Update on VirtualTinyhouseCon plans
Sorry it’s been so long, but I am in the middle of searching for an apartment and moving (wish I could use a tinyhouse).
Okay, so so far there seems to be 3 main things to do differently:
1. Advertise better, including further in advance.
Of course reaching people is always a problem. The plan is to at least email as many bloggers as I can (with the help of the list of blogs at the Tinyhouse Wiki). Even if they choose not to post about it, if they blog about tinyhouses they may be interested in coming themselves. I’m also looking into a way to put a handy email reminder thing on the announcement post.
Holding the Con regularly could also help with this, if it just takes place for an hour each week at the same time the information about next scheduled time does not need to be distributed, because we already know.
2. Change the time. Though remember I picked the existing time based on scientific survey data (and some assumptions), there is plenty of room for adjustment. The amount of info about peoples preferences is too scanty right now to make any countervailing decision based on.
3. Sub-theme. It surprised me that people saw that a theme would be good, because I thought we already had one. Using a poll to decide on one means I have to come up with some interesting ones myself. Maybe I can mine the blogs for some, but the exact sub-theme doesn’t seem critical to me, it’s more like a decoration on the wall anyway.
I have tried to find some reading material about doing this sort of thing, but I wasn’t able to find any. It seems like the assumption is that if you wanted to do this sort of thing you would just open the chatroom and leave it there 24/7, because you can. But look at IRC channels. Even on topic in which there are a very large number of people interested, they are almost always devoid of discussion (you can see for yourself at http://www.searchirc.com). So I’m postulating the existence of a “meeting washout” effect. Without a designated time, people come, see there is no one there, figure this whole IRC channel thing is boring, and never come back. Without other conversants, it stays boring. So when the available discussion time too far exceeds the amount of discussion that can be expected, this washout occurs. I think there is more than enough positively fascinating topic matter for an hour a week here, there are so many fascinating and relevant people and issues. Plus the number of interesting network connections goes up as the square as the number of people present goes up. So the designated times are very important, and should be optimized, but to optimize it requires some changing, conflicting a bit with the need to distribute the info.
No one mentioned that the software platform seemed inadequate, so that’s good news.
edit: hm, I was just thinking, there must be a dynamic by which people figure if it is every week it doesn’t matter if they miss it. That could be an issue. Maybe once every 2 weeks or even month would be better. Hm.