Informal Meeting (11/29/2020)

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One – Rough Transcript from Captions

hi denis
okay i’m present
oh i seem to be spending all my time
these days in zoom meetings
so many of us are welcome to virtual
conventions i was just in one yesterday
for a convention that had to cancel
because coven
oh which convention um heliosphere which
is supposed to be taking place
uh first weekend in april 2021.
we were supposed to be doing it uh in
2020 and we had to cancel because kovid
well we have to cancel again
for same reasons
the chair was talking about possibly
doing a
smaller scale event seated outside and
such like and i said no that’s a bad
among other things the nature of the
convention is we have a rather
substantial food and beverage commitment
and i think we would lose money because
we wouldn’t be able to cover the f b
costs let alone anything else so the
trick is
talking to the hotel what i want to do
and i i don’t see any reason why they
shouldn’t do it
is i also do hotel for phil khan
phil khan had to cancel in november for
2020 but one of our folks took
it was a little challenging because i’m
normally the the hotel liaison
but the crown meetings director that i
normally deal with who was also because
of a re
of a reorg uh our sales manager is on
hey no meetings nothing to do one of our
other folks found somebody who was still
on duty in sales
and made a suggestion and she kicked it
upstairs and got it approved
they 2020 was the third year
uh in a three-year contract they simply
changed the dates
to 2021
same time same everything else just
changed the dates 2020 just
went away without penalty nice
uh it it worked out very well we had we
had a virtual filcon with about oh i
think 400 attendees
and it more than made its
its gofundme campaign to cover its
expenses we’ll see what happens in 2021
um i think we i think we will be at the
beginning point of where we might be
able to do something in person again but
i think we’re going to have to continue
to have a virtual component as well
yeah first phil connor is able to attend
uh i just attended a few panels and
checked in a few bucks
so everybody is is still trying to find
their way in the new normal
okay i’m happy there’s a few people
ah mace is here maize is here yes
maize is actually in the kitchen getting
breakfast but maize is here
well we can hear your voice oh yes you
and i you will hear my voice for a bit
then i turn off the camera then i jump
in a car
and continue this while i drive to the
the wonders of technology you can do
that you can easy bank
hello john you’re such a lucky person
thank you
thank you mr bang um by the way you mr
bang you’re good for the meeting
tomorrow morning
tomorrow sometime for me yes
um zee bang or i are chasing down
uh a thing called show flow studio
which uh is a cloud-based
and we hope very appropriate alternative
trying to put together your own vmix or
switching arrangement for a virtualized
okay do you have a link you want to
i can i can dig one up since john’s away
from the keyboard um
it’s i believe is the base
yes will um
get you there to their main page
they have a uh we started looking at
show flow for
for con zealand as a um uh
distributed scripting platform and
it gives you this thing where basically
you put the script
into their server and everybody gets
a lockstep view of it basically
um so if you’re you know pushing your
way down through the whole thing
your your your one person can step it
everybody sees the steps
it’s not like you can get lost if you’re
all looking at a shared google doc
that’s like perfect for um religious
services too
yeah it’s it’s it’s perfect for a whole
lot of things it’s actually designed for
live events um
and and works very well for that but the
thing the two
problems that it solves one is as zbank
as everybody sorry as the show caller
we are here on this line everybody sees
exactly where they are
you’re just looking at the screen bang
you know where you are
but it also means that as scripts are in
you only have one copy of the script and
as soon as a change is made it’s
replicated to everybody
and and that’s just magic yeah the
downside of it is the cost
uh which it has and google docs
um if people are diligent can work well
but we got that diligence part involved
so so we’re working on getting them to
understand there is a market
that is a lower price point and we might
be successful
um does it kick off music cues
uh do triggers
i don’t think it does i think it’s it’s
i have a few days left well no i should
know i’ve got a few days left on the
okay eval for studio um
was i muted nope
no no okay it muted me for some reason i
i can’t remember whether it does
triggers or not and that’s a question
for tomorrow
z oh yes let’s remember it
i suspect it may not um
simply because it’s a scripting tool
they also have a
distributed um prompter system
which looks similar i i just looking at
the studio side
say which is kind of imagine imagine a
a reduced feature open broadcast running
it running on a cloud server
and spitting a stream out
it’s a cool idea yeah
yeah and maze that’s one of my evening
things is going to be uh
poking at studio because i haven’t had a
chance yet and
uh good luck trial will
evaporate in a week and a half anyway
what’s on the agenda for today no agenda
um just things like this
sharing information and um
love to hear your ideas what you like
from the site
what to change what’s working or not
um i i’ll say i would be interested
since i’m unmuted
um i would be interested in and we we
had a bit of us
the survey at the the last thing of the
the integrated platforms
for doing um uh you know the remote
event things
um i’d be interested a bit more in that
i’d also be interested
in and this is because i have a stake in
it how you
sell groups on a virtual event versus a
physical one
and trying to convince you know and and
selling the part that they’re going to
be different
and my my my example here
is i’ve got i’ve got a meeting in four
hours about this
um a professional pyrotechnics
i go to every year uh which is often the
desert of
uh arizona and we can actually build
fireworks and shoot them
stuff like that it it’s a lot of fun uh
but we can’t do it this year because of
and people want to organize a online
okay that’s that’s great but
for instance the social aspects just do
not work the same
especially with people who are not all
as technically savvy as
i’ll say we are and trying to sell a
group saying yeah
it’s worth spending a bit of money to do
you won’t you won’t be able to just walk
up to somebody in chat you know you
won’t have the
15 different uh at the after party
conversations to wander around as easily
but then you can do the oh let’s take a
trip let’s take a
tour of mayfield’s manufacturing
live which you can’t do that the
in-person thing
so i’d be interested in ideas on that
i think that comes down to know who your
audience is
and to be able to understand how to sell
one of the issues that i see especially
when we’re talking about moving to a
hybrid virtual model
is that with an in-person convention
