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Coming Into a New Era

Well, we have finally come into our own with over 550 members in our Writer’s Group and over 600 members in our Diverse Creative Arts Group. With this growth has come the test of our mettle.

Coronavirus: A pandemic that is the stuff of science fiction.

It is a virus. Much like the flu virus, Covid-19 is an extremely virulent disease that has taken many lives around the world. What separates this virus from anything we have seen is that the elderly are particularly susceptible to it. Children do not seem to be affected as badly as the rest of us, but once one has been affected, overall, children seem to handle the virus much like they do any other cold.

The changing face of how we meet.

In light of the virus, we have elected to join other organizations worldwide to stem the possibility of our members becoming afflicted with the worldwide outbreak. We will use Google Hangouts this month for our Meetup, which can handle up to 150 members. In the future, members may desire to extend our ability to meet with more spaces. We will have two options.

Option 1

We can hold perhaps two meetups per month for our Writers, using Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts can handle up to 150 users per session. Google even offers phone apps for Android or iPhones. There is also an optional Phone dialer that appears to be only for Android users. This would be a free option for us to take advantage of. We can use the video option to enhance our get-together. I can use PowerPoint to share information that can be captured by our members in real time.

Option 2

We can begin using web-based services that could feasibly be available for all of us at one time. The problem with using these services is that they can be prohibitively expensive. One web service that has been recommended by the Meetup Organization is Zoom. If we use this service, I will have to charge either a monthly fee or a per session fee. It is a cost that I personally, cannot absorb (we can charge for the service via the Meetup page).

If we use Zoom, it will probably be managed by Crystal Allen, who will feature a different guest speaker every month.

Zoom also features software for your computer, an app for Android and an app for iPhone.

My best guess is that dependent on how many people RSVP, we could easily afford the larger rooms $3.00 to $5.00 per RSVP. The only time we would see a $10.00 charge (RSVP) would be if we can get a name that everyone is familiar with to talk to us (many authors such as Clive Barker, Mary Prescott, etc. will give a virtual talk for $4,500.00 or less) about methods they use to finish their books.