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FanInAZ
10-25-2010, 03:29 AM
I am, with the support of my church, launching a new initiative call, the Autism Ambassadors Corps. I have through facebook acquired a number of friends from not only around the country, but also in Britain & Ireland who are enthused about this. So I'd like to attempt to have a web conference with them. The question is what do I need to do from a tech stand point to carry this out. I'd be pleased if I had 5-10 participant for the 1st conference. However, its not out of the question that me may have as many as a 100 if everyone promotes this to everyone on their friends list.

I have a laptop with a web cam, what else do I need to pull something like this off. I especially need to know if their is anymore hardware or software requirements on my part as the host, as well as on the part of the other participants.

MasterShake
10-25-2010, 07:19 AM
I am, with the support of my church, launching a new initiative call, the Autism Ambassadors Corps. I have through facebook acquired a number of friends from not only around the country, but also in Britain & Ireland who are enthused about this. So I'd like to attempt to have a web conference with them. The question is what do I need to do from a tech stand point to carry this out. I'd be pleased if I had 5-10 participant for the 1st conference. However, its not out of the question that me may have as many as a 100 if everyone promotes this to everyone on their friends list.

I have a laptop with a web cam, what else do I need to pull something like this off. I especially need to know if their is anymore hardware or software requirements on my part as the host, as well as on the part of the other participants.

The only web conferencing tool I've ever used besides Skype (which doesn't sound like it would work for what you are doing) is Go to Meeting:

http://www.gotomeeting.com/fec/

There is a 30 day free trial that you can cancel pretty easy, after that I don't know how much it costs. Its pretty simple to use, though.

FanInAZ
10-25-2010, 05:48 PM
Thanks, this is exactly what I'm needing and the price is reasonable.

FanInAZ
08-18-2011, 11:25 PM
Well, the price may be reasonable if we could be sure to draw at least 50 people, but we may have as fewer than a half dozen and therefore is not doable at this time. I just started a free Skype account, but I'm not sure what the limitations are as far as how many we could network together? Basicly, I need to know how to accomidate as many people as possible on no budget.

Tned
08-19-2011, 08:15 AM
One direction or two? Meaning is this going to be a webinar, where your participants can view but not interact, or do you want to pass control to them, where they can speak and do stuff like that?

If it's a webinar, you can also look at gotowebinar.com (same company as go to meeting), it probably has very limited interactivity, maybe they can vote in a poll or send a message.

BroncoNut
08-19-2011, 11:36 AM
I'm not really sure how one would go about that

FanInAZ
08-20-2011, 02:06 AM
One direction or two? Meaning is this going to be a webinar, where your participants can view but not interact, or do you want to pass control to them, where they can speak and do stuff like that?

If it's a webinar, you can also look at gotowebinar.com (same company as go to meeting), it probably has very limited interactivity, maybe they can vote in a poll or send a message.

I defiantly want maximum participation possible from the audience.

I talked earlier this evening to my leadership team about my belief that gotomeeting.com, although a bit expensive is doable. It'll cost us about $950 per year, which would probably have to be paid up front with a credit card, with the 1st month free. That breaks down to just under $80 per month, instead of $99 per month if we do it month by month. This means that we only need 8 people to contribute $10 per month to cover our expenses. We also need to consider the annual cost of running our main site.

This plan of mine was received with some reservations from my leadership team. After all, we are a new group and conventional wisdom should therefore dictate that we should start off small & work our way up. However, although our group is new to the autism community, our leadership team isn’t. It is true that our group has only 6 members, but my personal support network numbers (relatives, church & autism community) probably numbers around 4 dozen supporters. If just 1/4 of them contribute $10 per month, we would have 50% over the amount needed to run the webcasts which could then be used to defray our other costs and fund future projects. Several of these supporters are also leaders in the autism community in their own right. By offering to take turns co-hosting these meetings or to host their own show at a different time, it would give them more incentive to contribute financially to a program that would enable them to promote their own groups and programs. I’ll be very flexible when offering accommodations in order to get these other leaders on board short of giving up our autonomy to a larger organization.

2 of the other 5 members of our group have longer standing reputations of being servant leaders in the autism community then I have. Although many of our autism community friends & associates are the same, they also have a number of others connections that I lack. When you combined all of our networks together, I'm sure that we could generate a list of well over 100 potential supporters. That doesn't mean that all of them are willing and/or able to support us financially, but just 10% of them giving just $10 per month would generate over $100 per month to start out with.

So my plan is to generate an email that would be sent off to all of our potential supports seeking to get $300 per month worth of pledges. This would allow us to pay our expenses even if nearly 3/4 of our pledgers to not follow through on their commitments. If we can obtain such a level of pledges by Friday, September 2nd; then this would give us enough time to launch the program on Wednesday, September 7th. We can then promote this program during the upcoming fundraisers held by the ASA & AS on Saturday, September 17th, Saturday, October 1st, and Sunday, October 30th.

I've got absolute confidence that I can pull this off, now all I have to do is sell the idea to enough supporters to make it happen.

JakeNbake
08-20-2011, 02:49 AM
Well while you only have 6 members you could use google hangout. Also you could use Ustream or something if you only wanted to show you on the cam and everyone else could chat via chat.

FanInAZ
08-20-2011, 03:09 AM
Well while you only have 6 members you could use google hangout. Also you could use Ustream or something if you only wanted to show you on the cam and everyone else could chat via chat.

I appreciate the suggestion, but the biggest problem that the autism community has is that itís about the most factionalized community around. Autistics, their parents, profession who are supposed to be helping, etc. all meet in their own groups. This has led to many amongst all of the factions to be oblivious to the point of view of the other groups and misunderstanding that often turn vicious, especially amongst "high functioning" autistics & the parents of "low functioning" autistics.

The only way for us to learn from each other is to create a venue for maximum dialog. Any program used that would result in the host being the dominate conveyer of information and everyone else making token contributions will only perpetuate the problem. The perfect program would allow me to start off by presenting a topic and then be as much of a traffic cop as possible; meaning that Iíll make sure that the discussion remains on topic, constructive and civilized.