Dean Dad over at Inside Higher Ed asks the question, “Why do webinars always suck?” and those go onto explain the ways they suck. I actually do attend my fair share of webinars so I obviously don’t think they always suck, but I know I’ve been disappointed in them way more then I should be. As Dean Dad points out, they fact that you don’t have to travel is a big plus considering the economy, but I never get as much out of them as a face-to-face meeting and usually get less out of the then I would a pre-recorded session. Also, if the webinar is more then an hour, forget it. My mind has had enough at that point. I think that is why I really dislike virtual conferences. Multiple hours staring at a screen and listening to someone present is just not a replacement for being there in person.
Besides the idea of listening to someone through a computer, the other negative is often you are sitting alone somewhere watching them. No human companionship. No person to talk to about the session. No “free” coffee. But I digress… I think the one thing I have found is that when I watch a webinar with someone else it is usually a much better experience. That is why at work I often will ask other people if they are interested and arrange to watch it together if the topic is relevant. Otherwise, like one of the comments made by Sibyl, I bring something wlse to do – although I can guarantee it won’t be Mafia Wars or Farmville!
What do you thin? Do Webinars always suck?