Web Based Conferencing
I was pretty hesitant to try web based conferencing again in my company.
You see, the first time we tried it out it did not work very well at all.
It was about five years ago, and web based teleconferencing was still a
pretty new way to do things. I think the tech guy we had hired at the
time was incompetent. At first, it all worked smoothly, but five minutes
into the presentation it started to get chunky. The video feed went off,
and then the audio did the same. We had scheduled several web based video
conferences that day, and we couldn't get any of them to work. It ended
up costing us quite a bit of a productivity because we had depended on
Recently, the tech guys persuaded me to try web based conferencing again.
I made it clear that there would be repercussions if it didn't work this
time, but they assured me that there would be no problem. It took them a
little while to set up all of the national offices for the web based
conference, but less time than I would have expected. In a couple days,
we were all ready to go.
When we actually got around to trying it out, I was pretty impressed.
This time, we were careful not to put all our eggs in one basket, but I
needn't have worried. The trial conference we tried worked out perfectly,
and we ended up being able to get much more business done than we had
scheduled for that day. When we tried another time the next week, we got
similar results. Again, the web based conferencing went off without a
hitch, and again the meeting was extremely productive.
I hadn't really realized how many advantages there were to a web based
conference. In a lot of ways, it is better than talking over the phone.
It really makes a difference when you can see someone in front of you. It
is easier to pay attention to what they are saying and to get a feel for
the nuances of meaning. Humans are social creatures, used to conducting
interactions face-to-face. Even in this day and age, the telephone is not
an altogether natural way for most of us to talk. Web based conferencing
most closely resembles the face-to-face discussion, and so it is probably
the best way to get things done when you can't actually meet in person.