Embed ICANN meeting chatrooms on your site

by Kieren McCarthy on November 1, 2008

Over the past four meetings, we have experimented with different approaches to chatrooms as a way of providing remote participants with an opportunity to interact in real time with a meeting.

There have been pluses and minuses to each approach. With some, slow responses times; others, heavy server loads. We have tried different types: PHP, Flash, ICQ. In each case some people can’t get into them whether because of technical knowledge or operating system or browser software.

Last time around, people told us that having to go to a particular webpage in order to get into the chatroom for that meeting was adding a step and so reducing their likelihood of joining.

So we are testing another approach in Cairo for the Improving Institutional Confidence session on Thursday 6 November at 2pm: embedded chatrooms.

This time, we have used a third-party provider that runs the chatrooms on its servers, and allows people to embed Flash code on people’s sites that point to the same chatroom. So, the idea is that ICANN sets up chatrooms, provides the community with the code and you can all embed the chatroom wherever you wish online – our main hope is your blogs.

This means multiple entry points to the same chatroom. Which would ideally mean that particular meetings that people are interested will see them posting that meeting’s chatroom to their own pages. We don’t know if this will work well, or if people will find it valuable, it’s an experiment. But for anyone interested in improving remote participation, please do try it out and get back to us.

You should be able to see the chatroom for the IIC session below. To grab the code for the chatroom to embed into your site, just click on “Embed Chatroom!” on the bottom left of the chatroom below, and it will show up. Incidentally, the Cairo meeting page for the IIC meeting is here: http://cai.icann.org/en/6nov08/iic.

http://www.meebo.com/rooms

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

BUGabundo 11.02.08 at 7:49 am

aint XMPP MUCs a much better and standard way for doing that?

Kieren McCarthy 11.02.08 at 9:56 am

I don’t know. Is it?

Kieren

gpmgroup 11.06.08 at 2:28 am

Kieren I don’t know what is going on with remote participation but its seems to be getting worse every meeting!

Where is the chatroom for the Public Forum or have you decided that remote participants don’t matter?

Why can’t you just provide an easy to find link on each meeting page? This is just nonsense

Kieren McCarthy 12.05.08 at 10:43 am

Hi gpmgroup,

I recall replying to you directly while the meeting was going on, but just to provide a response on the blog…

The chatroom for every session is on that meeting’s dedicated page, accessible from the schedule. So, for example Thursday public forum page is here: http://cai.icann.org/en/node/1636

Now, the part that people have complained about it that they couldn’t see the chatroom – and that was because there were not signed in.

Why do they need to be signed in? Because we originally ran chatrooms open to all visitors and that caused a massive load on the system which slowed the chatrooms down.

What we haven’t done well is made it clear to people visiting a page that they need to log in to see the chatroom, so we will solve that in time for the next meeting.

I hope this answers your question.

Kieren

gpmgroup 12.19.08 at 1:46 pm

Hi Kieren just seen your reply,

Yes you did help out during the meeting, thank you.

When you are thousands of miles away and no way to contact people at the meeting things need to be very simple. Links disappearing after meetings and not being logged in combined with some meetings not having links makes it very difficult to know when a resource should be there and when there isn’t a resource for a particular session.

The other big problem for remote participation is Time Zones.

Sometimes meetings occur in the middle of the night and/or very early hours of the morning. It would be a really great and a huge improvement if you could replace the live audio feeds with archive the audio feeds straight after the session has completed. (Even better still would be have archived video feeds! :-)

If it’s a bandwidth problem perhaps somebody upload the feeds to YouTube or similar and link to them there. (The text scribes are great for reference but as unformatted text they tend to take concentration away from the matters being discussed.)

medyum 07.26.09 at 1:02 am

Kieren I don’t know what is going on with remote participation but its seems to be getting worse every meeting!

Kieren McCarthy 07.27.09 at 7:38 am

@ medyum: Do you mean this seriously? Because it goes against just about every other piece of feedback I’ve received. I’ve actively canvassed people on remote participation – particularly our new live conference software – and I’ve heard nothing but good things.

There are always improvements of course, but I can’t see how you can say it’s getting worse. What in particular makes you think it has?

Kieren

notebook parçaları 04.11.10 at 11:29 am

Kieren I don’t know what is going on with remote participation but its seems to be getting worse every meeting!

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