably not - we're just one part of the process, not the 
entire process. Are they going to look at it seriously? Yes.

In some ways, this WG is an experiment in how to make working groups 
function better and more inclusively. What works here has a good chance of 
getting adopted by future groups - what doesn't work can be discarded.

> > I am willing to help, get involved, get more people involved, but we 
> need to organize this WG.

Great! which of the areas would you like to work on? One of the things that 
could be really helpful, in addition to the above tasks, would be to 
summarize the material a newcomer to the ICANN process needs to know, with 
links to supporting documents and information. Bret Busby has had a lot of 
comments in that area - perhaps you and he might work together on creating 
such a document for our consideration in the "procedures" segment?


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