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 a regular event every two weeks, currently hosted on sknebel’s Mumble server.

software

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

appear.in

appear.in is being used for vHWC Europe.

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.
  • issues with only partial connections especially with many participants.

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 (according to Martijn van der Ven it is worse than other WebRTC things)

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.

Notes


See Also


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