Online meetings became a thing during the pandemic. When our community forum series left off in December 2019 we had asked for attendees to connect us with their neighborhood groups, with the intent of having more in-person meetings in 2020. With the significant upheavals caused by the pandemic, that plan didn't work out in 2020. We stuck to our social media platforms (web site, Facebook and Twitter) and explored some expansions (e.g. Reddit, YouTube). Along the way - and like many others - we developed some online group meeting skills using Zoom and Google Meet. We held our first group online meeting on February 4th. Based on the success of that meeting, it is apparent that there should be more online meetings in the future. Online meetings don't just serve as a Covid solution. For many people, online meetings offer convenience: you don't have to "go" anywhere and you can wear sweatpants.
With our current budget, we can only conduct online meetings that are free to the host. For Zoom, that means a 40 minute time limit, and for Google Meet, it means a 1-hour limit. For many purposes, that's fine, but as we add more people - and as they wish to have discussions - the time limits can become a problem. If we get sufficient donations, we will be able to purchase a Zoom (or similar) account that will enable us to hold meetings that can run longer.
We look forward to holding more frequent online meetings and welcome discussion topics and participation.