Evolutionary Biology Online Journal Club

Some information for today’s meeting

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Hopefully everyone is ready and as excited as I am for today’s first meeting of the Evolutionary Biology Online Journal Club! I think this will be a great group and a great topic for discussion. As you all know by now, we will be giving the Shindig platform a try this term. This will get us free of the 10 people limit and hopefully be a more open experience to everyone.

However, as would be expected of a change in platform, there are a couple of things that will be different, and that we need to take into consideration for it to work well. The main difference is that the Shindig videoconference does not offer an “open mic” debate, like in the Google hangout, where anyone could start talking at any moment and everyone will hear. Instead, there are up to two “active” debaters at any given point in time. I know this might sound kind of weird for a journal club debate, but on the other hand having some sort of structure might actually help if we do end up having more than 5 or 6 people, so we don’t run the risk of talking over each other. It may help us use our time better. But most importantly, anyone can join the active microphones at any time by pressing the “raise hand” button. The technical moderator from Shindig will then open the mic for you (or add you to a queue if there’s more than one).  In order for the journal club to work, it is really important that we try not to “shy out” and take part in the discussion! So don’t be afraid to “raise hand” and join in and share your thoughts and ideas! 🙂

Also, I believe Shindig offers a text chat as well, so we won’t have to use the IRC channel. Just click on the “IM” button that shows up when you hover your mouse over your picture, then select the “Shindig” tab in the window that shows up. This might be a good way of making a quick comment/question when someone else is talking.

In order to get acquainted with the platform, I recommend taking a few minutes and watching the videos below, that showcase how it works:

And, again, remember that this is an experiment with this new platform. After we’re finished with the meeting today, I will put up a poll and we can decide if it worked or not, and go from there. I do think it will be a cool experience, we just need to get used to the changes that come with the possibilities offered by the Shindig platform!

See you all at 4:30PM EST today!! (and don’t forget to RSVP following that link if you haven’t yet!)

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Author: Rafael Maia

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Idaho, studying the development and evolution of iridescent colors in birds.

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