To Clarify: Is it a Webinar, Teleclass, Teleseminar, Online Webcast?

This past Fall I co-hosted a series of classes for our Broadcast Louder Series on both the telephone (call-in) and Webcast (Powerpoint slides with audio) and more classes are scheduled for this Spring, beginning in April.

Through this online and telephone process and taking other people’s classes also, everybody seems to call what they are doing something different. It’s time to clarify what each of these are!

Broadcast Louder guest from Fall 2011Webinar or Webcast?

(from Wikipedia) The term webinar is short for Web-based Seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web, specifically a portmanteau of web & seminar, to describe a specific type of web conference. Some argue that webinars might be one-way, from the speaker to the audience with limited audience interaction, so one-way broadcasts are perhaps more accurately called webcasts. Webinars themselves may be more collaborative and include polling and question & answer sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. In some cases, the presenter may speak over a standard telephone line, while pointing out information being presented onscreen, and the audience can respond over their own telephones, speaker phones allowing the greatest comfort and convenience.

Teleclass or Teleseminar?

(from Wikipedia) Teleseminars are used to provide information, training, or promote or sell products to group of people interested in a particular topic. They are similar to traditional seminars, in content and purpose, but they are given over a teleconference or bridgeline rather than at a specific location.

It is an emerging way to communicate, provide teletraining, and conduct business without the cost of travel. The host of the teleseminar will schedule a specific time and date in advance to communicate with his/her audience. The audience can vary in size from a few callers to 1,000 participants depending on the capacity of the bridgeline used and the popularity of the topic being discussed.

These conference calls are typically recorded. There is typically a fixed period of time devoted to the presentation of information followed by another fixed period of time for questions and answers.

Teleseminars provide an opportunity for a host to provide information to a large number of people at one time. It allows a trainer to train many participants at once, one on many rather than one on one. It also eliminates the need for travel, expensive preparation and presentation material costs. These factors make teleseminars a very cost effective delivery method.

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Webinar, Webcast or Teleseminar?

Okay so I have borrowed the above descriptions from Wikipedia and they still seem about the same. I guess the only difference is one is on a telephone and one is via the web. But if my control panel for calls is on the web, even if I’m talking via a phone, or if I chose not to use Powerpoint slides and it was displaying just audio, isn’t it still a webcast? Thoughts?