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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is it just me, or is webcasting completely useless

I'm currently listening in on a webcast vendor briefing - you know the sort, where you have to register & have slides pushed to you in a window on your desktop along with streamed audio, plus an option to submit questions by typing in them.

It's a terrible user experience - I'm restricted to the slide currently being 'pushed' (so if you're 5 mins late you can't review what you've missed). I can't flip through the rest of the deck to see if there's good content coming up. There's no download PDF / PPT option. I can't expand the slide size, so small fonts don't render properly and so on. I also needed to keep refreshing the window as the slide transitions didn't seem to work.

Sure, it's dependent on the system provider (in this case it says Thomson in the corner, which I guess is the managed / hosting provider). Some others have slightly better interfaces. But it's a solution looking for a problem - similar to the useless "magazine reader" software that gets used increasingly widely.

The old way works better - either email a PDF/PPT, or a link to download it. Then use a normal phone call or audio webcast.

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