Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Virtual Meetup

Back before the pandemic, we hosted meetups every month or two for people who read Slate Star Codex, the blog I spend a good deal of time on. People came over to our house on Saturday afternoon for food and conversation — typically twenty to forty people — starting at 2:00, ending at 10:00. I'm trying to revive the meetups online, using Mozilla Hubs. People who read this blog and don't read Slate Star Codex are welcome to come. Feel free to invite friends — from anywhere in the world.

Zoom and its competitors are designed for a one to many interaction, such as a lecture. Hubs is a VR program, usable from your browser or with a VR headset. It puts you in a world, in this case a house of four rooms that I have constructed online. The closer you are to someone, the louder his voice, so it is possible to have multiple conversations going and for an individual to wander around listening for an interesting one to join. That's how our meetups worked, and I am trying to construct the equivalent online.

For those interested in the general idea, there is another program also worth looking at — Online Town. Hubs gives you a virtual world rather like World of Warcraft, with your character moving around in it. Town is a top down view of a two dimensional world, with each person represented by a tiny icon. The nice thing about it is that when you get close enough to other people to talk with them you get to see their faces, a webcam view like what you get on Zoom. So you are having a conversation with people whose faces you can see, unlike Hubs, but there can be multiple such conversations going on at once and you can move among them, unlike Zoom. I may eventually try that as an alternative.

The link for the meetup, along with a link to information about Hubs, is a page on my site. It starts at noon, will presumably go until everyone leaves.


At 2:35 PM, May 24, 2020, Anonymous Doctor Mist said...

Did you really mean "Zillow"? The real-estate site?

At 2:13 PM, May 28, 2020, Blogger David Friedman said...

No. I meant Zoom. My wife pointed out the error. How many computer-related terms I commonly use start with Z? You expect me to keep track of which is which?

I've now fixed it.

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