Aug 28 2009

Open webinars

I’ve always found webinar software like WebEx, Elluminate, or GoToMeeting to be constraining and, because they try to be a “total solution” they don’t play well with other uses or software.  Because they’re popular they’re used in situations where they’re inappropriate.  The Digital Habitats wiki, for example, doesn’t go into enough detail about their uses in community settings.

Yesterday I noticed an interesting webinar format that solves one of the persistent boundary and participation problems that I see with this kind of software. Intronetworks held a webinar on “community management as a job.” I was late to the presentation, so when the GoToMeeting screen first came up, the first thing that caught my eye was that Twitter IDs were used to identify the speakers:

Intronetwork speakers

Like many such webinars, the audio channel was the main thing.  But I realized that a twitter stream with the hashtag “introchat” was the main visual. There were some slides, but visually the audience was asking questions, making comments, inviting others into the session. In the course of an hour there were almost 500 tweets. Huge audience participation relative to what the sages on the stage were offering.

It felt like the beginning of a community of practice of community managers. At least a drop-in jam session of one.

Two years ago I wrote about the Intronetworks software and was kind of critical about the hard boundaries between “inside” and “outside” their application here and here. (That may be because people want those boundaries, however.)  Interesting to see them innovate by using webinar software in such an open way.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Open webinars”

  1. Swan says:

    Great post. Lots of people are moving in this direction. is run by Radian6. I would love it if you would take a look at and let me know what you think.

    We are in the process of an upgrade that will make the event creation process much easier. It will also allow you to provide any URL that will automatically connect to a TweetChat room with the same hashtag as the<hashtag&gt; that you provided. You will then be able to input info about your event right on the event page rather than a separate form.

    Cheers, Swan

  2. sada says: