A review of the meeting minutes will often spawn some related thoughts or observations that didn't come up during the meeting itself but are important enough to bring to the group's attention. While the forums offer the best mechanism for such follow-on discussion, it is often easier to start off with an email to the group.
However, an email discussion is easily lost/forgotten, as there is no permanent record of it, and even a forum discussion may not be easily relatable to the meeting notes that initiated it. The following is guidance on the handling of email and forum threads to ensure that they are recorded and remain traceable via the meeting notes.
Prefer Forum Threads
The use of forum threads are preferred unless there is a need for privacy, e.g. exposure of proprietary data.
Email threads are however acceptable as an expedient means of communicating thoughts. If the subject is of any general relevance to the group then the email content should be copied to the forums, as described below.
Unless the discussion clearly fits elsewhere:
- If the email discussion is linked to a subject that was addressed in a weekly meeting then the forum thread should be created in the Weekly Meetings section.
- If the email discussion is a new topic then the forum thread should be created in the SJTAG General Discussions section.
Copying the Thread
Ideally, the forum posts should be made by the original authors and recreate the email exchange. In practice, this requires more than a little co-ordination to achieve and can easily go wrong, so it is better that one person volunteers to copy all the email messages as a series of replies to the original, in time sequence.
Forum Admins can easily re-assign the ID of the poster for each reply afterwards, so they appear to have been made by the original email respondent.
Copying Email Content
Create one reply for each new email in the thread.
Omit any salutations unless the message is clearly intended to be in reply to a specific person.
Omit signatures as forum posts will show who the poster is anyway (once IDs are corrected).
Ensure any (relevant) attachments from the email are included with the forum post. These may need to be zipped if the file too large or is an unsupported file type.
Threads expanding an a Weekly Meeting topic should contain a link to the relevant meeting minutes in the first post. These may need to be added later if the minutes are not yet available on the website in which case there post should include a note to indicate which meeting is being referenced so that the correct link can be added when available.
New topics don’t need to link to anywhere, but may offer links where relevant.
The following Weekly Meeting should record and provide a link to any new forum thread(s):
- Under the Review of Minutes for threads that follow-up on meeting topics.
- Under Any Other Business for new topics.