I would like to follow through on the idea of creating a more orderly process for initiating and running a group. I am assuming, here, that the idea to read one book or another arises in the course of conversation, making suggestions, and putting out feelers; and that at a certain point (which cannot be pre-determined) somebody makes the decision to organize a group. We can regard this person, and anyone they recruit to co-lead the group, as the organizer(s).
So this template presupposes that there is an organizer (or two) who will be responsible for making the group happen by figuring out scheduling, cultivating conversations, and leading (or determining the conversational praxis for) any meetings. The organizer, or an assistant/volunteer, will also be responsible for creating the invitations and calendar events, and posting any recordings that come out of the events.
I will play the role, at this stage, of facilitating the process as a whole, as best I can, by providing direct support to reading group organizers, and supporting the technology, communications, and planning to make for a successful event.
To that end, here is my first draft of the information I would need to assemble a reading group page. I would love some feedback on this. My goal is to turn it into a kind of step-by-step event creation form, so that by simply providing the required information, any member of the Readers Underground / co-op can start their own group. Please let me know what you think, and any suggestions you may have.
Metapsychosis: Readers Underground / Cosmos Co-op — Reading Group Template
- Organizer(s) — other contacts (e.g., “coordinator”)
- Reading group title - e.g., “Journey to Supermind” for our Aurobindino / The Life Divine group, or simply, “Octavia Butler’s Parable Novels”
- Book title
- Short description of the reading group — what is the intention of the group, and how will meetings (and/or online dialogue) be conducted?
- About the book — short description (could be cribbed from publisher)
- Book image – minimum 300 px wide
- About the author — also could be cribbed
- Author image – minimum 300 px wide
- Feature image – a large banner image for the group, for use on Metapsychosis landing page and event pages, minimum 2000 px wide; provide attribution.
- Complementary Reading & Additional Media - books, essays, stories, videos, podcasts, and/or other resources to supplement the primary focus of the group
- Start date
- End date
- Individual meeting dates & times – or could be recurring, e.g., “every other Wednesday for 8 sessions.” Include session details, such as pages or chapters to read ahead of time.
- Video conference link - Zoom ID. (Tech note: there may be a way to auto-generate these links as part of a workflow script.)
What I would like to do with the above info is generate an overview page on Metapsychosis.com (or could be Cosmos.Earth or .coop, depending on the group) which provides all the important info in a nice layout, along with a registration form or button. When someone registers, they will get invited to the forum (if they are not already a member) and their info will get sent to the group admins.
Each individual session will get an entry on the Cosmos Calendar, which is tied to a dedicated topic on the forum, where discussion can commence. After each event, the organizer (or a helper) will upload the video to Vimeo (and/our YouTube, and/or our own video storage via Wordpress), as well as update the event page with the video and audio files. These past events will then appear on an archive page for the group, where all the media is accessible while remaining tied to the forum.
If the organizers agree, I would also like to invite our email list to the group and feature it on our home pages. It would be good to do this at least a month in advance, to allow participants time to obtain the book and update their calendars, etc.
Does this all sound reaonable? Please let me know if you think I’m missing anything, or if there’s some part of the process which could be clearer. I would like to begin creating pages for 2019 groups in early January. Thank you!