that i’ve been working on for decades
i know the people who are on the con
committee personally
i can sit down in the same room with
them when you get a distributed virtual
you don’t have that level of knowledge
and then you have the issue is okay who
are these people
how do they think what are their goals
how do what what do i need to do to sell
them on my idea because i need to get
the buy-in
what ha well carl aries how do you
how do you convince them that you can do
something that’s good but it’s going to
be different
and if they’re all expecting
you know as as we’ve seen a few times
already if they’re expecting that
the live event you’re just going to pick
it up and put it online
it’s like uh that’s you know you better
start buying the brand name crack at
that point it’s not going to happen
uh also because a lot of the stuff where
you’re putting it online there’s a
difference between
one-to-many where you’re broadcasting to
an audience and many to many where
you’re trying to get interactivity with
the audience
platforms and methods of operating and
some some panel moderators are not
with some are not comfortable taking
questions from the audience except in a
very structured fashion and some
desire it they want somebody to jump up
out of their seats and
shout out a question anytime actually
that’s that’s a good topic
for us to deal with like there are a
number of things that
that this group could do which would be
providing leadership
and there’s a perfect example of a topic
to explore
because it’s a meta topic which is how
do you best manage
a virtual audience and how do you handle
like architectures general general
handling that sort of stuff i don’t
think we need to teach people how to use
you might need to teach people how to
use zoom more appropriately
or what’s a better zoom the nice thing
about zoom is simply that because of
covet 19 and work from home a whole lot
of people were required to use it
because that was the technology of
choice for their company
so at least in that sense attendees
who are told okay we’re using zoom for
programming we’ll have some level of
when you get to the social side
like what’s a discord
actually um jay asked me if i wanted to
do it sorry i’m
trying to get to the bottom of a whole
heap of crap before i have to reorganize
all my technology and run out of the
um jay asked me if i’d like to do a
report and i said oh you know there’s a
couple of things but i’m not going to
have time because we
were actually about to pack up the house
and fly into state for
three weeks now that we can the
the one thing that did happen to me
following our last meeting was i then
attended a
three-day virtualized conference which
used sievent to do
the scheduling and which was from a
technical point of view a complete
disaster from a content point of view it
was intuitive force it was fabulous
but and i was attending as as a an
from a technical point of view so many
things went wrong and i
i don’t know why some of those things
went wrong
but it was a mix of the live plus q a
and pre-recorded plus q a variety
and what i did observe is that a room
that might have had
150 people in it if it had been a live
topped out at about 60. and i don’t know
whether that was because they had
technical problem after technical
problem or because they hadn’t thought
about how to manage
the process and the president was trying
to do everything herself including
manage all the technology
or because people looked and this went
oh it’s a virtual conference i’m not so
interested anymore that certainly
what you do it changes the price point
and it changes
your ability to attract people as
um i think the concept of being able to
present to an audience of 500
in a warm body environment it’s pretty
exciting con the
being able to present to like somewhere
between one and
20 people doesn’t sound as exciting
even if you can don’t even if you can do
it from your living room and don’t have
to travel
yeah so again jay they’re the sort of
things i think this group can be
very helpful with yeah
and i’m another one just on the
management thing that um
i think we’ve probably all seen this you
know rachel was talking about this in
her presentation
is that uh rachel livermore um
to rachel it’s confusing um that
it takes you know more people than the
size would indicate
to make these things work and
more people earlier you know we we joke
about for the the live
live events where you can grab somebody
and say follow me and do what i do
and you’ll pick it up and that does not
work online
you know and you can’t if there’s a
problem you can’t send a runner because
the office you’d be running to is three
states away
um so
the expectations of the number of people
involved and
what you get them to do um and for
instance managing presenters
um one of the one of the great and well
i’ll say
a great thing about uh what the standard
webinar mechanism
is the um practice session where you can
bring in all the presenters and
get their mics working and get their
cameras aligned you know all that stuff
and get them ready
before you go live to an audience and
and then you don’t have
they then you’re not doing the oh does
my sound work
in the middle of the event and you’re
not getting
uh you know okay and you’re not getting
camera shots like this uh you know or
up the nostrils um and
providing being at you know
even a can set i mean they’re they’re
probably this out there can set of
guidances for you know for presenters
here’s here’s how to make yourself look
good because
people can get away with a lot in person
shuffling a shuffle papers they can look
for something they can drop something on
the floor
but if you’re doing it online you’d
better have all your slides in the right
order ready to go
at the most society i had presented
queued up my
mike was working fine 15 minutes before
his talk
and he said okay everything’s good i’m
just going to hop into this other
to check it out came back his mic wasn’t
uh was troubleshooting for like five
and he hadn’t done anything he finally
figured he had switched mics and got to
switch it back
but yeah murphy
don’t f if it’s working don’t f with it
that’s one thing that that tripped us up
too i know we were doing a
conference with it was uh in the 3d con
and uh we had 10
10 speakers they were 16 minutes each
but we we did uh when we started
when we had them share we would ask them
we would confirm that we could see them
that we could hear them and that we
could see their presentation
because invariably it could be a number
of things sometimes you could see them
and hear them
but their share didn’t work for whatever
reason and it’s hard to cut in and just
you know
like the technical person has to say all
right stop sorry i you sound great but
go back let’s redo this again this is
why i think we really need a tool that’s
a floating window
for all of the presenters that the tech
guy could send messages to
something outside of zoom outside of
just something robust and simple
if at least at least a second at least a
back channel maybe two
yeah we had done
um our main high holiday service
