Video-Conferencing: Can You See Me Now..? Good.

by Mike Smith, SPI Intern

I would be willing to bet that if you were to so much as whisper the words “gas prices” in a crowded office, you would get no less than a 90% response rate. I would also be willing to bet that nearly 100% of those people wouldn’t be happy with how much it costs to fill up their tanks.

This type of reaction is absolutely warranted, as prices throughout the country remain at nearly $4/gallon. This cost can seriously hurt metropolitan commuters residing in rural areas outside of major cities who may spend an hour (or more) on the road every morning, blasting the AC and their favorite talk-radio stations, just to sit at a computer for awhile and make the trip all over again at 5PM.

All of this almost makes you wonder, “What if there was some way I could do the same amount of work, with the same efficiency, without ever leaving the comfort of my own home?”

Enter Video-Conferencing.

In recent years, face-to-face communication has become something that doesn’t necessarily have to be done face-to-face. Online resources like Go To Meeting (used here often at PBS) and consumer-friendly tools like GChat, TinyChat, Skype or Facetime have made video chatting commonplace for everyday use by the general population.

When it comes to station communication, emails, forums, webinars, and conference calls can sometimes feel impersonal. With none of these tools can you actually see the other person and limited station resources don't always allow for the invaluable face-to-face connections that can take place at PBS conferences.

Finding a middle ground between cost-effectiveness and effective communication can be tricky, but video-conferencing might just be the answer.

In an article titled "4 Ways Video Conferencing Can Benefit Small Businesses" on, June Bower, vice president of Cisco’s online collaboration software group, highlights four ways that video-conferencing can be an incredibly valuable resource.

Give it a read and let us know what you think! Leave a comment below or just contact us with your ideas. We are always eager to hear your opinions. You can even vote in the corresponding poll to the right and see how your thoughts stack up against the will of the masses.

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