The asterisk paradox

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at
Fri Aug 10 16:30:16 UTC 2007

There was some discussion at the last meeting about how to use asterisk 
in the future for meetings or even if we should.  This has brought up an 
interesting problem:

Early adoption of asterisk is slow because not everyone has the 
equipment to use it.  People don't feel compelled to get the equipment 
because adoption is slow.

So what do we do about it?  I feel very strongly asterisk as a medium is 
much more efficient to use then IRC and helps bring the team together to 
work as a more cohesive unit.  I also believe it will do the same for 
other groups.  But we cannot do the meetings in asterisk at this time 
because it raises the barrier to entry by too much and provides no 
meeting logs.  So I'd like to propose the following possible solutions.

1)  Meet 15 minutes before or after the meeting for a 
supplemental-meeting in asterisk to shake out some things.  Then 
continue with the meeting in IRC as normal.
2)  Meetings in IRC are generally very slow, it might be worth it to do 
the meetings as normal but also have people log in to asterisk to bs and 
generally just chat, get to know each other a bit better.
3) Do as we did last week, have people who can't talk join the 
conference anyway and ask questions in the chat room while having 
someone transcribe and provide minutes.
4) ?  you come up with some.

In general I think 2) is most practical for now.  I'd prefer 3) since I 
think everyone can have headphones and listen in to the main meeting and 
ask questions in IRC but having someone volunteer to transcribe / 
summarize the meeting is a huge commitment.

This is a big change for us, having said that I think anyone who has 
used the technology will agree that it works very well.  It will work 
even better as people start to use it more and get used to their 
equipment and more people feel the need to get a proper mic/head set.  
Fedora is very much about new technologies and early adoption.  I'd love 
for us to be the first OSS community to use asterisk like this, and of 
course if Fedora is going to use it, the Infrastructure team should lead 
the way.  Having said that, any changes like this are raising the 
barrier to entry and that is just a dangerous thing to do.  As long as 
we still have IRC I think we'll be fine but this is something we must 
choose as a group.



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