Normal Task #764

Create Mumble records of the meetings

Added by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago. Updated 4 months ago.

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For more transparency and openess


Let's think about recording the mumble.


Related issues

Related to Eco Hacker Farm - Normal Task #352: Make IT Meetup globalReviewed2016-09-05


#1 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

we take minutes at meetings they are more effective than recordings - realistically how many people will listen to 4 hours of discussion?

#2 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

is this still an item for discussion or should we abort it?

#3 Updated by Kim Parker over 3 years ago

Mumble has the feature of recording in the client. imo it is not a good idea to record 'all' conversations by default, but to record sessions with someone that is responsible to create the record and upload it to a useful location and delete it after a agreed time.

This is for example useful when a key-participant could not make it to a session but still needs to know what was going on.

Records should be announced to all participants.
Records should only be created when all participants are agreeing to record and when the topics are public and open.

#4 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

meetings should have minutes as we've been doing already so I think this is redundant

#5 Updated by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago

Redundant maybe, but it's easier for people to see how and why decisions happened. Decision processes should be documented as well as possible to have a transparent and democratic process. (This is different from what Kims point is about)

E.g. politcal protocols look good also everyone can edit it. But to know what really happened if there was some pushing/mobbing/inlfuencing involved it's better to record them still.

Person who is interested, wants to see why a specific decision was made. In the protocol is only a short maybe misleading reason. In the discussion it was more voluminous.

From a work process view, this is maybe redundant, "Underlings don't have to know why things are happening!" but from a social point of view, you want to figure out why decisions happened that way. Maybe the decision makers were in a bad mood and made mad decisions. :)

#6 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

I agree to a point then because the meeting minutes should reflect the discussion as well as the decision and this would eliminate the need to the recording.

My point is it is easier to search for key words and read in a document then it is to listen to 4 hours or sometimes longer recordings.

#7 Updated by Kim Parker over 3 years ago

i had to research what 'minutes' are - i thought of another software, but its a well documented process:

What Are the Requirements of a Meeting Note Taker?
The requirements for the recorder or note taker include:

  • Record accurately the decisions, commitments and major discussion points made at a meeting.
  • Record the action items that meeting members committed to doing along with the due date that members committed to making. Action items have a name attached, but the general discussion does not state who said what in informal workplace meetings.
  • Review the major decisions and the assignments or voluntary commitments and action items at the end of the meeting so participants can review and agree on happenings and commitments before leaving the meeting.
  • The meeting leader may ask the note taker to recap the discussion periodically during a meeting.
  • In an ongoing series of meetings, the note taker takes a minute to review the meeting minutes at the beginning of the next meeting. The employees attending can add to or correct anything that they disagree with in the minutes.
  • Distributing a copy of the meeting minutes within 24 hours of the meeting has been the standard recommendation of meeting facilitators for years.

Now, however, the recorder most likely took the minutes on an electronic device such as a laptop or iPad. So, the note taker should distribute the meeting notes after a quick review for spelling, grammar, and clarity - often within minutes of the meeting.
The recorder is a role that a meeting must have to ensure that the results of a meeting are communicated and acted upon by the participants. Without the notes, the participants must rely on the memory of the other participants. I guarantee this is not a good plan.

The note taker's documentation of a meeting is necessary for the success of a meeting, just as documentation is necessary for improving employee performance.



Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court reporter, who may use shorthand notation and then prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards. Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group's appointed or informally assigned secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time.

we currently have no secretary that does the notes in a good way and with only two participants the meeting-leader role and the note-taking role might have a negative effect on the quality of the notes or the meeting.

if i want to know more about topic 3 (How to visit the projects - email/contact project managers) from the meeting on 2017-03-09, all i have to do is listen to the conversation you had. Currently no information is available in the (strange formatted) google-doc (which could be a wiki entry with a attached audio-file, so after i listened to the conversation i could update the wiki page - contributing to your efforts)

maybe just record the meetings locally and distribute the audio-files on request, listen to them while doing garden work or longer travels. The effort is a additional click in mumble when the meeting starts and the upload after the meeting. It does not replace a searchable text version of the notes.

#8 Updated by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago

Both options should be available. I agree it is easier to search in a protocol to find the process. Also you can't write tone and mood in the protocol without sabotaging the discussion while doing it.
A message is not only one layer - factual in the protocol. Messages have different layers you can get/understand them better if you here the tone. Also people make reasons up only to make their emotional decision more valid - people are not perfect but we can avoid misunderstandings with audio records.

I believe this is more near our ideals of a transparent and democratic process. But yes it makes more work, but actually not so much, if we have a process for it.
Questions at the beginning of a recording:
  • every bodies approval (not "no by default")
  • are the topics public or not
    Where and how to upload it.

#9 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

I still don't see the value in the recordings. Amongst the cons: it will take forever to upload the recording with the poor internet connection, we would have to find somewhere to store it (ever increasing memory issues) and adding another task for someone to do it.

