Issue 4 of Online Meetings
There are different ways to conduct a online meeting. Below are some examples of tools:
Asynchronous meetings, meaning that the participants are not at the meeting at the same time.
- E-mail. An e-mail thread where you have a conversation about a question. Take care of the heading / subject line so that it reflects the subject and sets the time limit in the title to make it clear how long the call will last.
- Text message. Create a group so that everyone involved receive text messages at the same time. Have a conversation there. An organisation I worked with sometimes made text message decisions even during the face-to-face board meetings to avoid elaborate discussions. It worked well for them on issues they had "dwelled on" before.
- Corporate office suite, for example Google docs or Wiki. Use an office suite online where you can write and comment on each other. Allow the call to last for a certain amount of time. Invite those who will participate via link.
- Facebook group. A closed group where you can have a conversation. Be clear about how long the discussion will last.
Synchronous meetings, meaning that everyone meet at the same time.
- Telephone meetings. Everyone calls a number and talk to each other at the same time.
- Twitter. Determine a time and a hashtag when the meeting starts. One person moderates by tweeting out a question. Keep in mind that here, the meeting will be public.
- Hangout/Skype/Zoom/Blackboard Illuminate/Qiqochat or similar. Here there are opportunities for both picture and sound. In some, such as Blackboard Illuminate / Qiqochat, you can write on the whiteboard at the same time and let participants choose group rooms for discussions in smaller groups.
All have pros and cons. Choose the one that suits you best for the purpose and leadership of your meeting this time.
- What types of meetings of the above have you tested?
- What has worked well?
- What kind of platform would suit the meeting you invited participants to based on how you want to lead the meeting? Why?