[act-ma] Virtual Meetings
rkrushnic at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 09:05:55 PDT 2020
Our geographically dispersed family uses zoom for regular family calls.
There are usually arond 10 on the call, and it works beautifully. While
virtual meetings with many more won't be so great, they will still be
fine. In our meetings, each participant can click back and forth to see
only the person speaking, or see everyone on the call at once. With large
numbers, seeing everyone would not work, because each picture would be so
small, but seeing the person speaking is good enough. What's great about
zoom, is it will switch from person to person, always showing the speaker.
I think we should schedule the MAPA sanctions event, or another
event--given the changed circumstances--SOON, and see how a zoom meeting
goes. We already have what we need--our zoom subscription, so let's try
On Sat, Mar 21, 2020 at 11:53 AM Nate Goldshlag <nateg at pobox.com> wrote:
> People with desktops can use Zoom video. It downloads an app.
> > On Mar 20, 2020, at 11:52 AM, Cole Harrison <cole at masspeaceaction.org>
> > So here's my story: MAPA started to use Zoom in about September. At the
> > time many people just dialed in and did not bother with the video. But
> > since the social distancing started, we see that the majority of
> > are joining by video. This makes the interaction more interesting, and
> > also allows screen sharing and a chat window which can help the meeting
> > well.
> > Zoom costs $15/month for up to 100 participants (and can pay more for 500
> > or 1000 participants). You can convene meetings using the free plan, but
> > they cut out after 40 minutes. When you connect to Zoom it lists a bunch
> > of phone numbers to try. You install a zoom app or program on your
> > or computer. Change the id number to your phone number to make it easy
> > remember. (As soon as coronavirus started spreading, my colleague Brian
> > turned to me and said " Buy Zoom stock". He was too late - the share
> > had already almost doubled. There are not too many stocks that have gone
> > up this month. When Harvard announced it was shutting down the campus a
> > couple of weeks ago, they mentioned that everyone was going to use Zoom
> > remote learning. Stop and think how much Harvard is paying Zoom for
> > that. So far Zoom has not had capacity problems, although it has
> > installed additional phone lines as the original ones can be busy.
> > Comment: Capitalism at times can allocate resources to address problems,
> > just like the Chinese government can on an even larger scale)
> > People with laptops and smartphones can use Zoom video; the only ones who
> > can't are those who have desktops. However, desktop people with no
> > can still share their screens (i.e. for Powerpoint or for demonstrating
> > something on your computer, or for showing a video). When you join or
> > start a conference using the Zoom app you'll see a button to share your
> > screen.
> > A few years ago I added webcams to my two desktops for $20 each, but
> > I see that they not only cost at least $50 (for higher resolution, 1020p
> > 720p) but also are out of stock, shipping form China and arriving in 4-6
> > weeks. So that is a bit of a problem. Here is one that claims they
> > have them in stock in two weeks:
> > Therefore, as organizers we cannot expect everyone to be on video any
> > soon though the majority will be. As I mention above, those who don't
> > a webcam can see the speakers and slides on their computer, but
> > will only be heard, not seen, though their computer screen can be shared
> > with no extra equipment.
> > Skype and Google Hangouts, or Apple Facetime on an iPhone, are two other
> > free video conferencing systems, alternatives to Zoom. As I see it
> > no difference in the technology but more in the way calls are initiated.
> > For Skype or Facetime you can just call someone and they pick up. For
> > you schedule the call at a certain time and people have to pro-actively
> > call in.
> > Making a simple Zoom call using a laptop, smartphone, or a desktop with
> > webcam, you may find, as I have, that your audio is tinny, or cuts out.
> > (You won't notice this yourself, the people listening to you will.) That
> > happens because your bandwidth is limited. So my practice for Zoom calls
> > is to use internet video but make a land line phone call for the audio
> > portion, and I use a headset with my landline phone so I don't have to
> > the handset up to my ear. And, I when I bought my cordless phone system
> > couple of years ago, I made sure it was one that has a headphone jack --
> > most of them don't now because they are using bluetooth headsets instead.
> > (Maybe I should get with the program on that!)
> > Enjoy
> > Cole
> > On Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 9:38 PM Charlie Welch <cwelch at tecschange.org>
> >> What does an event announcement list do when events are not happening
> >> because of the current situation?
> >> We hope to facilitate a discussion about how to organize events
> >> Today I heard the podcast of the Personal Computer Show. Very early in
> >> show there is a extended review of about a dozen conference calling
> >> systems.
> >> The Personal Computer Show was on WBAI/Pacifica in NYC for many years.
> >> The hosts have grown older and a little more inflexible but I think they
> >> did a decent job of listing and reviewing the competing systems. The
> >> one thing I wished they would have explored better is the hidden costs
> >> to privacy of free programs.
> >> There are a number of reviews on line from commercial websites. The PC
> >> radio show had the advantage of growing up on non-commercial radio and
> >> being less tainted by commercial interests.
> >> One of the ones they spoke favorably about towards the end is
> >> Zoom.
> >> I have had some experience as a participant with Zoom but not an
> >> organizer. I've done much more with Free Conference call. I am going
> >> organize a meeting with Zoom to try that for
> >> Sunday. It's only an initial assessment not a final decision.
> >> Zoom allows both computer/webcam participation or just phone call in.
> >> Another issue in the back of my mind is that there will be heavy demand
> >> for these services which might effect the quality.
> >> The link to the show is
> >> http://pcradioshow2.org/2020/pcrs_2020_march18.mp3
> >> A commercial review from PC-Magazine is linked below as point of
> >> https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-video-conferencing-software
> >> This is intended to kick off a discussion. If anyone has experience
> >> these systems or has reviews to recommend you might put in your 2
> >> cents to move this discussion along.
> >> Charlie Welch
> >> for Act-MA
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> > --
> > *"Not one step back"*
> > Cole Harrison
> > Executive Director
> > Massachusetts Peace Action - the Commonwealth's largest grassroots peace
> > organization
> > 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138
> > 617-354-2169 w
> > 617-466-9274 m
> > www.masspeaceaction.org
> > Facebook: facebook.com/masspeaceaction
> > <https://www.facebook.com/masspeaceaction>
> > Twitter: masspeaceaction <https://twitter.com/masspeaceaction>
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> Nate Goldshlag nateg at pobox.com (replace at with @)
> Arlington, MA https://www.veteransforpeace.org
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