Virtual HWC

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Virtual HWC is an online Homebrew Website Club for IndieWebbers who either can’t make a regular meeting or don’t yet have critical mass to host one in their area.

The first virtual meet-up was organised by Chris Aldrich and David Shanske on December 14, 2016 on Pacific Time. On May 31, 2017, another virtual meet-up was organised by Jeena Paradies, Martijn van der Ven, and Peter Molnar for people on Central European Time.

The virtual meet-up on Central European Time is trying to become regular.

Platforms

Below are some online platforms and software solutions that have been used (or are considered) for virtual meet-ups. Please contribute if you have positive or negative experiences with any of these!

Google Hangouts

Hangouts was used for the virtual meet-ups on Pacific Time.

Pros

  • Hangouts On Air allows streaming the meet-up to YouTube, creating an archive.

Cons

  • Requires the use of Google Accounts. (this requirement is supposed to have been dropped, need to test this to make sure)

Talky

Talky was used for the virtual meet-ups on Central European Time.

Pros

  • Works directly from modern browsers without set-up (through WebRTC).
  • Ability to share your screen for demos.

Cons

  • P2P technology means relatively high data usage.

Mumble

Mumble is being looked into as a viable platform for future virtual meet-ups.

Pros

  • Native clients available for most systems.
  • Very low data usage.
  • Third-party browser client available.

Cons

  • Audio only. No webcam or stream sharing.
  • Requires a server hosted or rented by the organiser.

Notes

  • Jonas Herzig’s open-source mumble-web can be used in a browser, taking away the need for native clients. It requires a custom proxy in front of the mumble server set-up and will thus not work with all servers out-of-the-box.
  • GuildBit offers free temporary servers on demand, with a choice of region, and might be a good option for impromptu meet-ups.

Discord

Discord is being looked into as a viable platform for future virtual meet-ups.

Pros

  • Both native and web clients available.
  • Useable without registering an account beforehand.

Cons

  • Audio only. No webcam or screen sharing.
  • Creates a Slack like environment with multiple text and audio rooms that need navigating.

appear.in

appear.in is being looked into as a viable platform for future virtual meet-ups.

Looks extremely similar to Talky in both features and technology.

Pros

  • Works directly from modern browsers without set-up (through WebRTC).
  • Ability to share your screen for demos.

Cons

  • P2P technology means relatively high data usage.

See Also


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