Decisions taken should be backed up by factual evidence based on well documented discussions. Anyone interested will be able to find out why a decision is taken by reading about it.

We should not be overly bureaucratic with our set up that's why we use googledocs so that people in the meeting can work together to have good meeting notes. The meetings should be fun and not rigid. It shouldn't feel like work and a person should not be appointed as it should be a team effort by all attendees - collaborative not delegative. The same for agenda setting hence why we don't have a chairperson, we want a flat egalitarian set up not hierarchical one.

I do not like the idea of being recorded so if this is going to be implemented I'd rather be an automatic no and then being asked. Perhaps you haven't experienced this before but I am recorded here at work all the time, I feel that it is invasive and unnecessary and kills all the humanity from being observed.

If a key member is missing and action is required after the meeting by that person then we should consider waiting until that person is available for a meeting and include them into the discussion. If we cannot wait then the documentation should be in such a way that it is clear enough and gives the opportunity to the person to call a further meeting if needed.

#10 Updated by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago

  1. The result in a minute is not the same as in a protocol is a valid point for all protocols - example of your self "don't write it that way! That's rude/not nice."
  2. the privacy is a big issue - I don't like it so much either and we should figure out a solution we all happy with
    1. for example (derived from Kims suggestion) make it not public, only on demand or internal
    2. we could use voice distortion
  3. space is never really an issue - for example put it encrypted somewhere: cloud, torrent etc.

#11 Updated by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago

4. one behaves different when one knows he is surveillanced
"Ok don't let them know :D"
No but if it stays in a friendly environment (internal on demand) this might be reduced.

I think everybody can hear what I have to say in these meatings and everybody should be aware that people are in a different mood in every meeting (maybe adding a "Disclaimer") - also these discussion are sometimes personal "I love you Aimee :*" That's nothing we have or should hide, because that's part of living in a community - the social interaction.

Another point where recording is good, is for self reflection. What did one really say and what did I mean? How and why did it happen in that way?
Example: "Everybody ran away because of some disagreements and couldn't continue - what happened?"

Another argument:
People have different ways of participation. If they are not good at writing minutes and reading them there should be still a log for them. Inclusion more then exclusion.

Another contra argument to uploading time: 2hours are maybe 120mb - speech doesn't need that much quality anyways so around 60mb that's easily done after the meeting (i mean at night). 16 meetings per terabyte and also on demand we don't have to upload them regularly.

"Decisions taken should be backed up by factual evidence based on well documented discussions. Anyone interested will be able to find out why a decision is taken by reading about it."
That's not happening at the moment:
  • they are not backed up by factual evidence (also there is not enough time to do that always - we don't even have a definition of what is factual evidence for us)
  • a decision should be between pro and contra arguments and thinking about different scenarios/solutions - not happening at the moment
  • discussion are not documented only the result of the decision
  • anyone who is interested is faced with the results not with decisions or the process at the moment

#12 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

Kim also suggested temporary

I still feel unconvinced, the only valid point is that someone might prefer to listen rather than read but still the other points related to listening to the whole meeting only to hear people's tone of voice or that we took 30 minutes to decide something seems a bit far fetched to me. If I know I have an audience who don't know me I automatically adjust how I behave. I don't know who is considered "internal"? People considered internal now might not be internal in the future for example or the other way around.

Who can "demand" to access this? Who "approves or rejects" the demand?

At the moment I'm not comfortable talking about my horrible day or my love interests with people I don't know well or at least feel comfortable with. We can stick with the agenda sure but it will make the meeting more formal and feel like work.
Maybe we stop recording when the discussion becomes personal?

The other points related to improving the decision making process and documentation on the meeting notes/minutes I agree with.

#13 Updated by Kim Parker over 3 years ago

sorry that i ignited this flame.

think of it as a radio station to educate people how it could work. broadcast it to the internet using our redundant network setup using open source documentation tools. reach out to people that are interested to participate and invest to the project to make it better.

of course this needs planning and execution along with education how to use and setup the associated tools.

i think that this ticket can result in at least the following options: close it and forget it - we have no records of anything - or create projects/tasks from its input (retention times, naming guidelines for files, streaming setup, record setup blabla, i guess 10 or more tasks until a outside project can just use it with minimal effort. even close it is a ticket, but i go for the more complicated project:

  • #878 write a document about data retention policies
  • #889 setup icecast server on uperspace
  • #890 setup streaming sink
  • #891 write a document how to avoid proprietary pitfalls like (live) music.
  • #892 organize headset and microphone for multiple participants
  • #893 setup and fine-tune recording setup (dedicated machine: datalizer?)
  • #894 write a website document about why it exists and how to find and tunein.
  • #895 research echochamber setup and schedule a fixed timeslot
  • #896 organize more disk space
  • #897 organize jbod capable disk server with hot-swap cases
  • #898 plan it all in this plaintext word processor or on paper
  • #899 now i have crazy ideas - thanks for your time to read them

yes, the ticket ids are fake and possibly out of order.

