Public forums in Mexico City

by Kieren McCarthy on February 11, 2009

If you were at the Cairo meeting, you will know that there was no small degree of irritation about the time that was available for the traditional open mic session on the Thursday.

If people are really keen, I can explain why that came about, but perhaps more importantly, we have ensured that there is plenty of time available at the Mexico City meeting next month for “public forum”.

In fact, there is four-and-a-half hours dedicated forum time: 90 minutes on the Monday solely covering the Applicant Guidebook; 30 minutes at the end of the Joint ACSO meeting; and two-and-a-half hours open-mic time on the Thursday.

Click here to visit our new online Question Box for Mexico City

Just to be clear: this is more open-mic time than at any ICANN meeting since Vancouver in 2005, and that meeting was marked out as being where both the dotcom contract and the .xxx application were discussed. We are also starting to separate out the delivery of reports (AC/SO chairs, staff and Board Committees) from “public forum” time, meaning open microphone time. That means that open microphone time is not dependent on anything else and stands alone as dedicated time.

Aside from the time issue, the other big concern the community has had is the ability to ask questions. Not everyone likes queuing up behind the public microphone and having to wait their turn to address an entire room of people.

Equally, the public forum has always been the most contentious meeting in terms of remote participation. In my role as general manager of public participation, I introduced and have followed chatrooms for the public forum in every meeting since Lisbon (March 2007), reading out questions and comments directly into the microphone.

This approach works, but not that well: chatrooms do not lend themselves very well to asking questions. So, in order to make things much easier for the community, there is now a very simple online question box.

Go to the Question Box

You type in your name, affiliation and email address. You give the broad area that the question is covering. You type in your question and then hit “Ask Your Question” and it is then in the system and we will make sure you receive an answer either in the forum itself, or in a response that we will produce in the weeks following the meeting (the hope of course is that everything will be answered on the day).

I hope that this online question box is self-explanatory, but it case you have any questions or queries, that is why this blog post exists – to enable you to raise them where others can see them, and to allow for responses to those queries to be easily found.

So, in summary – please use this question-box system. It is only as good as the use made of it. And I hope it will make for more enjoyable, informative and interesting public forum sessions in Mexico City.

You can visit the Question Box by clicking here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

gpmgroup 02.16.09 at 8:26 am

Hi Kieren,

Any chance of marking the sessions which will have remote access

i.e. the ones with a chatroom and the ones with ones with live audio /live video?

Perhaps a red * and/or # on each of fields for the remotely accessible sessions on <a href=”” title=”” page?

As we discussed before it would also be great to have permanent links to each remote resource on each of the individual session pages and for the links to be visible at all times.

(i.e. without having to login, simply because sometimes windows seem to get logged out / not logged in which makes it seem the resources are not available.

When you are not physically at the meeting there is no way of knowing which resources are starting late, not offered, not working, cancelled, or not being received simply your machine is not set up properly. Permanent links to all resources makes things a lot easier to diagnose.

Susan Reynolds 02.16.09 at 10:06 am

Thank you for the information Kieren!
It seems this time there will be a specific public forum for all those issues related to new gTLDs and the applicants’ guidebook, on Monday. At what time will that be? Will there be an open mic? Is it possible to raise comments/questions on new gTLDs during Thursday’s public forum?
And another question concerning the Question Box. If we are actually attending the meeting, do we have to write our questions there or can we do it “live” at the meeting?

Thank you very much.

Kieren McCarthy 02.16.09 at 1:46 pm

@ Susan: The Applicant Guidebook session will be 11:00 to 12:30 on Monday 2 March in the main room. It is on the online schedule and there is a dedicated webpage for the meeting.

There will be an open mic – you will be able to ask your questions physically. The Question Box is there for people who either cannot attend or do not wish to stand up in a room full of people to ask their question. If you won’t be attending, you need to submit your question to the Question Box before 5pm on Friday 27 Feb for it to have a chance of being asked.

I hope that clears everything up – if not, please just comment back.

@ gpmgroup: Yes, sure re: some kind of tag that shows remote participation. I will get on it as soon as I have a second.

And thanks for reminding me re: chatrooms. I am planning to experiment with expanding the embeddable chatroom, but for those that don’t have that, yes, we need to add a note that makes it clear to people that if they login, a chatroom will appear.

gpmgroup 02.17.09 at 2:11 am

Thanks Kieren, thats great. I’m sure it will help people who are unable to visit the actual meeting.

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