Was having discussions today with Kellie on the various things planned for 2013 and some ideas came up that would really be great to discuss with the regular TP members (or even new, keen ones). Beats wasting time creating something that no-one will use!
Rather than pick a bunch of you and send you all messages, Skype you, etc. what occurred to us is that it would be really great to pick a day once a month or so and all have a little video conferencing session to say hello, discuss grievances, and generally plot and scheme great new things
Google Hangouts are just the tool for this I think.
So what I'd like to do is invite anyone who's interested in taking part in these meetings to get in touch with me by private message. I can invite you to a private community on Google+ which you can join. From there we can easily run the hangouts and invite participants. Probably would have to do two in the same day to catch all time zones.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter or would like to join this select group of Travellerspoint Insiders
Plotting and scheming and world domination. Yay!
I'm probably biased against this since I'm both "anti-video" (which I think is a hugely inefficient medium) and "anti-google" (which knows far too much about me already, and I'm nowadays actively going out of my way to limit my exposure to google 'services'), but this doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. It'll create a bit of a clique, and you're either in the in-crowd or you aren't; a very strong demarcation. Might over time give rise to feelings of exclusion; we've even seen such things before due to the perceived in-crowdiness of the "travel guru" group.
In the past - I'm thinking for the redesign - you've just posted screenshots and ideas in the open forums, so everyone could contribute without much of any commitment. That's a much more open and more fluid process, with a much lower barrier to entry, and one I'm personally much more in favour of.
[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jan-2013, at 23:43 by Sander ]
Not really a big fan of G hangouts either. Had to install extra software just to get it working last time, and who knows what else that installed on my computer given G's less than stellar reputation when it comes to privacy
I can see where the idea is coming from but also agree quite a bit with Sander's sentiments. There's also something to be said for choosing an idea and going for it rather than throwing everything in a group, which could just end up in a lot of 'let's do that and that and that and that and ... argh!!'.
How about more the kind of thing where TP comes up with 2 or 3 ideas and then puts them to a vote on the forum in terms of what members want to see most of those in the next month. Make sure those ideas are ones you can do in a month and also that you want to do anyway, and then it should work out in all's best interest?
Several points in response I guess..
First, it's not exclusive. I wasn't suggesting excluding anyone. And I'd even be open to providing "minutes" if that's the right word, so that those who don't want to be there can read up afterwards and comment. But I don't necessarily want all our community ideas out in the open for general public consumption either. I think there's room for dedicated members to have a place where they can discuss things without being fully public.
Secondly, I don't see video as inefficient at all. It's far easier to read people's reactions when you can talk to them face to face. Cuts down a lot on misunderstandings in my view. And it's also far more efficient to bounce ideas around in a 30-60 minute chat than it is in emails back and forth or in forum threads that go for days on end. Plus, in the time it's taking me to type this response - I could have probably explained the whole thing in a video chat 5 times over with less confusion over what we're saying.
Thirdly, I'm not going to push this for the sake of making a point, so if no-one's keen, then so be it
I'm just looking for ways that would make the process more collaborative and sometimes typing long thought-out replies can take an awful long time when compared to a real conversation.
Final side note - I know not everyone particularly likes Google. To me, they're the best of a bad bunch where big companies on the internet are concerned. And I don't see anyone else offering the kind of functionality that Hangouts provides. It's really just a means to an end.
I like the world domination concept....alas, our internet connection isn't fast enough for video hangouts , which is a plus for those who don't care to see me in my robe at home.....
I think the idea of "Insiders" might be off-putting to some, even though the Hangout could be open to active and conscientious members. Still, the way an idea is worded can mean everything.
I would start by polling the more active members each month and ask what they would like to see on TP. Personally, I like the "scrolling Conga line" along the bottom of each page...lightens the spirit of things......
We used to have our own "TP hangout" place...
It could be revived and only made live at selected times for the same proposal.
No worries about bandwidth.
No big brother to watch over you. No
No middle-aged man in robe to see.
Yeah, guess you're right - using the word insiders was a mistake. This is meant to be an expanding of communication, rather than a narrowing. Maybe an advisory panel would be a better way of phrasing it?
What happens now for me is a) think about ideas for a while, b) ask people around me, in the office, at home etc then c) wait and see if it still seems good a few weeks later before finally d) doing it or e) seeing what TP members think of it. My proposal is to get everyone involved at step b instead of step e. But that's only possible in a casual hanging out kind of environment. I don't really want to type out every little thought that comes to mind. It takes a LOT more effort to type things out clearly than it does to just say them out loud, see if everyone understood, and if not, say it again in a different way. Even live chat doesn't quite have that appeal. Though it does have the benefit of providing a transcript at the end which is handy. So I guess I'm somewhat open to that. Just would rather sit back and chat rather than have to do yet more typing.
But again, not going to push it on you all if no-one's interested.
p.s. you can hangout without using video if desired.
I tend to agree with Kris and Kellie - WORLD DOMINATION!! (Hey, I have the TP Holy Hose and Crowbar of Destruction if things get out of hand.)
But, I also agree with Kris about the internet situation here at home. It worked well during the meet-up in Chicago but there were higher internet speeds. Even without video (during our skype conversations), the quality sucks (not to put too fine a point on it...). Kris will have no real access via his workplace. (Not that we are the 'be all & end all' of who would attend.)
Personally, I think the concept is a good one though, now I agree with Sam on what has to be installed through Google. Granted, it's already on my laptop (because of Chicago). I'm more apt to side with Hien and bring back the chat room. I realize it was removed because most of the regular users moved on (to that website which will remain nameless). If it can handle enough people, I recommend bringing it back and promoting the discussions. Not only does it keep members showing up, it's not moving them over to G+. It just feels like G+ hang-outs will be taking away members more than just letting them chat about things important for TP on TP.
I understand your point of just 'talking' about things and not having to type. One question... Who's going to be taking notes?
Wait, wait....I've got it!!!!
TP+, complete with circles you can join and squares you can HangUp with...........triangles you can serve cheese on, rhomboids you can play Angry Travellers on......(toss an obnoxious tourist through a brick wall to gain points...)....