Web Conferencing 101
First, a small disclaimer: No matter how you slice up conferencing solutions, the categories you use to group them are mutable and subject to instant revision. Combinations of various elements make some applications basically impossible to categorize. Depending on how you look at it mail lists are even a form of conferencing and so is email. Real-time versus asynchronous is even becoming blurred as text, audio and video merge in varying combinations.
That said and out of the way, lets look at some of the ways conferencing solutions are categorized.
1. Real-Time Conferencing. Real-time conferencing refers to synchronous communications such that the participants are concurrently virtually present and able to actively interact as if they were physically co-located. Some typical and common applications are instant messaging and interactive chat, participatory webinars, interactive webcasting, online interactive teleseminars.
Now these are primarily web-based, however the old-time telephone conference call is still widely used. Call-in teleseminars are also common. Today however, they are merging into web applications as VoIP services with gateways into landline telephone systems become widely available.
2. Video conferencing is generally considered separately because it is a far more bandwidth intensive activity. To achieve reasonably acceptable simultaneous live video and audio, you need serious bandwidth. And the more active participants involved the more serious the problem becomes. Internet chat services with webcams are one rather simple form of video conferencing that's quite popular for individual person-to-person links, but clearly not of sufficient quality to use for business purposes or for larger groups. Some video conferencing is one-way video with interactive audio. Others require high-speed networks or dedicated connections. High-end solutions may work well for large corporations because of the savings involved in reducing travel expenses and time lost from productive work.
3. Forums, message boards, bulletin boards and so forth. These are asynchronous forms of conferencing or discussion solutions. Even blogs and wikis may, at times fall into this category. Generally these are linear or threaded, topic centered meeting places with chronologically tagged sequential entries that make up a discussion. Some prefer the linear mode as being easier to use and follow while others insist that threaded tree-like structures often more scope and the ability to develop sub-topics integrated into the main topic. Whatever one's preference, these are excellent solutions given the nature of the evolving internet and the need for participation by persons in time zones spread across the world. Real-time communications can be a burden when day/night cycles are offset by large amounts. Forums, with their purpose centered focus can develop extensive and dedicated communities which can be a source of extremely valuable knowledge and experience.
4. Collaborative team- or group-based work environments. These kinds of solutions can also include on-line virtual classrooms in several forms. The most sophisticated of these solutions include both real-time and asynchronous modes with audio, video, messaging and conferencing built-in. While some of this software is in use over the internet (again, some collaborative workspaces have been developed based on blogging platforms and even forum software is sometimes used this way), the more resource intensive versions are generally used on dedicated networks and intranets with high bandwidth. Many of these applications are oriented more toward in-house corporate uses.
So, do you suppose this covers it all? Just those four areas reflect a huge growth of the available modalities for conferencing and meeting over only a few years ago. Remember the old landline conference call? Once it was a major deal to be able to add a third person to a phone call. Now you can spend months just researching available solutions.
And this really doesn't even touch systems such as desktop video conferencing, the extensions of phone conferencing and the interaction of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services with all forms of web conferencing. Attending teleseminars in foreign countries, once prohibitively expensive for many, is now an accessible alternative with low-priced VoIP gateway services that allow fixed price calls to any landline or mobile phone.
As internet service continues to increase in speed and decline in price, the utility of these kinds of conferencing solutions will continue to expand. The growth of the cybersphere and the elaboration of purpose driven and affinity communities on the internet will continue to drive the development and integration of conferencing and communication software and services. In a very real sense conferencing software is at the heart of the new realities that the explosive growth of internet usage in every corner of the world is creating. These are social applications and they are changing how people live, interact and view each other.
There is yet another form of widely used "conferencing" software which is rarely mentioned in this connection. Multi-user, real-time, online games of all types from role=playing to live gambling (play poker with your friends, live roulette, etc.). Some of these systems are highly sophisticated and a lot of people love them. Their attraction lies not only in the ability to vicariously be someone (or something) else or to do things that may not be available locally, but in the social interactions and the communities that develop. While surfing is pretty much an unsocial activity, people are social creatures and the popularity of all types of solutions offering interactive contact and a sense of community reinforces this.
Marketing use of audio conferencing in the form of teleseminars and pre-recorded audio streams have undergone tremendous growth in the last year alone. Bandwidth still limits the quality of the video that's often used with pre-recorded audio to fairly static material. But this is changing as compression and streaming technologies improve. The major breakthrough that's still to come is the technology to effectively and affordably do, first, one-way live high quality video and beyond that live interactive multi-way video over the internet. If it seems like a difficult, perhaps impossible task, think again about what's happened in the last five years. And the future is arriving faster all the time.
Copyright 2005 Richard Keir
Richard writes, teaches, trains and consults on business and professional presentations and eCommerce related matters. For more information on web conferencing, VoIP, conference calling and related subjects visit http://altaglobal.com - find more on wireless and cellular subjects at http://www.altaglobal.org and check http://www.altaglobal.net for networking and security.
Dial-up Vs. Broadband Video
The decision to pay the extra fees and move from dial-up to broadband usually involves meeting three wants: faster downloads, faster uploads and live streaming video.
How Video Conferencing Works ? Multimedia, Interactive Communication Across the Miles
You may think you understand video conferencing pretty well until someone who isn't at all familiar with it approaches you for a simple definition. When they ask, "What exactly is video conferencing?" you could suddenly realize you're at a loss for words.
Web Conferencing ? What is it?
Web Conferencing is, very simply, a meeting, conference or seminar that is held over the World Wide Web. Web conferencing can refer to audio, video or text-based conversations and are conducted in real-time.
