We need to work together in RealTime some times.
Traditionally, MailingLists? have been used to arrange single or recurring meetings, but that takes a lot of time and discussion.
A time window is a well known time at a well known location that people can meet.
There doesn't need to be just one time window; A group could set up two or three times, chosen for different time zones and other constraints, and say, "Attend the one that's easiest for you to get to."
Summaries of meetings (minutes) are kept during a TimeWindow, so that people who weren't able to attend know what happened.
With time windows, people can focus their energies on hitting the nearest target, and finding someone, or some group, to talk with in real time.
After millenia of face-to-face meetings, I had hoped that "How do we decide when to meet?" would be a solved problem.
If our primary goal is to get the most possible people together at one time, the best solution I've seen so far is Wiki:AcceptanceVoting. Someone makes a list of all possible times, and each voter approves all the times that she could/would attend. The total vote for each time tells exactly how many people could attend at that time. Since our goal is maximum attendence, we simply pick the time with the most votes. (I forget what happens if there is a tie – that's never happened in any of the votes I've participated in, yet).
I'm not sure how to extend this to multiple meeting times. I suppose one could use Acceptance Voting to pick one "big" time, then set aside all the ballots that indicated they could go. Then one could look at the remaining ballots (from people who couldn't go to the "big" meeting) to get the time of the "next-biggest" meeting. Then set aside the ballots that approved that time, and we're left with people that couldn't go to either one. (People would be free to go to either or both meetings). But perhaps there's a better method of picking 2 times that would minimize the number of people that couldn't go to either one.
Is there a way to pick times that promotes "mixing" ? (Is there a way to promote times for the 3rd meeting that allow "people that didn't go to the 1st meeting" to meet "people that didn't go to the 2nd meeting", instead of keeping 2 sub-groups insulated from each other ?)
Having multiple meeting times sounds like an excellent idea (in IRC, anyway – too much hassle to keep setting up the chairs and the projection screen in RealLife).
Maybe you could suggest multiple meeting times to http://meetup.com/ .
I just transfered this page from ConcentrationTimes. HelmutLeitner suggested the name "TimeWindow," and I thought it was much better, much clearer, than ConcentrationTimes, which sounds more like meditating in a closet in the morning.
Anyone mind if I change the name to GatheringTime??
The only reason I resist "MeetingTime?" is because "meeting" implies formality, minutes, notes. While I like formal meetings for the WikiTing, the general concept of a time where people gather doesn't require all these things.
However, I do think we should have a separate page to talk about the rhythmic cycles of gathering times that Mattis & I were talking about: Where you have regular big meetings, in-between meetings, and frequent little meetings.