Collaboration

Be aware and learn some Web conference etiquette

You'd think with Web conferencing having been around for a while now that people would learn what they should and shouldn't do. But it doesn't seem that way. Here are some tips for those still in the dark.

As readers are well aware, I work for a tech company. So it surprises me endlessly that many of the employees here don't understand the mechanisms of Web conferencing. It seems like every company-wide Web conference we have, there are always six or seven people who join in 15 or 20 minutes into the thing. So you have important information or announcements sporadically interrupted or drowned out by a disembodied voice saying "Now joining...."

I don't understand people who think others are not affected by their actions.

There will be late-comers to meetings as long as there are meetings, of course, but at least in a physical meeting, you can still hear the speaker when someone enters the room.

During our last Web conference, someone apparently called in from a cell phone somewhere in Middle Earth and didn't know to mute his phone. Every two minutes what sounded like a Gregorian chant wafted through the speakerphone.

Can you imagine how the unaccustomed would handle a virtual meeting? I found an article that described a couple of really embarrassing incidents that happened when a video was involved. Kinda funny if you aren't horrified by the possibilities that these things could happen on your watch.

(By the way, tune into our IT Dojo blog this week because Bill Detwiler will talk about what IT can do to circumvent the clueless actions of the Web conferencee.)

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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