#14 Updated by Kim Parker over 3 years ago

#15 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

you don't need to apologise it's good to discuss this topic in any case and lots of good points come out of the points raised particularly on how to improve the meeting minutes to be more reflective of what happens in the meeting and documenting the path for reaching decisions

I'm not sure I understand though, do you mean we broadcast it instead of keeping a recording? or is that both?

#16 Updated by Franz Gatzke over 3 years ago

Kim sometimes exaggerate with what can/should be done. :)

First of all. Who listens to a whole protocol? Nobody, probably. But if I know what I have to look for to understand this is fine. For example we can tag that in the minutes at what time we went to what point. What normal pod cast do also.

Most people won't listen that's right too, but that's not the point. Most people don't research scientific paper either, but if you have some person who you know is nerdy enough to listen to it to get the information he wants, then you trust him. We can make the same assumption about information in Uganda, most people won't read it but if you want to read it, it is accessible, because a journalist who researched it wrote about it. We record probably 15 times before one person is listing to it, but still the person has the option to listen to it.
Also you can hear it in the background and do other stuff, but you still know what decisions we make at the moment (if you hear the up to date meeting). I think a lot of people do it like this, when they are interested what's going on.

Another argument: When I listen to pod casts in which people talk with each other I feel much more near to it. I sometimes think that I know these persons. If I only read minutes, it would feel really distant. Theory: It makes people feel more involved instead of left out.

But still we can have a different format for that: EcoHackerFarmPodcast or something for these arguments.

My main argument is still documentation and you will never document everything what was decided in a meeting or at least for me at least it feels like to much work. Having an recording is much more convenient for me. If I forgot something, I jump back in the recording to protocol it. If I got my way in the decision because I yelled at somebody and then we make up the arguments, is something different, then only reading the minutes, which are different, because I yelled at the minute writer. And even on a lower scale, when two people have the same feeling about a decision and one person can't argument, the two people want to write it nicely, so nobody else will judge them. And this doesn't happen consciously, this is group dynamic or fear driven dynamic. And this is far from scientific what we want. What I am afraid of, that we are a few people who make decisions and paint the nicely, so everyone can nod instead of think for them self.

But the biggest point I read is, that Aimee doesn't feel good about it - and that's a big argument and I don't know how to solve that.

Also we are on a point where we have to face that we're getting kind of public persons. We are associated the most with the project and we will be judged and criticized in 3-5 years from many people when we go ahead in this speed. And I feel very bad about not recording the meetings, because it belongs for me to a transparent process - and I'm not sure if I'm happy with "People didn't want to be recorded." - but maybe I have to accept that.

At the moment the meetings are far from transparent and are far from open for people and are far from comprehensible from my perspective. And I hope we change that.

#17 Updated by Aimee Fenech over 3 years ago

I can see that you feel strongly about it perhaps we should test this for the public EHF monthly meeting and see how much extra work it requires and I can establish how I feel about it in general. That's on the proviso that the recording is stopped if anyone attending requests that. People who are uncomfortable being recorded should also have the option not to speak during the meeting but type into the meeting notes or in the chat box and then someone can read that out loud.

If you agree and want to go ahead with the testing then there should be a note on the wiki publicly explaining that the session will be recorded and/or broadcasted and also the tech should be prepared before the day and set up before the starting time on the day in order not to waste too much time at the beginning of the meeting. We should also include a note in the agenda to say that they are recorded and physically state that to whoever is attending the meeting when the meeting starts.

I hope that this is an acceptable compromise. The next ehf monthly meeting is on the 13th April. Whoever will be doing the extra work should log the time spent on it for decision making purposes later. It would also be useful to have a written process to go with that.

**each meeting is different - the EHF monthly meeting is already public and anyone can attend hence why I thought this would be a good testing ground as we're already used to sticking with the agenda when 3rd parties join in (incidentally we have a person booked in who wants to know about the companion planting database)

***edited to add that this doesn't change how I feel about discussing my private business in public just because I become a public figure doesn't mean I want my relationships known to people I don't know or feel comfortable with for example and that I still believe that the hassle outweighs the reward ie too much work for a very remote chance of someone doing any kind of study of some sort and coincidentally finding this material. Even for people researching EHF specifically there's little value to listen to many hours of audio or too much work for someone to tag each subject just so that in that tiny instance I can find what I want.

Might I add that yes some people will be critical for many reasons including because critical people always find something to criticise and also because we are human and so we make mistakes, that's all part of the putting ourselves out there. Not all criticism is constructive or helpful but all should be taken into account and discussed.

Well documented and accessible meetings and meeting notes already fulfill the open and transparency ideal in my opinion. If they are not comprehensible now then I think by now we already agreed to improve on the quality of that.

#18 Updated by Kim Parker almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Reviewed to In Progress
  • Assignee set to Aimee Fenech

we do not have the storage space, nor the willing of all participants to do that
suggest: close during next meeting
added as topic on next pm meeting

#19 Updated by Aimee Fenech 4 months ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Aborted
  • % Done changed from 30 to 10

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