[SLED] Discussion management

Beth Ritter-Guth bethritterguth at gmail.com
Fri Jan 19 08:37:59 PST 2007

Thank you Eloise!  Cna I ourchase your sopa box inworld?  How do I give it
to people?

On 1/19/07, Eloise Pasteur <eloisepasteur at gmail.com> wrote:
> Another option...
> I make (and sell relatively cheaply) a soapbox. It has a script
> inside that queues people who want to take the soapbox, and when in
> use hushes people, it can call the next person and so forth under
> control by the moderator.
> This was developed from a tool (also a soapbox) that was used
> regularly at Thinkers. Thinkers used to be (I'm no longer a member so
> it may still be) a group that met pretty regularly and tried to
> debate and discuss a wide range of things. If you want a histrionic
> view of it Prok has blogged about how evil Thinkers are a number of
> times. Gwyn probably has blogged about Thinkers too, if she has it
> will be from a more positive pov. The discussions are often heated,
> wild and on a good day you'd have a sim full of people discussing and
> arguing away.
> Anyway, back to the point in hand. There are times in SL when letting
> everyone jump in and talk across each other works - although it can
> be hard to see everything, reading text makes it easier for most
> people to follow several trains of conversation in my experience (it
> makes minuting such meetings which I've also done a nightmare
> though). Thinkers often worked well that way. The soapbox was a tool
> that worked in two ways. An individual could request from the
> moderator use of the soapbox. When in use everyone was meant to shut
> up and listen. This worked pretty well, and the scripted one I sell
> is used by the Lindens for the community meetings where it continues
> to work well. If the moderator of the meeting felt things were
> getting out of control, or a topic was being hijacked, they could
> start to use the soapbox to regain control.
> It's similar to Annette's suggestion, but gives you a tool that's
> quick and simple to use and gives you choices... often Thinkers would
> have a small number of people on the soapbox, and then free
> discussion across that for a while, then another soapbox and so on,
> which usually stops the wild cross threads developing, because as you
> see them coming you call the next speaker and stamp all the
> discussion out.
> You can also try to learn to be brave and sit back and let it run of
> course. I did that quite often with Thinkers, but if it overran it
> was rarely an issue for me because I wasn't running to a timetable.
> Within a class structure I'm less sure if I would. For the sake of
> completeness, and an extra tool: when adopting this strategy, I'd use
> the "X, can we stay somewhere near the topic please!" interjection
> and more rarely the "OK, does anyone have anything relevant to the
> topic to say?" one if it really diverged. It wasn't always
> successful, but usually worked. Speaking personally for a discussion
> group I often found the tangential discussions very rewarding,
> because they illuminated things I wasn't expecting and cast new
> thoughts onto the topic. That can be a high risk strategy in a
> classroom situation, but the rewards could be excellent.
> Eloise.
> On 19 Jan 2007, at 15:44, Annette Pohlke wrote:
> > I have been with a group that did chat discussions with many
> > participants over IRC (up to 40 or 50 people at times). How we
> > handled the problem was by using a strict protocol during the
> > session. At the beginning of the meeting the protocol was
> > explained. The main rules were:
> >
> > - If you want to speak, request the floor. Do do so, type "rtf topic".
> > - Wait until it is your time to speak. Prepare your question in
> > notepad and paste it into the chat to save time.
> > - When you have finished, do not forget to yield the floor. To do
> > so, type "ytf".
> > - No one is allowed to speak or post any actions except for the
> > person who has the floor at the moment or, of course, the moderator.
> > - If you want to talk to someone over IM, especially to the
> > moderator, request permission to do so over IM first.
> >
> > This usually works nicely, but requires discipline from anyone in
> > the room and is quite a demanding atsk for the person who is
> > leading the session, which usually meant he had to structure the
> > discussion, answer to questions and do all the moderator's jobs
> > like keeping track of who requested the floor. I had to do this
> > several times, so I know first hand.
> >
> > I have also participated in RL discussions with large crowds, and
> > usually they applied something similar.
> >
> > On IRC it worked nicely without any need for tools, like giving or
> > withholding voice form participants. Now there was something like a
> > group code, everyone knew that as soon as someone declared
> > "protocol is in effect" he had to follow these rules and by
> > repeating the rules every time we started a session new comers
> > learned fast.
> >
> > Some tools could be used to make it easier in SL:
> >
> > - A notecard with these rules could be given to everyone who enters
> > the parcel.
> > - There could be a sign that makes it visible, if "protocol is in
> > effect" (or whatever you want to call it) or not. Like a red light
> > indicating that there is a life recording.
> >
> > Not a tool but still helpful: Have one person as a helper who does
> > the moderation for you, means keeping track of who requested the
> > floor. This could be done by a tool as well that would
> > automatically call the next person when someone yields the floor,
> > but I think a human can do this much better, as sometimes there are
> > good reasons to not strictly go by the list, e.g. if there is a
> > question about something someone else said.
> >
> > I was at the first meeting about body image. I found it inspiring
> > how everyone was just talking and we had several discussions in
> > parallel. An online chat can make this possible while it would
> > never work in a RL discussion. But a strict protocol can hep, if
> > you feel it is no longer "creative" but rather "chaotic".
> >
> >
> > Annette/Max
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