[AG-TECH] AG Lobby Policies

Don Morton morton at cs.umt.edu
Wed Mar 13 08:14:16 CST 2002

Jeffrey Eschbach wrote:

> How about this for standard lobby "etiquette":
> - Nodes in the lobby should regularly leave their RAT "listen"
>   on, and their "talk" off.  That way you will hear if someone
>   speaks up in the lobby, but your everyday conversation will
>   not fill the lobby venue.

I agree, though of course not "all" nodes want to be
contacted "all" the time (e.g. believe it or not, 
sometimes I don't answer my telephone :) :)).  
I heartily agree with keeping the "talk" off unless
you're actually addressing someone in the lobby.

> - Feel free to contact someone by turning on your RAT "talk",
>   but turn it off after the conversation is over.

Again, agreed.

> - If you start having a long/specific discussion (more than a
>   couple of minutes), then migrate over to a specific venue.

This is where I start to have reservations - in some respects
(and maybe it's just me), I have this vision of the lobby
as a spontaneous meeting place - I might notice Bob Huebert
and ask him how his moose hunting went this year, then
Lisa Childers might ask what moose tastes like, at which
point someone from U. Maine introduces a good recipe,
and then Marty Hoag comes in and tells some Montana/Moose
joke, and Cindy Sievers comes in and volunteers to run an
AG event related to game cooking.  In my humble opinion, this
is how the Lobby should work - it should be a place for
people to randomly and spontaneously get together for
awhile - in a sense, I view it as an extension of the

Quite honestly, it's boring as hell having all your pictures
up there with nobody talking!!! :) :)  I fear that moving
these sorts of conversations too quickly to other venues
kills the spontaneity.  In my opinion, the Lobby should be
a "fun" place to hang out, get to know each other, etc. :) :)

> This way we don't get the everyday noises going across the lobby,
> you can speak up and contact someone and have some confidence
> that they are listening, and fewer people will turn off RAT which
> helps maintain the "shared" nature of the space.

I do empathise - it "is" an issue, so perhaps we need to
ask ourselves, is the Lobby meant to be a fun place 
where unpredictable interactions can take place, or is
it meant to be a place where people simply hang out,
quietly for the most part?

   Don Morton                   http://MRoCCS.cs.umt.edu/~morton/
   Department of Computer Science       The University of Montana
   Missoula, MT 59812 | Voice (406) 243-4975 | Fax (406) 243-5139

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