had a rabbi a canter there and everyone
was in their own
space um one of them being
at the temple with a live camera and
someone doing obs
blending the sound and then the cantor
was at her home
and we used what they they used whatsapp
because they could keep their phone as a
separate device it was easy to look at
offhand and just did a whatsapp group
for the tech
running of it so it didn’t interfere
with the zoom aspect of the presentation
and we when using a zoom meeting we just
have whoever is the invited
speaker or leader come on 10 minutes
so we can run that’s kind of simple tech
check if it’s someone who’s got a
presentation we usually do
a meeting before if they if they’re
doing the screen sharing
if they’re not capable they send it to
one of us and we do the screen sharing
for them
we have a lot of older people as guest
speakers who
signing on is kind of where they’re
at we did have one person who’s
done quite a bit as a speaker and host
and older woman
who thankfully put her mic
on mute we had two people spotlighted
her and the the other person that was
during the presentation and while he was
speaking she got up
with her ipad and moved throughout the
house we figured maybe there was some
noise or family
and she took us into the bathroom
and i didn’t realize she was actually
using the facilities until she
stood up and like part of her skirt kind
of flipped into the bottom part of the
screen and then she walked all the way
back to her couch
and i don’t think she realized like we
saw this happen so
it was it was kind of shocking
thankfully the
the zoom recording on speaker view did
not record
her trip because we were kind of like oh
my god we’re going to have to do some
sort of editing
if this is being recorded
this is where you need a dedicated
dedicated zoom operator
i it was it was me and when she got
up and walked i didn’t realize what
she was doing and she wasn’t and
unfortunately she wasn’t adept enough
she would was seeing messages because
she didn’t see like questions that had
been sent to her
so there’s also that whole
being cognizant of the technology
that older people
really kind of aren’t even though we
have said in many of our documents
you can turn off your camera don’t do
anything that
is personal on screen because we can all
see you
the one of the first things i learned
when i started doing public tv
doing uh the the pledge drives was um
we we’d tell all the talent that we’re
on wireless mics you know
when you leave the studio here’s the
mute switch
mute yourself you know you you won’t be
on air
because the audio operator is taking
care of that but just you know when you
leave the
studio mute yourself when you come back
unmute yourself we do mic checks you
all standard stuff but you know
i could sit in the audio room and solo a
couple of mics and hear conversations in
the green rooms hear people wandering
off the bathroom in the kitchen and it’s
just making a point of it um i dropped a
link in the chat
for a uh push a internet
based push to talk thing called zillow
i don’t quite know how much propagation
delay it has
through it but some friends use it as a
two-way radio when they’re doing
like conventional logistics you’re
picking stuff from this facility and
that one and taking it to the hotels and
stuff like that and um there are a
other ones but you can basically create
you know a small group of people on
their cell phones with the app
and get not quite real-time voice
communication to them
assuming they have cell phone coverage
assuming they have yeah it’s a well or
or where their phone is on wi-fi
yeah uh there are also some other
similar systems there’s one called
mumble which is
kind of designed for gamers but it’s uh
it’s designed for for gamers around the
world to talk to each other
in almost real time and uh
you can set up your own server it’s like
mumble dot io something like that
but uh and you can buy the service but
having having something like that to to
the presenters and so on
um although you still have to get them
to lag at you look at the chat windows
and things like that too
and and they’re presenters you can stand
up in the back of the room and do this
and wave
wave finish up signs and they still
won’t stop talking
in there um one of the things that
that rachel was talking about was using
whatsapp which brings to
which brings up the question of okay are
we expecting people to have
multiple devices like okay
everybody’s on a zoom call but oh
everybody’s got a cell phone where
they’re looking at whatsapp
how do you manage that
yeah we’ve dealt with that problem um
using kahoot for quizzes
so if you’re um in the zoom call on your
you can open kahoot in a browser tab but
you’re going to be really slow because
you’ve got to be able to see the zoom
window for the question
and be able to see your kahoot thing
with the answers so you’re not going to
if you’re doing on one device so we’ve
warned people
we always say in the email you’re going
to need two devices if you’re in it to
win it
um but obviously no one reads emails so
yeah i don’t have a good answer beyond
tell people in advance
i simply cannot imagine trying to do the
sort of thing
that we do when trying to present an
sfcon entirely on a smartphone
there’s no such thing as an off-screen
real estate
um i wound up adding a second large
simply because i needed the additional
real estate when i’m doing stuff like
so if people say oh gee i’m doing this
on my ipad
the reality is though that a lot of
people um
especially if you’re including um
you know a lot of people who are younger
and live with families
or maybe don’t have tons of money if you
have one internet connected device it’s
more likely to be a smartphone than a
yeah i am i am encountering an
increasing number of people who use
their smartphone
for for tours that you would
traditionally use a computer for
simply because they can but then you
start running into the inherent limited
limitations of the platform specifically
screen real estate
but i think it’s also different between
whether it’s a participant
in your event and or like a speaker or
guest and the usability that you need
from them
our use of whatsapp was for the people
who were
presenting and teching so that they
could talk
as a small group if there’s like
questions or alerts um
that needed to be just within those
uh the we haven’t done anything
that required to be on a zoom and
another platform at the same time
for our participants so our participants
come in
on cell phones and ipads and laptops and
mounted screens and and we don’t they’ve
got a camera that displays them and they
they can present themselves to the
audience and they can yeah
so i think you kind of have to
take into account what part of the
you’re talking about and who your
audience is
rachel for when you you when you’re
using say using whatsapp
are you using that for itinerant
conversation as in
you need to talk to me so you you call
me up on whatsapp and we have a separate
or are you saying you set up something
that is just sitting there
as a live side conversation
it was set up to be
to be a group chat with all the
