Overview 7 – You joined NCUC; what’s next?
– The best thing you can do is join a working group – either as an observer (where you watch the email but cannot participate in the deliberations) or, even better, as a member and get the invitation to the join in the meetings of the working group.
– You can change your status from being an observer to a member at any time; but if you become a member, you will need to fill out the Statement of Internet (SOI) form. Feel free to ask for assistance!
– Most of our conversations at the NCUC-level happen on the mailing list. The volume of correspondence you receive might be intimidating – it is advisable to create a dedicated email address only for ICANN communications so that your personal or work email accounts do not become overwhelmed.
– Listen first, type second. Learning mailing list etiquette (“netiquette”) is an art. ICANN Staff have produced a quick and useful tutorial here. You have to register to view the module, but registration is free: http://learn.icann.org/courses/newcomer-toolkit.
– You’ll find there are Skype channels which different participants use for informal, on-the-fly discussions. Ask around to find out which channels are currently being used.
– The ICANN YouTube channel is an excellent resource. Take a look at the short videos which ICANN staff have produced and subscribe to the channel. This way, you’ll periodically come across bite-sized introductions to timely developments in the ICANN ecosystem.
– Keep an eye out for invitations from ICANN staff to participate in the pre-meeting policy update webinars. These webinars last for 90 minutes and will give you a timely, high-level update as to what the community is up to. They happen three times per year. Periodically, leaders within the NCUC will organise a series of policy webinars to brief the membership on the latest policy developments of key topics that we are engaged in – we’ll announce these on the mailing list so you can plan ahead and join in, if you can.
– Commentary on ICANN is regularly published by other community members on CircleID, and in the media on The Register, DomainIncite, DomainPulse, DomainMondo, and the Internet Governance Project. There’s also a range of accounts on Twitter (including those of the NCUC and NCSG) which circulate interesting perspectives on different issues. Don’t believe everything you read, but it’s not a bad idea to check in on these sources occasionally to see what is being said about the working group you’re participating in or the issues you care about – or on the work that others are up to.
– Once a month, the NCSG Policy Committee will have a teleconference. This is open to all NCUC and NPOC members and other NCSG members, and is well worth listening in on.
– Find a mentor informally; look for someone else in our constituency who is active, interested in the same issues as you are, and making a difference. Come at them with structured questions and chances are they’ll be happy to help you find your place in our fun little world. If you are finding it difficult to find a mentor, you can ask the NCUC Chair or your regional Executive Committee representative for a recommendation.
– We have a number of focal points who can answer your questions on different policy issues. You can find them on our website: https://www.ncuc.org/focal-points/