Best Tools for Online Convening?

Curious to hear about people’s experience of different tools for organizing online convenings. Particularly running unconference (open-space technology) type gatherings. These are highly particpiatory,engaging and partipant driven.

Here are some tools that I have come across (though not experimented with all of them yet!)

  1. Zoom (works by making everyone a co-host so particpants can move themselves around to the breakout rooms they are most compelled to)
  2. QiqoChat
  3. Unhangout

Have you had any expereince using these tools? (or know someone who might?). Would love to hear from your experience.

Looking to design highly scalable particpatory online events. Advice appreciated.


I haven’t used it myself before, but BlueButton is designed to be a comprehensive open solution for schools to do remote collab. Its got pretty mature video conferencing and lots of collab features on top

Oh jeez, haven’t been on this forum in aaaaages, but happened to check the summary email today, and just had to share this:

HackMD: Hacknight Vibes on HighFidelity

So far, I’ve only used it for some small meetings, and supported some friends is running their own meetings on it with presentation (including building a script to “hire a DJ”). No hacknights run on it yet, but I’ve been working through hacknight needs, and I’m feeling really bullish on it being a great tool.

Anyhow, I’m keeping all my notes in the doc. Feel free to add to the doc if you’d like :slight_smile:

(Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if I’m non-responsive here.)

Interesting tool! However I wonder about the level of engagement you get with HighFidelity vs a video-conferencing tool like Zoom or something similar where you have face to face contact and deeper engagement.

Would make for an interesting experiment though!

Yeah, you’re right about missing video! I’ve run HiFi meetings with a video call running in parallel, and that feels like a good vibe too. But it still works without video if people don’t want to have to set up multiple windows. In my mind, it’s kinda like progressive enhancement, that puts the tool that allows attention and branched conversation as the first-class tool, and then visuals get layered on… maybe?

But the neat-o mapJSON annotation layer can be used to drop a little clickable circle or image that opens a new tab linking to, for instance,


Makes me think of which is basically what you describe: HiFi 2D maps with video calling built in. You should check it out!

1 Like

Yeah, seems neat, and I appreciate that they publicly acknowledge that they’re considering whether to open source their platform.

These are other open source platforms I’ve found, fwiw:


Small demo of High Fidelity being used to support a hacknight format:

Takes a bit of centralized manual setup (one-time assembly of the mapJSON file for placing all the overlays, per-event creation of some youtube livestreams, opening jitsi urls and kickstarting streams to youtube). But much of the work is one-time effort, and for the weekly stuff, I feel a lot of this could be automated using YouTube APIs and puppeteer or something like that…!

Pragli has proven to be a great new option

1 Like

very cool tool this - thanks for sharing.