About Ken Molay

With a background in software development and marketing, Ken has been producing and delivering business webinars since 1999. His background in public speaking, radio, stage acting, and training has given him a unique perspective on what it takes to create a compelling and effective presentation. Currently Ken offers consulting services through his company Webinar Success (www.wsuccess.com).
Does Web Conferencing Hurt Business?
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I just saw a short online article summarizing results of a survey sponsored by CareerBuilder.com. The article had the provocative headline “Survey: Cutting business travel cuts business.”

It opened with two bullet points in bold face on a highlighted background:

Web Conferencing Solutions – Where is the Performance?
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How do web conferencing providers differentiate themselves from the pack and demonstrate their superiority in value and benefits to potential customers? The primary answer (as known by any commercial software product marketing manager) is to add features. “More features! I need to be able to put out a press release talking about new capabilities! I need to publish a product sheet showing that we can do something our competitors can’t do!”

Conducting A Successful Webcast

That’s probably one of the stranger headlines the Wall Street Journal has run. Dana Mattioli has an article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal where she lists some of the ways people get in trouble on webcasts and webinars.

Getting a Feel for Web Conference Usage

Web conferencing technology/service vendors, this is for you. Nobody really knows the true size of the market and how widespread the use of our medium is.

Asking the clients about their usage won’t ever get us a large enough response rate to get valid totals. So let’s do a little group estimation amongst ourselves. I have put together a short (but difficult!) online survey. I’m asking each of the web conferencing technology vendors to go through and give best guesses and estimates of usage averages and totals that they see with their clients.

Adobe Technical Support Woeful

I like Adobe Acrobat Connect. The Professional version has a lot of advantages for enterprise conferencing use. I even appear as a frequent guest speaker on Adobe’s public educational webinar series.

But fair is fair, and it is time for Adobe to face up to a glaring deficiency in its offering. Technical support for the product is woeful.

Mind you, what is available is pretty good. The online documentation for how to accomplish common tasks is clear and well written. The problem comes when that documentation doesn’t satisfy your needs as a user.

Increasing Webinar Attendance

I received an email (actually a comment to one of my posts on typical webinar attendance rates) asking for advice and suggestions on how to improve attendance rates for training webinars. This email came from a vendor who works with independent franchise operators who sell the OEM’s portfolio. He said he wanted to train them, get their attention, and motivate them to sell his services.

Live Meeting 2007 – Web Access Problems

It turns out that while David Chao’s article was correct about the size of the Microsoft Live Meeting client download, that is only part of the story.

Oracle and Web Conferencing

An article by Paul Krill in InfoWorld caught my eye. It covers a web conference given by Oracle the otther day in which company representatives made lots of references to enterprise collaboration under the term Enterprise 2.0 (following on from the current trend of overusing the phrase "Web 2.0").

Acrobat Connect: Stronger, Faster…Better

Adobe released a Service Pack last week that enhances its Acrobat Connect and Acrobat Connect Professional web conferencing software. Service packs are often reserved for applying critical bug fixes between formal product releases, and while Service Pack 3 includes some bug fixes, Adobe is touting the upgrade as a major functional improvement to Connect.

A Webinar at a Tradeshow?

What if you organized a trade show and sold booth space to vendors, advertised the event, got a few thousand people to register… And then nobody showed up? If you were using Unisfair Virtual Events, you’d be perfectly happy.

Using Numbers for Effective Presentations
My friend Darcy at Fair Isaac Corporation shared a fascinating tip with me for making more effective presentations. This is something I had never really thought about. He says that publishers have long been aware of the power of numbers in grabbing people’s attention. Think about titles of popular books such as "1,000 Places To See Before You Die" and "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

Television does it with their countdown shows and websites do it with lists: "AFI’s 100 Greatest American Movies" or "VH1’s 100 Greatest Kid Stars."

Vendor Thoughts On Cisco & Web Conferencing

When Cisco made its announcement about purchasing WebEx on March 15, competing web conferencing software vendor iLinc rushed out a press release the following day, talking about the news from their perspective. This got me wondering what other vendors might have to say about theshakeup in the market. I decided to contact several of them in different niches of the industry and see what they felt like sharing.

Kolabora on Co-Browsing

Robin Good has posted a dynamite explanation and review of co-browsing collaboration software on his Kolabora blog. Co-browsing is a limited form of synchronization between computers that simply gets both users to the same web page at the same time. Depending on the sophistication of the software, it may enable additional actions or forced synchronization once theweb page has been displayed.

Roundup: Cisco and WebEx Analysis

By now, any interested reader should have been able to get their fill of of news stories about the Cisco acquisition of WebEx. Overly cautious types will point out that this is not a done deal, merely a tendered offer accepted by WebEx management. WebEx shareholders could vote it down or another company could come in with a higher competitive buyout offer. The odds are tremendously low for either of those scenarios to occur.

Web Conference Moderators

Most people who work on creating webinars for their company break down responsibilities into two main areas. One function is carried out behind the scenes, setting up the technical side of the event, promoting it, managing registration, and so on. The other side of the coin is the “on air talent”, as the TV industry would put it. This refers to the person or people delivering the material during the event.

Tom Blue – A Webinar Use Case

Tom Blue writes a blog called Marketing Revisited ("Lessons and Observations from the Marketing Trenches"). Last week he wrote a piece entitled "Harness the Market-making Power of Webinars." In his entry, he talked about how he had paid no attention to webinars until he was invited to be a presenter with Research In Motion (aka RIM… the company that makes the ubiquitous BlackBerry handheld communications device).

Webinars in Many Languages

If you go to InterCall’s home page, you will find the word "global" prominently featured. Their tag line in the logo is: "InterCall – Global Conferencing Solutions" and down at the bottom of the page the small type says "InterCall is the leading conference call solution for global business." Not only that, but before you go surfing around their site, you are forced to select your country and language preference from a list of 18 representative flags.

Looking at Learn.com WebRoom

Learn.com has been around since 1998, mainly offering software and services to support online learning.

Discouraging Event Attendance

Ephraim Schwartz has an entry in his Reality Check blog for InfoWorld in which he expresses dissatisfaction with registration and attendance requirements for a recent IBM/Lotus web conference.

Forrester Releases Webcasting Report

Forrester Research just released a new report by Claire Schooley on the use of webcasts in large organizations.

Adobe Acrobat Connect Commercially Available

The First Taste Was Free… Now you have to pay for it.

Presence – Useful For Webinars?

Line56 published an article Monday talking about presence becoming a more important part of IBM’s collaborative environment.

Reviewing Acrobat Connect

Robin Good over at MasterNewMedia.org just penned a Shakespearean love sonnet of epic proportions extolling the virtues of Adobe Acrobat Connect (including Connect Pro).

Government Tracking Electronic Communications

A press release from FaceTime Communications stopped me cold today.