Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Settling down on a routine

We seem to have found a pretty good communication medium. It's a compromise between Campfire and Flashmeeting - we chat on Campfire, so everyone can talk and there's no "waiting for someone else to finish" bottleneck, but keep Flashmeeting around so we can point the camera at things. That works a lot better for me, personally, because I have a much easier time being fluent and attentive in text rather than a videoconference - I think and work in text all the time, so it's my "native language." Hopefully it's not an inconvenience to the others (if it is, let me know and I'll switch modalities).

I'm also really glad we set up a regular meeting time and a set communications infrastructure. The faster you can make that kind of stuff habitual, the more time it frees up for you to do actual design work.

So far things seem to be going well - it's taking longer to start up than I'm used to, since we're getting through the "getting to know you" phase and the "having technical difficulties, please stand by" phase simultaneously (I couldn't get into the chat until 10 minutes after everyone else) but it's worth it; Phil and Hiroo's brainstorm brought up things we hadn't thought about, like standardization of cup sizes, different kinds and types of coffee-selling places, and so on. I'm also glad Chandra and her mad matsci skillz are on board. And I seem to be falling into the role of Person Who Finds Magical Technology. "Hey, we need something that does... this!" "Well, I happen to know three websites and two open source projects that do just that..."

Mmmm, technology.

Oh - and humor does work online. *grin* I drew the worst possible logo demo today as an example of why I shouldn't be allowed to make our actual logo (our team name is Long Distance Coffee), and we all had a good laugh.

No meeting tomorrow; we're splitting up to do user studies instead, so Chandra and I will be making the rounds of the local coffeehouses in the area. I love user studies. They're an excuse to go out and play (or in this case, chug coffee and claim it's "for class.")


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