Portals to discover webinars seem to be springing up like mushrooms. Two more have recently joined the field.
Free Webinar Directory (www.freewebinardirectory.com) is in Beta mode. It has the fascinating characteristic of starting off with a big legal disclaimer that covers the home page and won’t let you see any content until you click agreement to the rather generic text saying that content on the site may change, it contains links to other sites (Gasp! Imagine that!), and trademarks belong to trademark owners. As you may have gathered, I am not a fan of this kind of over-litigious nonsense and in the normal course of my web surfing, nothing would drive me away from a site faster than a “click agreement to see the site” barrier. My rather rudimentary legal knowledge (does one semester of Introductory Business Law count?) makes me think that nothing in this unsigned exculpatory language could possibly be enforceable as a contractual obligation if it ever came to a legal case, so why annoy your visitors straight out of the gate?
Be that as it may, I clicked the magic box and found myself on the home page. Before entering any search criteria, I was presented with a list of four webinars to choose from. Each showed summary information, including “Time” with no time zone indicated. Clicking on “Details” for a webinar showed an unusual number of specialized fields (including the time zone, by the way). Some of the things I am not used to seeing in other webinar directories included whether the audience would be muted, the attendee capacity, whether it was a product presentation, and something labeled “Question Available.” I’m guessing this last item indicates whether the presenter will answer audience questions.
There is a signup box to “Receive e-mails about upcoming webinars” but there is no indication of how often the emails will appear or whether you can filter your results based on your criteria.
You can add a webinar to the list by clicking a box in the upper right corner. Most of the information fields are self-explanatory, but I see a problem in having to pick a single category and subcategory for your webinar. People using category criteria to search may be missing webinars that could legitimately fall under two or more areas, since the provider has to pick just one slot.
I am also a bit puzzled by the fact that “Location” is one of the fields associated with the webinar information. Maybe this is meant to indicate a webinar targeted at viewers within a particular geographical region. Hard to say.
This is obviously early days for the site, so feel free to explore and offer feedback and comments on their contact form. I did not see any information on the site about who runs it or what country it originates from. Not that this is all that important, but I like to know who I’m entering into a legal agreement with!
The second directory site (also indicated as a Beta version) is called Webinar Bucket (www.webinarbucket.com). It uses the ambitious tag line “Your source to all webinars and webcasts across the web.” Ahh, if only ‘twere true.
The search page features a time zone selector that automatically converts all webinar time listings into your local equivalent. Kudos for this convenience feature.
There are quick lists of Featured Webinars, Popular Webinars and Most Recent Webinars. I also stumbled across a date range filter by clicking on a button that said “Open Listing.” By expanding the range to cover several years, it looks like there are currently 176 webinars in the database, which intimates that these are hand-entered rather than automatically searched and entered programmatically.
Submitting a webinar is done through the usual set of field entries. A unique feature is the ability to specify a recurring webinar, including the frequency and end date. As with the previous site, you’ll need to choose category identifiers for your event. Webinar Bucket lets you assign up to three categories, but suffers from the fact that you can’t choose a generic high-level category. So instead of choosing “Technical,” I have to choose three lower-level categories, which seem to be rather arbitrary. For instance, Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP are listed as categories, but no other tech companies are listed. Why not? Under “Industry” you have eight choices, and it’s easy to think of dozens of industries that would not be served by this list. Fortunately you have the ability to enter your own arbitrary free-form tags, but this does not ease the problem of category searches missing your event because of the choice limitations.
Webinar Bucket is an Indian business venture and the text on the Beta site would benefit from a careful proofreading.
These newcomers join sites I have previously reported on: EventSpan, Finervista, WebinarBase, Webinar-Directory, WebinarHero and WebinarListings. Although I notice that Webinar-Directory is currently showing an “unknown domain” placeholder, so it may be down or out of business.