Re: Board meeting minutes - was (Re: A question for the candidates)


On 05/28/12 12:06 AM, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:

[just a bit of backstory, here, also to help out eventual other
candidates in case I'm not elected] the meeting minutes are written
down during the meeting itself by using a collaborative editor, so
that everyone on the meeting can actually review in real time what's
being written (this also helps in case I could not hear or understand
what was being said, or when I am talking about some topic/action
item, in which case I cannot really take notes).

It was Vincent's idea to use a collaborative editor, and something we
started really using in my first term as director.  I think it does
make minute taking a lot easier.  Since Karen, Zana, and multiple
directors tend to help with the note-taking, the notes end up better

after the meeting is over, the minute is published on the Foundation's
restricted wiki space, for further review, in case I missed a private
section, or I was being overzealous with one, as well as for clearing
up some of the action items.

after some time pass, the wiki page for the minutes is copied over to
the public section of the Foundation's wiki space, and the contents
are sent using an email.

none of this is automated: Brian was "just" exceptionally good at
sending out minutes every two weeks. :-)

I can confirm that our process is not very automated, and putting
together good minutes is time consuming.  I would say the work
Emmanuele has done compares well with the work done by other GNOME
Foundation secretaries.  While they have not been as timely as they
could be, the quality of the content has remained high.

During my two terms as secretary, I did most of the work of preparing
the agenda even though agenda preparation is really the role of the
president.  This year, since I have been acting as president, I have
been preparing the agendas.  The last week's minutes (whether made
public or not) are used as a template to build the agenda for the next
meeting, which is also on our internal wiki.  While preparing the
agenda, I will fill out the "Discussed on the mailing list" section
and many of these topics feed into the new agenda.  In this regards,
the process has been working very well in the past year.  I think the
job of putting together the minutes works best when the President and
Secretary work together like this.  So this is an area of improvement.

my main two issues as serving as secretary this year were being
overzealous with people reviewing my note-taking (not a native english
speaker, and the conference call phone line can be pretty messy at
times), as well as reviewing the private sections. the first issue can
be ascribed to me being in my first term;

As I am putting together the agenda, I review and update the minutes
when I notice ways to improve it.  I think many board members do the
same.  Your English is quite good, and I rarely find myself correcting

Meeting minutes seems crucial to run a public discussion between the board
and its members as Germán has highlighted and it's not because no one asked
that no one thought it was not important anymore.

I agree with you, and if I'm serving as secretary on the next term,
I'll make a point of addressing my obvious shortcoming of this term.

It was ambitious of you to take on an officer position in your first
term, and I think you should better recognize the good work you have
been doing even in the face of constructive criticism.


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