Volunteers to run online meetings?

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Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Heta K. Pukki on Tue 20 Sep 2016 - 11:04

This topic was kind of disappearing among the agenda related discussions, so I'm starting anew.

In a previous poll, and in online discussions, these people have volunteered to do the following tasks:

myself - secretary or voice channel transcriber
Roderik Plas - chair and/or tech support
Diederik Weve - chair or secretary
Jimmi Hansen - tech support
Minttu Aalto - tech support

Let me know if I have forgotten anyone, and any new candidates for these tasks, post your wishes and questions in this thread or discuss them in the next meeting.


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Heta K. Pukki
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Roderik on Thu 22 Sep 2016 - 14:19

I won't be chairing today. Only minimal tech and minimal participation. I'm ill.
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Heta K. Pukki on Tue 10 Jan 2017 - 19:36

I am having an extremely busy month, and need to avoid overload to the point of crashing. Those planning to attend the Jan 15 meeting, please consider volunteering to transcribe the voice channel and to take the minutes.
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Kat Humble on Wed 29 Mar 2017 - 11:51

I'd be happy to chair any meetings that no one else wants to do. I have experience chairing meetings from Autistic UK.

Cheers, Kat Humble
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Josh Hennessy on Sun 23 Jul 2017 - 17:09

I might be able to volunteer for some of these, but I need more info. Please would you post brief job descriptions for each one so I know what to do?

Josh Hennessy


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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Heta K. Pukki on Sun 23 Jul 2017 - 17:18

Josh Hennessy wrote:I might be able to volunteer for some of these, but I need more info. Please would you post brief job descriptions for each one so I know what to do?

Excellent, it would be good to have a couple of potential people for each job, at least, so we're not in trouble if one of the 'usual suspects' does not turn up. I'll get back to you in the next day or two.
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Heta K. Pukki on Mon 24 Jul 2017 - 15:47

Josh, and anyone else who may want to volunteer to run meetings and support others to participate: This forum and the online meetings have evolved freely, without anyone creating job descriptions at the beginning. We have gone through a few different ways of doing things. Practices and procedures are still open to change, nothing is set in stone.

The person chairing the online meeting generally announces when discussion on each agenda point starts, summarizes the decisions, initiates voting when necessary, and gives others turns to speak - either after they have requested a turn by typing "!" in the text channel, or by going through the participant list and asking everyone to comment. This is not always strictly enforced, there are brief exchanges between pairs of participants for example, but when a lot of people have something to say, it becomes important to keep things orderly. We had a couple of very chaotic meetings before this system was introduced.

If any participants were completely out of order and preventing others from having discussions, the chair could also kick them off the meeting channel - or ask a Discord server admin to do so - or possibly turn their output volume down (not sure about all the technical solutions available there), but nothing like that has been done.

The secretary copies the agenda from the forum to the online meeting channel, takes minutes and posts them on the forum, (preferably within a couple of days after the meeting), counts votes etc. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on people requesting turns, people arriving in the middle of the meeting and so on, and help the chair out if it gets too fast for one person to manage.

I did fairly detailed minutes at the beginning, but I suspect people don't really read those, so I have gone towards a fairly brief style, mentioning what was proposed, summarizing discussion only if it seems really relevant and necessary for everyone to see, and giving voting results. Since we don't have an actual organization yet, it is only a rough approximation of democratic voting, but it does often give a good idea of what the majority of EAN members want.

The tech support person can guide people to join the voice channel, mute and un-mute their mic, adjust their audio settings, or exit and re-enter to try to solve technical problems. I'm not very familiar with the whole range of possible tech support tasks.

Transcription is simply typing detailed summaries of the spoken discussion. That has been done in the past to allow people to participate even if they could not handle listening to spoken discussion, or if their audio connection failed completely. It has not been done every time, and since it's rather intense work, I would only recommend doing it if someone clearly needs it. Some transcripts from the earliest meetings have been posted on the forum, so you can take a look if you want an idea of what a transcript might look like. We did contemplate using sound-to-text software, but could not find anything usable.
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Re: Volunteers to run online meetings?

Post by Josh Hennessy on Tue 25 Jul 2017 - 17:38

Thank you very much Heta. That's very helpful. It's less complicated than I thought it might be.

Josh Hennessy


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