Thursday, January 26, 2012

Liberty, Technology, Fraternity

G+ Hangouts on an iPhone
This morning I met with two other SigEps - Michael Ellis and ExDir. Brian Warren - to discuss some ideas about a technology task force that would help SigEp use modern tools to add value to our members and to show others the value that is embodied in our fraternity. Nothing particularly buzz-worthy in doing that. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, where the topic comes up with me in the company of brothers. It is one of my hot topics.

It is not even a big deal that we were literally a country apart - one of us (Michael) was in San Francisco, I was in Houston, and another (Brian) was in Richmond. What excited me about the experience was that we were using the Google+ "Hangout" feature that let us share video with each other. And more than that, I was  sharing video with two others on my iPhone.

When I told the others how I was connected we all sort of did a double-take that it was so easy and reliable, and on a platform that I certainly didn't expect to have that capacity. I had thought I would get the no-video conference call version, but no, it worked like a charm.

Mike has been using Hangouts to mentor students at two chapters where he is on the AVC. The first one is close by at Berkeley, and the second is at his Alma Mater - Purdue. Again close contact, face to face meetings halfway across the country. Does anyone else see the huge potential this has for giving opportunities to alumni who aren't near a chapter, or chapters that are not near a big city with a load of alumni nearby?

We have CLAs starting up soon. Those of you who will be in Dallas look me up and ask to hear more about the ideas. If you are headed to the CLA in California look for Michael. We would love to talk more about these and other ideas for using tech tools in SigEp. In fact it will probably be tough to get us to stop talking about it!