Archive for the ‘Webcasting’ Category

Podcast, Vodcast, Webcast….. help!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

I’ve recently been asked to explain the difference between all of the different ‘video type’ technologies that are around such as podcasting vs streaming video and webcasting vs web conferencing etc.

So I thought that I would write up a short article to try and help anyone else with the same type of question as I have even been asked in the past if we could do live podcasting!

To begin I think the main point to remember is that video is a communications medium and the main thing to ensure is not only that the video and the content are of high quality but that the contents meet your objectives for creating them in the first place. What are you trying to achieve? You then need to consider what is the best way to deliver this content to your potential audience and this is where all of the different technologies come in to it.

The first thing to consider is simple video, a medium with which people are very familiar thanks to TV, CD & DVD’s as well as the growth of site’s like YouTube and MetaCafe introducing many to video on the web. Video can be delivered to the web audience via a stream, this means that when you click on a link to watch the video it will start to play immediately (there are variations on streaming such as progressive downloading etc) or the video can be delivered by the viewer clicking on a link to download the video as a file so that it can be viewed later in your own time on the PC, on an mp3/mp4 player such as an iPod or on some mobile devices. This type of viewing is referred to by many as podcasting (podcasting normally refers to an audio file but can also be video and is sometimes then called vodcasting!) although true podcasting allows the file to be downloaded by an application like iTunes and normally on a subscription basis.

The main advantage of streaming video is immediacy and the disadvantage is picture quality (although the internet bandwidth is improving all the time allowing better and better quality). The disadvantage to downloading (podcasting or any other type of download) is that you need to go through the download process,which can take some time before you know the content of the video and whether it is what you want to watch. The advantage is that you can make the picture quality higher than you can with streaming video (although this will increase file size and therefore the time it takes to download it). There are other issues to both such as digital rights management, access control, payment mechanisms etc which I won’t touch on here but will if you contact me to discuss.

Both of these technologies,however, relate to simple video whereas webinars or webcasting (basically the same thing) allow the use of video plus other types of content. For example a training webinar might show video, slides that change automatically (synchronised to the video) and provide downloadable content such as workbooks and pdf’s etc. They could also include a text based version of the audio for the hard of hearing (to meet DDA requirements) or even in another language to meet international needs. In this case the webinar is using a streaming technology but is pre-recorded and available to view whenever the client would like. This is generally referred to as an ‘on demand’ webinar or webcast.

The next stage on from that is a Live webinar/webcast which is fundamentally the same as described above but delivered in real time and with the ability for the audience (which can be very large - even in the thousands) to ask questions of the presenter(s) and have them answered there and then.

Webinars and webcasting are quite different to live meetings and video conferencing which are aimed at much smaller audiences (2 - 10 generally) and used as an online meeting solution where everyone can interact at the same level (much like a normal meeting), although it is normally chaired by one person. This type of solution generally also provides collaborative working or data sharing applications again meeting the needs of a typical meeting.

There are many different technology solutions to meet all of your requirements for streaming, podcasting, webinars, webcasting, video conferencing and online meetings and they all have different advantages and disadvantages over each other but as well as comparing different technology providers against each other make sure that you are also comparing different technology types against each other to make sure that you are using the right type of solution (or mix of solutions) to meet your needs.

Different technology solutions, each with different positive and negative points are provided by vendors such as these:

Stream57
Webex
podia
Adobe Connect Professional
GoToMeeting

and I am happy to discuss these pros and cons with anyone that is interested but you can also find some very useful info from the web such as this very informative blog about all things web conferencing and webinars by Ken Molay, it is however very US centric.

Just so that you know at In Situ productions we are ‘technology agnostic’ and deliberatly so, which means that we can take advantage of the right technology solutions to meet the needs of our clients as we think that no one solution is a panacea to all situations.

If anyone has any other question in this area then feel free to ask them here in this thread.

Regards,

Chris Mitchell
Digital Media Strategy & Solutions
podcasting, vodcasting, streaming video, interactive webcasting, webinars, web meetings, pay per view video content

IMPROVE YOUR ON LINE PRESENTATIONS

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

In Situ Productions held its inaugral free interactive webcast today, entitled 9 simple ways to improve your on line presentations. The archive of the event can be viewed from here: http://insitu.webseminars.co.uk/?c=422

The event featured media coach Alan Stevens and New Edge’s Richard Flewitt and was hosted by In Situ’s chairman Richard Bednall.

The show lasts 30 minutes and you’d be well advised to watch it if you are planning your first on line seminar or interactive webcast as it is jam packed full of tips and of course it is free.

9 Ways to Make Your Online Presentation More Effective

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Are you interested in improving your presentation techniques? Then join In Situ Productions for a free webcast that will show you 9 simple ways to make your online presentation more effective.

You will be taken to the registration page for our interactive webcast on 20th June at 4pm (BST). Please fill out the short form and then click “Submit”.

Upon completion, an email will be sent to you confirming your registration, and you will receive a URL for the event. You will need the URL and your email address to login and participate.

Revolution

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Revolution is in the air. Well, kind of. Last month we produced “The Future of Search” sponsored by Latitude and brought to the readers of Revolution. This was one of our most successful events to date and Revolution promises to be holding many more. You can register to see the event yourselves right here:

Click here to view the Revolution webcast

Low Carbon World uses Webcasting to Reduce Footprint

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Low Carbon World used In Situ to capture their first low carbon world conference in April, we’re pleased to say that the event was a success and plans are now afoot to save further carbon footprints by broadcasting monthly webinars. This will enable delegates to maintain contact without the need to travel. April was a busy month again, with trips to Dubai for British Publishers, Boston for Tastoria and continuing webcast production for Haymarket and Information Age

Webcasting Grows Up

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

2007 could well be the year that webcasting technology truly finds a place in the communications marketing mix. Hillary Clinton’s webcast “I’m in and I’m in to win” has now been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people and it shows how far video on the web has now come. At In Situ this month we’ve been working with a new client, Haymarket medical creating some video for Pfizer as well as producing new webinars in partnership with Business Link Kent.