Usona Esperantisto № 2018:3 (maj-jun)

Focus on Local Groups

In our continuing effort to foster, support, and encourage local groups, Esperanto-USA is providing a system of regional coordinators and a resource specialist so that local groups can continue to get started and flourish. Toward that goal we have added Kyle Bailey as our resource person. Kyle has experience at the local group level and has also been involved with Amikumu, Duolingo Events, and Meetup.com.

If your local group is not taking advantage of these resources, please communicate within your local group and with your regional coordinator so that you can use more of the beneficial tools which are available. We are beginning to set up training on these tools, so stay tuned for communications from your regional coordinator. Note: If your regional coordinator needs assistance, or if that position is vacant in your region, please have a conversation within your region to provide a volunteer to help us out. This work is a cooperative effort. We have a good team in place, but we need to know where additional help is needed, and we need to know who will volunteer from your region for additional communications. Every local group should know who their regional coordinator is and what tools are available.

Amikumu

This app for your iPhone or Android cell phone is great for locating and messaging Esperanto speakers in your area who also use Amikumu. It calculates the position of their cell phones and provides a list of them in order of distance from you, with the nearest Esperanto speaker at the top of the list. You can then exchange text messages with anybody on the list.

Amikumu is very handy for announcing club meetings and getting the word out regarding your local events. Amikumu is free. Try it out!

Duolingo Events

If you register as a host for Duolingo events, you can announce your club meetings with help from Duolingo Events. Become a host for your local group. The application to become a host has several steps which include an online training event with a live trainer. The results will be beneficial to your local group because your local meeting will be announced via email to active Duolingo students registered in the Esperanto course.

We do not have direct contact with the hundreds of thousands of registered Esperanto students because of privacy issues. However, Duolingo will gladly announce Esperanto meetings for your local group to possibly hundreds of students in your area.

The other huge benefit of being a Duolingo host is our connection with other Duolingo hosts on the Duolingo chat site for hosts where ideas are freely exchanged. There are also tips on how to hold better meetings for language groups. Do not overlook the benefits of Duolingo Events for your club. Being a host for Duolingo Events is free.

Meetup.com

Some people interested in languages use Meetup to find out where language clubs are meeting. This includes people interested in Esperanto. When you announce your club meeting in Meetup other interested parties will read the announcement.

Meetup is not free, but if your club cannot afford it, you can apply for funding for a limited time period. For more information contact Hans Becklin, our national Meetup coordinator. Email Hanso at hebecklin at g mail dot com. You can register for an account online. Having an account is free, but being able to post announcements has a subscription charge. Thanks to the Esperantic Studies Foundation for their assistance with Meetup accounts.

Zoom Online Meetings

Zoom is an online meeting service, similar to Skype or Google Hangouts. However, the service is of much higher quality and has features suitable for Esperanto online events. Organizations use Zoom when an in-person meeting is not feasible. The Board of Directors of Esperanto-USA uses Zoom for its monthly meetings.

We recommend Zoom because it maintains connections better and the quality of the video and audio are better, especially when the Internet connection is not the best.

Regional coordinators can use Zoom for its meetings. Local groups in a region can use Zoom for inter-group meetings. There are a number of scenarios where Zoom is ideal. We welcome your ideas on how to use technology better.

Zoom is not free, but Esperanto-USA has access through our strong partnership with the Esperantic Studies Foundation. If you want to plan a Zoom online meeting, contact Chuck Mays, the executive director of ESF at chuck dot mays at esperantic dot org. Provide your requested scheduling and the nature of the meeting.

Onward and Upward!