Video Conferencing ? An Affordable Medium
Just like prices for computers and telephone systems have reduced, so too have prices for video conferencing systems. Video conferencing was once a hugely expensive technology, but is now available to almost any sized company, large or small. Video conferencing equipment is now so cheap, that is becoming standard equipment in many meeting rooms around the world. The conference room is where video conferencing technology really shines. Video conferencing allows users to connect audibly and visually in offices around the world as well as with people who may be located at remote sites.
Web Conferencing Tool ? Reduce Your Communication Costs
For most people in business, meetings are a necessary evil. Stop for a moment and consider how much hosting or attending meetings cost your business and you may be in for a surprise; precious time spent traveling to and from the meeting location, travel expenses, and in some cases the hire of the meeting facility. Now imagine you could attend that meeting without having to leave your office or home. How much time and money would save over a week, a month or a year? It soon adds up.
Tips On Planning A Successful Video Conference
Planning a successful video conference can actually be harder then it sounds. There are several key factors you want to make sure and get right or your conference could become a total nightmare. This short article gives several tips on making sure you succeed with your next video conference.
The Future of Thought Swapping
In the future we will be able to have small chips in our brains and which will work like cell phones, but without the inherent flaws. You will not have to carry them around or worry about dropping them into the toilet.
Web Conferencing ? the Virtual Global Office Enabler
Online collaboration has begun to evolve from just being the Wow factor to something core that every business has to invest and have a plan for. Internet has changed the way we work and live, it has made virtual offices and work from homes possible. Web conferencing is one big tool that increases the productivity of the employees and the company as such. There are multiple products in this web collaboration segment out there from companies starting with Cisco, Microsoft to PresentPlus.com. These online conferencing products enable live meetings to happen in a virtual conference room. This is a Sci-Fi dream just a few decades ago, now it is a reality in high resolution video beamed across continents. The advent of high speed Internet and fantastic QoS (Quality of Service) implementations in the backbone networks has enabled these highly productive multimedia conferences. Typical conferences has always included a dull one way non-interactive lecture style over the phone meetings, remember Charlie's Angels. Now it has evolved into something highly feature rich and highly productive.
Internet Conferencing - Advantages
Nobody works in complete isolation. In virtually all lines of business, contact with other people will be required in some capacity. Whether it is meeting with clients or colleagues; presenting new ideas or products; or giving or receiving training, good communication is the key to running a successful business.
Science Learning from Nature
We are sure seeing a lot of scientific research trying to copy nature. We see non-technology copying birds, insects, spyders, animals and MIT and AUVs-Underwater Autonomous Vehicles copying fish. And before you try to catch a Tuna for Sushi better check out what it is made of first. RoboTuna has arrived;
Webcams: Science-Fiction Becomes Reality
One of the most incredible inventions I've ever come across is the web cam and its process of video conferencing. This is just so futuristic I can't believe they really exist and are readily available to anyone with the Internet, speakers, and the right software. I'm not absolutely sure but doesn't this spell the end of telephones? Now we can have conversations with people on the other side of the world, and see their face moving as we hear them speaking live.
Web Conferencing: Finding a Service Provider that Meets Your Needs
With the vast amount of service providers that are available today, it's not always easy to find the one that best fills the bill for your particular web conferencing needs. Each one claims to be the biggest, best or least expensive, and all will try to convince you that their particular plan is the one that makes the most sense for your business. Sometimes you'll be the victim of a hard sell by those who are skilled in the art of diverting the attention away from your questions and, before you know it, the focus is on a set of features that you may have no use for at all.
Web Conferencing Software ? Choosing Your Application
It is worth bearing in mind that, when you are deciding which web conferencing application to utilize, none of the applications currently available will do everything well.
Benefits of Web-Based Conferencing
I recently graduated from college, and instead of taking a corporate programming job, my friend and I started our own web development company. Everything was going great...we were both working from home and enjoying small successes. However, we soon realized that text messaging could only go so far, especially when we hired several employees. Text messaging was slow, and was "noisy" when several people were in a chatroom. We quickly needed a solution.
Video Killed The Telephone Star ...
You know the 80's song, "Video Killed the Radio Star." It was a big hit and one of the first videos to air on MTV. Well, what came true for music video is on it's way to becoming true for telephone.
Video Conferencing Basics
This article will provide you a brief introduction about what actually video conferencing is. By video conferecing we can connect with some other identity and also can see the video online in real time. It is now useful and very interesting technology and widly used worldwide.
Telephone Conferencing ? Evolution in the Web
The Need To Communicate
Web Conferencing Services ? Types
You may already have recognized the need for web conferencing within your organization. You have heard all about the many benefits and have decided it is the way forward for your company. Now all you have to do is decide which type of web conferencing would best suit your company's needs.
Redefining Distance to Market your Company
The recent terrorist attacks here in the US have caused many companies and individuals to rethink how they want to market to and work with others. As a result, web-enabled presentations and or collaborations are finally coming of age ? the technology works with a minimum of hassle, it's an efficient way to give marketing presentations, hold meetings, provide training and do product demonstrations. The cost savings can be significant, especially when contrasted with all of the burdened costs of holding conventional meetings; i.e. travel, hotel, transportation, facilities and "time out of the office issues." Here is a quick primer on some baseline issues to consider when weighing the effectiveness of virtual marketing presentations and meetings.
Seven Steps to a Vital Videoconference
When it's time for your fifteen minutes of fame will you be ready? With videoconferencing becoming common place in 21st century communication, executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders need to be media savvy. Here's how to put your best face forward:
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|