Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Another value of persistent group chat: Discussion during meetings/forums


One of the interesting things I've observed during the weekly sales enablement calls we have here inside IBM centers around the use of the group chat inside of the Web conferences.  These sessions regularly draw 150+ people, so we lock down the phone lines and have moderated Q&A only at the end of the call.  The group chat, however, allows participants to ask questions or provide feedback during the course of the meeting, and often the questions will get answered by others in the meeting, without the speaker needing to respond to them.  I know when I'm speaking, I try to glance at the questions coming in via chat before moving off a page or an agenda topic to see if there's anything I can clarify while we're on the topic, rather than having to wait all the way to the end to clear something up.

Well, thanks to persistent chat rooms (like we now have in Lotus Sametime Advanced), there's no reason you can't have this type of discussion going for any meeting, whether there's a Web conference set up or not.  (Of course, you can do this by starting up a regular group chat, too, but that doesn't allow for people to come and go at will, and may be more cumbersome depending on whether you have a defined group of all participants or need to find them one-by-one.)

A  perfect example of this is what Forrester is doing for their Forrester Marketing Forum today.  They're actually doing this using Meebo (alas, not Sametime), but they've embedded the chat room right in their blog, making it really easy for people to find and join the discussion.  (If you're reading this on Tuesday afternoon, you can see it live here.)

(Via SocialMarketingToday)