A Wacky Idea

So, I’ve been thinking lately about the way we all like to beat each other up in the comments. And for my job, I’ve lately been doing a lot of remote meetings via Google+ “hangouts” (video conferences via computer, basically). They work pretty well.

And I had this wacky idea: What if we had a Google+ hangout for the commenters on lies.com to have a video chat with each other? I was thinking of something pretty quick, maybe 10 minutes or so. No particular agenda; just a chance to put some faces and voices to the personalities I’ve come to know (a little) from the site. We could chat a bit about whatever seemed worth chatting about, see how it went, and if it seemed interesting, maybe set up a time to do it again.

I think that might be fun. But if it isn’t, there’s nothing much lost, really.

So, how’d you like to hang out?

You’d need the following:

  • A computer with a camera and a microphone
  • A decent(ish) Internet connection
  • A Google+ account
  • A willingness to expose yourself, at least briefly and remotely, to the people you’ve been beating up in the comments

If you think you might be willing to do that, please comment on this post, and indicate, for each of the dates and times listed below, your availability/preference on a 1-5 scale, where the numbers mean:

1 – I definitely will not be able to participate at that time
2 – I probably won’t be able to participate at that time
3 – I might or might not be able to participate at that time
4 – I probably will be able to participate at that time
5 – I definitely will be able to participate at that time

I’ll pick the date and time that maximizes the chances of participation, and will send out an email with the invitation link you can follow to the actual hangout. (Also, if the email currently associated with your lies.com account isn’t working any more, you’ll need to send a working email to me, so I can invite you to the hangout. You can send that to jbc@lies.com.)

If you can post your availability soon (say by Friday night — that is, tomorrow night) that would be ideal.

Either way, thanks for your ongoing contribution to the site.

John (aka jbc)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

12:00 noon PDT (3:00 p.m. EDT):

2:00 p.m. PDT (5:00 p.m. EDT):

4:00 p.m. PDT (7:00 p.m EDT):

6:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m EDT):

8:00 p.m. PDT (11:00 p.m. EDT):

Sunday, September 9, 2012

12:00 noon PDT (3:00 p.m. EDT):

2:00 p.m. PDT (5:00 p.m. EDT):

4:00 p.m. PDT (7:00 p.m EDT):

6:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m EDT):

8:00 p.m. PDT (11:00 p.m. EDT):

18 Responses to “A Wacky Idea”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    Sunday 8:00 pm PDT is a “3″
    Sunday 6:00 pm PDT is a “2″
    All other times are “1″

    Sounds fun, but I’ll be tenting here with my kids this weekend:
    http://vancouverislandbigtrees.blogspot.ca/2010/10/san-juan-spruce-canadas-largest-sitka.html and checking out how these little guys who shared their amazing crystal clear river with us earlier this summer are coming along in their metamorphizing: http://bcwfbogblog.com/2012/06/08/pacific-circle-route/

  2. shcb Says:

    Sound fun, I’ll send the info tonight, I’m pretty open on times but I will prioritize later

  3. enkidu Says:

    A 3 or a 4 for Sunday night 8 PM sounds like a plan.

  4. shcb Says:

    Any time is fine with me

  5. jbc Says:

    Okay: 8 PM PDT Sunday (tomorrow) it is. I believe I have working email addresses for the following people, all of whom have indicated at least some possibility of participating:

    * shcb
    * knarlyknight
    * anithil

    I do NOT have working email addresses for the following people:

    * enkidu

    enkidu, please send me an email at jbc@lies.com so I have a way to send you the hangout URL.

    One more housekeeping-type question: Craig responded via email that he will not be able to participate, but might be interested in viewing the hangout afterwards. I wanted to check with people to see how they felt about that, and also (potentially) about making the hangout video actually public afterwards (i.e., by using google+ hangouts’ ability to archive the hangout as a YouTube video, and posting it on lies.com). Is that something that anyone planning to participate would have concerns about? I’m happy to keep the video private, or semi-private (maybe just forwarding it to Craig), if anyone would prefer that. But if you’re all willing to be exhibitionists, then I’d probably opt for making it public (not that I expect there’d be many people who would bother to view it).

    Anyway, please let me know how you feel about that.

    Thanks, everyone. I’m looking forward to it.

