Creating an online video-enabled club or party

Recently I started to create online meetings for Ladino-speaking community called Echar Lashon. The idea is to create an online space where people can meet and speak in Ladino.

I imagine it to be similar to a "club" or to a "party" and I am trying to figure out how this could work both socially and technologically. Maybe there are already systems that can be easily used for this, I am just not aware of them, maybe we'll need to cobble together something.

Current situation

So far we used Zoom with a single main room. The last time we were already 12 people and I expect this number to grow. If thing go well it might soon pass 100 people at the same time. Obviously this won't work well. It will become a chat among a very small subset of the people with all the others listening in, but not really participating.

I think at around 4-6 participants is the limit of having a conversation where everyone can really participate.

The dream

The idea is to imitate a party or a club

  • People can form small subgroups to talk about something. Think about a few people standing together or sitting down at the kitche-table and having a chat.
  • They can look around to see who else isĀ at the party and to see who is in which subgroup.
  • People can easily move to other subgroups.
  • All this using both audio and video.

There must be some way to approve who can enter the meeting. For example a moderator during the meeting or maybe a registration process before where a moderator can decide who can be a member.

The party can be started and stopped by some moderators. In this way it is more like a club that might be open every day between certain hours and maybe even during other hours. If we reach a lot of people this club/party might be always-on and people just come and go any time they like.

I can then imagine people setting a meeting like "meet me at the club at this-and-this time in this-and-this room".

Technologies

Some technologies that either I already used or that were recommended by others.

Zoom

I started using Zoom where I can moderate and where I could create rooms. I can even create rooms up-front though I don't think I can rename them up-front.

As I understand it, only paying 'hosts' can start a meeting even if it already scheduled. This would mean for each moderator / host we would need to pay an extra $15/month. Sounds too expensive.

I could probably get-by with one or two extra hosts, who are responsible for opening the meeting, but who can then pass on the moderation duty to someone. They only need to be stand-by to reopen the meeting if it gets closed by mistake.

Jitsi

I don't see the moderation function in the hosted free version at meet.jit.si.

I tried using 8x8.vc, but so far could not understand how it works or what is the pricing. It also wanted me to use Chrome to sync with my calendar which means I cannot full use it from Firefox.

Self-hosted Jitsi? I can try to see if I could host a Jitsi instance myself. Maybe Digital Ocean even has a pre-packaged version. I like DO, but to tell the truth, if I am already paying for Jitsy I'd rather pay the developers for a hosted solution than a hosting company. I checked, DO has Jitsi in its marketplace and they recommend a CPU-Optimized server with at leas 4 GB memory that costs $40/month.

Discord

I used Discord a few times, but have not managed to understand it. Maybe this time.

Mibo

Mibo looks nice, but it seems quite pricy ($19/month if paid annually for up to 25 participants.)

Anyway it looks nice, though I am not sure it would be the ideal place for conversations with Ladino speakers.

When I registered it told me: "Your graphics processor doesn't seem to meet the minimum performance requirement. This means you might have a subpar experience when using Mibo."

VRChat

There is also VRChat

Gather

Gather

Published on 2022-06-07 by Gabor Szabo