Planning Update for #UMRG

I’ve updated the planning document and filled in the names next to each chapter. You can find it here. I will keep updating this document as things change.

You can see that we still have four open spots for creating summaries. If you know somebody who would be interested, then you know where to find me!


Tomorrow will be the first #UMRG meeting

The first meeting of the Understanding Media Reading Group (#umrg) will be tomorrow at 16:00 CET. If you are not sure what time this is in your timeze then you can click this link.

We will be using a technology called Adobe Connect. You can access the meeting through the following URL:

If, like me, you don’t have a lot of experience with Adobe Connect then it is probably good if you try and access it a few minutes early. If you have a webcam, then we might be able to see you if you turn it on. I will attempt to record these Adobe Connect sessions, so you can listen to them if you missed them.

I don’t trust the quality of Adobe Connect’s VOIP audio, so I’ve arranged for a teleconference number for our audio. You can first dial in to the conference number and then type in the so called conference ID followed by a #.

From the Netherlands dial: +31 70 7991300
From the US dial: US +1 713 222 0377
If you are in another country, then check this list

The conference ID is: 20252239

The Adobe Connect URL will be different every week (I will post a reminder with the correct URL every week), but the audio information should stay the same.

I fully expect we will waste the first 15 minutes getting acquainted with the technology. After that I intend to do/discuss the following:

  • Some more information about me, my motives for this reading group and what you can expect from me
  • Introductions of all the attendees (we are at 20 participants now, you can see them all here or follow this Twitter list)
  • Discuss our ways of working:
    • Our hash tag: #umrg
    • Weekly summaries, how will they work (I will send reminders to everybody)
    • The Socratic Webinar and its rules
    • Our technological architecture (blog, calendar, what else?)
    • Access to the WordPress blog
  • How to run quote competitions?
  • Guest lectures and other activities. Currently I am trying to get W. Terrence Gordon (editor of one edition of Understanding Media), Paul Levinson (writer of the Digital McLuhan) and Mark Federman (one of the authors McLuhan for Managers) and Matthew Furlong has already offered to do a guest lecture on the notion of the formal cause and its importance for McLuhan. I also want to organize a screening of Videodrome in Amsterdam (sorry!). Other ideas?

Really looking forward to meeting all of you tomorrow!

Public Calendar for the Reading Group now Available

Marcel de Leeuwe, from Leerbeleving, has kindly offered the use of Adobe Connect for our weekly webinars. All of these are now scheduled. You will be able to find them (and all other pertinent practical information) on the Logistics page.

I’ve made some mistakes in the way that I’ve let people choose a week in which they are responsible for writing a summary. I am in the process of sorting that out, so expect some more clarity on that soon.

One thing that might be useful to do as well is subscribe to the public calendar with all the events that relate to the reading group. There are three ways of accessing that information: web, XML or iCAL.