This week, I have either led or participated in at least 12 conference calls with online presentations, aka Webinars. Let's face it, no matter how elegant, all forms of virtual meetings pale in comparison to real face time. But given the effect of our dire economy on many companies' travel budgets, time spent on conference calls and Webinars probably will grow for lots of product manager types.
After many hours every week spent on speakerphone, desktop sharing and compressed PowerPoint slides, I feel compelled to share advice for Webinar hosts, especially vendors trying to sell their wares and services in virtual meetings:
When I worked for a TV manufacturing conglomerate back in 2000-2001, everyone presumed the big switch to digital TV would happen on schedule -- in 2006. We also thought, of course, that one-gigabyte MP3 players would always be impossibly expensive or too huge to be portable, so I'll shut up now about what we thought.
Troubling research findings reported by AFP: TV and video games increase teen depression risk.
"Time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression. ... Being exposed to media at night may also disrupt sleep important for emotional and cognitive development."
I'm not one of those people who believes today's young people have been dumbed down or made unproductive by media saturation, or spoiled by common access to privileges we considered unattainable in my middle-class, small-town childhood. Young people today are smarter and more worldly than we were.
I made the switch while inspired to learn as much as possible about these contemporary hosting options, and how a Web strategy/development business like Small Initiatives could share apparent benefits with clients.
Those benefits apply to businesses that need to start (or restart) Web efforts small, but aspire to scale rapidly and handle unpredictable bandwidth/traffic spikes along the way:
I get on a plane very early tomorrow to head to Boca Raton, Fla., for the Online Publishers Association summit (my day-job employer, Scripps, is a member).
This site may be post-free during that time. I know, how is that different from almost any other time?
It occurs to me I haven't been on a plane in at least two months -- not so much because of corporate cost controls, though we're minding the Ps and Qs, but because all my recent travel has been within my interpretation of "driving distance."
SmallInitiatives.com dates to 1997, and some of the little corners of this old ramshackle tenement show their age. One such aged component, my list of links to projects and presentations, just got a makeover.
Check out the new SI projects and presentations page, now fully loaded into my Drupal database, and sporting nicely compressed file downloads and better organization.
I will keep adding project descriptions in hopes of assembling a full-fledged portfolio of SI work: complete new sites, redesigns, presentations, and strategic consulting.
'Bout time, you say, right? Hey, if the Arizona Cardinals can make it to the Super Bowl, anything's possible.