tech and presenters so it was the rabbi
the cantor our obs
live feed chick uh our
zoom person and our screen share
um closed captioned person and that was
so if there was a change in uh
what they were actually doing oh we’re
gonna skip this oh i’m gonna change the
um though that kind of immediate message
oh the scent your
your sound is going out
so it was communication within that that
chat audio or video text audio video
this was the the whatsapp chat
because okay so text yeah yeah because
someone was
was on on live at that time so it had to
be something that was
silent but separate from the zoom
so they could see that kind of directed
because unfortunately with zoom if you
private message
someone it can get lost in all those
other chat messages
yeah i can go out to everybody well this
is this is where
when we did worldcon we had an entire
uh broadcast level coms system set up
unfortunately again this is something
that i’m working on
um the price point was horrible and not
the sort of thing that would be likely
used by anything other than or even a
world corner the
pricing level they had but in terms of a
it was exactly what we need in that it
was short sharp itinerant
voice messaging in the same way that um
intercoms are used we went with we
weren’t with the whatsapp because
everyone had it on their phone correct
yeah no i get that
so i guess it became what tool did
everyone have and was familiar
with that’s the other thing is like if
it’s something brand new there’s that
learning curve
well there is fit for purpose
so we picked a tool that was fit for
purpose there were many other tools we
could have used
that would have worked but were not
actually fit for purpose they
they required you to think in the wrong
do unnatural things which is you know if
you’ve got
if you can do it if you’ve got the money
or you can work out a deal which is what
i did
then you pick the tool that is in fact
the right thing so you could get from
here to los angeles
on a raft but it’s really better to take
a jet
it doesn’t say that a raft wouldn’t do
it eventually
the one of the uh you know having having
you know heard the wonderful phrase
whatsapp is we’ve got
so many competing platforms out there
yeah of
you know i um
it’s like i refer to some of the
streaming platforms as you twitch
yes you know and and and and was it um
instant insta-face chat i think was
another one
um that you’ll get a lot of people who
which almost almost if you pick a common
like like whatsapp or uh
facebook or something you’re going to
find a
non-trivial number of people who don’t
play with that
and are i don’t play with that and are
unwilling to
because they’ve already decided they
don’t want to play with it
um so for instance i do not do
you know i do not do snapchat i do not
do instagram
i do not do whatsapp um i don’t do
anything with apple specific because i’m
got an android phone so you know the
moment somebody says well we’re gonna be
using this it’s like
um no no i’m not
i have already decided that it’s not a
tool i want on my device
unless you get me a device to put it on
um whereas sometimes with the
and yes for the for the you know for
instance for doing the high holy days
where it’s a specific bunch of people
some of which are probably less
technically savvy
um that allowances have to be made
but for something where you have a at
amongst the people who would be say
operating something like this where
presumably they’re more technically
um being able to
pulling something that nobody or very
few people
already have and it’s new to everyone um
and more of a purpose-built thing
possibly with a more trusted interface
you know i i’m not a great zillow fan
but it works for some people but it’s
a photo sharing thing and it’s not a big
social networking thing and it’s not a
marketing thing
you know it’s it’s doesn’t have any of
those it’s more like a telephone or a
so picking something like that that
going to be as invasive and even
even much as i don’t like discord um
you know a a couple of discord channels
as a
as a side channels for communicating
with people
um you know if you’re not trying to put
your company secrets on it is probably
just fine
you’d really i think you really have to
set your there’s get your settings
for that though too so that as soon as
something pops up you know that it’s
instead i mean that’s with my limited
usage of discord
i know there’s like messages popping in
everywhere from
from everything i like the idea of a
purpose-built uh thing like trello just
you get a funny message like that you
know you got to get on that right away
if you if you’re using a purpose-built
uh platform i mean there’s always going
to be a learning curve involved for
people who haven’t previously used
if you’re if you’re talking about people
on the organization
end and you’re talking about something
that is really fit to purpose
it’s worth their while coming up the
learning curve to be able to use it
because it does the job
and the question is what makes coming up
the learning curve worth it
and and how many people lack of pain
lack of pain the the thing that will
the thing that will push most people is
that something is more painful than
something else or less painful than
something else
um well and the difference between
whether you want
a like we’re saying an organizational
discord or whatever
versus an event discord because like you
like if we’re looking into having
attendees being able to communicate
or whatever other than just then either
you have to have two separate
completely different servers or you have
to have you know certain channels that
you only allow certain people to have if
you have certain channels that you
you know either require slow mode or
something like that on in order to
prevent people from just spamming it
and then you have to get into worries
about if people are fighting or having
issues or whatever or not abiding by
guidelines that hopefully you set up and
pasted somewhere in the first place and
so it’s a big uh liability issue for the
to have something like that that’s more
open and so
i guess that’s one thing that i’ve one
wanted to like
think about from the from going to these
meetings because
we have not traditionally had an online
really presence
and so how do we flip-flop ourselves
into that
online presence and not immediately
let it fall apart underneath us
and i like the idea of actually separate
discord servers
at that point because doing doing some
of the ones in the last six months
the the role structures
for doing no i’m not talking to you
uh doing the role structures for um
attendees versus speakers versus
different levels of
operations and management was a double
hair ball
and a bunch of
a bunch of that would have been um
solved by putting all the operational
stuff just on a different server
and you know you can open as many as you
want in the in the discord thing
i’m still not talking to you um
that uh maybe he will get the idea um
listening for the voicemail knocks
but being able to separate them discord
works for some things
but as um uh somebody who is working
with it over the summer said
