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Oct 29, 2008: Now publishing... webinars!

For a year or two—even before Rosenfeld Media actually had published a book—I've been wanting to extend our scope to webinars. It seems like such a natural complement to book publishing. Books alone are, well, books. Books and webinars? Now you're talking content ecosystem. Authors who've assembled content for their books have at least one webinar in them. Some topics don't merit book treatment, but definitely make sense as webinars. And when we're not sure, we can test topics (and people) out with the webinar format before committing to a book, which is far more expensive to produce.

This ecosystem discussion is, not surprisingly, very publisher-centric. But what do customers get out of webinars? That's still very much an open question. And personally, I've had mixed reactions to webinars, both as a customer and as a speaker.

But I'm optimistic. Not only is the technology becoming far better and cheaper, but let's face it: travel is becoming prohibitively expensive. Webinars may be the "poor man's conference," but these days there are a lot of poor men (and women) out there who want to improve their design skills.

That's why Rosenfeld Media is collaborating with Victor Lombardi's Smart Experience to produce a new series of UX webinars. The Future Practice series will tackle the cutting edge of modern UX practice.

Our first two webinars presenters just happen our first two authors; following are the dates and their topics. Use code LBRWBNR for 20% off your ticket when you register at the Rosenfeld Media site:

  • November 13 (1-2pm EST): Modern Web Form Design with Luke Wroblewski. [details/register]
  • December 11 (1-2pm EST): Using Mental Models for Tactics and Strategy with Indi Young. [details/register]

I'm really pleased to be working directly with Victor, my colleague, friend, and neighbor here in Brooklyn. And hats off to Jared Spool, who's provided both inspiration and advice. No one does virtual seminars better than UIE, though we hope to come close.

Above I mentioned that the success of webinars has a lot to do with technology costs coming down and travel costs going up. But I think there's one more important factor: the user experience of attending a webinar is improving, slowly but surely. Victor and I know that the webinar experience can and should be better, and darn it, we're going to try our best. What would you suggest we keep in mind as we develop our webinar series? We'd love your advice!

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Comment: Livia Labate (Oct 29, 2008)

Super! Very excited about this Lou.

Also, wanted to share a little anecdote that may reflect the reality of other organizations: I was asked to participate in a discussion next week inside my organization about how we can continue to offer educational and professional development opportunities for our employees while keeping travel and expenses to a minimum/low (given the current economic reality).

My first thought was immediately webinars, which I am a big fan of (attend at least one every month). The technology for this today is so cheap it's almost silly not to. But not just that, in our field, there are so many nascent methods, ideas and conversations, who can afford to wait for a F2F conference to share and learn the latest?

I think you guys are right on the money .

Comment: Lou Rosenfeld (Oct 29, 2008)

Thanks Liv! I sure hope so...

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