When is the best time to hold a live MSDN Webcast?

So we hold all these live webcasts with subject matter experts from the product dev team, industry experts, book authors, college professors, and we have great demand for our on demand webcasts content. But we're not sure if we should continue to do these live. What does everyone think about live webcasts?

Any value to having those? Any value to be able to actually talk to an expert and ask them your own questions? We get the experts to present live, so that if you have questions, you get a real answer. Better than having an “anchorman” news broadcaster type read from a script for a recorded version of the webcast with no live attendees.

Here's a list of upcoming live MSDN Webcasts at our Program Guide for Developers.   http://www.microsoft.com/seminar/events/developer.mspx

Form your opinion. Let us know what you think.


Georgeo Pulikkathara, MSDN Webcasts guy/person/something


Comments (9)

  1. Bob Baker says:

    Best time for me: 9AM-1PM Pacific Time

    I think if you could go back and look at the Q&A logs for various Webcasts, you would see a pattern where certain topic areas bring a ton of questions, and others have the single, typical, ‘Will this webcast be available later?’ I have been to some where the questions and answers were more interesting and telling than the actual outline presentation. Being able to grab that chatter for later print out was invaluable in those cases.

  2. Alex says:


    1. Allow to post question before webcasts. This will allow presenter to prepare for them and answer them much better.

    2. Add to posted question the questions generated as search in news groups (webcast topic limited to last month). This might make webcast tremendously relevant.

    3. Publish written scripts for whole webcasts and/or Q&A session.

  3. Jeff Clark says:

    I would definately be disappointed to see live webcasts go away. Having the chance to ask questions is key because often presenters touch on something that is of interest to you but don’t go into enough detail or don’t explain something well enough. I think it’s clear from the webcasts I’ve attended (mostly about programming in .Net) that the Q&A provides much of the webcasts useful information.

  4. Steve Willer says:

    Sorry, but as much as I’ve wanted to, I’ve never been able to get the time during the day to watch a whole webcast at a scheduled time. Client demands and various work crises always take precedence.

    In contract, I’ve really enjoyed watching the recorded webcasts because I can skip sections that are boring or slow or irrelevant.

    I hadn’t thought before about how this disallows me from asking questions, but there are ways you can deal with it. You can allow questions beforehand, like someone suggested… but you can also have a feedback-type system for the presenter to ask questions perhaps even a few days later.

    After all, that’s what you’re doing here with the blog…I’m reading your pre-recorded message, and responding to it, and you can respond to me. Why not do the same for webcasts?

  5. Thanks, Steve. Alot of the MSDN Webcast presenters already have weblogs, so maybe I can work with these guys so that they make their weblogs available at the end of the webcast? Will that work? Or would you prefer a webcasts newgroups for these questions?


    Georgeo Pulikkathara, MSDN Webcasts

  6. Steve Willer says:

    Oh, I hadn’t thought it through that much. 🙂

    I guess the most obvious solution would be a link or embedded conversations on the page that contains the webcast playback? If you do it like that, then it wouldn’t matter if a presenter exposes the responses to a blog about the webcast, or something else.

    It would be even neater if you could incorporate it in the webcast interface itself, but that interface may already be too information-dense.

    I guess if I put it another way, thinking about it from a requirements perspective: I would like a link or embedded frame for conversations about the webcast to be…obvious, and focused. I don’t see any reason why a webcasts newsgroup would be better than a link to a blog entry, myself.

  7. Steve Willer says:

    Oh…by the way, Georgeo, one other request.

    Last week, I wanted to watch a webcast, but couldn’t make it. There’s no indication of when it will be available for non-live viewing, and no way to be notified when it is available.

    If you can’t get webcasts available non-live in a very timely fashion after the live version (like an hour later), a great enhancement would be the ability to be notified when it’s available for viewing.

  8. Hi Steve – They’re usually ready within 3 business days, and can be accessed from the same url or from the ondemand section of the Program guide for developers link on the right hand side of this blog.


    Georgeo Pulikkathara, MSDN Webcasts

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