- EA Coworking Gathertown provides a low pressure way for new ea's to interact with experienced EAs in a high fidelity medium(video chat opposed to text)
- After sessions, participants often continue further to network with other participants 1-on-1 and with other EA's.
- Gathertown is simply better than zoom :)
The EA Coworking Gathertown is a platform similar zoom except you can walk around with a virtual character and have group conversations with those nearby.
I currently have four of my EA intro fellowship cohorts primarily hosted on this platform for about 19 people total.
The First Meeting:
I send the link to the EA Gathertown into the cohort chat:
Everyone has said they find the platform extremely easy to use.
During the Meeting:
We usually go into the meeting room for the first 50 minutes of the session for normal EA fellowship chat. There's not much new here to that :) Just weekly discussions
The last 10 minutes is where things get interesting. For Co-working the space is organized into 50min work 10 minute break pomodoros that start each hour. So the last 10 minutes coincide the break for the coworkers and is a great opportunity to bring the cohort around to chat with willing people!
Once those last 10 minutes end I announce the "official" end of the cohort to make it not awkward for those who want to leave then. A few people from the cohort also choose to continue chatting after time ends - but this also depends on who's available, the people we chat with usually go back to co-working once the pomodoro ends. Although, with gather it's very easy for them to walk to the social area to continue the conversation! :)
One thing University intro fellowships have that Virtual Programs lack is the ability to have spontaneous low pressure interactions(no need to book someone for 30minutes) with people who are more experienced with EA. In some reguards the Gathertown may even be better as the "more experienced EAs" aren't limited to just other university students but include those who are working on some EA cause - or should I say, co-working on some ea cause :)
A few people from the cohort also choose to continue chatting after time ends - but this also depends on who's available, the people we chat with usually go back to co-working once the pomodoro ends. Although, with gather it's very easy for them to walk to the social area to continue the conversation! :)
A few members have come during the week to join in co-working as well mainly on their university schoolwork.
Are you hosting an EA fellowship right now? Consider bringing your cohort to the Gathertown for the next discussion!
Preparation tips for bringing your cohort to Gather:
Meet the frequenters of the platform :) Emrik and Sasha and a few others are there often and usually love to talk with whomever(I brought all my cohorts to meet them). It would be a good idea to give them a heads up that your planning on bringing your cohort to meet them! In the Slack or Discord you can also send the time of your cohort to guarantee there will be someone to speak with for your cohort :)
Know how to solve any technical difficulties(like how to switch your audio/video device, or send a message in the chat)
I love GatherTown. It's awesome to have an effective altruism space to hang out and bump into people and be inspired by chance. As if we were neighbors in real life. Agree that it's a perfect place to host intro events.
Thanks for sharing this, will definitely try Gathertown the next time I'm running a fellowship! :)
I've been meaning to try this out, thank you for the friendly reminder :) Anecdotally I've heard that users with limited internet bandwidth might prefer Zoom/google meet to prevent heavy lag on gathertown. Have you run into any issues with that? I just want to be mindful that not all participants come from locations with high speed connections.
Also, is there a schedule where we should signup/reserve the space for reoccurring uses? I'd hate to disrupt someone else's meeting.
I'm on a pretty average for Europe connection for whatever that's worth, and I haven't noticed much lag. It seems to use a few more system resources than Meet (not sure about Zoom), which would make sense given that it's doing quite a bit more. But if you're worried I would say just give it a go and see how well it works.
To answer the second question, there are some welcoming hours which you can see by subscribing to the calendar, but it's completely fine to just show up and join a coworking desk. There's usually someone around who'll reach out to offer you an intro tour, and if not, there's a norms document next to where you first spawn in the map that lays out the practices we've found most helpful.
Gather can also be used to host talks, discussion sessions, group/1-1 meetups, or just as a free alternative to Google Meet/Zoom with no time or participants limit (Gather pays the usage for you)!