EH-RTC How to Collaborate

Collaboration is the secret to success. The more ideas generated the more likely we are to pick solutions that work. We have no secrets. Share everything. But participate only if you have something to add. Every initiative should have a lead who manages the discussion and insures that the process/result is documented. 

People have preferred modes of interaction, and no one method is preferred by all. For the council as a whole the preferred method [subject to a vote by council] is to announce via email and discuss at meeting or conference call. For work groups, the group picks their preferred method and members of the group must comply even if not their preferred method.

Some methods are push (you get notified) others are pull (you have to look). If you don't mind the interruptions of random emails or phone calls, push may be best. If not then you have to schedule looking frequently, e.g. read the Times every morning.

How do you figure out who is in the conversation? The email list has your email and likely the name part of it has at least part of your name.  For those it is fairly obvious who you are. Others are obscure and unguessable. This can be fixed by registering your email with Google* so that it knows your full name. Postings on the web have the same problem, which uses you username to show who owns it. Your full name is a legal username. Let Walt know and he can change your username. Allowing non full name usernames was an error in the website registration process that is too late to correct.

Tools for collabortion

Email lists


  • The group forum is on the main group web page (right 2/3). Post new topics using Create Post (left menu). Try to use Add new comment (below an existing post) to keep related material together instead of creating a new group post.

Shared Documents


  • Binary Poll - Pose simple question with multiple choices and tally results 
  • Ranking Poll - Rank a number of possibilities
  • Survey
    • Survey Monkey - Gold standard of free polling
    • Google Forms - Go to your Google Drive and create a form and invite people to fill it in.
    • Poll - Simple poll with one question, tallied on our website. Sample


  • Office hours 
  • Mechanisms
    • Google Hangouts
    • Facebook message+


  • The planned and past meetings are listed at the top of the group page. The secretary (or appointee) should post all planned meetings here (left menu - Create Meeting), first as a save the date (may not even have an agenda), then change it with the agenda when available, and again with the minutes.
  • Some meetings may be by a conference call (in location field of meeting)
    • 712-432-1500 code: 230134#
  • Meetings of subcommittees or task groups are handled similarly by the group leader
  • Use Doodle to pick a date and time convenient to participants.

*Registering a Google id

  1. Go to and Sign in (upper right).
  2. If you already have an id, sign in ( almost done 5.)
  3. If not there is a text box to generate a gmail address (and hence google id). You don't have to do this as right below it is a link to declare your existing email address to Google.
  4. Fill out the form and notify Walt. (done)
  5. Go to your account and make sure it knows your full name. Fix if if not. Notify Walt.