Technical Tips for Virtual Buddy

The virtual buddy is the person who is not attending the conference/event in-person but hasan interest in connecting to the people on-site (and is the one who helps other virtual participants join in).  The virtual buddy (so far Maha Bali, but could be anyone) is the one who should provide some technical stability since they will be using their own computer/laptop for initiating hangouts and recording them.  I’ve learned the hard way about some of these things:

  1. Agree on a “best communication method” with your onsite buddy beforehand – do you prefer to communicate over facebook messenger, Twitter, email? What about during the actual event, how do you communicate best?
  2. Test everything with your onsite partner before going live; that’s everything (audio, video, wifi) except actually recording, though you should also make sure you know how to record in advance
  3. Have a backup technology in place in case your initial plan fails. In the Maha-Rebecca case, we had zoom (which records offline) as the backup to Google Hangouts (which records while livestreaming)
  4. Try to make sure you are logging in from a location you trust; sometimes moving rooms in your own house can affect the quality of wifi (which may be less obvious when you’re only connecting to check your email but more obvious when you’re trying to have audiovisual interaction)
  5. If using Google Hangouts, don’t post the “join” link publicly, or you may have uninvited guests; do post the watching link publicly so people can watch the streaming video


You may like to check out Autumm’s video tips for setting up Google hangouts on air as a virtually connecting buddy

Video tips from Autumm Caines


  1. Maha, I know you have been doing work in this area recently, though I am struggling to understand how you are using the term “virtual buddy” here. Perhaps you defined it someplace that I missed, though I would find that helpful to link to or mention. This may then help understand your tips in a bit more context. Thanks!

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