Virtually Connecting is growing. We have heard from many of our loyal followers that they want more. Those who have been directly involved with producing ir participating in a virtually connecting session talk about how the experience has been rewarding and valuable. Virtually Connecting is helping people make meaningful connections, and we want to share that with everyone that is interested. We have brainstormed a bunch of different ways that you can be involved in Virtually Connecting. Please don’t feel like these are the only ways you can get involved, rather, think of it as a starting place.
Want to get involved? We suggest participating in or watching VC sessions before volunteering so you know what you’re getting into. Here are some of the roles:
Virtual (online) Participation from Anywhere
- Virtual buddy – person(s) who hosts the virtual component of the conference. The Virtual Buddy coordinates the online portion of the Virtually Connecting Session. They moderate the conversation, ensuring that each person gets a chance to participate in the conversation. The Virtual buddy also helps to facilitate the technical aspects of the session for virtual participants (e.g. joining the Hangout, coaching on use of Google Hangouts on Air, etc). The Virtual buddy role can be shared among people and may contain the following roles:
- Hangout Convener – Manages the invites and the logistics of running the Hangout on Air. This person should have some proficiency with Google Hangouts on Air and help people troubleshoot problems. Training is available.
- Twitter Jockey– someone to find and share URLs on Twitter. Communicate with others watching on Twitter. A Twitter Jockey not only pushes out invitations, but also then reaches out to folks who retweet and favorite and invites them into the convo. This is really important “listening” on Twitter.
- Traffic Director – it helps to use the hangout chat to sort out who will talk next, to smooth the flow.
- Virtual Participant – persons who join the hangout. When you join a Virtually Connecting session, you are an active member of the conversation. As the virtually connecting sessions become more popular, we ask that hangout buddies come prepared to ask a question to the group. We try to keep a couple of spots open for people who have never participated before – so that each session has one or two new faces.
- Blogging Buddies – persons who volunteer to write blog posts about their experience on Virtually Connecting. Blogging buddies write a blog post for the Virtually Connecting website, and are encouraged to repost on their personal blogs or vice versa.
- Logistics Buddy – person(s) who volunteer to help with the logistics of running Virtually Connecting. Setting up virtually connecting sessions requires a lot of background work – connecting people, finding the right time, inviting people to join, writing blog announcements for the Virtually Connecting website, etc. This work used to be done by the virtual buddy but as we expand, we would like to recognize this role separately. We also need logistics buddies to manage our various social media presences (e.g. Facebook Page, Google Plus community)
- Coaching Buddy – person(s) who volunteers to help coach newbies in the virtually connecting ecosystem. Coaching buddies are needed for each of the other types of buddies listed above.
- Guru Buddies – Guru buddies are Virtually Connecting subject matter experts that are there for anyone of the various buddies who might have questions along the way.
Onsite Conference Attendees
- Onsite buddy – person(s) at conference who hosts the Virtually Connecting session. The onsite buddy is responsible for finding a good location and coordinating meeting time and place with the onsite participants. Having multiple onsite buddies makes it easier for one person to host and the others to find the various guest speakers. (see tips for onsite buddy).
- Onsite support buddy – because Buddies need buddies too. It can be useful to have a second person working with the onsite buddy to help herd the onsite guest speakers. This allows the onsite buddy time to focus on getting the vconnecting session up and running and hosting the session, while the onsite support buddy helps find people for the hangout.
- Guest speaker buddy – Guest speakers are the people who are onsite that agree to be guest speakers on the hangout. They are typically keynote speakers, conference presenters, or conference organizers. They are people who are in some way contributing to the conference program, although sometimes we also meet with conference attendees.
- Partner Event – these are events that would like to integrate vconnecting into their program and have multiple hangouts. They would mention it in one of the meetings (e.g. on the main stage early in the conference) so all participants know and encourage speakers to meet us. This may require multiple onsite and virtual buddies. At the moment this is free but in future we may ask for onsite buddy registration to be waived or reduced and free virtual participation for virtual buddy, if applicable.
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