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February 28, 2008

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Cece Salomon-Lee

Mike, this is good post regarding web conferencing. My company (ON24) is a webcasting solutions provider and is often confused with web conferencing.

Webcasting can be used for many of the above usages you listed above. Furthermore, webcasting can be used for online shows/tradeshows, product launches, internal communications and other usages.

Considering this, I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how webcasting fits into the larger picture for organizations?

Best,
Cece Salomon-Lee
ON24, Inc.

Anthony Russo

In my experience in the Industry as a Consultant for Great America Networks Conferencing I hear the terms WebConference, Webinar, Webcast all used by the general public interchangeably. While in general a Webinar or Webcast might be considered larger than a WebConference or meeting, to most of the general public that comes to us for service, they call them whatever they are personally accustomed to.

Very good post, and very informative for the public.

Anthony

Rich Baker

Mike:

Well said! This is a topic that I feel deserves a lot more attention in our industry.

We find that there are many, many verticals, and each can benefit from a well targeted solution.

As you point out, some might consider my company (Glance.net) to be a general purpose "web conferencing" provider. But we actualy target a specific subset of that huge space -- people who just need a super-simple tool to show their live screen to others online.

Glance's no-frills design appeals mostly to sales people, who need a tool for web demos and sales or training presentations. For them, while it may be nice to have more features, many will say they rarely need them.

And by removing unnecessary features, we can remove the associated buttons and menus as well, ending up with a simple, one-button tool. This creates a nicely virtuous cycle.

1) Guests aren't distracted by a bunch of useless buttons. So they are more likely to pay attention to your message.

2) Limiting the tool to just show your screen gives us the liberty to use several different ways to connect your guests. So connectivity is high.

(Feature-rich web conferencing services often are stuck using just one browser technology. If a guest's computer or network doesn't support it, they will not connect.)

3) Since the tool is more dependable, users reach for it more often. So they derive more value from it.

Is a stripped-down desktop sharing tool right for everyone? No. Some verticals, like distance learning and internal meetings, can benefit from the rich experience that comes with lots of features -- polling, whiteboarding, chat, video, VoIP, etc., etc. In a corporate-wide deployment, their associated complexity tends to not as big of an issue, provided the tool is mostly used internally where IT manages everyone's desktops and network.

But readers should realize that having lots of features can be a big negative if all you need is just a simple way to let others see what you're talking about, especially if you need to work with people in other companies. For those verticals, less is often much more.

Best,
-rich baker
CEO & Founder
Glance Networks

Web Conferencing Consultant

Thanks Mike,

I really enjoyed reading this article! I feel that this industry is very misunderstood by alot of people and as mentioned above run into alot of people that use the terms interchangeably.
I think it is great that you have taken it upon yourself to educate the masses through your articles.
Web Conferencing is a great area of corporate and personal communication and I feel that it is going to be the next big step in our environment.
Most of us must have also heard of Google's (oooops) YouTube's decision to begin providing streaming video to the masses. This will further change the dynamic of what we are working with and as with most things have a large effect on how most people will view Web Conferencing.

Great Article! Keep it Up!

Regards,

michael

It is a informative article .For quick and easy web seminars,webinars and remote demonstration the quality of your web conferencing product must be good.It should be quickly downloadable and it should be easy to install, configure and use.Then definitely the presentations and seminars will be very powerful.

michael

It is really very amazing that with the help of these products we can host the meetings from the organizations round the world regardless of attendees'internet connection quality.Only thing is that the user should browse the internet.

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