First Thursday London SF Fan Virtual Drinks

London SF fans have met up every first Thursday of the month for a long time, and we are continuing to do so in lockdown. But we can’t do it in person, so we’re going to be at

on the first Thursday of the month from 6pm to 10pm for the forseeable. The next meeting at time of writing is 1 March 2021.

Note that depending on your platform, this link will try download Zoom if you don’t already have it. You can cancel the download and ‘join by browser’ instead — the browser client is less full-featured.

If you have Zoom, please try to make sure that you’re running the latest version — you need 5.3 or above for the breakout rooms to work properly for you. On computers, you can check at the Zoom website; on phones and tablets, you can go to the app store/ play store and see if there’s an update available.

I’ve taken the embedded password off the zoom link here — message me or comment if you need it and I’ll get in touch.

Please share this with people who you know typically come to the Bishop’s Finger for the First Thursday meeting. If you use Facebook, we have a group there (First Thursday Fandom Drinks) to talk about the meetings and discuss what we’re doing.

People have been asking how long this arrangement will go on. We’ve spoken to the pub and confirmed that they agree with our view that our meeting is not yet legal. We have told them we miss them and they miss us! We think it will be well into next year before meetings of the kind we have can happen in person again.

Can I suggest that you come roughly when you normally would rather than all getting there at 6? There’ll be a bunch of ‘breakout rooms’ (subrooms for Zoom); as long as you’re on Zoom 5.3 you can move to any breakout rooms you like.

I’ll have a team of people helping me, so it might not be me milling about in the hosting area when you get there. When you arrive you’ll be in the waiting room, and there’s a chance if we don’t know you we’ll have a little chat to make sure you’re not a zoom bomber. Yes, this is literal gatekeeping; we’re sorry this is necessary.

People using zoom on their phone or tablet may not get the breakout rooms controls, and some versions of Zoom don’t get breakouts at all; those people can just mill around in the main space. But this should stop us from being a gathering of many people all trying to talk at once.

There’s a 100 person limit on my account. I don’t expect to hit that, but if we do I will suggest that people move to an overflow virtual pub somewhere.

Some good tips on using Zoom at, including:

- ‘mute all the time and just press space when you want to speak’.

- there is a text chat popup, which is jolly useful, and you can message individuals too.

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