Towards a better tinyhouse

Inventing to freedom?

The Future of the VirtualTinyHouseCon

with 6 comments

It has been held 9 times now, #8 didn’t really count because it was Christmas day, though.

As far as I can tell, not including me, the score is

#1 4 came
#2 1 tried to come but clicked the wrong link
#3 1
#4 0
#5 0 none I think, I forget and can’t find the summary (didn’t I write one???)
#6 1
#7 0
#8 0 (which hardly counts since it was christmas day)
#9 0

They were all different people, so seven people total. However those that do come do not come back, more on that below.

The site stats say the VTHC related post pages have been visited a total of 624 times, but that does not include the times they were read on the main page where the posts are just listed, which is what most people probably do. I think they have probably been seen a thousand times by now.

In retrospect the software seems to have worked without a hitch. I though it had failed there once, but it was because the conference-goer entered the wrong tinychat room, from some old post, not the one on the “conference is happening now” post. At #3 2coyotes had a problem with echo, but that was not a software error, and if it had occurred to me I would have switched to “push to talk” mode and eliminated it.

Vsee is probably the best software there is, though multi room functionality would have to be bodged, and it requires a (very quick) download and install. But the other options that might or might not be better want a few hundred bucks up front before I can even test it, and $50-$100 or so per month, which I can’t afford to spend on this, especially with the small amount of interest shown.

So anyway, clearly the main problem is attendance, and I think this is for 2 reasons:

1. No one comes, so no one expects it to be interesting, and no one comes. To break this vicious circle, I would have to jump start attendance in some way, maybe with a raffle or a book giveaway or something. This attendance stimulus program might have to be more than a one off thing, and might need to be extended for quite some time. I don’t have any money to spend on it, either, so that is a problem.

2. Factors that deter attendance are amplified by this vicious circle/positive feedback process. Conversely, things could sort of snowball, though, if people started attending, which is what I was hoping for. But when people do come, they don’t come back. After the first one, I was hoping that because #1 was a bit interesting, things might continue. I assume they don’t come back because last time was not interesting enough, though personally I thought it was really fun.

I’m sure there a whole bunch of reasons that it wasn’t as fun as it could be, but I think a big part of it is that people tend to be pretty slow typists, and at the same time are reluctant to use the audio or video features, which tends to dampen the conversation a lot. Or maybe it’s because I was there, heh heh. Actually that I think would fall directly under the “insufficient attendance” part, because if there were more people there would be someone else to talk to…

Hm. If I didn’t have to do it on a shoestring, I would have used one of the pro videoconferencing things from the get go, and maybe a giveaway, registered a domain name for it, etc. and maybe that would have helped a bit. If it would be enough to tip the scales and start the snowball and keep it rolling is anyone’s guess. I guess it really does take some money to do this sort of thing, which I don’t have. So I dunno what to do from this point.

Any suggestions?

For now I will keep hosting it in the established way. The suggestions on preferred times from the poll is all over the map, so might as well be same time same place….


Written by gregor

January 1, 2011 at 20:11

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. sorry, i was planing on this one for quite awhile…last time i looked at the clock it was a half hour to Gregor….thought i would do some research while i was waiting, and an hour and a half slipped by in what seemed like 20 minutes…..

    again, sorry….i don’t know what else to say,



    January 1, 2011 at 21:09

    • Lol sounds familiar :), that’s okay though, see you when or if you get a chance to come. It’s not like it’s a group project or something, it’s just that desire to do the jump-start thing that I guess makes me try to encourage people to come.


      January 2, 2011 at 17:41

  2. Couple suggestions and comments:
    1. Post a reminder. By the time I see your “happening now” posts it’s usually over.
    2. Mix up the times. I have two kids and often busy with them outsodenormal work hours.
    3. Feel free to post on my Facebook page a heads-up, a one-hour warning, and a happening now.

    Michael Janzen

    January 1, 2011 at 22:24

    • Hey, sorry your comment got caught in the spam bin. I wrote a more detailed response to your comments, but wordpress deleted it, arrg. I’ll implement your suggestions, but I don’t know what you mean by mix up the times, I was thinking of changing it back to Wednesday 8 pm just because that seemed to work the first time ( though I think it was probably due to the fact that it was the first one).

      If you mean change the timing randomly or have a schedule that repeats on a monthly basis or so , yeah maybe that is a better idea. Would give me more information about what time people prefer, but there is the problem of people not knowing when the next one is, which is avoided with the holding it on a same day of the week basis thing.

      It kind of ticks me off that of the hundreds of people that have seen the timing poll since I changed it, 4 people voted. What that says to me is that most people are just not interested, though those 4 are something. But then why click through to read the post? I don’t know, maybe they were expecting something else.


      January 2, 2011 at 18:02

  3. Oh one more. Spell out con. Maybe call it virtual conference so nobody is confused (no pun intended).

    Michael Janzen

    January 1, 2011 at 22:25

    • Okay, might as well. I was trying to reference DefCon and other similar conventions, but maybe people haven’t heard of them.


      January 2, 2011 at 18:07

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