Mapping Out Our Digital UnConference

From IIW

Session Topic: Honing the Digital Unconference Structure

Thursday 1G

Convener: Matt Schutte

Notes-taker(s): Matthew Schutte

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

We have a video of the session here:


Matthew Schutte has been working on a Digital Unconference Structure for the last few months at:

He is interested in building out this structure and making it available as a medium to foster collaboration between the members of the IIW community between Workshops, possibly on a monthly basis.


The basic components are:

1. A publicly shared Google Spreadsheet (Coordination Doc) for

  • 1. proposing sessions
  • 2. scheduling sessions
  • 3. sharing links to the components for each new session
    • 1. google doc or spreadsheet for text notes
    • 2. google hangout link
    • 3. hangouts on air / youtube video link

2. A google Hangout on Air

  • 1. In the Coordination Doc we share:
    • 1. the link for participating in the hangout +
    • 2. the link for watching the live stream / video

For each new session, the host for that session needs to

  • 1. create a new google doc or google spreadsheet
  • 2. share that google doc publicly (and sets permissions to "anyone can edit") - this step can be skipped if you "make a copy" of the current google doc and select "share it with the same people."
  • 3. share the link to the doc back in the MAIN Coordination Doc
  • 4. create a Google Hangout on Air
  • 5. share the link to participate in that Hangout back in the MAIN Coordination Doc (url can be copied from the location bar)
  • 6. share the link to the live stream / youtube video in the MAIN Coordination Doc.

This structure enables:

  • 1. multiple sessions to run simultaneously
  • 2. 10 people to participate at any one time in each session
  • 3. an unlimited number of people to watch a session live (with about a one minute delay)
  • 4. recording and publishing of videos from each session -- hosted on youtube
  • 5. auto-caption of the audio content (this requires an extra step by the host after the conclusion of the event -- unfortunately, google's servers typically need some time to process the video file before the author can use the "auto-caption" function)
  • 6. Once auto-captioned, viewers can search the transcript of the video for specific words (using ctrl-F or Command-F) and can click those words to jump to any specific place in the video (to one second of resolution).
  • 7. After a video has been published, users can edit any segment that they want and can share a link to that "highlight". Two ways to accomplish this:
    • 1. in youtube, you can pause the video at any point and use the share function to share a link that starts at that point.
    • 2. with, you can set both a start point and an end point and share a link to that segment. However, sometimes tubechop fails to start at the desired "start point."

Areas that need work:

  • Instructions
    • Instructions need to be made clearer for new participants -- including instructions for joining google plus, for those that are not yet members.
  • Larger Sessions
    • Larger sessions: management of larger sessions can be accomplished with a "fishbowl" configuration -- two spots (in the hangout) are left available at any time. Any audience member can jump into the hangout. When they do, an existing participant is expected to jump off and follow along on the live stream
  • HOWEVER, the live stream has a latency issue that can make this "jumping into and out of the live hangout" a bit awkward. The live stream tends to run about 60 seconds behind the actual hangout.
  • Highlight promotion
    • we'd like to see some basic functionality for allowing the crowd to indicate which highlights are the best
    • beyond that, we'd love to see some graph attribute based functionality that allows that "crowd filtering" to be based on custom criteria.



phone: 310.699.8802

skype: matthewschutte