I had the great privilege today to sit in on a presentation and Q&A on Google Apps for Education. Shortly before it started, I set up a Today’s Meet room so we could have the back channel going and so a few people who couldn’t make it could still listen in.
It got me thinking about some of the ways Today’s Meet can be used. Of course, these are just my ideas. I hope you have different ones!
Breaking Down the Physical Walls
Today’s presentation wasn’t publicized well in advance, so several people who wanted to be there couldn’t. But they could sure join our Today’s Meet room.
A few of us in the physical room were able to keep everyone in the virtual room up-to-date with the presentation, and even convey questions from some remote attendees and relay the answers back. We were able to grow the audience and bring in a lot more people.
Many-to-Many Live Blogging
Sometimes you want to send a tweet to the other attendees at the conference, but you know that most probably aren’t following you. Sure you can use hash tags, but they’d need to actively search for that.
With Today’s Meet, everyone, whether they’re followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or total strangers, can be in the same room, and get the whole audience. You’ll probably even find some new followers in the room.
At the same time, if we clue our Twitter followers in, even those who aren’t physically there can join in the discussion.
Opening the Back Channel
The discussions I’ve already seen on Today’s Meet have gone beyond the conversation in the physical room to adapt, extend, and compliment the discussion. Simple questions get answered by other attendees. Complex questions generate parallel discussion. Ideas flow between the physical and virtual rooms.
Instant Town Hall Moderator
If you’ve got a big name coming to talk, you might want to be sure the best questions get asked. Sure you could think of questions ahead of time, but those can’t respond to the presentation.
Instead, have a designated moderator (a teacher, an executive) look reading through the Today’s Meet room to find the people who are asking the best questions, and point them out when it’s time for Q&A.
Bring out the Shy Guys
Public speaking is scarier than death.
Typing a short message is much less frightening.
How many questions don’t get asked by people who would rather keep quiet? Today’s Meet can provide an opportunity for people who otherwise might not get the chance.
Have a Quick Convo
Need to get 3 or 4 or 5 (or 100 or 200) people together to chat for 5 minutes? If the start-up time of getting everyone together is longer than the meeting, why not just get everyone in a virtual room. Set it up to expire soon, and really hash out where to meet for lunch.
Today’s Meet is a tool, and it’s a flexible tool. There are no rules (well, ok, there’s the ToS) about using a tool. What can you do with it?