The Future of the VirtualTinyHouseCon
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
#5 0 none I think, I forget and can’t find the summary (didn’t I write one???)
#8 0 (which hardly counts since it was christmas day)
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.
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….