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You are here: Home 1998 Vol.30 No.4, October 1998 SIGCHI Conference Call, Monday, March 30, 1998, 1530-1700 UTC
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SIGCHI Conference Call, Monday, March 30, 1998, 1530-1700 UTC

Summary of SIGCHI Conference Call, Monday, March 30, 1998


Elected Officers

Chair, Mike Atwood
Vice-chair for Communications, Cathleen Wharton (minutes)
Vice-chair for Conferences, Gerrit van der Veer
Vice-chair for Finance, Jean Scholtz
Vice-chair for Operations, Bob Mack
Vice-chair for Publications, Dan Olsen, Jr.


Advisory Board (1 vote) John Karat, Allison Druin, Richard Anderson
ACM SIGCHI Program Director, David Riederman
SIGCHI Adjunct-chair for Public Relations, Rosemary Wick Stevens
SIGCHI Information Director, Keith Instone

(These minutes were created on April 1, 1998, and approved by a vote of 6-0-1 on June 20, 1998.)

Minutes (Cathleen Wharton)

Cathleen Wharton reported that all minutes to date are complete but final voting by the EC still needs to take place on the December and February minutes. The January minutes as well as all other past minutes have already been approved.

Budget Update (Jean Scholtz)

Jean Scholtz presented the CHI budget report. These are the values as of February 1, 1998:

Actual Full Year
Revenue 1,914,000 2,262,000
Expenses 1,812,000 2,401,000

Categories Actual Allocated
EC 49,000
CMC 78,000 133,000
Bulletin 28,000
CHI+ 20,000
Local SIGs 250
Discretionary 1,300 30,000
CHI Program D. 3,000

No financial activity has been recorded against the following budget categories:

  • CHI education
  • CHI standards
  • CHI membership

Also, in discussing the budget there was a question as to when the SIGCHI FY99 Budget would become official. David Riederman took this as his action item and will get back with the SIGCHI EC with more information from ACM.

Awards (Mike Atwood)

The SIGCHI EC talked more about the award that it will be giving to Doug Engelbart at CHI 98 and about what items they should discuss further at the face-to-face meetings in April and August. As part of today's discussion Cathleen Wharton reviewed the February minutes and the three core decisions made on February 23, 1998:

  1. The EC passed a motion (8-0-0) to give Doug Engelbart an ACM SIGCHI Award for Innovation at CHI 98.
  2. The EC will discuss further at the Summer face-to-face meeting the idea of an ongoing SIGCHI Award for Innovation.
  3. The EC will discuss further at the Summer face-to-face meeting the idea of having the SIGCHI Award for Innovation being named after someone. This action would require approval from two other bodies of the ACM.

At the April meeting we will gather additional award ideas and discuss all of these in depth at the Summer face-to-face meeting.

Update on CHI 98 Plans and EC Involvement (David Riederman, Mike Atwood)

Mike Atwood and David Riederman went over the list of core activities that SIGCHI EC members should participate in, if possible, at CHI 98. There are six major activities:

  • CHI Newcomers' Orientation (10:00AM-11:00AM, Tuesday)
  • SIGCHI Annual Business Meeting (6:30PM, Wednesday)
  • SIGCHI Volunteer Reception (follows the SIGCHI Annual Business Meeting, Wednesday)
  • SIGCHI Booth Duty (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
  • SIGCHI EC Meeting (Friday AM through Saturday 3:00 PM)
  • Local SIGs Booth (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).

Also, for the Newcomers' Orientation, Mike and David will finalize the agenda for this event. Today, Richard Anderson has requested some time to talk about Local SIGs, and Allison Druin would like to spend some time talking about mentoring and volunteerism. Mike and David will determine how to best incorporate these additional requests into the current agenda.

Webmasters and Job Availability (Bob Mack, David Riederman)

David Riederman and Bob Mack went over the Webmaster RFP status. It was noted that four proposals were received and that all were very good. The four proposals received came from the Netherlands, California, Chicago, and Michigan.

