A webinar is a seminar presented over the World Wide Web. Other words that may be interchanged with webinar includes internet meeting, online seminars or web conference. Usually, webinar refers to a presentation made to a fairly large audience, all of whom have some way of interacting with the presenter. This is the point of difference it has with a webcast, which essentially enables the audience to only listen to and watch a broadcast. A webinar is typically viewed by means of a computer which has an internet connection. Just as in a traditional seminar, subject matter specialists present audio and video matter which can be viewed and heard by the participants. While the visual component of the seminar may be viewed through a computer, the audio may be accessed through the computer audio system, or through a toll free (without cost to the participant) number on the telephone. Because of its mode of delivery, a webinar can be attended from any place where there is access to a computer and the internet. This may be at the home, at office or even when travelling. Information can thus be shared without the travel and other associated costs of attending a traditional workshop or seminar. A webinar can be attended by accessing a web address provided by the webinar services provider. Display of visual slides, pictures and textual information along with a broadcast of the speaker’s voices can be made. It is possible to access the audio portion of the broadcast through a toll free telephone number in some cases. The audience can usually participate by typing out questions or comments via a text typing interface tool, which will be forwarded to the presenter, who will then respond. This depends on the webinar software being used. Participation in a webinar may be as extensive or as limited as one likes. A participant can announce his presence by using the text typing tool and asking as many questions as he likes. Alternatively, he can choose to watch and listen to the webinar anonymously without any of the other participants knowing that he is an attendee. Webinars may also be recorded and provided to the organizers website, so that they can be viewed at a later date. However, in such instances, there will be no opportunity to interact with the presenter, which is only possible live. Recording webinars is often a standard service provided by webinar hosting services. A large proportion of webinars are free of charge to the viewer, while some charge, depending on the content and the purpose for which it is being used.
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