On Thursday, 20 August 2020, several members of the CSCCE community of practice met to try out the virtual conference platform QiqoChat. This was the first in a series of tools trials meant to help scientific community managers source platforms that meet their needs as meetings and conferences transition online. In this post, we recap our shared pros and cons of the platform, give you access to our notes from the call, and tell you what’s next for CSCCE tools trials.
1 October 2020
Note from the CSCCE blog editor: Since this blog post was published, we received feedback from a software engineer at Qiqochat, who generously addressed some of our questions in our shared notes doc. You can view the document here.
What is QiqoChat?
“QiqoChat (Qiqo) provides a social wrapper around Zoom meetings so that participants can move themselves in and out of different Zoom breakout spaces. This creates a vibrant & empowering online event/conference experience that replicates the freedom of movement that participants have at in-person events. Participants can make choices in real time about which breakout, panel, or workshop they wish to attend.” – https://universe.qiqochat.com/about
QiqoChat also allows you to embed additional content, such as videos, collaborative docs, and apps (find a full list of platforms you can integrate here) to create customized breakout spaces.
QiqoChat allows you to collect all the tools you would normally use (e.g., Google docs, Zoom, Padlet) on one platform. With additional levels of security in place, using the platform can help prevent Zoom bombing. It also gives participants the option to choose which breakout rooms to enter, a feature many have been yearning for on Zoom. And, you can see who is already in a room, giving you an idea of how popular a session or presentation might be.
Creating a QiqoChat event is not as straightforward as it may seem, and the backend of the platform is quite basic. It’s a steep learning curve, and setting up a meeting on your own may take some time. However, QiqoChat does offer a (paid) service to work with you to create your event which might alleviate some behind-the scenes headaches.
As with any Zoom call, people without access to the platform (certain countries, US federal agencies, etc.) will not be able to join the video calls integrated into QiqoChat.
I want to know more…can I access the notes from this call?
Yes! 16 members of the CSCCE community of practice joined this tools trial, with 10 contributing their comments to a shared Google doc. A big thank you to everyone who attended!
Note: If you’d like to assess QiqoChat for yourself, your first 1000 person-minutes are free and no payment information is needed to create an account.
The next CSCCE tools trial: Mural
Next week at the same time (Thursday, 27 August at 4pm UTC / noon US Eastern Time) we’re offering a chance to get together to try out Mural, a virtual white board and sticky note tool, with which you may be familiar from other CSCCE events. We’ll be using the session to brainstorm additional tools that would be helpful to trial at future group gatherings. If you’d like to add this event to your calendar, you can download an invite here.
Please note that neither CSCCE nor any of the participants (or their organizations) who attend these trials are endorsing the platforms. We will, where possible, ensure that participants have the option to enter the event as a guest and we will not provide any identifying information to the platform.