2/22/07 Tom Portante Presentation Transcript


Tom Portante (avatar Flash Alcott)

Lessons Learned: 20 Years of Online Communities

[14:08] You: Welcome everyone, to the Community Development discussion series. Today we are pleased to welcome Tom Portante (Flash Alcott), to discuss “Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Online Communities.’

[14:08] Flash Alcott: thanks Keystone

[14:08] You: I had the opportunity to meet Tom in real life a few weeks ago, and was immediately engaged in his perspective on the idea of virtual community.

[14:09] You: It was clear that he would be a great guest-presenter in this series. As we were setting this up, Tom emailed the graphic on the screen behind us, from Habitat, taken in 1986.

[14:09] You: I’ve been quite taken by that image, since my first real exposure to virtual community was with Everquest – I realize I’m quite spoiled!

[14:09] Dancoyote Antonelli: hehe yes, it is very 1986!

[14:10] You: It is all to easy to become caught up in the shortcomings of Second Life, and spend too much energy wishing things were somehow ‘better’, or become impatient or anxious for the next big improvements to come along.

[14:10] You: today’s issues are no exception! =)

[14:10] You: But when I see images like this one, it is pretty clear that online worlds are following an evolutionary path that started years ago.

[14:10] You: Tom’s research and effort, for 2 decades, has centered on the arena of online communities. He has created online environments for Fortune 100 companies, regional health care organizations, Katrina disaster relief efforts, and national political campaigns.

[14:11] You: As a speaker and writer in many professional forums, he has been quoted on future technology trends in the New York Times, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and the Word Economic Forum.

[14:11] You: With that, I would like to introduce Tom Portante … following his presentation, we will have an open and informal discussion. Welcome Tom!

[14:11] Flash Alcott: again, Key .. many thanks

[14:12] Flash Alcott: It’s my pleasure to be here

[14:12] Flash Alcott: and – to all of you who managed to … somehow .. log in.. my thanks

[14:12] Flash Alcott: When I was thinking of what kind of presentation might be useful, I kept coming back to the idea of offering a list of practical tips on what seems to work in online communities

[14:13] Flash Alcott: Some of these ideas come from places quite different from Second Life. My hunch is that they’re still pretty valuable for organisations considering building online venues. So… I’ll begin with the first case study…

[14:13] Flash Alcott: In 1985, a handful of the (San Francisco) Bay Area’s more progressive thinkers came up with an idea that’d soon evolve into what many people still regard as one of the Gold Standards on online communities.

[14:14] Tea Tray (mocha color) gave you Cup of Tea with Steam (mocha colored).

[14:14] Flash Alcott: They called it the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link — the WELL. The WELL had thousands of participants and they typically hung out in various subject conferences. 22 years ago the interface was, well, what you expected. White letters on a black or dark green screen. You telnet’ed from a unix machine, or you used your snappy 300 bps acoustic coupler modem – and you ended up in a pretty arcane piece of conferencing software – picospan. PicoSpan was the kind of tool that had you type things like “b n since -30” to see what people had written in the last month.

[14:15] Flash Alcott: and, yes, the picture on the left (your left) of the stage is something you’d see on the WELL.

[14:15] You: wow…

[14:15] Flash Alcott: It’s a page describing the topics in the “Boomer” conference. The numbers to the left are simply topic #s… to the right of those numbers, the number of comments that’ve been made

[14:17] Kiwini Oe: oh, good, there’s a class of ’56 topic

[14:17] Flash Alcott: Despite the learning curve, it soon became “the” place for certain San Francisco Bay Area ‘big idea’ people to see – and be seen by others

[14:17] Flash Alcott: laughing..

[14:17] Dancoyote Antonelli: (big ego people)

[14:17] Flash Alcott: I think I was invited to an Old Timer Reunion recently

[14:17] Flash Alcott: Dan – yep – *s*

[14:18] Dancoyote Antonelli: (was there)

[14:18] Dancoyote Antonelli: (87-88)

[14:18] Flash Alcott: a reunion?

[14:18] Flash Alcott: (I think my ego prevented me from admitting I’d been there THAT long)

[14:18] Flash Alcott: ….

[14:19] Flash Alcott: And, to the point here, the people who gathered on the WELL began to see themselves as being part of something larger – a polity, a collection of shared interests — a community. To be part of that shared space and sense of shared purpose meant you were, indeed, a WELL-being.

