During the live presentation in Elluminate, several questions were posed that we didn't have an opportunity to discuss. I would like to resurrect some of the questions here and get your feedback.
The first was:
How does having all of the recordings and content available online impact the level of participation during the event?
I've often wondered this myself. In the CIDER sessions that I organize, we consistantly have an audience that ranges from 40 - 75, and, of course,many more view the archived presentations. In a synchronous environment, it is not always beneficial to have a very large audience as it reduces the opportunities for interaction. So the question is then - does it matter how large the live audience is?
In responding to your question I think the baseline is to have a conversation which is rich and lively. Sometimes you can manage this with five or six very engaged participants with varied experiences and perspectives. And with a group of 40-75 and a great facilitator this is even more likely. Even though many people won't get to talk during one event everyone can still have voice through text chat and backchannel interactions. From the website it seems that CIDER sessions aren't linked to asynchronous discussions so being fully present in the room counts as participation even if you say nothing. I suspect that viewing the recording of even an excellent live meeting is a much less intense and appealing experience for many of us.
Sharing recordings of live events isn't even a question for me since the recordings are useful for multiple purposes including use by potential participants in very different time zones or with busy schedules and as knowledge assets to a large community. And here the recording is a resource to the online discussion which allows for participants who missed the live meeting to really be in the conversation on equal terms.
Thanks for your response. I agree that viewing a recording of a live meeting is much less intense and appealing for most of us. That said, the numbers of people that view the recordings far outweigh the number of attendees at the live event. It is of course, more convenient.
As far as attendance in the live meeting, I have often found that the amount of interaction within the event itself does not seem to correlate with attendance numbers. It seems more related to the topic, and the efforts of the presenter and the moderator to encourage interaction.