That's a seminar or a lecture online to you and me. It's a form of web conferencing in real time. Webinars can be multi- or single user (plus host), sometimes they're interactive where you can speak to the host live or submit questions before hand, and they can be useful tools for writers like us.
I experienced my first webinar in October 2012. It was a technology themed presentation for my 'day job' in recycling, looking at mobile solutions for customer service. The host invited us to put our two cents in via phone with any questions at the end of the webinar, which was a nice touch. I found the session very useful, and have since been browsing for writing themed webinars to learn from and to share with you (see bottom of this post).
My thoughts during my first webinar were as follows:
I'm in my first ever webinar UK-Canada! Modern technology is amazing! *Someone's going to say it's not that modern, I know!*
Ok, first technical hitch... That awkward moment when someone doesn't mute when they're in a webinar. One tip if you are joining a webinar which allows for voice interaction - make sure your phone or microphone is on mute so you don't disrupt the session with background noise, coughing and the like.
Mental note for next time: I could have done this in my pyjamas and a flashy bow tie and no one would know. Unprofessional moment. It's passed now.
The host is pretty good. Succinct, lively, interesting, engaging... Makes it easier to listen to.
It's basically a PowerPoint presentation on a web program with a dial in phone audio option. Considering this is #my1stwebinar it's interesting to see how it works... Very interactive, I like it!
So what's the verdict?
After a full 30 mins of #my1stwebinar I'll definitely be checking out a few more webinars in the future. I might even definitely host one myself in the future if the need arose. Something to blog about, that's for sure!
Where can I find useful writing related webinars?
As a great place to start, I'd recommend taking a look at Writer's Digest's free webinars archive. There's loads to choose from.
This coming Tuesday 5th mach 2013, podcaster, author and entrepreneur Mignon Fogarty (or "Grammar Girl") is hosting a webinar - learn more and sign up here. This one requires a fee.
Here's another free one explaining how writers can use Facebook to engage your readers from Jason Li at Facebook itself. It has a lot of emphasis on dollar based marketing (i.e. paying for Facebook ads), but they reach a lot of people with their ads, and it's an interesting presentation anyway.
Also, take a look at Writers' Store's calendar for upcoming seminars, webinars and events. At time of press, there are a couple of interesting and useful looking events highlighted for screenwriters.
Have a look around to see if you can find others. There are thousands out there - why not post your favourite webinars in the comments box below? I'd love to see what you recommend.
Until next week,
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Born To Be A Tourist
Images courtesy of A P Counselling Services and Wikipedia