On recording Virtual Meetups

As many of you may know we have Virtual Meetups every Thursday. Someone presents something they have been working on or learnt about or just brings a topic to the table and we watch the presentation or the demo or we have a discussion for the hour.

The number of attendees vary based on the period, the topic, or other mysterios factors. Normally we have between 15 and 20 persons attending out of the ~400 persons subscribed to the community.

Every week someone asks me if we are going to record the meeting and the answer has been always no.

The reasons for this are:

  • Presenters could share semi-confidential material or material which is at an alpha-quality level and they may be not happy sharing it with a larger audience, while they may be ok sharing it with a limited group of people
  • Participants could feel more relaxed and happy to participate in the discussion if what they say is not recorded
  • This encourages people to participate. This leads to having more people in the discussion and possibly to more people watching the presentation, because we all have a ton of content that “we plan to watch later” and never actually watch

On the other hand I understand that it could be problematic for people to join at a specific time, because they are at work, or having dinner or asleep, depending on where they are based. We could provide that content to an higher percentage of participants.

So these are the reasons why the meetings are not recorded and some reflections on this.

What do you think?

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You definitely have some good reasons.

We could provide that content to an higher percentage of participants.

Did you mean to encourage a higher percentage?

Presenters could share semi-confidential material

If they are really confidential, you could give them an option to not make the recording. (Meetups aren’t the place to share confidential info anyway).

Also, you could make the recording available a long while after so as not to discourage live attendance.

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Recording must be allowed if the presenter agrees, though s/he must be reminded all your reasons mentioned.

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I mean that out of ~400 members of the community ~20 participate. Perhaps more people would be able to watch the recording

I would prefer to avoid having some meetups recorded and some not. I think this would be confusing for me and the participants

That is an interesting idea. I was thinking of making them available soon but removing them after 1w or so, to encourage people to watch them and not just plan to watch them at some point and never do that

I’m fine with not recording. I assume that most of the time there are already public video’s or other resources that can be consulted.

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For most of the things yes, but it is not always the case. For example, last week the author of Beads made the first public presentation of that tool.

In any case probably the added value is:

  • in the discussion and in the possibility to ask questions or listen to other Q&A. With the recording you lose the possibility to ask your questions, but you could still listen to answers to other questions
  • the awareness: while there are a gazzilion tools, ideas, and videos we pick some that we think are interesting to this particular group of people. This benefit would remain also with the recording

I think not recording is fine. Here is my reasoning:

  1. As someone said before: there might be other videos / papers etc. already that contain effectively the same content.
  2. if that’s not the case, then the presenter can easily record a streamlined demo separately and upload it to Youtube.
  3. As @ftomassetti points out, it’s not just about the presenter, but also about the participants (and their questions) not being recorded.

So, in summary, the point of these Thursday sessions is to meet in person. Recording will substantially change that character to something that arguably already exists: recorded demos of tools.

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Just a thought: why not offer the presenters help with creating a nice, smooth video for publication? They just had your meetup-thing, so they may be inspired, they have the material, and they may have seen what is interesting to the audience. That would be a good time to sit them in front of a camera and record a (five to ten minute?) video. Add a nice intro/outro, put your Strumenta logo all over it :smiley: and upload it to your or their channel.

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This seems a great idea :slightly_smiling_face:
I personally recorded myself while I was regarding a presentation and shared it. I want to be sure I find a way to handle this so that it dies not require too much work to the presenter or to me.
I already feel I should get help with the community :sweat_smile:
But it seems a great way to promote these ideas, promote the community and encourage participation

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