[Baypiggies] BayPIGgies leadership

Dennis Reinhardt DennisR at dair.com
Sat Apr 8 04:04:23 CEST 2006

At 02:28 PM 4/7/2006, you wrote:
>I do think the recent suggestion of putting announcements at the end of
>the meeting is good: it gets the meeting going quickly; people who aren't
>interested in announcements can leave; and people who are interested can
>find the annnouncer immediately after the announcement.

Thanks.  I have been thinking more about the suggestion and would like to 
refine it.

The early '80s Homebrew Computer held (wildly IMO) successful meetings with 
no speaker at all.  Their meetings started with an hour or so of what we 
call "announcements".  Announcements, per se, are not the problem.  Indeed, 
we would improve our announcement process along the Homebrew model so very 
few would want to leave.

Homebrew formalized the announcement process: First there was a "mapping" 
session followed by a "random access" session.  In the mapping session, 
people would get up and announce the topic of what they had to say.  They 
did *not* expound, discuss the subject matter, or offer verbal bullet 
points.  This was the "news" equivalent of reading the headline 
only.  Questions, slow delivery, and follow-up from the floor were all 
squelched by the moderator.

The mapping sessions only purpose was to let the audience know who they 
wanted to contact during the immediately following random access 
session.  In random access, people would scramble to go talk (or not) with 
people who made announcements during mapping.

I think this model is something to contemplate.  A mapping session is a 
mapping session...  Topic announcements are *brief* (~60 seconds tops) and 
without followup.  The moderator cuts off the long-winded.

In Homebrew, a substantial fraction of the audience ended up making an 
announcement (50%?).  The mapping -> random access paradigm worked to 
efficiently connect Homebrew attendees, one to another.  I think there is a 
potential here to learn more about each other.

Now there may well be exceptional short discussion or presentation items of 
general interest (e.g. a report).  Fine.  Let's schedule them on the agenda 
and with a discussion leader for the topic who is responsible for coherence 
and time budget.

Regards, Dennis

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