A newsletter on progress-space research and audience development for cultural leaders. One reader calls it, "sometimes funny"

What would it be like to go to an open house on Zoom?

I mean, an actual open house, where you’re exploring a real house with actual rooms. But you’re touring the house on Zoom, so you’re at the mercy of the host.

“Breakout room number one will be in the master bedroom; Room two will be in the living room; If you’re in room three, you’ll be in the kitchen…”

And everyone is stuck in their respective rooms until the host shuffles people around.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trapped in the guest bedroom with some MAGA fanatic who’s trimming their toenails with their teeth. In Zoom, you gotta stick it out or leave the house altogether.

I wonder if one day we’ll look back on this time and shake our heads —  Maybe we’ll see every Zoom event as a kind of social roulette. We’re ostensibly collaborating, but the restrictions may seem suffocating in retrospect.

“Who did you get trapped with in the strategic planning closet?”

We’ll have to explain to our grandchildren, “That’s right, kids. Back then, no one was thinking about participants’ autonomy in virtual gatherings.” [Children let out a gasp of disbelief.] “Ho ho ho,” you exclaim, because for some reason you sound like Santa Claus in your old age, “That’s right, virtual gatherings were a top-down affair back in my day.”

Anyway, I guess I’m thinking about all this because we’ll be using SpatialChat for our first MAP Open House tomorrow. We want to see what happens if we can let you all make your own choices in a virtual event like this.

Consider this an invitation. Your grandchildren will probably still be horrified, but at least you’ll have tried.


Register for the open house

roulette table gif


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