  6. shcb Says:

    I don’t think I have any dirty laundry I haven’t already exposed, public is fine with me. Just curious, how does this work, will we be able to see a numder of us on one screen? Not a big deal if you don’t have time to answer, I can be surprised tomorrow

  7. jbc Says:

    Yeah. You get a row of little video thumbnail screens across the bottom, and then (by default) whichever person is talking gets a big video screen on top. Though you can play director and click on different thumbnails to view that person’s video.

    This page has some more explanation, and an example video you can view:

    http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

  8. jbc Says:

    I’m now thinking I won’t bother with making the video public for this run. After investigating more, it sounds like I can’t do that without making it public (via posting on my public Google+ stream) from the time it’s being recorded. I’d rather not have that pressure for this trial run.

    I might be up for doing a public version in the future, if anyone’s interested in pursuing that. But for this one we’ll just keep it to ourselves.

    See you tonight. I plan to send out the invitation about 15 minutes before (at 7:45 p.m. Pacific) to give people time to set up their Google+ account (which I believe will be necessary for participating; you should be prompted to set it up when you follow the link in the emailed notification). Then I’ll just hang out in the chat and wait to see who shows up.

  9. jbc Says:

    We’re hanging out here:

    https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/7eb900a35aee81d54e31914ca92417c4e042b984

  10. jbc Says:

    And… now we’re done. :-)

    Thanks to enkidu and shcb for showing up and hanging out. I had a fun time, and can finally put faces and voices to some of the people I’ve come to know in the comments here. No one insulted anyone (though maybe we can work our way up to that next time).

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    Sorry I missed it…

  12. enkidu Says:

    Thou stroppy sheep-biting canker-blossom!

    http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/shake_rule.html
    or if you want the internets to generate Shakespearian insults for you:
    http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/index.html?

  13. shcb Says:

    Thanks John, it was fun, sorry I was late. It took about 8 or 10 minutes the install the google video and audio player. Next time if we can get more interest it would be good to find a way to have everyone preload that sofrware. We run into that problem sometimes with WebEx conferences. But it was good to see some faces and be civil for a change even though I only got a few minutes. But I think that was really the purpose of the first time.

    It will be interesting to see how or if this evolves on Lies.com. I haven’t decided if an open forum or a topic specific format would be better and if it a topic specific, what type of topic would be best. Maybe leaving politics out of the discussion would be best, talk about beer, kids, whatever. Maybe a gloves off “Jane, you ignorent slut!” format. Just haven’t decided yet. But it was a good experiment and experience.

    Rick

  14. NorthernLite Says:

    Sorry I missed that. Maybe I can join you next time.

    I would just like to once again point out that Paul Ryan is a pathological liar. I believe he is the type of lying politician that this site was intended for.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/paul-ryan-sequester_n_1870866.html

    And Mitt is obviously hiding somthing in his tax returns. (I’m guessing he made a shitload of money while the economy was crashing in 2008 and while millions of Americans were losing their jobs, homes, health insurance and pensions. A shitload.)

  15. jbc Says:

    I would certainly be up for doing it again. If we had another session, we could use it to discuss this topic: “What sort of things might we discuss in future sessions? Shall we discuss actually contentious subject matter akin to what we do on the site? Shall we avoid that and instead just share ‘hellos’ and introduce our kids and whatnot (like we did this first time)? Some of each? Something else?”

    For any of you (especially knarlyknight and NorthernLite): Are there particular days/times when you would be more likely to be able to participate? enkidu and I are in Pacific time, while shcb is in Mountain time (I believe). What timezones are the rest of you in?

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    I’m in PDT too, evenings are best for me.

  17. jbc Says:

    Should we try again for next Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Pacific? It has the virtue of being the same time as last time, so it will be easy for me to remember. I (at least) can do that one, and will be there, if at least one other person wants to.

  18. jbc Says:

    Not sure if anyone was planning on joining in tonight, but I think I’ll have to pass myself this time. I have a couple of things I’ve put off finishing that need to get done tonight, so I’ll be focusing on that.

    No reason you can’t hang out without me (obviously), but in the absence of any obvious clamor I’m going to assume we can make it happen again some indefinite time in the future.

    Thanks.

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