Finally, we are just like the Jetsons (Chapter 15)

Posted on July 12, 2011

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Growing up, I was a big fan of the cartoon, The Jetsons.  More than once, I thought about what it would be like to talk to someone via video.  There would be so much pressure to always look good!  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle that or not.  Flash-forward twenty-five years (give or take) and that is exactly the reality.  Thanks to Skype and UNL’s distance learning program, I have become pretty well accustomed to “livecasting.”  My kids talk with their grandparents and cousin on Skype as often as possible.  It makes the distance between all of us seem a lot shorter.  Although I was intimidated the first few times I had to attend class online for my masters program, I’m pretty used to it now.  For the record, I do still worry about looking decent–especially when logging on for class.

Livecasting seems as if it would be very useful in the business world.  According to marketing and communications expert Denise Brigdens, “Web conferencing enables businesses to reduce operating costs, minimize unnecessary travel, close sales and negotiate contracts faster, enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of communication, deliver clear, concise and consistent training, encourage real-time collaboration between distant and local co-workers and engage in greater levels of communication with clients and business partners.”  (http://www.online-conference-call.com/web-conferencing-boon-to-business.asp)

I wonder how difficult it would be to allow customers to join in on a web conference?  If advertised and marketed properly, I think this idea has real potential.  I know that many conferences/shows use Twitter and instant message/text to communicate with their audience, but I think there might be something even more special about having the audience join the conversation with video and audio as well.

Justin.tv seems to have had some real success and interest, but it seems as if many of their livecasters wrestle with their WIIFM? position.  Not that watching someone watch television while chewing her nails isn’t EXTREMELY interesting, but…it just isn’t!  (see http://www.justin.tv/jane_ds#/w/1463614384 for examples of this channel)  According to Safko, although there are many channels on Justin.tv, not many viewers are tuned into one channel at any given time.  For this reason, it seems like planning a talk show or program and creating social media buzz about a particular event might provide a better ROI.  Plus, after the initial broadcast, the program can be put on YouTube for future interest and viewing.

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