it’s it’s the best it’s the best of a
platform that
it does the job it’s complex you you
to make it play it does not play well
with anything else like
external authorization systems just
you know it’s not there um
but a lot of people a lot of younger
people are familiar with it
which brings up one of the problems that
i think we’re all dealing with
because okay there are one-size-fits-all
event management packages that do
everything from registering the
attendees presenting the
program and they’re all aimed at
and they all cost a lot of money and no
sfcon for example that i’m aware of can
afford them
we have to build from parts and then the
question becomes
how do you glue the parts together and
how do you provide the maximum amount of
which is why i’m doing this
and also just because it’s time
has anybody come across good black
friday bargains
we should look at um what sort of things
are you looking for
uh like wordpress plugins
um i just upgrade the theme to the
professional theme
because it was on sale but
might be some odd things people have
come across
i just learned about stream deck which
seems like a very useful tool
has everybody does everyone know what
stream deck is
it it’s physical buttons that trigger
macros so you could control zoom
control obs and it’s got lcd
yeah okay yeah yeah that’s um
there’s a bunch of there’s a bunch of
keyboards like that out there yeah
just usb keyboards and you do the key
yeah and this is with actual with the
pictures change on the keys
yeah um they’re like they’re
i mean each person would have to have
their own though and they cost
money and you have to program them like
there is a solution
apps and that’s called the the the the
10k usb keypad
which are quite reasonably priced
because it’s well it’s actually 16 keys
but you know it’s a 10 key
like side of the keyboard on a usb thing
and you can get those and map them into
whatever your key things are um
i’ve come across just one program that’s
not road supported
that can distinguish between your main
keyboard and the 10 key
um do you know of any program specific
for that
to do what well if you remap the number
one key
on the 10 key keyboard
how does the computer know if you’re
pressing that 10 key
or if you’re pressing the one on your
normal keyboard
and should be sending a different scan
code well if you’re
if it’s coming in via the usb device
it’s you’ve got the device identity of
the key press event
so i believe you can i believe you can
map with that
um plus it’s also going to be
application dependent
um and it is something that
that i could go play with and find out
um just because i’ve been meaning to do
things like that
there’ll be something great to post on
the website
yeah the um
yeah i haven’t seen any action on
interesting stuff showing up on on the
recently in silence um but a lot of
that’s going to be
it’s also going to be uh it’s going to
be app dependent and it’s going to be
platform dependent
you know i don’t know if mac behaves the
same way windows doesn’t i don’t know
about linux either
probably not but no but uh
jay i um somebody who has set one up i
forget what brand he’s using
uh but like john in the nysa
uh uses one of those uh switchers
so maybe we can get him to do a quick
demo of it sometime as how he uses it
with zoom
i’ll talk to him
um i say i have a friend who uses like a
stream deck and stuff like that if
you’re interested
specifically in that technology um who
i’m sure
he does text talks all the time so i’m
sure he’d be happy to give a talk about
any of that kind of stuff if you really
want to go overboard
there are a couple companies that make
one of the equivalent of
of of productions you know production
video switcher control surfaces
with the usb interface for things like
vmix and obs
yeah completely defender t-bar we could
go all the way to newtek tricaster
but well you can use it to drive the
tricaster too
yeah you can also there’s a somebody
that has a
i think they sell an arduino-based box
it goes between
the old grass valley 110 control head
and a tricaster or a
black magic atem or i think usb
at this point also maybe but that’s
kind of getting off in the weeds yeah
nice weeds but
um you know right now with the website
the way the discussions are it’s broken
we make more sense to just use a mailing
well i’m trying to think of what bounce
making it frictionless to share stuff
and to have it discoverable for somebody
new coming in and being able to see
something on the web page
it’s something to think about um
i was just about to have a thought and i
was trying to trying to run down the
the thing i think if you’re trying to
get some
discussions going uh
either a bog standard internet mailing
mike on mailman um does
quite well um
public archive and people can find it
yeah or
a um you know or one of the um
web forum uh
things not not v bulletin uh there are a
couple other ones
hpv well i was actually looking at
one of the forums i read all the time i
was trying looking for which platform it
was on
are you talking about mike whatever’s uh
election forum
yeah mike holt yeah yeah yeah um
but that’s that kind of thing is a nice
threading of discussion
and uh places to dump things but
you know say just even a mailing list
yeah i i got the groups dihio which
seems to be really good i know just
similar thing yeah
um phil khan transitioned from
yahoo groups to for its con
mailing list there are still issues in
terms of getting everybody to understand
and properly use the platform
and thus brings up another ah he’s in
the car
um yeah he is he’s been listening yeah
this brings up another
question of of you know communications
platforms there’s for coordinating all
of this
that um
you know there’s instaface chat
uh mailing lists web forums
uh this that the other thing and
i’m i’m an old fart um you know
i remember before the internet um
you know i remember was arpanet you
remember when getting online consisted
of using a dial-up modem
yep at sometimes 110 bps
um but going you’re starting off with
even just something simple like a
you know mailing list or multiple
mailing lists
that people can subscribe to or not
and a sensible structure for for the
overall event
a sensible structure of lists not too
many but not too few
um and
i you know the the two the too few lists
more people see relevant messages that
need to
but if you have too many lists people
end up
seeing eight of them because they want
to make sure they get the right people
yep can you say usenet oh i can say uh
i could say about 15 different science
fiction cons
well my immediate thought of is what’s
going to make
this group useful um
has everybody seen like the forum page
how it works because the buddypress is
basically making it sort of like
facebook where you’ve got
timelines and you could see the
conversations you’re part of
but still has like a friction to it
let me tell you the problem with that
i’m saying my problem with that
specifically is it’s not in my inbox
it’s another place i have to visit and
with with emil you know even with a
bunch of different email boxes they
you know they flash up notices that say
