Twitter + Webinar = Twebinar and a Huge Crowd

By June 27, 2008

Yesterday I participated in the world’s first Twebinar along with 999 others interested to hear social media thought leaders talk about Game Changing Moves – Doing Business With Social Media. The Twebinar was a combination of taped video interviews and a Twitter session for audience comments and discussion.  The Twebinar was organized by Chris Brogan at CrossTech Media and David Alston at Radian6 and was wildly popular.  Before the Twebinar, Twitter was all abuzz with talk about the upcoming event. Registration for two sessions was limited to 500 each. There were many that did not make the cutoff or could not get in once the video host reached the 500 limit.

Chris Brogan hosts TwebinarFor those of us that did manage to get in, we saw Chris Brogan live in the left corner, introducing taped video interviews. It would have been nice to have live guests but understandably much more complicated. The all-star lineup of guests had great comments and provided a few top-line case studies. With so many guests (6 in all I think) there wasn’t time to delve deep enough into any topic. In fact, I’ve already heard most of what the speakers had to say. In fairness though, I spend a lot of time reading and interacting with many of the guests. There were lots of Twitter comments that indicated a sizable portion of the audience was hearing this for the first time.

Many also Tweeted (a Tweet is a post on Twitter) that they found using Twitter as a back-channel was difficult. I found it to be awkward as well.  I had video window open, but I also needed a Twitter browser window or

client application (I use Twhirl) open to input your comments. You needed a third window open with Summize real time search to aggregate all the Twebinar comments. I could not pay attention to the video, read comments and participate the discussion all at once. I prefer the interface on Ustream for such presentations. They give you the live feed in one window and have an integrated chat window below or beside the video window. I know, the point of the Twebinar was to tap into the Twitter community and generate buzz. It worked well enough and I congratulate Chris and David for coming up with the idea and making it happen. There are two more Twebinars planned in July and August and as soon as registration is opened up, I’ll be fighting for my ‘seat’ in the room.

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