This is an idea for "Virtual Lightning Talks" -- an occasional online event of lightning talks. The basic idea:
* Once a month, 10 talks per day, 5-minutes per talk plus a 30-second screen/sound test * Use an online conferencing tool (LYRASIS has a subscription to [http://www. saba.com/saba- people- systems/collaboration-suite/saba-centra.aspx Saba Centra]). Java based, so it should be cross-platform for Linux, Mac, Windows (need to test this). * Would be based on desktop screen sharing -- share your slides, your web browser, your shell window, whatever * Questions for the speaker go in the conferencing tool's chat window. Side comments and snark go in the IRC channel. * Speaker would be reminded of their time by audio tones: one each minute for the first three minutes, one every 30 seconds until 30 seconds left, then one every 10 seconds, ending with an appropriate gong-like sound. * Recording talks and archiving them can be really helpful for those who aren't able to attend.
== Presenter Guidelines ==
The webinar platform supports desktop sharing by Mac, Linux, and Windows servers. Centra offers to options to join a conference: desktop-based and browser-based. To share your desktop, you ''must join the conference using the desktop software''.
'''Prior to the webinar''': Download and install the Centra desktop software. Versions are available for [http://mt205.centra.com/SiteRoots/main/Install/macx/setup.jhtml Mac], [http://mt205.centra.com/SiteRoots/main/Install/linux/setup.jhtml Linux], and [http://mt205.centra.com/SiteRoots/main/Install/win32/setup.jhtml Windows]. After installing the client, run the [http://mt205.centra.com/SiteRoots/main/SystemCheck/SystemCheck.jhtml Centra system test] to verify connectivity.
[[Image:Saba-sign-on.png|right|alt=Snapshot of web page highlighting the "Launch on Desktop" button for presenters to use|Use the "Launch on Desktop" button.]]
'''At the start of the webinar''': Follow the link to the event and enter your e-mail address into the form. You must select "Launch on Desktop" to open the Centra desktop client.
* Your screen resolution must be 1280 by 768 or less.
* If you have more than one screen/monitor, disable all screens but one. (The software will share all of your screens as one large desktop, making it hard for people to follow.)