You've probably seen the commercial for the NFL Network where the hi-tech fan goes through his day glued to the content from the NFL Network while seamlessly switching between all his consumption devices: TV, Tablet, Laptop, Smartphone, and then back to the TV when he returns home. I went through something very similar this week, but without all the dazzling special effects.
My story does not involve the NFL, but rather The 2.0 Adoption Council. This group really rocks. It's a great collection of Enterprise 2.0 / Social Business peers that have become good friends in the 18 months that I have been a member. One of the many benefits of membership is the ability to have direct access to some of the best minds in the industry. They are called Guru Sessions and take place regularly through a teleconference line. That could be a good topic for a blog post, but that's not where I'm going with this. It's just the context. Read on.
My schedule did not allow me to join the last two guru sessions that typically take place on Tuesdays at 1pm. First of all booking gurus like Andrew McAfee, Shel Israel, Don Tapscott and now Chuck Ganapathi, SVP of Products at Saleforce.com discussing the rollout of Chatter is no small feat. To have an opportunity to have a private briefing with these leaders in our industry is very valuable. It is insight we could never get from our normal channels. Quite frankly, it gives each of us a totally unfair advantage within our companies as we position ourselves to be the leading authority in our organizations on Social Business, Enterprise 2.0, and general state-of-the-art collaboration issues.
The approach is simple. Line up an expert, prepare a few questions, keep a back channel open for conversations and collaboration during the session, and most importantly, archive the conversation for those who could not be there live. I am one of those who really is enjoying this replay capability. When I think back on it, the sequence of events is quite remarkable. Now, with a variety to tools, unheard of at the beginning of the internet revolution, I can get unprecedented access to some invaluable content.
I want to tell the story so that other early adopters can visualize an approach that I think is indicative of the future. The example I mention is time shifted consumption of the Guru Session content, but you could apply this to any webinar or online event you attend (or miss).
This is what I did. If you are also one who is too busy to catch a session (or any webinar / teleconference for that matter), you can do the same thing too. But like most adoption issues, we often need a little nudge to get us over the hump. Let this be your nudge. This is how I did it last Wednesday.
1. Pay attention to schedule of upcoming sessions (generically, webinars, teleconferences, events and the like), see if I can attend and take part if at all possible.
2. When I cannot attend, monitor the back channel (Socialcast in the case of the council, Twitter hashtag archive for public events), look at the flavor of the questions and answers to decide if it is good to hear the archive.
3. Notice the link to the playback archive, click the button and begin to listen (in my case over coffee the next morning at 5am through my iPad). The MP3 link typically plays immediately in the native quicktime player.
4. Cut and paste the URL of the replay and email it to myself for later listening.
5. Later in the day, while commuting to work, plug my iPhone into the aux jack in my car, Open my email (on my iPhone), click the URL for the replay, listen while driving.
6. When I get to the parking lot at work, put on my blue tooth headset, pop the phone into my pocket and walk into work (while still listening to the reply).
7. Throughout the replay when not driving, glance down at the backchannel discussion in the community (Socialcast in the Council's case, Twitter in the generic case) and follow along in real time with the comments for context.
8. Get into the office, continue listening, log on to the desktop version of the backchannel and continue following along in real time.
9. Write a blog post while finishing the session to let everyone else know how valuable this is. (the sessions and also the ability to consume on multiple platforms).
It's like the recent NFL Network television commercial in many ways. The spot is really a sci-fi fantasy, but using the tools available now, today's reality is getting incredibly close.