View Poll Results: What kind of communication would you prefer

10. You may not vote on this poll
  • Typed text only

    1 10.00%
  • Voice and typed text

    2 20.00%
  • Video, voice and typed text

    6 60.00%
  • I don't think I would participate

    1 10.00%
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Thread: How about a live meeting at Buddhism Without Boundaries?

  1. #1
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    London UK

    How about a live meeting at Buddhism Without Boundaries?

    Dear Friends,

    I would like to propose an idea for having a live chat or video chat session on a regular basis on this website.

    We are living in difficult and unusual times. Many of us are experiencing isolation forced on us by the current circumstances.

    Some of us look upon this website as an online sangha, others see it as a point of contact for exchange of views related to Buddhism in one way or another.

    One step towards improving our connection with each other would be to meet in real time. This could be any of three types of communication:

    (1) A 'chat room' where discussion is by typed text, but reactions, responses and answers would be typed back immediately by those answering.

    (2) A 'voice conference' whereby we speak and hear all participants at the same time.

    (3) something like Zoom, with spoken communication and visual participation too.

    All it would take to achieve (2) and (3) would be a modern laptop computer, or a smartphone with the right app downloaded.

    To begin with, I thought it would be a resource to discuss our own practice and to become a place to go for inspiration. But it could be just a place to talk about whatever's on your mind and to let off steam.

    We live in different time zones, and a time for this meeting will need to be selected that works for most people. There's a World Clock at the bottom of the page to help you visualise what time it is, around the world.

    A meeting could be held once a week, or it could occur every day at a set time to allow a conversation between whoever is 'looking in' on that day.

    I would love to know how you feel about this. Please respond with your reaction to the suggestion. Comments for or against are all equally welcome. I'm attaching a Poll to get an idea what form of communication would be preferred, if we do proceed with live meetings.

  2. #2
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    London UK
    Please take a few moments to respond with your thoughts about this, thank you.

  3. #3
    Hi Woodscooter, is it possible to have voice only as another option in the poll?

    I voted for voice and typed text.

    I'm intrigued about what people think about this idea in general - so please don''t just pass over the topic altogether and say nothing, folks!

  4. #4
    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Buckingham, Virginia
    I voted for something like a zoom meeting. I already have the program downloaded. Anyway I think it’s a great idea!

  5. #5
    Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much for replying, its greatly appreciated.

    .... and to the members looking in but not commenting.... don't be shy, if you don't want to participate its ok to say "No I don't like this idea!"

  6. #6
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Nova Scotia
    I am not a big fan of the Zoom platform: I find the one-second delay to be off-putting. But, after the last six months, everyone has it loaded on their computer or device, so it is getting to be pretty much a standard. There is even an etiquette for Zoom meetings developing (Raise your hand to speak, for example). So it would be easy to adopt. Most people are used to it.

    Om mani padme hum

  7. #7
    Forums Member.
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I like the idea of a Zoom meeting. Not a fan of texting. Voice-only might be okay, but don't really like that either.


  8. #8
    Just as an after-thought, written topics will also still continue on the main forum as usual!

  9. #9
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    London UK
    Thanks very much to all who responded. At the time of posting this message, the poll resulted in a tie between (1) (2) and (3). All of us seemed to be familiar with video conferencing and I think we will go ahead with offering that at the present time.

    I want to make it clear that you can choose to join without video. You would be able to hear and see all the other participants. Those with their video turned off will appear as a black screen with their initial in the middle.

    Similarly, if you turn off your microphone you will hear the others but you will have to communicate using the text chat screen. Or just listen in.

    Zoom is great but it has some disadvantages: It needs someone to send out invitations and it's time-limited without paying a subscription. We run BWB without an income stream so there are no funds for setting up Zoom. Of course there are alternatives, Google Meet (again, time-limited and requires you to have a Google account), Microsoft Teams (free at present, unlimited time, and you need a Microsoft account).

    I have selected Jitsi Meet for ourselves. It's free for us to use, meetings don't have to be pre-booked, length of meeting is unlimited.

    Jitsi works best with the Google Chrome browser. That's all you need. It works fairly well with the Mozilla Firefox browser, if that's your preference. But for you Mac people, Jitsi doesn't get on at all well with Safari. It's worth downloading Chrome on the Mac before joining a Jitsi meeting. There is also a Jitsi Meet app available for iPhone and Android phones.

    If you wish, you could go to our Jitsi page right now, while you are reading this, to get familiar with the screen and all the symbols on it. You'll be reminded that you are the only one in the meeting, but that won't matter if you're just checking it out. Any questions, either PM me here on BWB, or ask the question in this thread and others might benefit from the explanation.

    Perhaps we can establish a day and time for our first live online meeting, by common agreement. Apart from Aloka and myself, the people posting on this thread are all in the continent of North America, covering time zones not more than 3 hours apart. That allows for a fair selection of possibilities. Could we aim for a first meeting on Friday, October 9th?

    Aloka and I have chosen not to take part, at present. We think it's up to the participants to decide what they want to cover, without us influencing the discussion. Therefore it would be ideal if one or two will volunteer to lead the group activity.

    For security, access will be limited by password. It will be a fixed, non-changing password. I'll send you the password in a PM. Any other member who would like to participate should ask me for the password and I'll PM it back to them.

    The way that Jitsi works is that the first person to arrive at the meeting should click the shield (security) icon, and type in the password in the window that appears. After that, anyone else appearing for the meeting will be asked to type the password, before being given access to the meeting.

    Any suggestions for time of day for the first meeting?

  10. #10
    Forums Member JadeRabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hmm...I'm not sure. Speaking personally, I share the sentiment in the first post, but have found the process of searching for something online difficult due to the myriad number of options and approaches (84,000, apparently ). I'm currently exploring options based on local Sangha's I've been involved with in the past, and will see how that goes first.

    I do admire your efforts Woodscooter and Aloka, and hope that other members do take advantage of this facility and their hard work in making meetings possible for all.

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