Ginger Paque   08 Oct 2013   Internet Governance, Diplo Blog

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The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2013 is almost upon us.  Pre-events start before the actual meeting 22-26 October. Reservations have been made, and last-minute hotel arrangements are rushing across the Internet, a bit more tensely than usual, because many decisions were made at the last minute due to late confirmation by the host.

So those who are going to Bali are thinking about what to pack, and trying to fit everything into a carry-on. They may arrive a day early to catch up on their sleep, and to adjust to the Bali time zone of UTC/GMT +8 hours But what about those of us who will attend online? Are we making the proper preparations? I will have a 13-hour time difference while attending the meeting. But the sun, my household, and my friends will still be on local time. We should not underestimate the requirements and the commitment  needed for effective online participation, or the importance of planning sleep and meals to fit the online schedule.

Full information about the meeting is online, including the schedule. Whether you are attending online or in-person, you should  register. Information for those attending online, including dates for training sessions, information for remote hubs, is also available.

What about asynchronous online participation? Can we discuss the issues in our own time and still engage with the Bali meeting? We can accept the virtual jet lag, and join the meeting sessions on WebEx, where trained remote moderators will help us with our participation and interventions. But what if we just cannot handle the 13-hour difference? Can we discuss online or in hubs, and send our comments ahead of time? Yes, as a matter of fact, we can. Participants can review the meeting schedule, and prepare short comments or questions to be read into a session of their particular interest. You can even prepare a 2-minute recording, and send ahead of time to igf@unog.ch or the email comment address soon to be published on the IGF website  for workshops and whenever possible (except for focus sessions). Video interventions will also be posted to the IGF YouTube channel.

The Diplo social networking site will have general information about the IGF on its main blog, and the IGF 2013 Bali group will have specific information about a Skype channel for IGF conversations, including sessions, tech help and other comments, as well as information about the Diplo IGF aggregator (a web page that will gather updates, Twitter feeds and other information during the IGF). Vlada will post more information about this for us very soon. Steph is also preparing a complete schedule of Diplo events, to be published soon, including Diplo's Workshop 68 E-participation in IG processes which Diplo's Vlada will moderate.

What else can we do to overcome virtual and real jetlag? How can we make the most of the online and in situ IGF meetings this year? Post your comments here, and join us in the IGF 2013 Bali group.

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