i’ve got email in them where they turn
things blue
um infinite different websites that i
have to you know
i want i want information to push to me
i don’t want to have to pull it
and i can i thought it was pushing
because i did some changes with
with fixed exchanges with jay last week
i think it does but still
going to visit the page to see things
see what it was
and the email exchanges
i i want to have public and easily
discoverable so it’s not just us
talking it’s getting more people
um the way that it’s broken down into
the different groups like is is there a
way to just is there a is there a main
page that just
kind of shows everything that’s
uh what the most recent things were
because yeah anything you’ve
interacted with should show up in your
group’s timeline
but then there’s what’s new there’s a
forums page
you could go to i just changed the menu
um let me just share
and also do the emails that come does it
work that i can just reply to that email
and then it will it will paste it into
thread do you know i don’t know
because yeah i i agree there is a bit of
a friction there trying to like getting
it on the phone and on the phone it kind
compresses things in a funny way yeah um
this is all the forums which
you know have almost no
discussions okay
so i’m just going to
oh sorry
where do i stop my share oh i didn’t
share the screen
sorry okay
i’m i’m going to enable the groups io
mailing list
let me throw one other one out that um
you know i see nine people here um and
it’s been
something you know some very good
discussions um
but there are also i you know i can
think of at least two or three
other groups out there that are having
the same discussions we are
great and um
you know the two of them i can think of
are from science fiction fandom
um one of them is a mailing list that’s
been around forever another one is a
facebook group which
because it’s on facebook i don’t
participate in um
there are problems probably some other
ones um
do you know the name of the facebook
group uh journeymen of fandom
okay so i was invited to join one that
was just called we run conventions
and so they seem to be having similar
conversations as well but
yeah so we do all need to talk to each
yeah and the smurf smof
um yeah i’ve tried signing up for the
mailing list no
response and they’re having some events
next week that’s yeah it’s morphcon is
next week
uh it’s it’s odd that you got no
and years ago when i tried to access
info i got no response
how long did you wait for a response uh
just now uh it’s been a couple of weeks
since i
tried signing up
so you were trying to join the list yeah
i was trying
and also a few years ago when i was
interested in putting on a con
i tried to join and just nothing
and there’s no web presence for what
they’re doing
i mean the website is all disjoint and
nothing putting this info out there
well this is i mean the first word of
the name is secret
yeah um
i mean usually usually sharon or joel
get on the subscriber quest fairly
quickly for smuffs
um guys we’re sort of in the weeds but
problem that needs to be solved is
of missions so if you know if we’re
looking for
things to do that will change things
it’s picking up these gems so what’s the
problem getting access what do you do
you fix access
yeah that that’s why i try and make a
that’s a community that anybody could
so honestly i actually prefer the way it
is now because
i’m hopeless emails at the best of times
if it’s all in one place it’s more
likely that i’ll catch up
on all of it when i’m looking um and
it’s also better for people who come in
later because all the discussions are
right there
but it does need a critical mass of
people who are actually using it right
i think that’s the problem if people
aren’t using it and it’s not active
then people don’t check it and that just
self perpetuates
yeah and the um group scio
the discussions can really wander and
it’s not like separated into categories
of you know the messiness of a mailing
well you know a mailing list with with
some amount of discipline
and and somebody who’s willing to say
we’re off topic here
um i’ll say we’re off topic but we’re
not this is on topic
you know that’s there are a couple
mailing lists i’m on that are
very emphatic about
staying on topic um
about things like trimming your posts
and not including all kinds of extra
you know stuff um you know they it’s
actually in the list
fact for for some posting is right out
so what about this
what if we make the mailing list where a
condition of joining
is you give permission for anything you
to be turned into a web page
we’ll give a list archive you kind of
have to do that
well yeah but i’m saying that’s a really
good idea okay
and put onto the webpage and this way it
could be
messy and then
moderate ahead into something everybody
easily access
something like that would work yeah okay
i can i can offline provide a couple of
examples of places to do things like
great oh
would you be comfortable just pasting
the links in here or
i think the the main one is having
having a couple people who are
willing and able to read the list every
and and or often enough and say
stop it
i own and moderate a couple of low
volume lists
you know it volume starts to become a
problem if you’ve got a lot of people
but it absolutely has to be done
yeah and a good part of it is just
setting a firm example going in
this is what this list is about these
are appropriate topics of conversation
if it wanders off that take it to
private mail
and don’t talk post
what’s that
what’s top post when you are in a
mailing list
and people do not intersperse their
comments on things they are talking
about they simply put their
lie up at the top and then you’ll have
an almost infinitely long string that
you have to dig through to find context
uh i have the quote here popping up in
as we speak
there’s there’s another one that uh
where the um
the second the answer at the top is and
causes crabs
z man can you save the chat and send
that to me when i’m more
able to read chat sure
no i don’t have that that other one i’m
gonna have to go looking for it now
so i’ll just embed the recording on the
for this meeting and i’ll put the chat
there too oh
um trying to find something in google
and of course
it wants to tell me everything which is
not what i asked
done with that okay is anything coming
up that
you should be checking out attending
and khan’s doing something interesting
virtual smart con is next weekend yeah
anybody who’s involved in
science fiction fandom should probably
be signing up for and attending that
if i was in the right mailbox to find
i find the link
the in my experience the thing that
one list from another is quality i think
this is
where where dennis was going
but the thing that creates
quality is that people come to perceive
you as the place
where they get the best answers it takes
a little while to build that up
and before this critical mass and it
does take
some weeding out of the
lunatics who say something and in fact
aren’t correct spreading disinformation
but my experience of lists over a very
long time
is you you need a culture for the list
