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December 30, 2002

Using Live Chat to run a meeting

Boing Boing Blog points to a very useful article by Clay Shirky about using live chat as a method of running a two-day meeting. It's a very interesting piece, with a couple of things I found particular interesting:

  • Use of Chat to keep the interruptions during the meeting to a minimum
  • A large display that showed the current chat to all
  • Use of a "Red Card/Green Card" system to show the speaker if they agree or disagree with what's being said. (Shades of the kind of analysis done during presidential debates.
Particularly valuable is Clay's straight-forward discussion of what worked and didn't work. Too many articles of this type focus only on the imagined benefits, not on what really happened.

However, Clay's article also reinforces a nasty suspicion I've had for a long time about collaborative technologies: if the people them want to use them, or can't get their job done without them, almost any technology will work. If the people don't need the technology, almost nothing works.

In this case, the members of the group were bound to be willing to try the technology, and give it a fair shot.