One of the many things I’ve learned on the Adobe Connect team is that there’s a lot more to a webinar than the live event itself. How do you promote your event? How do you register unknown users for the event? How do you handle email for invitations, updates, and follow ups? How do measure success?
Adobe Connect uses the ‘Events’ module for all of these functions. While it’s always been functional, it seems most of the emphasis has been on the live event and not some of the other activities.
In this sneak peek, I take a look at some technology we’re working on to help customers create stunning registration pages for their events.
I’m terrible at keeping secrets. The toughest secrets to keep are often the new features that engineering is working on for future versions of Adobe Connect. Some of these features are incredibly exciting my first instinct is to want to tell everyone about them.
Usually, I’m not able to do that. I’m very glad to say that – beginning with this blog post – I’m going to start showing some ‘sneak peeks’ at some of the features that you might see in a future version of Adobe Connect.
In this first video post, I’m going to highlight some of the new features around editing recordings. I’ve always felt we had the best recordings in the business because they retained their interactivity. Instead of just showing a video of the meeting, Adobe Connect would replay the full experience using live controls. This enabled customers to search an index for a specific slide or section, to scroll up and down the chat or Q&A pod, and even to participate in a quiz or other interactive element of the meeting.
In the video below, I’ll look at how this interactivity might further benefit our customers by adding even more functionality to the recording index and giving customers the ability to edit more than just the timeline.
There are two two separate pods in Adobe Connect that enable participants to ask questions during a meeting, virtual classroom or webinar.
The Chat pod allows for completely open discussion among all participants and private discussion between two participants or a participant and a group (like the presenters). The Chat pod is unmoderated, which means anyone can post a question or comment and it will be seen immediately by everyone. Private chat appears in a separate tab in the chat pod.
The Q&A pod is similar in that anyone can post a question or comment to the pod, but unlike the chat pod, those posts are only seen by the presenters and hosts in a meeting. A presenter or host can choose to answer a question in the Q&A pod either publicly (in which case everyone will see the question and the answer) or privately (in which case only the questioner will see the question and answer). Questions from the Q&A pod can be assigned to a specific presenter.
So which pod should you use? Should you moderate your discussion or not? The answer of course depends on your web conference. As the host of a meeting, I usually ask myself a few questions when making this decision.
Is the goal to enable participants to ask me questions – or am I looking to facilitate a conversation between participants?
How do I feel about participants chatting privately? Will this be a distraction to the meeting or will it increase engagement?
Are there questions I might not be comfortable answering in public?
How many participants are attending? What kind of meeting is it?
In general, I prefer to use an open, un-moderated chat pod. I find it can increase interaction among all participants. The un-moderated chat pod is ideal for collaborative meetings and often works well for virtual classrooms.
I believe it’s important not only use meeting size as the only factor – but as a meeting grows, it makes sense to swap out the un-moderated chat pod for a moderated Q&A pod. At this point, it also helps to have someone else in the meeting helping to moderate the Q&A pod while you speak. The Q&A pod is ideal for webinars.
Of course, you can have the best of both worlds. I’ll often use an open chat pod in my webinar lobby that participants can use while they’re waiting for a webinar to begin, then switch to a moderated Q&A pod during the webinar itself.
Tips & Tricks
Encourage users to change the color of their text when using the chat pod. It helps to differentiate the questions and makes everything more readable.
The presenter view of the Q&A pod can be sent to the Presenter Only Area (POA). This enables the presenters to work with a much larger pod while they are facilitating the questions.
You can add multiple chat pods to a single layout. This is helpful when you want to solicit feedback across a number of different topics. Simply double-click the title of a chat pod to rename it.
You can export a Q&A log of all of the questions that were asked as a rich text file. You can also email the content of any Q&A or chat pod. Click the pod options menu to access these options.
You can use an un-moderated chat pod and still disable private chat. This can be quickly disabled in the Preferences dialog.
Big name universities. Big research. Big data. Big brains. Big collaboration?
I had the honor to attend the Internet2 conference in the nation’s capital last week. I was there to help announce the new Adobe Connect Managed Services offering that will be available soon as an Internet2 NET+ service (www.internet2.edu/netplus). We on the Adobe Connect team are thrilled to be a part of this community and the great achievements its members will undoubtedly produce.
At its most basic, Internet2 provides a high speed, private network to its members. But that doesn’t even begin to explain the capabilities of this network, the security and reliability its members will enjoy, and the power of bringing together communities that are some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists, and scholars on our globe. The founders of this initiative say it better than Ido, so take a look at the introduction to the Internet2 networking consortium on their web site: www.internet2.edu.
Think Hadron Collider today. Think the cure for cancer tomorrow. Never before had it occurred to me to stop to consider the amount of computation, throughput, and storage power that would be required to support such complex initiatives. Until now, realtime collaboration at such a scale was next to impossible. The security restrictions alone could make collaboration challenging at best. With membership in Internet2, research, education, and industry institutions have access to some of the fastest, most secure networks on the globe. Using Internet2 Net+ services to collaborate – including Adobe Connect meetings and virtual classrooms – members can share private and secure virtual lab space, classrooms, project rooms, and more.
With boundaries removed, teamwork and knowledge sharing will only increase. We can’t begin to imagine what the big-brained, big data, Internet2 community will achieve next over ‘big collaboration’.