Webcasts and webinars are among the tools that a technical writer can use to collect information, interview Subject Matter Experts, make a presentation to the stake-holders in a project, give and take feedback on document reviews.
A webcast is a one-way live video broadcast over the Internet. When there is a two-way interaction, it is called a webinar.
Webcasts and webinars differ greatly in terms of the things they allow a technical writer to accomplish, depending on the company that hosts the event, its interface, and the membership plan.
Typically, the participants enter the URL of the web-hosting company into their browsers and then sometimes also dial in a phone number for audio connection. There are companies who offer VoIP (Voice Over IP) technology and audio capability built into the video GUI as well. After entering the required password, the participants would access a class-room like screen where the technical writer is the host, the presenter, and the meeting facilitator.
The writer can present certain features of the software product that is documented while drawing on the screen and typing notes to support his oral presentation. Real-time screen-sharing makes possible for the participants to comment quickly on the presenter’s points.
The participants can either comment in public so that everybody can see and hear the comment, or can also send a private message to the facilitator.
Most such companies offer live or streaming video technology that makes smooth two-way video and audio conferencing possible.
Polling is one useful feature of such web meetings. It makes possible quick articulation of collective opinion about the subject matter at hand.
Webinars can reduce the review cycle time significantly by bringing together all members of a document review team in the same “virtual room” and allow them to compare notes and resolve differences in real-time. That really cuts down on the inefficient back-and-forth messaging that sometimes drags on a review process forever.
Webinars and webcasts are great for tutorials and training sessions as well. Explore this great technology in your technical writing career for greater efficiency, productivity and career advancement.