you need um high quality a reasonable
signal to noise ratio
you also need to give people the freedom
to goof off occasionally because that
creates community
and the final thing this might sound
completely counterintuitive
but every so often you need a shitstorm
because the storm causes people to
come down to see what
the fuss is all about and
those many of those people stick or
contribute in useful ways but the most
important thing
is to get information there and attract
people in the first place
so i would be encouraging this group to
be posting information
about things that worked and encourage
people to come and ask questions
one of my experiences over many years
going back to the days when going online
and participating in forums consisted of
calling up a bbs
over a dial-up modem and responding
is that one of the things that happens
is it takes you a little bit
you need to sit back and you need to
read the traffic for for a bit
and then you start to realize who in the
actually knows what they’re talking
and because oh somebody will post a
question and there will be half a dozen
different answers most
five of which will be wrong so
you know how do you you you just have to
who actually has a clue and who you
should talk to
i think that’s one advantage of this
community website is that
everyone here has a profile that
they could add to
assuming that people actually look at
the profile yeah
i mean then you get um sorry okay
um i was just gonna say on the topic of
having content to look at have you
um posted individual talks
i haven’t gotten to choppy up yet yeah
or maybe to have references that people
can go and look up
and yeah it’s going to be added to the
page like the more society page
it’s just been a matter of time i can
tell you how well some people look at
that were asked on one bb one
system to make sure our location
information was correct and my location
says um it’s like approximately 50 430
some miles
from earl’s court
which is in fact great circle distance
correct within a couple miles
and absolutely useless
i need to drop off i will try to come
see you later later john hi
and i’m going to need to drop off
shortly because i need to
drive into san francisco and back
driving to san francisco pick up some
come back talk to a guy about roles for
a virtual convention
before the five o’clock call on it um
this is the
the pyrotechnics one and they’re
they’ve been holding it in person for 30
and they you know
everything is dialed in for that and can
talking to people about how you know
you’re going to have to think about
well we know in person how to punch
somebody off the site
we know wide post punch somebody off the
site who got all of that
all right we’re online how do you punt
somebody off the site
you know do you have uh you know do you
have some rules about it
you can’t just stick a rocket up there
button light the fuse right
and actually that’s that’s a big one
a lot of people i think contribute to is
the policy decisions that
go that follow from
physical to to to virtual of
why and when and for how long would you
remove somebody
uh who has the authority to
to do it and who has the ability to do
it which ought to be separate people
um who you know
how do your door guards work uh
if you have any you know um
some events go you know some events
some science fiction concept done it as
a free attendance and
on your way out of the webinar you pass
through the gift shop
or the donation page in that case or is
it do you make it a paid event
and have to control access that way
and zoom provides i haven’t checked in
the last
month or two provides almost no
mechanism for doing that
unless you’re doing webinars and
webinars are
yeah we’ve actually
addressed a little bit of that um we
have a separate system
for our membership management um
and our financial like they can pay
their bills and make donations so we
have a
sign up form when we’ve needed to do an
event that
requires some sort of money so the sign
form uh usually with a suggested
donation amount
then the confirmation number has the
meeting info whereas zoom had you know
if it’s just a meeting their
registration is more limited
so it definitely is something to think
and try to work out that mechanism
between how available you are
how do you collect the money and still
keep the
meeting information kind of proprietary
um and i think it has to depend with
like how you’re
integrating with your membership
apple you know uh
well part database of that is that say
unless it’s changed in the last couple
zoom doesn’t provide a good method for
only for their webinars do they have a
money collection
and well yeah what webinars have a way
of individual
tokens but meetings do not anybody could
you know
moment somebody um yeah yeah the
last time i ran a meeting with required
it did seem to give a individual token
for a meeting okay i think that just
changed that yeah i know that for
instance for you
you know the events that use discord as
their chat platform
there’s there are a couple of there are
a couple groups of people who have
some ways of linking discord into
an authorization server but it’s still a
bit tenuous how it works
and if you know i’d say unless you’ve
got a lot of technical
you know technical chops behind the
things then
you don’t have a connection and you end
up having
you know one you haven’t having to put
your membership information
pull it out of your purchasing
sale system and dropping it into
the chat system and potentially dropping
it into zoom
or having somebody trolling around
through zoom and saying
i don’t recognize this name on here are
they on my list
no boot them out or
uh by the way with zoom um a couple of
useful features
that that are hard to find it okay if
you’re using
business zoom as opposed to pro zoom
um you get a bunch of stuff with
business zoom
along with the cost um but one of the
things you get
is there’s a flag that they can set if
you ask which lets
somebody join multiple meetings
at once from the same machine
you you have to there’s a couple things
about it but at one point i was
just as a test i had four meetings
showing up on one pc
and i was listening to all of them um
uh there’s another one
go ahead also say there’s another
there’s another
one that uh if you set it it prevents
attendees from renaming themselves
um there’s a handful of things like that
um if you get really get into zoom and
start using
the business licensing of it
i was looking at how you might attend
more than one zoom meeting at a time and
discovered that yes it was license
yeah it’s the you join via urls but
um it’s kind of i mean there’s a handful
things like that
um and there’s a lot of differences
between you know
well there’s actually a chart on zoom’s
website of difference between
free and pro and business
and don’t bother with enterprise because
it’s a whole lot of money and b it
doesn’t get you a whole lot over
business see bang there’s some
use there’s some value in in this
discussion in terms of alerting
people but in in fact if we’re going to
be doing the right job what we should be
is what rachel livermore did with her
