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Time for a virtual meetup?

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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Time for a virtual meetup?
    Posted: 05 April 2020 at 20:30
I hesitate to raise this as it can be quite time consuming and it might be difficult to do around the globe or across continents ... but, would there be interest in a Dyxum meetup using the Zoom conferencing software? I've used it locally, to some success with otherwise isolated photographers.

It would require a host with access to a paid version of Zoom (alas not me), and some preparation beforehand, like a small agenda of topics to work through (e.g. photos or techniques to share ...). And time for those new to Zoom to get acquainted and certainly download the app.

If there's interest, a few of us could meet to discuss what might be usefully done, and the rest of us could also feed in ideas and suggestions. I know Olympus UK user group have done something like this, and I'm sure there are local clubs and societies trying it out too.

Any thoughts?


(Also, I couldn't start this in the Meetings thread, not having the required permissions or something. Can it be moved, removing this paragraph?)
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2020 at 20:36
Yeah, to my surprise us normies cannot start a thread in the meetings sub-forum. Got an explanation that was not convincing, but, well, not that important.

A digital meeting would be interesting, though Zoom has some issues, but they are working on it.
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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2020 at 20:51
Sounds like an interesting idea Howard. As you said, I guess wed need some things to talk about, but Im game.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2020 at 22:01
I can join too. I have a catch-up every other day with my cousins (I have 22 first cousins) using Google duo.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 05:16
Interesting idea of Howard's, although as he has said, finding a suitable time across the world's time zones may be a little challenging.

I think I'm happy communicating via the numerous Forum categories and posts that exist here, together with the more person to person messaging that are available, but if someone does set up the virtual meeting, and the time works for me, I'd be prepared to log on and give it a try. I guess the numbers would need to be managed so the host isn't overwhelmed by dozens of feeds and having to manage all those audio and video inputs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 08:42
I would try joining from Italy. Switching off audio and video of people who's not talking would help.
Nice idea
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 09:46
In current circumstances, the time problem is less, as it is less likely that people are going to be at work...

There seem to be a number of possibilities - zoom being one, does anyone have experience of something that might be accessible to all?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 10:18
Well, it sounds like a great idea and I'd be up for it; just add it to the long line of Teleconferences I currently seem to have each and every day at the moment! Julie wondered what I did at work all day - now she knows it's a combination of phone and TC meetings!

As for timing, well we tend to do global calls around Noon UK time as we can 'capture' both the US people (yes; early I know) and the Asian contingency (yes; late I know!) but that's a reflection of the fact we are a more Eurocentric organisation than anything else.

In terms of platform, then we are Webex users but that's a subscription company-wide one. I have also used Zoom as well for 'dial-in' with 3rd parties who have organised the call but there seem to be a lot of different providers out there at the moment.

Management of the call will be key - we always ask all participants to mute their lines as that keeps the background noise down significantly.

So - yes; I think it would be really good to put a voice to the name and to see what everyone is up to locked inside their homes!

Take care all and best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 10:24
I'm aware of the security concerns of Zoom, but it is widely used and can be installed on most platforms - Mac/Windows/Android/IOS. It is said to be one of the easier apps to use in this area.

A positive feature (but one open to abuse by 'Zoombombers') is that people can share links in a side chat window, and share documents to everyone's screens. So if the meeting is structured so that someone wants to talk about a photo they have taken, it can be on screen while they talk about it (or indeed a sequence of pictures can be presented). It's also possible to have virtual backdrops e.g. a favourite photo - with the side benefit of hiding all the clutter behind you.

The free version of Zoom can handle up to 100 participants, I believe, though the most I have seen is 11, with the option to have all the participants neatly arranged in a grid. As far as I can see the system manages the competing inputs using a highlighting box to indicate the current speaker. I think a virtual if not actual hand can be raised to indicate that someone wishes to speak.

That said, I'd be interested to hear what other systems have to offer.

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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 10:37
The schools I'm involved with have been using Microsoft Teams (only see 4 people at a time) and were also looking at Zoom for virtual governor meetings... I just had a look at zoom and it looks like you can host for up to 40 mins without having a paid plan... but I think the host might need email addresses or facebook details or similar to invite people...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 10:51
All correct, Bob.
A host needs to set it all up and send email invitations with a clickable link to the participants who log on at the appointed time. The host can then promote and demote the participants in terms of their being live on screen, or just passive participants.
Sound and vision can be turned on and off by the host who controls the numbers of people on the screen. Participants are promoted if they are to come up on screen. Anyone can post comments in the chat function as the meeting proceeds, and if their mike is on they can chime in. Unless they need to have their say, it's best if mikes are off except for the key presenters.
I'm just responding as one who has been an invitee to several Zoom hook-ups. I don't know anything about how to drive it. And the persons who were the hosts in my sessions did occasionally show signs of frustration/stress as they worked the controls.
I dont know anything about how many people can be hooked up, but I would think they would need to be limited to a reasonably manageable number.


Edited by Jozioau - 06 April 2020 at 11:17
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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 11:19
The maximum limit is 49 per screen (one of the settings). In my one session with 11 photographers I was the host and let the system manage who was on or off. But we were fairly polite and reserved and British ('after you, Claud'), and there wasn't much in the way of people talking over each other. Nor was there much background noise to worry about (we were all in our isolated homes).

I can see that with a large group with people we may not know or recognise, then host controls could be helpful. Zoom has the option of displaying participants screen names, so that might help in saying who's next.

I became aware that having an agenda or talklist to work through is useful.

As for scale of participation, one friend said that a work briefing after the crisis started had 170 participants ... (Pro level!)

If we use at the free level, when the 40 minutes runs out the host has to re-invite all the participants to a new meeting. Email would be good for that, unless we have a Group PM facility inside Dyxum.com somewhere?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2020 at 12:57
Id be interested but completely unfamiliar with this tech. Happy to be guided to take part as it sounds like a very interesting idea.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 11:50
Have used zoom for a few work and private calls. A free account is limited to 40 minutes, but can restart the meeting using same invite straight after.

No need for email addresses, link can be shared by any means, so would suggest we get a list of people interested and have it shared via dyxum PM? That will avoid sharing it openly in the forum which is how zoombombers get access into the chat.
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