Although all of the proposals are fine, it was noted that all proposals exceed the amount originally budgeted by the EC for our electronic infrastructure. (The SIGCHI EC originally budgeted $20K at the December 1997 face-to-face meeting.) For example, the amount of one of the proposals is $60K and another is $100K.

This leaves the SIGCHI EC with a question as to whether the amount originally budgeted is sufficient for doing all of the needed conference and non-conference work. It also raises the question of whether the EC is interested in keeping the status quo or whether it is important to add new features and functionality regularly. Again, this points to our need to know the number of server hits and how useful the site currently is to the membership.

Since many more issues have surfaced around our electronic infrastructure needs, the EC decided to wait until the April face-to-face meeting to discuss these concerns in more detail.

Bulletin Editor Search (Steven Pemberton)

Steven Pemberton was not able to join the call today so we do not have the latest update about the search for a SIGCHI Bulletin Editor. Mike Atwood will follow up with Steven to get more information about the status of the search.

Potential Breakup of CHI+? (Jim Miller, Dan Olsen)

Jim Miller has raised the idea of breaking up the current CHI+ package. During 1996, the SIGCHI EC also raised this idea for discussion. At that time, the thought was that by breaking up the package the SIGCHI membership could then make use of an "a la carte" model that would allow SIGCHI members to pre-order conference proceedings and other conference and society products as part of their annual membership renewal. This would let members get the products they need, and do away with the competition among small conferences for inclusion in the "extra proceedings" slot of the current CHI Plus package.

Following up on this idea, Dan Olsen has sought additional feedback. He has asked a few SIGCHI members about their thoughts on the idea of breaking up the currently defined CHI+ package. In gathering this feedback the following three discussion items, among others, have been raised:

  1. Should the SIGCHI Bulletin should only be Web-based?
  2. Should interactions be the primary membership benefit and flagship publication for SIGCHI?
  3. Should the current CHI+ proceedings be collected into a periodical called CHI-Letters or CHI-Notes to enhance the stature of both the material and the field?

Based on this feedback, Dan suggested that the SIGCHI EC think about renaming the current package while also changing it into a bundled set of flagship proceedings to upgrade its stature. This solution would also allow the SIGCHI EC to better address how to incorporate new conferences and remove older ones, which can be problematic with biannual conferences (e.g., CSCW).

Dan would like to get more feedback on this idea from the general membership at CHI 98. This will help the EC better understand the membership's needs and concerns. Dan will discuss these ideas at SIGCHI's Annual Business Meeting to be held at CHI 98.

Finally, it was noted that the SIGCHI EC will need to discuss this topic more thoroughly at the Summer face-to-face meeting, after the EC can gather more feedback from the membership. The SICGHI EC is responsible for the selection of the contents of the CHI+ package.

Volunteerism (Allison Druin, Jean Scholtz)

Allison Druin and Jean Scholtz discussed their ideas for how to best sign up future SIGCHI volunteers at CHI 98. Besides having a sign-up sheet at the SIGCHI Booth they would like to learn of other opportunities for signing people up on the spot. If anyone of the EC comes up with additional ideas they should share them with both Jean and Allison.

Jean and Allison are looking for new methods for getting volunteers because the Web site has had no hits, i.e., the Web site has not yielded any volunteer sign-ups to date. To help get volunteers, Jean has prepared an e-mail with a request for volunteers and will post it to CHI-Announcements. Jean and David Riederman will also get together to prepare a mechanism for signing up for volunteers at CHI 98.

Summer Meeting Topics (Mike Atwood)

Mike Atwood is now collecting a list a topics for the Summer face-to-face meeting in Italy. To date the following items have been placed on this list or were added to the list today:

  • CMC Charter
  • CHI+ Package
  • Local SIGs and SIGCHI relations
  • Combining SIGCHI Bulletin and interactions magazine
  • Publications Future
  • Cooperating Societies
  • Awards

Mike will continue to gather ideas and add them to the list during our next few meetings.