[14:19] TROI Timtam: Ah, the beginning of a new online lexicon…

[14:20] Flash Alcott: For this Boston boy, it really smacked of Oh So California

[14:20] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Far Link

[14:20] Flash Alcott: but, along the way …

[14:20] TROI Timtam: Boston is the San Francisco of the East, Flash.

[14:21] Flash Alcott: (remind me of that the next time I’m chipping ice off the door handle of a car when its -17)

[14:21] Flash Alcott: …right

[14:21] Flash Alcott: the WELL’s online community guru, John Coate (“Tex” to everyone) wrote what remains one of the best essays — ever — on the nature of online social interaction. It was called “Innkeeping in Cyberspace” ( )

[14:22] Push Carter accepted your inventory offer.

[14:22] Flash Alcott: What Tex writes about is very simple and very powerful. Most simply, your communities will thrive when they allow participants the chance of developing real and meaningful relationships with the people they meet online. It’s advice that’s pretty much like the rest of life.

[14:22] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Push Carter

[14:22] Flash Alcott: And that’s the point…

[14:22] Flash Alcott: Online communities don’t live in some alternate reality. They’re about people. They’re about things that people have been doing for thousands of years. v

[14:23] Flash Alcott: OK, I promised practical tips. Here’s a dozen from that “Innkeeping” piece

[14:23] Flash Alcott: 1. Know who you want to attract. You’re building a community – so the most important question you’ve got to ask is ‘who’s going to be here?” Its so obvious that we often forget it … somehow falling into the Field of Dreams illusion of ‘if you build it, they will come.’

[14:24] Flash Alcott: sometimes you target a certain audience JUST to maintain a bit of design focus

[14:24] Dancoyote Antonelli: UI design = know your user

[14:24] Flash Alcott: yep

[14:25] Flash Alcott: it’s one of those things that seems SO self evident – that it’s easy to overlook

[14:26] Flash Alcott: 2. An easy way to ‘boot up’ an online community is by helping a Real Life community move to a new venue. In the case of the early WELL experience, Bay Area Grateful Dead fans were the early — and active — participants. Deadheads might not be YOUR first choice of early adopters, though…

[14:27] Flash Alcott: BUT, maybe it’ll be rabid (uh, enthusiastic) football team fans, or alumni , or people from a certain professional association.

[14:27] action Palmer: what improvement to see hap[ening in soon

[14:27] You: action – after the presentation, we’ll have an open discussion for questions

[14:28] Flash Alcott: Key, thanks.. and yep, action.. would love to talk more

[14:28] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Amilvz Fleury

[14:28] Entered chat range: Amilvz Fleury

[14:28] Flash Alcott: 3. (I know this seems like a contradiction) Whoever’s there – those are your people. Although you can target your community’s audience as much as you want but ultimately, the reality is usually that people make up their mind about taking part in the community for reasons that are idiosyncratic. You deal with the crowd.

[14:30] Flash Alcott: ‘Long time ago I built an online place (OK, text based) for a certain sub-set of nurses in Texas. What happened.. the hospital adminstrtors thought ‘hey, this is a good idea’ and they became the new *core* group

[14:30] Flash Alcott: ‘wasn’t The Plan, still.

[14:30] Flash Alcott: 4. Deflate your ego. Think of yourself — the community creator — as the owner of a picnic ground. You’re providing the tables, the badminton nets, the charcoal grills, restrooms and water fountains. Never forget you are in the service industry. You’re a hotelier, an event planner, a social convener…

[14:31] Flash Alcott: This is a tough one. We’re ALL pretty clever people and we all have pretty good ideas about what’s important and what isn’t

[14:32] Flash Alcott: BUT, it really is the, oh, friction of ideas, that makes a place a community and not some slicked up Knoweldge Managemnt repository

[14:33] Flash Alcott: ………OK… I’ll apologise for my quick – if awful – typing and a sense of spelling that’s….er… creative. So be it !

[14:33] Flash Alcott: but 5: back tothe picnic ground.

[14:34] Flash Alcott: It’s all about the people who come. The value is created by their interaction.

[14:34] Flash Alcott: 6. You need to offer a sense of ‘place.’ In Second Life, this is pretty easy — but in other systems, it’s equally important.