piece of analysis which is exactly that
a piece of analysis
where we can collect all of this
information do the comparison
have a quick chart somebody can look at
and then make they can make it an
informed decision about
where they go for what tool for instance
i don’t think we have done
anything about coalescing all that
information that we did when we were
chasing down
various video conferencing tools before
we made decisions
no i
did great to post pages about that
yeah actually yeah there’s a hint there
which is you’re gonna have to ride zbang
and me to get us to
take time out of our schedules to do
that but the piece that rachel did which
he presented at the last
you know that like the kickoff meeting
that that stuff is gold and that is what
will improve the signal-to-noise ratio
rather than a lot of the discussion i’ve
heard which is very quickly dropping
into the weeds
that’s why we need a good moderator
well culture whatever it does sound like
you’re volunteering to do the next uh
the next
presentation is that what i’m hearing
would it be useful if if we do
informal meetings like this if someone’s
allocated to keep minutes
and then we can post them on the website
and have like a this is a useful
information about
zoom section well i’m not volunteering
by the way
yeah i didn’t stream this to youtube but
you know we it’s anyway i could upload
it to youtube and get the captions
so we have the transcript
which i’m going to do with the talk i
actually put it up to youtube but if
there were someone who was willing to
maybe not take minutes but take notes of
somebody’s says we should remember that
i’m not volunteering either we need a
good box
here but i already do take note
this is one of the biggest challenges of
any any
effort and movement like like this it
really does take massive amounts of
commitment on behalf of somebody um i’m
about to drop off again by the way
i’ve got an angry dentist and
you know how well that works
talk to you later john
i’ll drop off when i finish parking i’ve
got to find somewhere to park yet
oh um um so i do have a couple of
comments about zoom
um in case it’s helpful the thing that
i’ve been working on
over the past couple of weeks is
um i’ve redone our convention website
um set up a system so that
you only see the zoom link when you buy
a ticket in this case it’s free but you
still have to go through the checkout
in order to buy it so that it shows you
the zoom link
that does require some kind of you know
among attendees because they can share
the link you can’t stop them copying and
emailing it to their friends
we’ve always shied away from requiring
zoom registration just because we don’t
want people to have to have
zoom accounts we do have to have an
account with zoom to do the registration
and on the allowing participants to
rename i would be very very wary of
doing that
in a like fan convention thing because
most people have some accounts for work
and they might not want their legal
names showing up at a convention
the issue i think you run into there
is the same issue that i’ve been dealing
with with discord
in that okay in discord what you see is
the user’s handle
and if you don’t happen to know the user
in person you may not know who they are
in your life
phil conn for example our tech director
had to create a spreadsheet
matching user’s real name to handle so
he knew which tech he was talking to at
any moment
so so you have the fundamental question
of what do you consider the user’s
you also have a very good thing that
rachel livermore just tagged
is zoom accounts some people have
you know some people have personal zoom
logins some people have corporate zoom
logins there’s nothing to stop them from
anybody from having two or three um
and it’s simply how they try to join and
you don’t need a zoom login at all to
join a zoom meeting um that actually
depends on your security settings
uh so what we’ve done is
uh part of our security moving forward
because of
anti-semitic zoom bombings is we
we require everyone to have a free zoom
you can do that that but there’s a
policy thing not a technical thing
and technically you don’t need a zoom
account to join
if the host has set it to accept
non-registered accounts
right and there’s another setting where
you can have
if you’re in the corporate environment
where you can restrict things to
emails that are only on the corporate
account um
and yeah but again the yeah those those
become policy things
um definitely you know
worth knowing about and like with the
rename you know i have this is the
reason i put the z
bang on the front of it because yeah it
is yeah
that’s how much people know me but um
i’ve seen all sorts of conventions thank
you that’s the one i’ve just paid for
put your member number on there
thank you very much
yeah um
oh good point
the renaming is policy
um we’ve had it where we’ve had
uh honors being given to fam
you know the relatives of the family
member that was
hosting the event and we’ve said we have
to make sure
whoever is coming that the name in our
matches the name on the screen so we can
find them
we did have a zoom bomber that
renamed himself with a jewish sounding
name so they were let in from the
waiting room
and then did their thing and got kicked
but yeah that whole restricting
uh people being able to name themselves
then then they come in they can come in
with their work name they can come in
with their registered name is iphone
blah blah blah
and it becomes it definitely is kind of
that policy thought
that then needs to be put out there
so people understand yeah
and some things are easy like you know
well if you have a if you have a
verified zoom account
we’re pretty sure we know who you are
and that you’re part of our congregation
kind of thing we we do it so
sorry can i just jump jump in before i
have to jump off
i won’t show you the picture of dentists
looking at me and ushering me into room
um what just occurred to me is that
we should be having these informal
meetings every little while but what’s
coming out of this
is the topic and what we should be doing
i think at these ones
is saying right here’s a topic to
expound on
make that a topic for meeting like this
this topic how do you manage people
in and out how do you you know
pros cons but go yep there’s a topic
and then move on rather than try to
cover it now
that way we can go and advise people
and have a large number of people coming
to one of these
because they will have a purpose for
and with that i need to run thank you
let’s talk about it on the mailing list
i’m about to pay off the page
good idea
okay i’m going to drop off because i
need to go make a
run into the city it’s been over an hour
you guys want to score today and try on
the list
that works for me this has been very
worthwhile we need to do it again
okay and i’ll either mailing this page
to the menu it’ll be up in a minute
thank you hey great thanks all
right really well thanks thank you
always interesting

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2 thoughts on “Informal Meeting (11/29/2020)

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