SIGCHI Bootstrap Alliance Exchange (Richard Anderson)

Richard Anderson gave a brief summary of the Bootstrap Alliance Exchange that Doug Engelbart is leading. The focus of this Alliance is to create Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) and Meta-Networked Improvement Communities (Meta-NICs) around the world. One purpose of these NICs is to build a solid (electronic) infrastructure for each NIC and to establish meaningful processes by which the NIC can improve itself and better work with other NICs over time. A Meta-NIC is effectively a network of NICs.

There is a correspondence between NICs and Local SIGs and between a Meta-NIC and what Richard has been doing to make Local SIGs successful. Similarly, a SIG in general can be thought of as a NIC -- a group that is dedicated to improving itself and its relationships with other groups over time.

The Alliance did develop and submit an NSF proposal to help fund this effort. However, it was not possible for ACM or ACM SIGCHI to meet the NSF proposal deadlines for this year. There are plans to submit a formal proposal next year.

Several questions were raised today that need to be discussed further. For example, can SIGCHI legally participate in these activities? There are strict rules about what SIGCHI can or cannot do with the U.S. Government as an ACM-sponsored group. It could also be that this would need to be an ACM-sponsored activity rather than a SIGCHI-one. All of these concerns would need to be investigated more in the future.

Another question that was raised was whether SIGCHI would be placed in a situation where it would compete with its members for the same research dollars. This is not a position that the SIGCHI EC would like to be in. It also raises the question of whether private donations or federal funds should be used to support the effort in the long-term.

Besides Richard Anderson, Clare-Marie Karat, and Mike Atwood (on behalf of SIGCHI) being involved with the Alliance to date, other organizations and companies have also been involved. Some of these groups include the Kellogg Foundation, Netscape, Fuji Xerox, Sun, SRI, HP, and Stanford.

A final question that came up in today's discussion was the identification of who should champion this effort from the SIGCHI EC going forward? Richard added his thoughts that the Local SIGs chair might be the right person.

The SIGCHI EC decided to talk more about this effort during the next EC meeting, to be held immediately after CHI 98. Richard Anderson will talk with Doug Engelbart prior to the meeting and ask him to attend the EC meeting to talk more about his ideas and the larger efforts underway.

CHIkids and AAAI (Allison Druin)

AAAI has expressed an interest in trying out a program such as CHIkids at AAAI 99. Jim Hendler, one of the AAAI 99 Co-chairs has expressed his interest in this program. Allison Druin reported that they anticipate it being a pilot program, that is small in size (about 1/2) compared to the normal CHIkids program. This opportunity would also provide promotion of CHI. The AAAI 99 conference will be held in during July in Orlando, Florida. Allison will keep the SIGCHI EC informed of any developments associated with the AAAI 99 program.

CHI Society Status (Mike Atwood)

Mike Atwood gave a brief update about the Society Status issue. The next step is to have all ACM members vote on the proposed changes to the ACM Bylaws and Constitution sometime this Spring. Thus, the first step is to see if members want to change the institution. The results of the election will help to identify the next steps to be taken. Hence, SIGCHI's transition to a Society will be a staged approach.

Mike asked the EC what we can do to rally the vote? In his chair's column he has written a spirited rally. There was also talk about posting something to CHI-Announcements, perhaps through a series of announcements over time by Mike, and to discuss this issue in more depth at the Annual Business Meeting at CHI 98.

Next Meetings

The next face-to-face meeting of the SIGCHI EC will be at CHI 98. The EC will meet all day Friday, following the conference, through 3:00PM on Saturday. The SIGCHI EC's next teleconference call will be Monday, June 1, 1998. Monday May 25th is Memorial Day in the United States and as a consequence the call is moved to one week later.


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