[14:34] Kiwini Oe: (and in Second Life, you can have a literal (though virtual) picnic

[14:35] Flash Alcott: That’s right, and my hunch is that – that informality of interaction is truely a big deal.

[14:35] Push Carter: it was only today that BD magazine featured an massive artical aimed at profesionals using sl as a busines forum / picnic

[14:36] Dancoyote Antonelli: exploitation

[14:36] Flash Alcott: This whole sense of place is a great issue. Physicality is important – so is the sense of ‘regulars’ dropping by

[14:36] Flash Alcott: (not sure physicality is really a word)

[14:37] action Palmer: It is agood idea what improvement to the system would be needed

[14:37] Flash Alcott: But, the example from the WELL. There were certain conferences where you KNEW, oh, ‘hlr’ or ‘margaret’ or ‘kk’ would be talking ’bout something

[14:38] Flash Alcott: (‘regulars at your neighborhood bar)

[14:39] Flash Alcott: …

[14:39] Flash Alcott: 7. Encourage free speech. Be prepared for disagreement and for the need for mediation.

[14:41] Flash Alcott: A while back, Royal Dutch/Shell had a thoroughly frank exchange ‘place.’ I remember one oil worker from Nairobi saying he and his friends were getting skin cancer from all the handling (unprotected) of petroleum ‘goop’. Royal Dutch was pretty brave to be that, to allow itself to be , that vulnerable.

[14:41] Flash Alcott: It got pretty ‘heated’ – and.. well, that leads to the next item

[14:41] Flash Alcott: 8. Be loathe to censor activity or conversation. The real world is messy, and rabble-y and irreverent — so too will your online community be. *That said*, occasionally you do need the big guns of public censor and the right to kick someone out of the community. Despite the fact you are (in your community, at least) omnipotent, rule with a light hand. Keep rules loose. (Think NBA basketball games – lots of body contact that ‘officially’ against rules — at some point, you need to blow the whistle and give penalties)

[14:42] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Vittorio Barbarino

[14:43] Flash Alcott: And yes, it’s a social skill – hard to, oh, ‘codify.’ It’s a matter of finding a balance between giving the majority of people whatever they’re looking for and allowing a minority to let their ideas be known.

[14:44] Pam Ock gave you Public Works Resource Center, West Sunset (204, 248, 22).

[14:44] Flash Alcott: (bad sentence, but I think the idea comes ‘cross)

[14:44] Flash Alcott: 9. No matter how you plan things, you’re going to get it wrong. Communities have their own dynamic. Invariably, events will happen that will make you feel the community is on the edge of control. Almost always, people will find new balance points. Stuff happens.

[14:45] Flash Alcott: Again, how to ‘handle’ the living dynamics of a social organism.

[14:45] Flash Alcott: 10. Welcome newcomers — these people give vitality to a community. Be a party host — help newcomers by introducing them to people with similar interests or background.

[14:46] Flash Alcott: OMG, is someone falling asleep in the group??

[14:46] Flash Alcott: OK

[14:46] Flash Alcott: zipping it up a notch

[14:46] Flash Alcott: 11. This one is controversial. Don’t let people hide behind aliases. It’s important that your community is a reflection of real people who are willing to take credit (and responsibility) for what they say and how they act.

[14:46] BobE Sands: in sl?

[14:47] Flash Alcott: the WELL was militantly clear about this. No one, no one, had an alias that didn’t connect to a person. hmm

[14:47] Flash Alcott: Let me try that again.

[14:47] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Reznor McClure

[14:47] Flash Alcott: the WELL had a YOYOW policy.

[14:48] Flash Alcott: You Own Your Own Words.

[14:48] TROI Timtam: Perhaps, Tom, that is one aspect of traditional online communtities that has changed.

[14:48] TROI Timtam: As demonstrated in SL.

[14:48] Flash Alcott: It meant that if I wrote something inflamatory, me, the RL Tom Portante, then my avatar Flash Alcott would have trouble getting away with it.

[14:49] Flash Alcott: You’re right TROI, and I’m really of a split mind about it.

[14:49] Flash Alcott: I think there’s genuine value in having stand-along persona.

[14:50] Flash Alcott: But I also worry that it allows mischief to be a little too easy.

[14:50] Flash Alcott: Bottom line – I don’t know…

[14:50] Flash Alcott: and…..

