Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Webinar as Part of a Broader Web Marketing Strategy

The American Marketing Association produced a webinar about how to use webcasting as part of the global marketing strategy: "The Webinar: An Integral Part of your Marketing Strategy, Not Just a Lead Generator."

In this webinar, my colleague Dan Roche, Vice President of Marketing at TalkPoint, discusses how webinars can fit into a broader web marketing strategy that includes blogs, podcasts, wikis, rss, etc.

You can watch the webcast on demand by clicking on this link:

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Need to Re-Invent the Television

As Dan Rayburn noted in his Business of Online Media blog, MSNBC's broadcast of the Ohio Democratic Candidates debate experienced some technical issues.

Oprah Winfrey's big webcast also had some technical issues, as more than 500,000 people tried to access the live stream.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned is to focus on the right tool for the job.

Just as you cannot ask a desktop sharing application to broadcast to an audience of hundreds without issues, the recent MSNBC and Oprah experiences suggest you cannot stream live video to hundreds of thousands without issue. At least not yet.

But is that so bad? Why should streaming video try to replace television - a technology that works extremely well? I imagine streaming video would be better off focusing on the things television cannot do, like providing custom branding and registering and reporting on viewers.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Webcasting for Learning Management

A Learning Management System (LMS) has three major components: 1) Course Development; 2) Content Delivery; and 3) Process Management (archiving content, measuring and managing results, etc.)

The disadvantage of an LMS is that it requires a big investment in hardware and software. This is a big ticket item, so once an enterprise commits to one it is stuck with it.

Webcasting with a streaming media provider is a completely modular alternative that is based on open standards and requires no investment.

What is the course development tool? Microsoft PowerPoint - a ubiquitous application. As the content creator all you have to provide is the expertise; you already know how to use Power Point.

The content delivery is handled by the webcasting company. The audience does not have to download anything to access the content. The better webcasting providers offer an ASP-based service and they stream content to the browser and media player that is already on the audiences' computers (Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, Flash).

The process management is handled by the powerful reporting tools and content management systems that the better webcasting providers have. Some webcasting companies have the ability to stream the content, have attendees take a test, grade it in real time, and send a custom certificate in PDF when they pass. This is why webcasting is utilized in the Continuing Medical Education field.