Hosting Meetups with applicants from countries with slow internet connections.

Recently I’ve been focusing my meetup orientation efforts on meetups from other African countries. Depending on the internet connectivity in different parts of Africa, than can and has led to some frustrating orientations, where either I or the applicant have to try out different options to connect.

I thought therefore that it might be useful to update the deputy documentation related to meetup orientations with a section on internet connectivity.

Firstly, my suggestions for a process to follow with regards to internet connectivity:

  1. At some point during the process, determine the applicant’s internet connectivity.
  2. If the applicant indicates their connection is slow, suggest two quick tests, one on Hangouts and one on Skype. Tests not to take more than a few minutes.
  3. If both tests fail, suggest a text only option. Suggest this is done using the Slack, as the applicant will be adding themselves to Slack soon anyway.
  4. The text option can be handled in pretty much the same way as a regular orientation.

Then a few questions on the above:

  1. Does it make sense to ask all meetup applicants what their internet connectivity is like. This might help the person planning the orientation to decide on the best course of action earlier. I find that even if you ask the applicant to suggest alternatives to Hangouts, they don’t. So perhaps a more specific question could be added to the process.
  2. At what point should we ask this. My thought is once the applicant has been approved for an orientation, it might be useful to ask them whether they use video conferencing tools like Hangouts or Skype up front. Their answers to this might provide better insight as to what path to take.
  3. Should the tests be part of the meetup orientation, or scheduled beforehand? If the person running the meetup does them beforehand, and they have a few orientations to deal with, they could for example bundle all those with good connections into a group call and the rest into a group text.

Questions/comments and suggestions are welcome. If we agree this will be a useful document to add to the deputy documentation, I’d like to draft the first version of the document/process on 1 March 2018.