First Thursdays are a series of online chats that take place on the First Thursday of every month. To take part see First Thursday Meeting Updates
The First Thursday Group has met at various locations online. We began in the Minciu Sodas worknets chatroom, and stayed there for around three years, until the chat room closed in 2010. At the start a few experimental meetings were also held as "audio-graphic conferences" (webinars) using Elluminate - but the technology was not accessible for most people in our network. Something typed is best for us. We need low bandwidth and ideally the online venue should be accessible from a phone or from a cyber cafe (so there should not need to be any software downloads nor any need for sound input or output, nor any bandwidth-hungry photos or videos).
The main link is between the UK and Africa - especially with people in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana in West Africa, and Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa. People have also come from Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Serbia, various parts of North America, and a couple of locations in India.
Over the years "First Thursdays" have ranged widely, depending on the interests of participants including:
a series of discussions on the ‘World Without Poverty’ book,
a series on the ‘Bucket’ biomass stove
a detailed business planning meeting for a micro-business of carting water.
meetings with special guests
many "learning from each other" sessions where we share knowledge and concerns related to our practical projects on various aspects of sustainabiliity, ICT, ecoology, and development.
After the chatroom
In 2010, when the chatroom closed, these meetings moved over to skype. They were typed skype meeting (similar to our UK-NIgeria team weekly team meetings) but open to people beyond the core team. There is more about this history at http://www.dadamac.net/node/401
In April 2011 we started to experiment with etherpads as an alternative venue. We are gradually buidling up a group of people within the Dadamac community who are developing our "normal way of doing things" when we hold First Thursdays on an etherpad. When we have established that normal way of doing things, we will widen the invitations to attend.
Finding First Thursday on Etherpads
In mid 2011 we started to use the format below for naming the etherpad venue - so we could be found by following the format and inserting the appropriate month.
Sytem failure - Note inserted January 2014
Links that have been itatlicised may no longer work. They are being left as their titles give a glimpse into the history. A system failure has broken all the etherpad links. It is uncertan if it will be possible to reinstate them. Posterous closed down in 2013. All the posterous posts were transferred to another site.
First Thursday August 2011 http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/August-First-Thursday
First Thursday September 2011 http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/September-First-Thursday
First Thursday October 2011 http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/October-First-Thursday
New format for 2012
From January 2012 the link has year as well as month. A typical Frst Thursday page has links to the next month and to the previous two months which also helps to find ua.. (Early in the year abbreviated month names were used, but later full names were used). Later we may get a dadamac etherpad (instead of using the openstewardship ones).
First Thursday January - http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/Jan-2012-First-Thursday
Final Skype First Thursday
First Thursday - March 2011 - http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20110310/march-2011-first-thursday
Earliest Etherpad First Thursdays
First Thursday - April 2011 - http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/KjO2m2kWH5
First Thursday - May 2011 - http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/0w8jG05iwR
First Thursday - June 2011 - http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/VK1tei6Bws
Extra session - Topic Thursday - June 16th 2011- http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/F89LcEA7iz
First Thursday - July 2011 - http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/July-First-Thursday
Evolution of First Thursday - http://dadamac.posterous.com/evolution-of-first-thursday
Early annnouncements were always made through the LearningFromEachOther yahoo group. Since 2010 announcements, reports and meeting archives have also been posted from time to time on dadamac's posterous and collaborators connect. Examples:
Invitation to "First Thursday" on May 5th 2011 - An experiment with an etherpad http://dadamac-collaborators-connect.posterous.com/invitation-to-first-t...
First Thursday September 2010 - http://dadamac.posterous.com/first-thursday-september-2nd
First Thursday August 2010 - The People and Trying Skype Public Chat http://dadamac.posterous.com/first-thursday-august-2010-the-people-and-try
July 1st - First Thursday Topic - and mini-project on dentistry http://dadamac.posterous.com/july-1st-first-thursday-topic-and-mini-projec
July 1st - First Thursday Topic - Phones in rural Africa: practicalities and potential http://dadamac.posterous.com/july-1st-first-thursday-topic-phones-in-rural
Topic Thursday May 13th - more on bucket (biomass) stoves. http://dadamac.posterous.com/topic-thursday-may-13th-more-on-bucket-biomas
May 6th First Thursday - India, Africa, Europe and USA http://dadamac.posterous.com/may-6th-first-thursday-india-africa-europe-an
Second Thursday - twitter in the chat room http://dadamac.posterous.com/second-thursday-twitter-in-the-chat-room