Just to break things up in this ever-expanding series from the CTC, here are a few random thoughts:
- The Boston Metro could use some better ventilation in their big underground transfer stations. The heat and humidity were overwhelming at Government Center and Park St. The underground buses on the new Silver Line extension to the south are great!
- My Netgear Travel Wireless router is working like a champ. Bed and outlet on one side of my hotel room, desk and hardwired Ethernet connection on the other. I'm comfortably typing this while sitting in bed, using my own instantaneous room-sized personal wireless network. I love technology that turns on and works!
- The Similans on First Street in Cambridge is a very nice Thai restaurant with one of the most extensive menus I have found for this cuisine.
Back to the show...
Leverage Software had an interesting add-on to the online (or live) event world. Their EventConnect product lets you set up an online community of attendees who can enter information about themselves, their interests, and their desired networking contacts. You can collect demographic and usage information and let your users carry on discussions on collaborative boards and forums. A nice way to keep the interest level up both before and after your event!
"Video is the new black" -- Everybody was pushing live video in web conferencing. I saw booth after booth featuring poor quality webcam images of conference participants. You know my opinions on the subject if you've been reading for a while. I say that video is a fine addition to a webcast or web conference. IF you have professional cameras, lighting, makeup, and background. Shooting yourself with a cheap webcam in your messy cubicle with a cheesy headphone on does not inspire audience confidence in your professional savoir faire. But then again, I'm a crotchety old timer who still believes that uncompressed music sounds better than an MP3 played through an iPod! I did find one vendor who quietly admitted that while all their prospects asked about and demanded video "talking head' capabilities, hardly any of them ever ended up using it. Shhh... don't tell anybody!
My choice for winner in the video web conferencing sweepstakes was Arel Communications and Software. They were showing off an add in for Microsoft Office Live Meeting that made live speaker video more efficient and manageable. They could display anything up to 16 participant videos at one time and had some serious compression algorithms to make the videos look good in low bandwidth situations.
I'll finish up with some final thoughts tomorrow.