[14:50] Flash Alcott: the last of the WELL stuff

[14:50] Push Carter: is that a concern for people being i sl with rl interaction intents?

[14:50] Push Carter: sorry in sl

[14:51] Flash Alcott: Hmm.. Is it a concern, is it a limitation?

[14:51] Flash Alcott: well… maybe #12 will will shed a certain light on this

[14:52] Flash Alcott: 12. Blur the boundaries between online communities and Real Life. Ther’s real value in having online colleagues meet each other in community sponsored Real Life get-togethers.

[14:52] Vittorio Barbarino: i only think that the chat lines and Sl are only the condom os 21 age

[14:52] Flash Alcott: I don’t mean to sidestep either of these.. but consider this argument

[14:53] Kiwini Oe:

[14:53] Flash Alcott: If you have a clear connection between your avatar and your RL existence, finding a friend in the former might give you value in the latter.

[14:53] Flash Alcott: Kiwini, thanks..

[14:54] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: action Palmer

[14:54] Entered chat range: action Palmer

[14:54] Flash Alcott: So – maybe this is what the WELL folks were trying topromote.

[14:55] Flash Alcott: (from a personal perspective, I managed to find a fair bit of consulting gigs from my friendships with others on the WELL)

[14:55] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Designer Dingson

[14:55] Flash Alcott: … I say, controversial…..

[14:56] Entered chat range: Designer Dingson

[14:56] Flash Alcott: um…..

[14:56] Flash Alcott: still ready to hear more????????

[14:56] Kiwini Oe: How did the WELL Terms of Service or Community Standards compare to SL?

[14:57] Kiwini Oe: “4 Disclosure: Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Lives.”

[14:57] action Palmer: Wat did you use before SL?

[14:58] Flash Alcott: The WELL”s community standars really did revolve around YOYOW. That said, I’m embarassed to admit I’ve never really looked at (closely, at least) the comperable SL standards.

[14:58] Kiwini Oe: 🙂

[14:58] Flash Alcott: ah.. action.. I’m pretty catholic in my tech stuff – just ABOUT anything

[14:59] Far Link: I wonder about the difference between an online community that can manipulate its program or built environment as opposed to one in which the environment is dictated or static

[15:00] Flash Alcott: It’s funny, as I sit hear and type, it occurs to me that a connection twixt avatars and RL doesn’t NECESSARILY mean there is always a one-to-one connection, or that its visible to all.

[15:00] You: I’m interested in the idea of establishing a sense of ‘place’ in the context of an all text environment – how have you seen this concept of ‘place’ evolving as the third dimension provides?

[15:01] Flash Alcott: Far, That’s nice. Very nice.

[15:01] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Ace Albion

[15:01] action Palmer: What improvement do you see to make this idea work smoother?

[15:01] Flash Alcott: I promise to come bck to to this.

[15:02] Flash Alcott: Key’ yes. Here’s a plan. There are a couple more practical ‘lessons learned’ to touch on. And they come by way of a 3d/immersive environment.

[15:02] Flash Alcott: It it’s OK, let’s ‘do’ this next small chunk and then see where the ideas leave us.

[15:02] You: ok

[15:03] Flash Alcott: Here’s a trick question. What’s the name for a wildly successful online environment, a place where avatars interact by moving around different regions (including by way of ‘teleporting’) and by talking (by way of typing), where individuals have homes, where there’s a thriving currency, and where an amazing amount of Real World social features — banks, stores, social clubs — have moved “In World”?

[15:03] Kiwini Oe: hmmm

[15:03] Flash Alcott: Well.. one answer is obvious.

[15:03] Flash Alcott: t’other, maybe not.

[15:03] You: is it Second Life?

[15:03] You: 😉

[15:04] Flash Alcott: THAT answer is ‘the 1986 online community called Habitat’

[15:04] Flash Alcott: You _may_ have noticed this great big image behind Key and me.

[15:04] Push Carter: yup

[15:04] You: It’s a Nice day for a quest…

[15:05] Kiwini Oe: lol

[15:05] Flash Alcott: ‘can’t slip even the *smallest* damned thing past this crowd

[15:05] Flash Alcott: well, it’s two avatars out for walk – and they’re greeting each other…

[15:05] Flash Alcott: bit of background

[15:05] Flash Alcott: Habitat was a virtual world created by Lucasfilm Games, a division of LucasArts Entertainment Company. Over 20,000 people were active members and there were, routinely, two or three thousand avatars moving around that world. The home computing platform was the Commodore 64 (!), and of course, access was by way of slowwwww dialup modems.

