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Dan Foster

NSPN weekly video hangout: Tuesday nights, 5PM-6PM

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Please join me from the comfort of your own comfy chair or survival bunker for an hour of virtual socializing and storytelling with your fellow NSPN paddlers-in-exile.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to be hosting a regularly-scheduled NSPN hour on Tuesday night from 5PM-6PM. Hopefully the consistent schedule will allow many of you to plan ahead and attend.

Upcoming video chats:

Tuesday, April 21, 5PM-6PM

Tuesday, April 28, 5PM-6PM

Tuesday, May 5, 5PM-6PM

Tuesday, May 12, 5PM-6PM

Tuesday, May 19, 5PM-6PM

Tuesday, May 26, 5PM-6PM

[Meeting link removed now that May is over]

You'll need a laptop computer, phone, or tablet with a front-facing video camera and a microphone, and you'll be prompted to run some free video conferencing software from Zoom when you join the meeting. If you haven't used Zoom or other video chat/conferencing software before, you might want to click the link below a few minutes ahead of time, to give yourself time to test your video and audio settings.

Sharing photos:

Zoom has several ways to share photos. If you'd like to do a slideshow or give a presentation to the group, the easiest way to do that is to share your screen from a laptop or desktop computer. In reality, this usually ends up causing a two-minute interruption while people try to figure out why it's not working. For simple sharing of a single photo, try the following:

Option 1: Make it a virtual background: click the options arrow next to the Video icon in Zoom, and click Choose Virtual Background. Select the photo you want to share with the group, which will then appear behind your disembodied head using a "green screen" effect. You can duck your head completely out of frame if needed, or point to stuff behind you like you're a TV weather caster.

Option 2: Make it your Zoom profile photo, and it will show up when you click Stop Video. To do this, click the options arrow next to the Video icon in Zoom, click Video Settings, and then click the Profile tab. Click the picture icon above your name to change your profile picture. If you turn off your video camera during the call, we'll see your profile picture instead.

Virtual meeting etiquette for large groups:

Mute your microphone if you're doing something else in the background or need to move around. Laptop users can stay muted and then hold Spacebar to unmute whenever they want to jump in with a comment. Speaking of jumping in, it takes us a second or two to realize who has started speaking, so it can get confusing if people throw in a quick one word reply or question. Keep talking, or use hand signals (thumbs up, wave, etc) instead of "yes", "hi", "bye".

For the best video quality, try to pick a spot in your house with plenty of light and make sure the brightest light is in front of you, and not behind you! (sit facing a window or lamp, with a wall with no windows behind you). Virtual backgrounds (when not sharing a photo with the group) and snap filters (puppy dog ears, and the like) can be extremely distracting. Sit close enough to the camera that we can see your face. It's more fun when we we can see you and your facial expressions!

These are meant to be light and airy social occasions and to offer an escape from the news cycle, politics, and negativity. If you get booted or muted, that's why. :) 

 

If there's something you'd like to share with or ask of the group, feel free to mention it in a reply below so people can prepare in advance, or simply bring it up in the video chat.

Edited by Dan Foster
New Zoom meeting ID

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I had to change to a new Zoom account. If you participated in one of my previous NSPN Zoom meetings (up to and including Easter), make sure you're now using the new Zoom link or meeting ID above to join.

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Hi Dan,

Thanks again for setting up this social hour.  I followed your latest instructions above, however  the message under the mtg title continued to state after several attempts, “ waiting for the host to start mtg”

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Sue

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Sue eventually got into the call. Thanks to everyone who was able to join us tonight. A bunch of us had technical glitches right at 5PM as the rain and wind bands passed through, which led us to tonight's impromptu story theme: "highway horrors: when car-topped boats decide to fly". Hope to see many of you again next Tuesday. In the meantime, batten those hatches, and tighten those bow and stern lines!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Just a reminder, we'll be paddling the virtual waters tonight at 5PM. Details at the top of the thread.

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Thanks for setting this up. 
I have a yoga class at 530 but would love to join u for the first half. 
Karen G

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Just a reminder, we'll be paddling the virtual waters tonight at 5PM. Details at the top of the thread.

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Tonight is the last of the currently-scheduled video chats on Tuesday nights from 5-6. Given the warmer weather, increased daylight hours, and more opportunities to get outside and on the water, we can discuss (both here in this thread and during tonight's chat) whether we want to continue meeting weekly at this time, switch the times up a bit, or change the frequency that we get together virtually. Hope you can join us! Details at the top of the thread.

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