[cabfpub] FW: Associate member of the CA/B Forum

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Mon Apr 11 21:23:53 UTC 2016

On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM, kirk_hall at trendmicro.com <
kirk_hall at trendmicro.com> wrote:

> Given that the list is Public, and both Interested Parties and Associate
> Members can participate, this seems an entirely appropriate venue. If there
> are items being discussed on our calls or meetings that aren't reflected
> completely to the list (as I expressed concern about), isn't that
> symptomatic of a broader issue that won't be solved by adding associate
> members?
> See comments above.  Associate Members will also participate with comments
> on the Public List just as Members do, so presumably their views will be
> widely distributed there.  But in many cases the greatest value can come
> from someone in the room saying on the spot “Wait a moment, have you
> thought of this?” and giving us all immediate feedback.  I think that can
> be lost in email strings.
That generally seems to be an idealised form of how our meetings work. Most
often, it's rehashing what's been said on the list multiple times and in
multiple ways, but is somehow new to members (e.g. implying they're not
following the list).

I agree that immediate and real time feedback can provide value, but as
we've seen from the past several meetings, there's a growing attempt to
pre-load a lot of the discussion in advance (re: the topic of "discussion
leaders" and sending out notes in advance of the F2F). It would seem that
many times, our F2F discussions are rehashing what has been said a variety
of ways on the list, or potentially explaining the technical background for
the less-technical members of the group - particularly when the spec
addresses it.

I also think that under your model of 'trade associations' being Associate
Members, the probability of real-time actionable feedback is a bit less,
precisely because it's no one single organization being represented, but a
diverse set of members who may have differing requirements. So we can't
reasonably expect an Associate Member to, on the spot, explain something,
much in the same way it's already challenging for Member CAs to commit to
things (i.e. the usual "I'd need to go back to
Policy/Legal/Compliance/Technical and get feedback on the proposal")

As I prefaced my original remarks, we've been strong proponents of greater
participation in the Forum, and welcome contributions from new members and
interested parties alike. Certainly, we build a robust system by making
sure to consider the diversity of positions and feedback. However, having
participated in a number of SDOs, experience has been that without strong
agenda setting, without deep investment in the ecosystem from participants,
and without great investments into transparency and openness, having
greater real-time participants is often directly and negatively correlated
with the value of such real-time meetings. I would think, especially given
the diverse stakeholders that such umbrella organizations reflect, the
asynchronous nature of list-discussions provides greater, not less,
opportunity for participation and involvement.
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