« Computational Couture | Blog Main | Sex, Math and Scientific Achievement: A Grumpy Review »

My first webless webcast

Ok I realize this is somewhat a contradiction in terms but it actually worked. I'm working with a group of community based organizations who provide services to returning dropouts (yes these are the folks who get the vast majority of my cookies; Zuska got some of the last batch but that was because she set up our panel for the NC Science Bloggers Conference and because let's just face it; she is soooo cool.)

But I digress. We were confronted with a situation that so needed a webcast-- that is busy people who really don't want to travel to a central site and since we were dealing with data entry, who really needed to be at their sites on their own computers. The bad news was that YDI, the supporting organization, doesn't currently have webcast capacity. So what did we do? We kluged it and it worked. That is we set up a conference call and then in advance sent everyone the powerpoint and the excel sheet that they would need. We were prepared to resend anything folks needed but these folks were so prepared that wasn't necessary (hey these folks work with returning dropouts, they are amazing, poorly paid and wonderful-- not your average crowd). So we did the "webcast" by phone with me saying things like - "ok everyone should have the powerpoint titled "whatever" on screen now" or "now go to the excel file and enter X now and see what happens".

And it worked! Folks understood the data collection system, tested it out while were listening and had lots of comments on how to improve the process. And instead of a kinda expensive webcast, it was all done for the cost of a conference call. Kluges rule!


Hi Pat! For slightly less of a kluge next time, consider doing it with google documents - people can see your "changes" real time...


Good idea! I'll do that next time.


I really like how you made it interactive and gave people a chance to really experience using the tool. I'm not sure you would have gotten the same level of feedback just from a demo. I guess it just depends on what the goal of the talk is.


You are right-- I've done "show it" and I've done "try it" and the quality (and quantity) of the feedback you get from "try it" is so much better. While the lower cost and the lower level of skills and equipment needed are strong arguments for doing webless webcasts, it is the increased interactivity that is going to make me use this more often.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)