All of a sudden, the webcams, used principally for family connections for years, are workhorses (so to speak). All of the meetings we've had with Cisco of late have taken place in Webex, culminating in the extravaganza last Tuesday that combined Telepresence, Webex, and Cisco IPTV.
Then on Friday, for another client who shall go nameless but whose name you know, another webcast, this time via Adobe Connect, topic = "Leading and Motivating Remote/Virtual Teams."
An increasingly familiar format: slides on the left of the screen, occupying about 50% of the layout, me in the upper right, then a pastiche of chat, presenter, and poll windows that popped up to survey the crowd, none of whom was co-located either.
The polls serve a useful purpose. For example, how many of you are multitasking, we asked? 100% responded 100%. (At least they were paying enough attention to respond, I quipped.) Feedback like this mid-presentation helps guide what to say next, much as it does in a face-to-face preso when you ask people to raise their hands.
At the same time, people were throwing questions into the chat box, a long list of which now await answering as there wasn't time to in the session to respond. Likewise, the questions help frame Part 2 of this webcast "series." Last week's event centered around the most scarce of current resources, real-time interactions; the next centers around over-time communication.
Which brings up this last point, which really belongs in yesterday's post: If people are spread all around the world and the time difference spans 15 hours, where is the meeting taking place and what time is it? Online and cybertime are the obvious retorts but think about it. If our communication travels via packets, all split up into tiny digital bits, where is "here," and if it's 6 AM for Amy, 9 AM for me, 2 PM for Jim, and 9 PM for Neil, what time is it "now?"