Proposal for board meeting: Board Meetings Location
*PROPOSED ACTION: The board shall discuss whether to continue using Zoom, go back to Mumble or test Discord and subsequently make a choice for meeting tech thereafter.
*BACKGROUND: Since the fall of 2017, after extensive testing, PPI have been using Zoom as our main meeting tech. We have used it for the board, membership meetings and two general assemblies. We have made a note of the fact that it is disliked by a few of our members. Their main critisim has been that it is not open source. Technically it has no competitors whatsoever. Nobody even comes close to the quality of sound, video and audio. The board has noted in a meeting, https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=PPI_Minutes_2018_05_07, that since the account is controlled by one board member, should that member get sick or otherwise be unavailable the meeting has to be moved. This can easily be solved so that it does not happen again.
All other solutions tested get into trouble as soon as more than two people take part. It is also the solution that demands the least of the users bandwidth. We have had board members participating through 4G from their car. It can, however, be hard on the CPU of clients - especially when encryption is turned on.
The solution, today donated to PPI by a board member, does not cost our organisation or our users any money. It does not spend any of our IT resources either. Our users/members can connect from any device, WiN, Mac, cell phones and tablets. They can also call in with a cell phone or a hard line making it usable from places where they might not have access to hardware. Zoom offers local numbers to call in from in more than 100 countries.
Zoom of course has weaknessess from Unix and Mac clients but non of them prevents user participation. Its functionality surpasses any competitor when it comes to chat, screen share and other types of collaboration. (FYI: I have not tested Discord with more than two participants and if we would like to do so, I suggest we test it in a couple of board meetings before making a decision.)
We have found, during our testing in the board, that being able to see each other while having largely superior sound quality has had positive effects. We speak very different languages and being able to read each others body language has proven to reduce the number of misunderstandings.
*REASONING: Since we are embarking on a new year with several new board members it is only natural that we bring this to the board again. We have a previous decicion to test Zoom while we wait for an open-source solution to become available. We had no end date on that decision. Every solution that had video and screen sharing in addition to voice has been extensively tested over a period of 16 months.
PPFR, who is a "super user" of Discord have signaled that they would like us to use that solution. I suggest that France propose we use Discord as its own agenda item with their separate reasoning. If the board should lean in the direction of Discord I firmly advise we propose to push this very agenda item until such a time when Discord has been tested by the board.
Mumble, IMHO, has serious weaknesses, two of witch presented itself at our last meeting before the GA. If we pretend that it will work well most times, it has the clear weakness that it offers only audio and no screen sharing.
This proposal does not in any way shape or form exclude or make it impossible for the board to choose a different meeting venue on a case by case basis. If we for instance choose Mumble there is nothing that says that we cannot use Zoom in a meeting when we need it. The invitations should, (48 hours dead line), however contain the correct venue - every time.
*PROPOSED TEXT: "The board has decided to a) use Zoom OR b) use Mumble OR c) test Discord for 2018/19 or until such a time an Open Source solution becomes readily available."