Making Webcasts work

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Bill Whitley believes that Webcasting is ready for prime timeparticularly for b-to-b marketers. As co-founder and president of Mindblazer, a provider of Webcasting strategy and production, Whitley has helped companies such as Ernst & Young, KPMG Consulting and Yahoo! Broadcast Services market products, train employees and update sales partners. His first consulting company, The Whitley Group, an interactive multimedia design and production company, was sold to Atlanta-based iXL in 1987. Whitley is a contributing writer to various trade journals and speaks regularly about the benefits of e-learning.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles to streaming media, and how are marketers overcoming them?

A: One is bandwidth. Do they have the right connection to watch the video? Our studies show that 40% of Internet users have access to high bandwidth, and most of those are through their offices. Our advice to clients is to be willing to go create great content; not all of your customers will be able to see it, but give them a great reason and high value, and theyll go buy a $39-per-month cable modem. The second big challenge for corporations is learning how to make content compelling, so that it has strong attracting and holding power.

Q: Whats involved in installing this technology?

A: Its a fairly painless process. Its not an investment of much time or technology. If [companies have] the right people and technology in place I think they can do it themselves. Youd need somebody, first of all, who has the high-level concept and strategy. Then you would want a second person to really act as the producer of this event to go out and create compelling content. And then the third thing you would need is some sort of technical person who could integrate it all into your existing Web site.

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