[15:06] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Designer Dingson

[15:06] Entered chat range: Designer Dingson

[15:06] Flash Alcott: as someone said, “very 1986”

[15:07] Push Carter: anything animated?

[15:07] Flash Alcott: BUT, as someone who had one of those goofy avatars (I was two or three years old, if memory serves) it was a vibrant communit.

[15:07] Flash Alcott: well, yes…

[15:08] Flash Alcott: you moved your avatar around (some letters, s/e/f/c or something)

[15:08] Flash Alcott: You’d ‘talk’ to people via text

[15:08] You: so, this must be where MoU came up with the blue jumpsuit idea?…oooooooOOOOooo =)

[15:08] Push Carter: mmmmm nice

[15:08] Flash Alcott: (I’m reminded of “the Picard Manoeuvre” .. another time, perhaps)

[15:09] Flash Alcott: You’d pick u pstuff, give it to people, they could put it in boxes or (bottomless) pockets.

[15:09] Flash Alcott: There was the (obligatory?) gender switching device

[15:10] Flash Alcott: You could ‘buy’ a prefab house and plop it down on a field — and fill up your room withyour stuff

[15:10] You: wow

[15:10] Flash Alcott: but

[15:10] action Palmer: Have you tried using skype on SL or some other VOIP system

[15:11] Vittorio Barbarino: yes

[15:11] Push Carter: not yet

[15:11] action Palmer: how well does that work?

[15:11] Flash Alcott: the really interesting thing (well, to someone w/ my interests) was that society took on a life of its own.. almost DESPITE the tech limitations

[15:12] Flash Alcott: It sounds incredibly goofy, but consider how LITTLE you could do with chunky graphics and a 300 bps modem

[15:12] action Palmer: i have seen thing like that hapening

[15:13] Far Link: Yes. It seems like the technology is always trying to keep up with the nuances of the online community

[15:13] Flash Alcott: a BIG deal was ‘synchronized walking’ — a hundred of your buddies would – somehow – cooordinate this bizarrre waliing formation activity.

[15:13] Flash Alcott: No rewards, no payment. It was just a way to – somehow – collaborate with avatars who had become your friend.

[15:13] You: and go on quests

[15:14] Flash Alcott: and.. go on quests. (I can’t tell you how much time I spent doing that…)

[15:14] Flash Alcott: and

[15:14] Flash Alcott: something remarkable happened

[15:15] Flash Alcott: Avatars got together and demanded their own government – or, at least, to be freed from the rules of the habitat creators

[15:16] Flash Alcott: THE article about this is by the two prime movers of Habitat, Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer. It’s called, “Lessons from LucasFilm’s Habitat” (

[15:16] Push Carter: mmmm how far did it go?

[15:16] Flash Alcott: the uprising?

[15:16] Flash Alcott: Pretty far.

[15:16] Push Carter: yeah

[15:17] action Palmer: ic

[15:17] Flash Alcott: no as much as a lot of avatars wanted and, probably, more than LucasFilm Games wanted – but – it ws a true poltical compromise

[15:17] Multi Gadget v1.50.0: Eleanor Fanwood

[15:17] Far Link: watch the word useage guys, could get red flagged by the Lindens;)

[15:18] Push Carter: not knowing the history and all, but didnt lucas film get the hump?

[15:18] Flash Alcott: ahhhhh

[15:19] Flash Alcott: If I remember – the debate , or one of the debates, had to do with rules and consequences for failing to obey those ‘laws’. LucasFilm folks were very very good at – um – accepting and deflecting (if that makes sense)

[15:20] Push Carter: yep my boss does it

[15:20] Push Carter: 😉

[15:20] Flash Alcott: (they all go tothe same Night School)

[15:20] Flash Alcott: let me share the Lessons Morningsar and Rucker offer

[15:20] Flash Alcott: .. adding to the dozen from the WELL

[15:21] Flash Alcott: (13). It’s the people! The core of the artificial world is the interaction between people. As they point out in their article, nobody knows how to pre-plan the richness of social interactions. So.. what you do, instead, is let the people do what’s inherent – they talk, they build, they live.

