How it will work: We will join together using the Zoom.us meeting app. If you have not used Zoom before, it makes sense to test it out beforehand to familiarize yourself. The program is quite intuitive, but there are many tips and how-to videos at www.zoom.us. You can use Zoom from a mobile device (iPad, android tablet, mobile phone, etc), in which case it can be downloaded from the app store. Or, you can use a PC, although it is very helpful if your computer has a camera. Virtual “Cocktails” are much more fun if you can see who you are speaking with!
Once you have made your drink, please join us at the link provided in the RSVP. We will kick things off with a welcome and a few announcements and other housekeeping items. We will then separate into groups of six for private conversations in individual rooms. To make this happen, the program will randomly assign participants into separate groups. At a specified time, you will be prompted to join a room:
Once with your group, you will be able to have smaller conversations. As the assignments are random, you never know who you will end up with! However, with a shared passion for our ocean-going activities, we will all undoubtedly have plenty to talk about.
After 15 minutes or so in the smaller groups, we will all come back to the main meeting room to check in with each other before dividing up into different groups for a second round of conversation. The program will give you warning as the time to rejoin the main room is approaching so that you can wrap up any ongoing conversations. You will then be sent off to a different “room” for another round of discussions, after which we will all come together one more time to say good night. The entire process should be about 45 minutes.
As this is the first time we have done this, I can almost guarantee that like sailing, something is likely to not go as planned. So, please bear with us as we work out the glitches and accept our apologies in advance. We will get better at this, I promise. Because larger groups are inevitably more unwieldy, we will limit this first gathering to 50 people. Assuming we successfully work out any glitches in this first attempt, we can schedule plenty more get-togethers as demand dictates.
If you would like to join us, please click here. On Wednesday night (May 27th) at about the same time, we will send you a link for the meeting the following day. When the appointed hour comes Thursday, please click that link and enter the password to join the meeting. Again, it helpful to test your camera and microphone beforehand using the tools Zoom provides in the app.
I am very much looking forward to seeing as many of you as can be there on the 28th. These are challenging times, and it will be great fun to see some old friends and hear about plans for the summer. I appreciate your patience as we figure out the best practices for making these events successful. As a start, we have listed a few points about how to make a Zoom “best practices” below.
Some tips on Zoom etiquette:
·If you are not speaking, it is helpful to mute your microphone. That way others do not hear background noise your speaker might pick up. You can do this by clicking the microphone icon on the Zoom dashboard.
·Videoconferences can be a little awkward because there is an ever so slight delay. That means that two people (or more) occasionally start speaking at the same time. Please know that everyone is experiencing this and most groups naturally figure out how to get past this very quickly.
·Be mindful of your surroundings. If there is a lot of activity behind you, it could be distracting. Try to find a quiet place where you can hear and be heard well.