In the current febrile atmosphere of possible fuel shortages, it’s worth exploring the alternatives to face-to-face meetings. Most households and businesses have access to broadband which means that web conferencing is a viable option for replacing visits to clients, support calls or training sessions.
Web conferencing, webinars or online meetings allow a number of people to simultaneously hear the words and see the screen of one person from their computer, with the added option of interacting through online chat, Internet audio or teleconferencing.
There are two main corporate products on the market, Go To Meeting and Webex – which provide high quality, multiple featured services, enabling potentially large numbers of people to meet, interact and discuss online without having to leave their office or home. With prices starting at £30 a month these products are suitable for medium to large sized organisations.
A free subscription service such as Powwownow provides an excellent service where you only pay for local call rate teleconferencing. The additional web conferencing services are free and provide a stripped down version of what is offered by Webex or Go To Meeting but work very well. The organiser can share their screen to demonstrate or present and even transfer presenter status to someone else in the conference.
While face-to-face meetings will always have a place, travel is likely to become more and more expensive in the future and it is reassuring to know that viable alternatives exist in the present.
Have you ever used web conferencing and was it a positive experience? Leave a comment below.
A cross-party group of MPs and peers are urging the Government to introduce legislation that forces Google to censor search results that a court has found to be in breach of someone’s privacy.
The committee heard evidence from ex-Formula 1 boss Max Mosley on how he spent a large sum of money removing Internet traces of a secretly filmed video by the now defunct News of the World. Despite a UK court upholding Mosley’s right to privacy, Google still had links to the offending video.
Google defended its position by upholding the principle of the unfettered flow of information. Their reputation has been built on the search engine’s relevant and unbiased search results without the influence of corporations or Governments. In exceptional circumstances they have censored search search results but only under extreme pressure or where there is strong evidence of the web community hijacking search results.
While one can sympathise with individuals with a genuine issue with privacy, legislation would be unworkable.
See our earlier blog post: George Bush’s miserable failure and the Michelle Obama image.
See the full article here: Google should be forced to sensor search results
Judgement has been reserved in the appeal case of Paul Chambers, the accountant that was convicted and lost two jobs because of an ill-judged but obvious joke made on Twitter.
Paul Chambers was arrested in January 2010 after he vented his frustration at his cancelled flight on Twitter. “Robin Hood airport is closed,” he tweeted. “You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s**t together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
That statement was considered a credible security threat and Chambers was arrested and convicted in May 2010 at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court of sending “a message of a menacing character”, contrary to provisions of the 2003 Communications Act, fined £385 and ordered to pay £600 costs. His employees also sacked him.
Chambers now lives in Northern Ireland with the woman he was going to see in 2010. However when he revealed to his new employees about his appeal case he was promptly sacked again.
When Chambers was first convicted it sparked the “I am Spartacus” campaign where thousands of Twitter users copied his original tweet to highlight the absurdity of a law that has been applied to the letter. Unfortunately it also makes the law look like an ass and has wasted huge amounts of taxpayer’s money. Surely these resources could have been better spent on monitoring and arresting real terrorists?