Earlier this week, I was a guest speaker on a Citrix Australia webinar. We used their relatively new HDFaces functionality in GoToWebinar to include my live webcam feed at the beginning and end of the presentation.
But when I went back to review the recording, I found that the playback did not include the video stream… It only showed the screen share (in this case my slide show). I looked up the FAQ for HDFaces on the Citrix website and sure enough, it said that video is not captured in recordings.
Ouch. I can see customers really getting burned by this limitation. If you were demonstrating something visually via your live video, showing off a product, giving instructional training, or making references to things on camera, your recording audience would have no idea what is going on. They would see only some static background image from your screen share (probably something uninteresting and unimportant that you used so as to not draw attention away from your video!).
Citrix definitely needs to schedule this for an upgrade as quickly as possible. I find the lack of the recording feature highly disturbing in the world of public webinars. It might be acceptable for more ad-hoc peer-to-peer video conferences, but you need a full record of your event when making an archive of a formal webinar.
Citrix is not the only vendor with lapses in this area. I have found several examples over the years where the content available in the recording does not match the content available to attendees in the live webinar.
omNovia used to omit the text chat display from their recordings. So a presenter might make reference to a comment posted by an attendee, making perfect sense in the live session while confusing the on-demand audience who could not see what he was referring to. To their credit, omNovia fixed this oversight, and you can now decide whether you want to include or exclude the chat display from your recording.
WebEx still has what I consider to be a major flaw in its recording content. If you run a poll during a live webinar, you can set the displayed results to show only percentage of responses for each answer choice. That's great when you don't want guests to know you have a disappointingly small turnout for your event. But if you elect to make poll results visible in your WebEx recording, they always show the number of raw votes. There is no way to show percentages only.
On-demand playback of webinar recordings makes up a large and very significant percentage of total viewership. I call on each and every web conferencing vendor to review their recording/playback functionality to make sure that on-demand viewers get the same experience and the same content as their live session counterparts.