Although it might not be the ideal answer for the more distantly-based individuals like Val., I quite favour John's idea of a number of people getting together at a regional centre to video-conference. It would avoid excessive travel, but still allow for group discussion, where appropriate. It would also ensure that you've got someone to adjourn to the pub with, after the meeting. In England, the option of all gathering in the EH regional office for the meeting would be the most sensible option. A convenient LA would be another option. I've asked what is available at Sheffield City Council. I'll let you know.
Jim McNeil, South Yorkshire Archaeology Service
Planning, Transport and Highways
Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH
Tel.: 0114 273 6428 Fax.: 0114 273 5002
Email: [log in to unmask]
From: John Wood [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 15 December 2003 13:23
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Various Issues - videoconferencing
I have some experience of videoconferencing, as have my colleagues in
the W.Isles, Orkney and Shetland, mainly through the University of the
Highlands and Islands project which does a lot of this. It seems to
work OK. Like any meeting the dynamics depend really on how big a group
there is overall. Obviously there are also limits to the numbers that
can be accommodated by the technology too. One possible way of doing it
would be to have several centres with several people in each (where
possible) rather than everyone just coming in from wherever they happen
to be at the time. So for example 2 or 3 from the English Midlands
might join up and link in from a central point in Birmingham. They just
sit round a table and can see the others on the monitor.
Of course you can do other types of remote meetings (eg telephone
conferences, as we used to do in ARIA) but the advantage of
videoconferencing is that you can see and interact with people almost as
if you are in the room. Well, I did say 'almost'... It's not perfect
but worth a try I think.
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