Meeting minutes, making them easier to find, and why that is useful

We have great resources in Fedora for knowing what is going on: FWN, the Fedora Weekly News, is one of those places; hanging out in #fedora-meeting on IRC is a great place to browse once in a while.   Reading the Fedora Planet on a daily/weekly/as-you-can basis is also invaluable for getting highlights of what people are accomplishing in Fedora-land.

A quick look at the meetbot index says to me, unscientifically, that Fedora has approximately 15-20 meetings a week in various IRC channels, including #fedora-meeting.  ALL of these meetings have interesting things happening (because Fedora is awesome like that). And it’s incredibly hard for people who aren’t on all mailing lists to see what’s going on in all of those meetings.  (MeetBot, as a side note, is the bot that hangs out in the majority of Fedora IRC channels, and enables you to log meetings, and most usefully, capture meaningful minutes, with information, action items, agreed-upon decisions, etc.  Despite our love for all things Beefy, MeetBot will likely never be named MeatBot.)

And thus: I bring you the Fedora meetingminutes mailing list.

What? Another mailing list, you say? Oh, yes, indeedy, and I think it could be mightily useful for everyone, if we all pitch in a little. It’s as simple as this:

  • Groups have meetings on the on the series of intertubes known as IRC
  • Person sending out meeting minutes sends to both their team/group/sig/project mailing list also copies meetingminutes@lists.fp.o.
  • Others sign up to receive meetingminutes list mail. This may be the one mailing list you ever want to read in a digested fashion – a once a week email capturing all the meetings. Or read them as they come in. Your choice.
  • People are able to see what’s going on in meetings without having to be on every mailing list. Or having to know if they should be scanning their mail for subjects saying “Notes from $meeting,” “Minutes from $meeting,” “Recap of $meeting,” etc.
  • Suddenly, people are seeing things they NEVER KNEW ABOUT,  seeing places where cross-team coordination is required, things are more transparent, and life is awesome.
  • PROFIT.

I encourage everyone to give it a shot (and to give gentle reminders to those who may not know!) Who knows; it might be a silly idea. (And then we chuck it in the garbage can.) I think it could be very useful, though. The key is to make sure people are responding to the appropriate lists, and not to meeting minutes, so making that work could be the tricky part.

In summary: If you’re running a meeting, remember to cc: meetingminutes@lists.fp.o. If you’re interested in reading all the minutes, sign up on the mailing list.

BONUS POINTS*:

  • Can we add something to meetbot that says “plz cc: your meeting minutes to meetingminutes” when it closes a meeting/provides links?
  • Could meetbot automagically pipe minutes/link to log into a mail to meetingminutes? I know that many people (including myself) like to append their minutes with highlights/extra notes of encouragement/questions as to where the heck everyone was, which I think is dandy for sending minutes to individual teams, but I wonder if that’s entirely necessary for just quick and dirty meeting minute capture to a generalized mailing list. Or maybe I’m the only crazy cat who does that type of minute-appending. 🙂

* Disclaimer: Bonus points are not actually redeemable for anything. Except hugs. Lovely, lovely hugs.

Your thoughts are welcomed, of course.

6 thoughts on “Meeting minutes, making them easier to find, and why that is useful

  1. Sounds like a great idea. I’m not sure if I’ll subscribe, but I’ll definitely post Docs minutes to the list (the list will allow *@fedoraproject.org, right?).

    It might also be nice if an RSS feed of this list were added to Fedora Planet to increase the exposure.

      • Either / or. I don’t want to sign up for yet another mailing list, but it’s a great idea to consolidate the notes in one stream. I read planet all the time so if I could somehow view them through planet I’d be more likely to read & learn.

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