Stewards Council Telecon: 2008 September 3

From IdCommons

Call in number: 1-605-475-4333 access code: 181783


  • Mary Ruddy
  • Charles Andres
  • Dean Landsman
  • Dan Perry
  • David Recordon
  • Chris Reynolds (note taker)
  • Paul Trevithick
  • Peter Davis
  • Eugene Kim
  • Drummond Reed
  • Kaliya Hamlin
  • Pam Dingle
  • Dale Olds


Review of agenda

Volunteer to take notes

Updates on action items from last call

  1. DAN to renew DNS registrations using PayPal.
  2. MARY to clarify how we update our policy about:
    1. Spending for non-budget items.
    2. Only requiring notification of charter changes.
  3. MARY, DRUMMOND, KALIYA to send email to IDTBD list introducing themselves as official representatives of the Identity Commons Stewards Council.

Vote(s) in process.

  1. Dissolving working groups
  2. Adding the proposed groups (that are ready for the vote.)
  3. Changing Working Groups to Action Groups.

New Items

  1. IT infrastucture progress
  2. Service providers
  3. Report on IDTBD discussions (MARY, KALIYA, DRUMMOND)

Notes of Call

(Chris volunteered to take notes. Please contact me with comments, corrections, or omissions. chreynolds -a t-

It was agreed to consider starting future Stewards Calls at 15 minutes before or after an hour -- e.g., 8:45 or 9:15 -- to avoid difficulties some participants experienced logging into today's call. Some callers received the message "all circuits busy" and could not join the call for several minutes.

DAN to renew DNS registrations using PayPal

Dan: All six permutations of key Identity Commons URLs have been renewed for 2 years:


PayPal has provided code to add a "Donate Now" button to IC websites using PayPal to transfer the donated funds.

Dan is looking into how to access the funds that are donated. Most convenient method appears to be obtaining payment card(s) or credit card(s) to enable Identity Commons' executives to use the funds. Next step is to determine who will have access to a card and how many cards there should be. Eugene will get this data to Dan in the form of a proposal, so the Stewards Council can vote. Either Eugene or the Council will develop and place restrictions on the use of the card(s) as part of the proposal.

Policy on non-budgeted items

Chris summarized the proposal he made in the Aug. 6 Stewards Call regarding ad hoc disbursements to provide for exigent purchases that are not yet budgeted. Key points are:

  1. Ad hoc disbursements may not exceed 15% of funds on hand
  2. Ad hoc expenses must still be reported, like all disbursements
  3. The reports should be made available to the budgeting group of the Council so that they may be factored into the budgets for future accounting periods. Consequently, repeated ad hoc purchases should be rare.

Eugene suggested that we adopt six-month accounting periods and aside 15% of funds on hand at the beginning of each period as "discretionary funds." Consensus of those on the Call was that this is a good idea.

Next there was discussion about keeping the IC budget open to the community at large. The consensus of those on the call was that budgets should be open to viewing and that bank balances and account-identifying information should not. Eugene agreed to develop exploratory notes on placing the budget on the web, using a Web Spreadsheet or an archive of the meeting minutes in which the budget was approved. Eugene will email these notes to the Stewards list. The Council agreed to keep in mind that making the budget open to the community at large is done in the interest of transparency and encouragement of community access. Making the budget available publicly is the prerogative of the Stewards Council, and the Council may in its discretion amend or withdraw this policy if it appears to cause problems or has unintended consequences.

Requiring notification of charter changes

Mary agreed to update the wiki page on the creation and chartering of working groups to make clear that when a working group changes its charter, it must send a notification that the working group has changed its charter to the community via the main email list.

Votes in process

Several participants expressed the view that the voting process is proceeding well. Currently, discussions and/or votes are underway regarding dissolution of 3 defunct groups (voting ends at 11:59 pm today, Sept. 3), addition of 8 new groups (voting ends same time today), and changing the designation of "Working Groups" to "Action Groups" (discussion period ends 11:59 pm on Sun., Sept. 7). Two participants noted that it would good for future Calls for Votes to repeat the measure to be voted upon verbatim and to indicate precisely what a vote in favor, conventionally expressed as "+1," means and precisely what a vote against, expressed as "-1," means in order to avoid confusion. One participant cited the measure in which a vote in favor actually meant the disbanding of a group as illustrating potential confusion.

Eugene, who is currently chairman of the Council, noted that he is the Representative on the Stewards Council for one of the groups likely to be dissolved under a current vote. Thus, he will no longer be a member of the Council if the measure passes as expected. The Council will then need to elect a new chairman.

New Items

1. IT infrastucture progress.

Fen emailed the group that the DNS for has been moved successfully. It is now managed by on the idcommons server. The community email system is still pending a move to ElectricEmbers. It is hosted on Fen's machine at present.

2. Service providers.

Mary has started looking into various service providers to assist Identity Commons as it grows. Services presently under consideration include bookkeeping and payroll. The next step is a series of vetting phone calls and interviews to commence about Sept. 15 (after Digital Identity World).

3. Report on IDTBD discussions.

The Council discussed the activity of the group tentatively named "IDTBD." Two points of view emerged. On the one hand, it is apparent that large constituents in the community, e.g., major corporations, value consolidation of the budgeting and management of the their expenses in the identity community. This point argues for applying IDTBD to help lead the consolidation effort and address what many observers regard as the "fragmented nature of the community." It was also noted that major corporations and others see consolidation of the standards groups and community organizations in the identity industry as very useful for properly addressing the intellectual property rights (IPR) issues that will inevitably arise. Last, consolidation was seen as good for collaboration.

On the other hand, several people pointed out that Identity Commons itself is built on a highly adaptable, lightweight framework and could easily adjust to encompass newly accepted ideas about consolidation, IPR, and collaboration. Several people noted that consolidation may not necessarily beget unification and that a clear, compelling definition of the problem that consolidation is meant to solve has yet to be provided. It was agreed that this is an important topic and that discussion should continue at DIDW next week and in the next Stewards call.

Conference call adjourned at 1:14 pm ET / 10:14 am PT.