The Volokh Conspiracy

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Possible Zoom Video Conversation, With All of You Invited to Watch and Submit Questions via Chat?

I'm toying with doing that with a couple of colleagues -- any suggestions on how to make it work?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I've Zoomed a decent amount with students and friends, but I haven't tried putting together something like this. In a sense, it would be like something at a conference—three or four people having a video conversation for a while (a conversation, not a panel with prepared presentations), and then Q & A, with questions likely submitted via chat rather than via audio.

Any suggestions on how to make it work, other than the obvious (have good participants and an interesting topic)?

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12 responses to “Possible Zoom Video Conversation, With All of You Invited to Watch and Submit Questions via Chat?

  1. I just used blackboard for the first time in a decade. It seems to have good academic lecture features (raise hand button, moderator able to mute everyone’s video/audio but still take typewritten questions) and allegedly supports 500 participants. They’ve been very friendly in the last few weeks about providing access to educators at reduced or no cost.

  2. Enable the option for anybody in the room to annotate the shared screen.

    enable video for all participants

    Disable option mute participants on entry

    Have a dancing anime girl on your shared screen

    Enable option to stream simultaneously on Twitch and Youtube and put the chat on the shared screen. Enable voiced cheer messages reaching a certain threshold. This way you can even make some money directly.

    invite Brianna Wu and Jim Metokur to keynote the conference with a good natured debate on the topic ‘Apartheid Sucks, Black Separatism Rocks: Change my mind’

    1. I vote for a dancing anime boy. 🙂

  3. Guns and abortion….

    Any questions or comments?

  4. Having been a faithful reader since 2004, I would love this. You, the Ilyas, Josh, and special appearance by Orin!

    Obviously pick a topic or two to discuss.

    Make sure you follow the anti-ZoomBomb guidance that Zoom has published.

    Use the Webinar format – it allows for both free chat and a Q&A module that allows anonymous (and NON-anonymous) question submission. It puts them in a queue for you to choose from. It also disables the Participants list which would be a feature here, imho.

    1. Make sure you follow the anti-ZoomBomb guidance that Zoom has published. Use the Webinar format – it allows for both free chat and a Q&A module that allows anonymous (and NON-anonymous) question submission. It puts them in a queue for you to choose from. It also disables the Participants list which would be a feature here, imho.

      Zoom has a special large meeting license for up to 1000. I would advise disabling video and muting all audio on entry and leave the audience to submit questions via the chat box.
      >>>>>>>>>>>

      Kinda putting the horse before the cart here? This is a bunch of dry academics rubbing their beards at each other about stuff not too many people think or care about not a Billy Eilish concert or Trump rally. I’d assume lack of interest might be a bigger problem than too much interest or trolling.

  5. I am not sure how many persons a zoom meeting can accommodate. AT our last faculty meeting we have 280 on the meeting. Everyone was urged to to turn off their video as that uses a lot of bandwidth. The meeting worked very well.
    You’ll need to instruct people at the outset how to raise their hand or how to comment.

    1. If you’re willing to pay enough, Zoom will go up to at least a thousand connections. (Not sure if that’s a thousand *video on* connections, or merely a thousand connections.)

      For the purposes of this, only a very few video connections, plus some amount of ask-the-audience with one-off video connections, would be all they need, so I don’t think they have to worry about it too much.

      Also, based on the number of viewers for Steve Vladeck’s similar gig last week — 315 was the number I heard on the stream — I would expect probably a similar ballpark of viewers for something here.

  6. My chat questions are as follows: 1-Can Rhode Island stop people with NY license plates during a pandemic to enforce a quarantine – on the basis that New York is a hot spot and public health officials have advised anyone who has left New York in the last 14 days to self quarantine; 2-Can the Federal govt quarantine a state or restrict interstate travel during a pandemic (to slow the spread of disease).

    1. Whether The RI governor has overstepped her authority does not really matter in the short run.
      RI State Troopers are stopping NY licensed cars at the RI CT border

  7. Zoom has a special large meeting license for up to 1000. I would advise disabling video and muting all audio on entry and leave the audience to submit questions via the chat box.

  8. Have Zoomed daily recently and believe a Volokh Conspiracy discussion would be welcome. Some suggestions that no doubt have been thought of but may be worth consideration, nonetheless.

    1. Have an agenda. Not a the euphemistic political agenda, the old-timey “what are we going to talk about” agenda.
    2. Get notices out at least a day before the event. Use email addresses if readers agree to receiving notice this way, in addition to within the site.
    3. Set time limits.
    4. Ask for questions in advance. If need be, open up an ‘after-party’ discussion group, but do not allow wiggle room for hecklers to take over with silliness or, at best, highly digressive commentary.
    5. Show pictures of the “mute” buttons (audio and video) in large iconic format to all who sign in. Circulate YouTube video of “BBC Dad” if you think people won’t get the picture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY

    Have fun. No reason not to be on the cutting edge in a crisis and not have fun, too.

    Thanks for giving this your thought.

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