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4. Social Media for Work and Play: Meet

So if you decide you want to have a meeting of members in different locations, how do you do so?  Text, audio, and video are all options.  Some tools integrate all formats.

 

Text
People can meet as a group using only text. Common methods include instant messaging programs or the ust of chat rooms.

Advantages:
  • No volume issues (such as not hearing someone)
  • Easily recordable for later view/share


Disadvantages:
  • Can be hard to follow when multiple people are adding text to conversation
  • Sharing documents has to be done via a separate function or via a totally different program


Example: Instant messaging (Yahoo! Messenger, AIM). Some social networking tools have their own chat functions.
Audio
People can meet as a group using only voice, usually via telephone.

Advantages:
  • Allows for quicker discussion than typing
  • If some particpants are in the same area, they can gather around a phone as a group


Disadvantages:
  • Sound isn't always reliable (overtalking, hard to hear people)
  • Full participation harder as the number of participants increases

Example: Conference call (Listly's List of Conference Call Vendors)
Video
A group can meet and communicate both visually and verbally.


Advantages:(the audio ones apply here too)
  • Better for different learning styles
  • Document sharing can be done live
  • Body language in addition to verbal communication
Disadvantages:(the audio ones apply here too)
  • Full interaction (audiovisual among all members) harder with increasing numbers
  • Using multiple features (slides, chat, speaker talking) means more to manage

Example: Webinar tools (WebEx, Skype, Google Hangouts)


Notes: Functionality and costs vary amongst the examples. See sites for services available for free and for a fee. Your workplace/school may have a contract for a service already.

 

 

 

Scheduling


Having trouble getting people together to meet via one of these methods? There are tools that make it easier to choose a meeting time (such as Doodle), share calendars (such as Google Calendar) and even to divide up responsibilities for tasks (such as SignUp Genius).


 

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