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How about a Webinar About Coffee Table Books?

In yesterday's CN Alert, we wrote glowingly about WebEx's initiatives into "high touch" online meetings services, wherein WebEx will deploy certified trainers, coaches, producers and assistants to help its customers in creating new and enhanced online meetings with high production quality and value. WebEx's direction here is way more innovative and interesting - and beneficial to the industry - than the race to the bottom of price wars for basic conferencing services. The whole thing got us thinking, what group of end-users are at the cutting edge of producing innovative uses of conferencing and event webcasting and using it on an ongoing basis? We'd submit, with a little tongue in cheek, that there are two groups that are leading the charge. The first is the vendors themselves. That is to say, the most popular webinars ...are about webinars. This is tantamount to Kramer on Seinfeld coming up with the idea of publishing a coffee table book about coffee tables. The other group that we've seen innovating quite well with ongoing conferencing programs are Indian criminal courts using video conferencing to connect prison-bound criminals with judges. You wouldn't believe the amount of articles that we get about this. ...Is this the state of high touch, high production online meetings? Webinars about webinars? Judges and jails? We know, we know; there are scores of stories on innovative online meeting applications, many reported here and in other publications or articulated at glammy summits with names like "PUG."(Clearly the case of, "Hey, we got the three letter web domain name, we have to go with it!" ...We're still dying to know how that name was decided; had to have been a committee.) But we still think, as we know you all do, that the use of conferencing and event webcasting - particularly between business and consumers of products, services, and information, is way under-tapped. We're cheering WebEx and other smaller vendors like Netbriefings (their tagline: "large webcast experts," who tout an "end-to-end catering approach") who, with good design, high end production, and execution capabilities, can make online meetings an everyday component of business and commercial life, such that the thought of going to a summit (let alone going to an airport) about online meetings would be as useful as going to a summit about turning on a light bulb.