[15:21] Flash Alcott: (14). The technology is *relatively* unimportant. I know that’s a slippery term but consider what makes MySpace so wildly popular in comparison to Friendster, or LinkedIn to Ryze, or, in this setting, the WELL to almost anything that looks better..? ‘best bet is that it has to do with differences in social friction.

[15:21] Flash Alcott: (15). Detailed central planning is impossible: don’t even try. This may be the hardest bit of practical advice you’ll deal with. Everyone here is smart and creative and fully capable of thinking thoroughly about what a community should and shouldn’t have. It’s sobering – to say the least – when our plans seem to have NO connection to the needs of the people in the communities.

[15:21] Flash Alcott: and .. finally..

[15:21] Flash Alcott: (16.) Governance needs to be home grown. This is an issue that needs to be seriously thought about. In Habitat, what happened over time is that the community governed itself – it had rules, and guidelines – it had methods of adjudication, and it had the power of intervention in actions considered unlawful. From what I can tell, this is an area Second Life needs to invest some energy.

[15:22] Flash Alcott: ‘sorry… had to firehose thse last point, I just looked at the clock and am worried that we’re going WAY over time

[15:22] Push Carter: that would require some seriouse time from individuals,

[15:22] Flash Alcott: what – the last?

[15:22] Push Carter: yep

[15:23] Push Carter: no.16

[15:23] Far Link: agreed, but it always seems to get stuck in the virtual ‘ownership’ issue

[15:24] Kiwini Oe: Lindens really want the homegrown governance – with enough technical capabilities passed down locally

[15:24] Flash Alcott: My guess is that its as much an issue of control from the world makers – rather – the DIFFICULTY of letting go – that’s the rub

[15:25] Push Carter: democracy is hard to generate, would everybody really be happy with a vote etc, some people here are just in for a laugh but they would have to play by democracies rules

[15:25] Push Carter: its really hard to work out

[15:25] Far Link: zoning?

[15:25] Flash Alcott: It IS hard, it takes sincere committment – lots of work

[15:26] Flash Alcott: You mean zoning in terms of governance Far?

[15:26] Far Link: yes, sorry

[15:26] Push Carter: i think a certain amount of free areas would be a good idea to keep certain folk happy

[15:26] Far Link: I believe this exists already in SL, no?

[15:27] Flash Alcott: That, I don’t know.

[15:28] Flash Alcott: can you point me to an example? (‘have this image of greying hippies in yurts, somwhere….)

[15:28] Far Link: 🙂

[15:28] Far Link: no examples I know of, but I will see what I can find.

[15:28] Flash Alcott: that’d be great…

[15:29] Flash Alcott: um..

[15:29] Flash Alcott: I don’t have any Closing Statement – for lots of reasons – not the least of which I didn’t really have *a speech*..

[15:29] Flash Alcott: but

[15:30] You: Your observations have been fascinating Flash – it really provides an interesting perspective on the current state of online community – especially in Second Life – it seems we’re into open discussion – which I hope will continue, I’d like to thank Flash for his time, and for this wonderful presentation!

[15:30] Flash Alcott: it seems to me there’s a tendency to EITHER push the technology OR the social interactional aspects of world building .. claiming that one ‘trumps another==================

[15:30] Flash Alcott: Key’ MY thanks

[15:31] Push Carter: thanks from the cheap seats

[15:31] Kiwini Oe: Thanks, Flash!

[15:31] Far Link: thank you Flash. Very informative.

[15:31] Flash Alcott: (and what I was starting to type there was that it isn’t one side or the other, but rather, the need for collaboration)

[15:31] Flash Alcott: to all of youj

[15:31] Flash Alcott: again

[15:31] Flash Alcott: my thanks

[15:31] Flash Alcott: for your patience, (your endurance) and the questions

[15:32] Flash Alcott: as well as your presence

[15:32] You: I will post the transcript on Clear Night Sky – which i’m sure will be quite popular as I’m receiving requests for it as people finally are able to log in – we were down to 11,000 logged in – but things seems to have been resolved as the numbers are climbing again

[15:33] Flash Alcott: well, again, it’s been my pleasure!

[15:33] action Palmer: very imformative

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