Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Web Conferencing 101: Complementary or Compromising?

A couple of weeks ago in class we had a guest speaker, Arden Clise, writer of the Clise Etiquette blog. This etiquette aficionado gave us helpful tips and points regarding blogging, knowing your audience, and basically the ins and outs of running a successful blog. This encounter granted me substantial knowledge, and also (and I'm pretty sure most of the class were in the same boat as me), my first web conferencing experience.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about it. After getting over the initial awkwardness of knowing that she could see us through a web cam but we couldn't see her, (we didn't have a two-way video feed for some reason), I began to see how web conferencing is truly a vital technology in today's world. Marketing and business especially, but also that web conferencing allows for ANYONE who may be thousands of miles apart to speak as though they are in the same room, bridging the technological gaps in communications that were an issue in the past.

However, this experience also got me to thinking, where do the limitations on web conferencing etiquette lie? I guess it is similar to the way you should think when you're posting anything online:
  • Don't put anything out there that you wouldn't be okay with your bosses, professors, or anyone seeing for the matter (unless you're some type of critic and that's your job, obviously) 
  • Don't talk bad about the company you work for
  • Remember that potential employers could be looking at your Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
That's just to name a few.

But what about things you can't control and you didn't predict happening while web conferencing? One slip-up could potential ruin the chances of getting that client you were hoping to sign. I found my point encapsulated in a TV ad; a funny, European commercial that Sony launched a couple years back regarding their web conferencing technologies and capabilities:

This commercial is hilarious and reflects the potential disasters that could occur while web conferencing your work on a professional call. Obviously this man had no idea what was happening and couldn't have prevented it, but it's a funny/scary ploy by Sony to demonstrate their product.

I'd say it's a successful commercial though as far as keeping the viewers attention: sex, technology, and attractive actors, what more could a TV watcher want? You even learn something from this man's experience:

Don't web conference in a potentially problematic environment that could end up compromising your professional integrity instead of complementing it.   



  1. Very funny SONY commercial :) Nice job in connecting the commercial for a laptop to the etiquette of web conferencing.

  2. Thanks Sven! I found this commercial really entertaining and highly relevant to our discussion of web conferencing etiquette! The commercial is a perfect example of what not to do!