Remote participation

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Active edits of this page are paused as of March 2020 in favour of contributing to a similar documentation effort over at m:WikiProject remote event participation.

About[edit | edit source]

This page hosts information about ways in which to engage remotely.

By timing[edit | edit source]

Concurrently or nearly so[edit | edit source]

Asynchronously[edit | edit source]

By kind of participation[edit | edit source]

Documenting[edit | edit source]

Making presentation materials available[edit | edit source]

Presentation materials — slides or otherwise — should be made available under a Commons compatible license, ideally when the presentation is given or earlier, so that attendees can follow at their own pace.

Taking notes[edit | edit source]

The focus here is on taking notes collaboratively by means of online collaborative tools.

Etherpad[edit | edit source]
How to structure the notes[edit | edit source]

The program template for every Wikimania session should by default generate a link to a unique etherpad for that session on the page for that session. See for example how this worked with WikiConference North America 2019: Wikiconference:Category:Submissions/2019.

Who to write the notes[edit | edit source]

At the start of the meeting invite everyone in attendance to edit the notes. Every etherpad at the top should have automatically generated text which informs people typing that all submissions must have Wikimedia compatible copyright licensing so that anyone can transfer text to the Wikimedia platform.

To share the workload, the organizers can encourage the participants to volunteer for taking notes at least during one session each during the conference. Collectively, that will usually translate to multiple notetakers per session without any single person doing a lot of work.

How to save the notes[edit | edit source]

Any time after the session someone should transfer notes from Etherpad to the Wikimedia platform page for that session. This adds permanence and ease of further quality control in copyediting.

On-wiki[edit | edit source]
Google docs[edit | edit source]
Offline[edit | edit source]

Remote events often involve planned or unplanned disconnection between different participants.

Taking pictures[edit | edit source]

Streaming[edit | edit source]

Stream providers[edit | edit source]

When possible, use a service like Zoom Video Communications with Otter.ai to both capture video and automatically convert the audio to text. Converting a one-hour video to searchable text makes sessions much more accessible to review.

Depending on your intended audience, streaming to several platforms at once might be an option. The advantage is that you will reach the audience where they are. A disadvantage is that it might be more cumbersome to watch for comments and feedback in the streams.

Audio streaming[edit | edit source]

In general, audio is more important for those remote than video, so make sure not to overlook this. If there is a soundboard at the venue that the microphones are using, investigate if you can tap the sound directly from there rather than taking up audio from the room.

Video streaming[edit | edit source]
Video streaming recommendations[edit | edit source]

The following equipment and know-how is a recommended and tested way to produce a live stream with decent production value:

Equipment[edit | edit source]
  • A laptop powerful enough to stream a video with a bitrate of at least 2500 kbps (720p minimum bitrate) running OBS (Open Broadcast Software)
  • Video camera with an HDMI output and an audio input
  • Camera tripod
  • USB video capture card (inputs HDMI video from camera and delivers it to the streaming laptop via USB)
  • Hardwired internet connection that is at least 10mbps upload/download
  • USB audio interface (inputs audio from mixer and delivers it to the streaming laptop via USB)
  • Output from the room audio mixer to the USB audio interface (an auxiliary bus of all the mics in the room)
  • Headphones to monitor the audio
  • Gaffers tape
  • HDMI cable, video adapters, ethernet adapters, XLR cable, XLR cable adapters
  • If a slide deck is part of the presentation
    • First option:
      • We need the slide deck before the presentation
      • A second laptop to host the slide deck
      • A second USB video capture card to send the slide deck to the streaming laptop
      • The person operating the stream needs to advance the slide deck along with the presenter
    • Or the second option (preferable, if possible):
      • A second USB video capture card to send the slide deck to the streaming laptop
      • A 1 to 2 HDMI splitter in between the projector and the laptop hosting the slide deck
      • An HDMI cable to run from the second output of the splitter to the USB video capture card
Know how[edit | edit source]
  • Ability to use a tripod to pan/tilt/zoom a camera
  • Setting and striking AV equipment rigs (knowing how to properly wrap cable is a huge plus)
  • Having a basic grasp of the equipment and what each hardware piece does so that basic troubleshooting can occur if problems arise
Internet connection[edit | edit source]

When streaming, the bandwidth of the internet connection is important. If possible, get a dedicated connection just for streaming, so that participants using internet will not affect the stream.

Recording[edit | edit source]

Audio recording[edit | edit source]
Video recording[edit | edit source]
Video recording requirements[edit | edit source]

Recording a presentation requires less equipment than streaming a presentation, but can require a bit of post production work, especially if a slide deck is present.

Equipment[edit | edit source]
  • Video camera with an audio input
  • Camera tripod
  • Output from the room audio mixer to the camera (an auxiliary bus of all the mics in the room)
  • Headphones to monitor the audio
  • HDMI cable, video adapters, XLR cable, XLR cable adapters
  • Gaffers tape
  • The slide deck (if there is one) so that it can be edited in to the recording in post production
Know-how[edit | edit source]
  • Ability to use a tripod to pan/tilt/zoom a camera
  • Setting and striking AV equipment rigs
  • Having a basic grasp of the equipment and what each hardware piece does so that basic troubleshooting can occur if problems arise

Watching videos[edit | edit source]

Watching video streams live[edit | edit source]

Watching video streams with delay while event is ongoing[edit | edit source]

Watching video recordings[edit | edit source]

Listening in[edit | edit source]

Listening in live[edit | edit source]

Listening in with delay while event is ongoing[edit | edit source]

Listening to recordings[edit | edit source]

Presenting[edit | edit source]

Presenting live[edit | edit source]

Presenting via pre-recording[edit | edit source]

Presenting via electronic poster[edit | edit source]

Commenting[edit | edit source]

This includes asking questions and might include posting media files like screenshots of the live stream.

Commenting before the event[edit | edit source]

Commenting live[edit | edit source]

Commenting with delay while event is ongoing[edit | edit source]

Commenting on recordings[edit | edit source]

By ratio of remote to in-person interactions[edit | edit source]

In-person only[edit | edit source]

In this case, the ways to participate remotely are limited

  • contributing to the planning of the event
  • engaging with whatever documentation is accessible remotely
  • interacting remotely with subsets of the event attendees

Remote only[edit | edit source]

A virtual unconference can start asynchronously before the scheduled meeting, and optionally transition to synchronous requirements, e.g. response deadline cut-off times, teleconferencing, or etherpad or other shared docs supplementation as agreed by the participants. When supplementing with a teleconference, please remember to take notes for the non-attendees as above.

Mix of in-person and remote interactions[edit | edit source]

Mostly in-person but with remote elements[edit | edit source]

Mostly remote but with in-person elements[edit | edit source]

Connectivity[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]