I think the focus (or focii) of the group is yet to be decided. As it
says on the page, there will probably be various focus groups working
on their points of interest and then coming together at some point in
That's right. Research is too large and diverse a field to be united in
a single focus group. On the other hand, all members of the Team should
have at least a rough idea of the ongoing activities, and it should be
possible to focus as many interested people as possible on a single high
priority project that we choose. ("Let's get that single login
specification ready by July.")
In the first meeting, we can try to meet both goals by
1. having a general discussion about focus, priorities, etc.
2. splitting into breakaway groups for different topics (could be just
two broad ones for now, e.g. "tech" and "sociology")
3. rejoining for synthesis and definition of deliverables.
It goes without saying that nobody will have to sit through all three
stages if they're not interested in a particular one.
If this works, we can adopt it as a general principle. I'd like this
effort to be as large and as open as possible: a massive, collaborative
and well-coordinated research community. The very positive reaction to
my initial invitations is a good sign that this could work.
The topics for which we can form groups will depend on the interests of
the people participating in any given meeting, so if you want a specific
topic to be on the agenda, I suggest you take it upon yourself to make
sure that the right people will be present. Invite them to the team. :-)
Someone asked on Meta whether we have a mailing list. I suggest using
wikitech-l for now, perhaps with "Research:" in the subject line. If
that turns out to cause too much traffic, we'll create our own list.
Again, anyone who is interested in joining this effort or who wants to
know more about it should take a look at
We're also trying to sort out the date for the first meeting, so if you
haven't already, please make an X in the date matrix for your preferred
meeting times. (I'll send out direct emails to all members about this as