Here’s a question to ponder: if you don’t have to leave home, can you be said to have attended an event?
I considered this as I logged into my latest frivolous activity,
#22 ‘Attend’ a Webinar
before deciding that placing inverted commas around the word should cover all possibilities.
Some of you may be wondering what this newly concocted word ‘webinar’ actually means.
Think seminar for introverts. A place where you can learn about an interesting topic in real time, ask questions and make statements, but where you remain out of sight and out of earshot of the presenter, comfortably ensconced at home watching it live on your computer. A seminar where you have all the power.
There are several advantages to registering for a webinar rather than a seminar:
- you can attend in your pyjamas
- you can eat and drink during the presentation
- you can check your emails, take a phone call or update your twitter feed, should you have one…
- you can take a short nap
- you can make loud comments with no one telling you to shush
- You can type in questions or comments so the presenter knows you’re still there and might even mention you by name, and
- you can leave if it all gets too boring.
What’s not to love?
With the experience of ‘attending’ at least four webinars under my belt, I can now postulate they can roughly be divided into four categories:
- The Hard Sell
- Serious and worthy
- Helpful and earnest
- Fun and frivolous
The first category should probably be avoided, unless you really want to commit to an outlay of $298.99 per month for 6 months to buy something that will probably never work for you like it works for the persuasive salesperson running the webinar.
…love the selfless afterthought…
One of my earliest webinars was with the Tax Office, learning how to be a good trustee. A very serious, very worthy, if somewhat dull topic but surprisingly well done and helpful, if you need to know how to be a good trustee.
Then I tried one on ‘How to Sleep Well’, but as the speaker still hadn’t joined the webinar 20 minutes after the advertised start time, I surmised she’d overslept. I left feeling a little jealous and with no helpful or earnest advice about sleeping.
But the prince of webinars was the one where I was taught the ins and outs of using Twitter. I use the term ‘I’ literally, as it turned out that I was the only attendee.
Mr Twitter was ever-so-helpful and answered all my typed questions and responded to all my comments, which are easy to submit:
But after about 20 minutes of the scheduled 60 minute webinar, this ominous message suddenly appeared on my screen and contact dropped out:
So much for thinking I had all the power.
Looks like it had all got too boring for Mr Twitter…