[bestbits] On the future of Best Bits and the pre-IGF meeting

Renata Aquino Ribeiro raquino at gmail.com
Tue Jul 25 19:26:30 EDT 2017

Hi Jeremy

It is good to see the longevity of Bestbits, in its 5 year-old run.
This is a space which has done a lot for civil society and it will
certainly continue to do so.
There are many new groups and activists in civil society looking forward to
learn from the steps taken here and to collaborate.
I would like to help bring together the experienced and the new
participants here.
So my option would be #2 and I'd be glad to work with others interested in
thinking of new ways for Bestbits.
I believe rebuilding the Steering Committee (3 years old) is important but
also to bring in new voices who have ideas for the shape of the platform
and who are interested in participating of internet governance communities.
If we can broaden this search for new members and collaborators among ISOC
Ambassadors, ICANN fellows, Youth IG movements, grassroots internet freedom
initiatives, it would be great.



On Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 7:23 PM, Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org> wrote:

> 15 new members have joined this list since last week, and a new sign-on
> statement has been posted on our website, both of which mark an uptick in
> interest in this civil society network on Internet policy.  So I thought it
> would be a good time to gather your thoughts on future directions for Best
> Bits.
> For those who are new, this group was originally formed in 2012 primarily
> to provide an action-oriented network of CSOs that could share information
> and coordinate their response to various current Internet threats, most
> notably at that time various proposals for the ITU World Conference on
> International Telecommunications.
> Since then it has been used as a platform for communication (mainly
> through this list, there have been others from time to time but none remain
> active), joint actions such as the sign-on statements that we host,
> coordination between people involved in similar activities, and an annual
> meeting held prior to the IGF.
> Around 2014 calls for greater accountability in the operation of what had,
> until then, been a fairly loosely and informally organised group, led to
> the establishment of a steering committee
> <https://bestbits.net/about/steering-committee/> and agreement on a set
> of rules <https://bestbits.net/wiki/main/procedures/>.  But that turned
> out to be counterproductive and so we have regressed to being ad hoc and
> informal again.
> This is fine, except that it means that it's difficult to raise funding
> for events, and that you have to rely on a benevolent dictator (which is,
> by default, me) to moderate the list and and keep the server ticking over.
> For now I'm OK with doing this, and our server remains functional and
> funded for the near future.
> Last year we turned over our regular pre-IGF meeting to co-ownership with
> the other major civil society networks working in Internet policy spaces,
> viz. the groups that are under the umbrella of the Internet Governance
> Civil Society Coordination Group <http://internetgov-cs.org/>.  That went
> pretty well, marking something of a return to the original Best Bits vision.
> At this point, I don't have a clear personal vision for Best Bits going
> forward, so I would like to turn this question over to you, the
> participants to find out what you want to be done.  To break it down into a
> simple choice between two options, we should collectively choose between
> either one of these:
>    1. Maintain the current low-key status quo, and remove the currently
>    unused or underused features of our web such as our joint event calendar
>    (which currently doesn't have anyone to maintain it), along with most of
>    the resources under the "Tools" menu on our website.  Rely on other groups
>    to pitch in on an annual meeting.
>    2. Conversely, seek to reestablish a steering committee of people with
>    time, energy and vision to reinvigorate Best Bits and re-establish a
>    program of activities, which could include actively organizing and raising
>    funds for a broad annual civil society meeting, and/or drafting joint
>    statements, supporting fluid working groups, etc.
> I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
> --
> Jeremy Malcolm
> Senior Global Policy Analyst
> Electronic Frontier Foundationhttps://eff.orgjmalcolm@eff.org
> Tel: 415.436.9333 ext 161
> :: Defending Your Rights in the Digital World ::
> Public key: https://www.eff.org/files/2016/11/27/key_jmalcolm.txt
> PGP fingerprint: 75D2 4C0D 35EA EA2F 8CA8 8F79 4911 EC4A EDDF 1122
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