Video Chats and Herding Cats


One idea to come out of last month’s WordCamp US was the understanding that the Hosting group could be so much more active, if only we could boost our participation numbers.

The Hosting group is full of smart, well-connected people that either work at web hosts, or work closely with them in various capacities. And, despite nearly 600 members in the #hosting-community Slack channel, check-ins at our weekly meetings (Wednesdays at 1800 UTC) rarely top more than a half dozen active participants.

WordCamp Energy!

As anyone who has attended a WordCamp can tell you, the value of face-to-face interactions is immeasurable. Many people will become much more engaged in a topic when discussing it in real-time, in the real world. Of course, the reverse is true as well – many people feel more comfortable communicating online. That’s fine, too!

One of the things the Hosting group discussed at WordCamp US’ Contributor Day was a desire to capture that high enthusiasm level that exists at WordCamp events and…bottle it! We wanted to bring it online in a way that Slack, for whatever reason, isn’t always able to fully replicate.

What’s next?

The idea we came up with wasn’t particularly revolutionary: video chats.

We would like to experiment with augmenting our regular, standing Slack meetings with group video chats. Our Slack meetings will never go away. Our video chats might. 🙂 This is really just a test to see if we can boost engagement among our group members.

The goal is purely to give this group another outlet for communication in a method that may be more comfortable for some participants to engage in, at a time that’s a bit separated from the Slack meetings.

We’re still working out the technical aspects of it all, but either recordings, transcripts, or meeting notes would be made available shortly after the video meetings. @francina has kindly offered up the use of a Zoom account for us to use while we give this a shot.

Let’s Do It!

I’d like to propose a meeting time of 2100 UTC on Tuesdays with our first trial call on February 5, 2019 2100 UTC.

We will share links to the meeting in #hosting-community as we get closer to the date.

With all that said, we’d really love to see you there! This could be great! Or super lame! I guess we’ll find out!