In this and other teleconferences I have participated in there are sometimes significant technical difficulties. When we solve these issues I think there is great potential for new media like teleconferences coupled with webservices to support public benefit initiatives like Occupy.

I propose a discussion thread where we solve these issues quickly.

I think the first thing to address is the widely fluctuating volume levels that occur both between participants and even during a single participant's contribution. I suspect that it has to do with identifying and maintaining the best microphone distance and voice volume. I suspect that trying to cradle a handheld phone with your shoulder, trying to maintain proper microphone input, and using your hands to manipulate documents or operate a computer is very difficult.

I find it works well to use a speaker phone located about 1 and 1/2 feet from me.

In the first weekly session, one of the moderators said that skype callers should mute their phone while not speaking. Is that true?

 

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Yes, I think people should mute when not speaking.

Also, I think we need to find more efficient ways of coming to consensus online. Without the non-verbal clues we have in person, it is challenging, but possible and the facilitator has to be proactive going around and taking a quick poll in order to avoid wasting valuable time.

 

Muting while you speak on SKype, first makes that are no echoes in the conversation. Second, that the system uses less bandwith to transfer all the data, and that helps to have less hickups in the process. - from experience!

Thanks alot Ria.

MaestroConference allows the call hosts to control muting and unmuting.  Proper use of that feature can minimize much of this.  The biggest challenge is when people are in un-moderated small group breakouts.  There you need to address this with some of the suggestions made here.

Don't forget to press "5" on your phone or skype keypad if you're having technical problems like this and a host will come and help.

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