How do I hold an electronic meeting?

With the Boreal Instant Messaging service, you can easily hold electronic meetings with anyone who has an instant messaging account, from anywhere in the world.  You can even have your software record the conversation to help with minute-taking!  Here's how to set up an electronic meeting using the Pidgin (http://www.pidgin.im/) software:

  1. Make sure everyone who will be "at" the meeting has an Instant Messaging account.  You can set up accounts at http://chat.boreal.org:9090/plugins/borealregistration/sign-up.jsp.
  2. Open your Pidgin software.  Click the Buddies menu and click "Join a Chat".
  3. A new window will appear.  Much of the information will be filled in for you - you only need to specify a couple items:
    Room: Pick a name for your electronic meeting room.  This can be pretty much anything.
    Password: This is optional.  If you want to make sure your meeting is completely private, you can set a password on your meeting room.  A person will have to enter this password in order to join your meeting.
  4. Click the Join button.  
  5. Two windows will open - one showing you the electronic meeting room, and another asking you how you want to configure the room.  You can usually click the "Accept Defaults" button on this window to get a standard room.  However, you may want to use the "Configure Room" button if you want to enable special features such as:
    • Persistent meeting room: Normally when the meeting is over, the room you set up will go away.  If you want to keep the room available, check "Room is Persistent" in the Configure Room window.  If you go into a Persistent room, you'll see all the conversation that's ever taken place in that room, even if it was a year ago.
    • Members-only room:  Use this option if you want to make sure that only people you invite are allowed to join the meeting.  To make a members only room, check "Room is Members-Only" in the Configure Room window.  You must now issue an invitation to a person before they can "enter" your room. 
  6. Once the room is configured, you and other members can "enter" the room and have a group conversation.  For someone else to enter the room, they will need to click the Buddies menu in their Pidgin software, select "Join a Chat", and specify the name of the room you set up.  You'll see a notice in your meeting room window, informing you they've joined the chat.
  7. You can wait for people to join the meeting or you can issue an invitation to them once the room is ready.  (If you created a members-only room, you must invite people to join the meeting.) To do this, in your meeting room window click the Conversation menu, and select Invite.  Enter the id of the person you want to invite (ex joeblow@chat.boreal.org) and an optional message, and click the Invite button.  That person will receive a message inviting them to join the meeting.  All they have to do is click "Accept" on the window that pops up and they'll be in the room and able to participate in the meeting. 
  8. To have your software record the conversation (so you don't have to take minutes!), in the meeting room window click the Options menu and select "Enable logging".  The software will start recording your conversation at this point.  To see the logged conversation, click the Conversation menu and select "View Log".
  9. To talk, simply type your message in the bottom half of the meeting window and hit <Enter>.  Your message will appear in the top half of the window for everyone who's in the meeting room.