With all ICANN meetings, our goal is to provide a secure and inclusive space for all participants. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this objective all the more important. The virtual meeting format, which we launched with ICANN67 in March and improved with ICANN68 in June, is constantly evolving. Through feedback from meeting participants and lessons learned, we are always looking for opportunities to enhance your meeting experience.
One request we received loud and clear was the need to provide an alternate live stream option to increase accessibility, similar to what was previously available for high-interest sessions. To address this request from our community, we are pleased to announce a pilot effort to stream select ICANN69 sessions, live on YouTube. By providing view-only live streams on YouTube, we are increasing the availability and accessibility of ICANN69 sessions. YouTube has a broader global reach and provides a low-bandwidth alternative for attendees. This live streaming option will be available with five high-interest ICANN69 sessions. This will allow us to evaluate the use and make improvements for future meetings, if demand warrants it.
There are a few key differences with watching the live stream on YouTube rather than participating via Zoom. YouTube has the following differences:
- There will be a 20- to 30-second delay.
- Only the original floor audio, without interpretation, will be available. This is due to the delay and the nature of the stream. Interpreted audio is available through the Congress Rental Network app, as it was during ICANN68.
- It is a view or listen-only option. Comments will be turned off and there will be no opportunity to engage.
Zoom Meetings versus Webinars
It is certainly true that the community prefers the open, collaborative nature of Zoom meetings. However, Zoom webinars offer a much more secure and structured format, with less potential for disruptions. Given the appetite for both formats, ICANN org has left this choice up to each meeting organizer.
Don't Forget to Register
We have also made changes to the Public Meeting schedule and how participation links are accessed. All participants must register for ICANN69 in order to access the ICANN69 schedule section of the event website. The session participation links are only available via the schedule. Mandatory meeting registration is intended to increase the security of our sessions. To further secure our sessions meetings, participation links will only be published one day prior to the session, with a unique passcode embedded link. Links to the YouTube live streams for the select sessions will also be available via the ICANN69 schedule.
ICANN org strives to keep our Public Meetings open and accessible, and it can be a challenge to strike a balance between usability and security. We are confident that these changes will help us find this equilibrium, and enable a productive and enjoyable meeting experience for our entire community.
If you have questions or feedback, please post them in the comments below. See you all at ICANN69.