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Revision as of 22:56, 4 May 2006 by DanC (talk | contribs) (W3C meeting minutes tools)
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Meeting minutes

They're typed, they look good, but all the meaning (participants, decisions, action items, etc.) is impossible to glean automatically. Enter hMinutes (or whatever)!

The Problem

Meeting notes provide a wealth of semantic content, invaluable to organizations. Meeting notes are routinely recorded in intranets, and (with public organizations) on the internet; however, without semantic content it is very difficult to extract the specific information, analyze it, distribute it, or search it effectively. This investigation seeks to document how meeting minutes on the web are structured, towards a lightweight suite of microformats and format extensions for markup.


  • Brush

Real-World Examples

These are fairly random, selected for variety of approach. Research is not yet in-depth. Room for more!

Gene Ontology Consortium

  • Abbreviated organization name
  • Dates
  • Location (locality, region)
  • Next meeting date/location (to be confirmed)
  • Participants
    • Listed by group-affiliation
    • Names in comma-delimited parentheses
    • Some groups not represented, still listed (like regrets)
  • Nested outline of items (XOXO!)
  • Major topic -> subsidiary topic
    • Includes introduction, by named presenter(s)
    • Discussion item list
      • Detailed (but flat) following of arguments pro and con
      • Identified conclusions (decisions? not formal?)
      • Certain items or references id specific people
    • Action items
      • listed after each topic
      • assigned to a person (or to "everyone")
      • Also summarized at end of minutes
      • Previous action items listed, with status:
        • done
        • unresolvable
        • in progress
        • almost done
        • other details, etc.
    • Brainstorm section
  • Next meetings:
    • Types
    • Dates
    • Locations

Stevens Hospital Board

  • Organization, committee
  • Date
  • Time start/end
  • Kind of meeting (ie. special meeting, as opposed to regular)
  • Present, with roles:
    • member/non-member
    • President/Secretary
    • organizational affiliations
    • also plurally generic (ie. "Hospital Managers and citizens from the community, SEIU 1199NW delegation")
  • Outline list (flat) of items
    • "Call to order"
    • "Oath of office" (ie. establishment of new official roles for individuals)
    • Approval of previous minutes (special form of decision)
    • Reports from managers/committees
    • Authorizations for expenditures
    • "Other business"
    • Public comment
    • Adjournment
  • Decisions included in text of items
    • motion made
    • seconded
    • approved unanimously
    • included appointments to committees (changes in roles?)
  • Items include one, sometimes more specifically referenced speakers

PHP Developers Meeting

  • Includes relatively unhelpful presentation-oriented table-of-contents link outline markup (more detail?)
  • Title
  • Date
  • Location
  • Attendees
    • Affiliation
  • High-level item
    • Includes one-sentence summary
  • Second-level item
    • Issue
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion(s)
      • Not clear distinction between decisions and action items
      • Some action items attached to specific people

GNOME/Mozilla Meeting

  • Title (included two participating organizations)
  • Date
  • (Email, so "date sent out" included implicitly)
  • Attendance
    • Organizational affiliation
    • minutes
    • chair
  • Regrets
  • Actions (list)
  • Discussion (list tree, no titles)
    • Specific items inside each discussion item refer to specific person(s)
    • Follow pros and cons of arguments

ICANN Executive Committee

  • Organization and committee
  • form of meeting (ie. teleconference)
  • Date
  • Time start/end
  • Attendance (noted that all were present throughout) with roles:
    • member of committee
    • member and chair
    • non-member, board secretary
    • non-member, general counsel
  • XOXO-like outline of items
  • "Resolved:" decisions for each item.
    • vote count (ie. 4-0)
    • who proposed
    • who seconded
  • Also included items deferred to later meetings

Existing Practices

  • Summary of common patterns discovered: Anyone? Some things are fairly obvious...
  • Other attempts to solve The Problem: Does anyone have references to other schemae attempted to address this issue? How about a semantically marked up implementation!?


  • Early drafts
  • Link to related pages as they become available
    • -brainstorming
    • - proposal
    • -microformat

See Also

  • Other microformats
  • Normative references for tags used