What is a Netmeeting?

Netmee­ting describes the concept of hosting a virtual online meeting through the use of web-based colla­bo­ra­tion tools or soft­ware. During a netmee­ting, the user can chat via text, audio, share files, and view a common white­board. Netmee­tings can be conducted through web confe­ren­cing soft­ware, such as webi­nars, instant messenger proto­cols, and other online meeting soft­ware.

Uses for Netmeetings

Netmee­tings are utilized to connect remote groups of people for meetings. Through the use of desktop sharing soft­ware, indi­vi­duals share docu­men­ta­tion real-time. Indi­vi­duals parti­ci­pa­ting in netmee­tings for busi­ness, share slide presen­ta­tions or engage in e‑Learning and online tuto­ring. The presence of the white­board appli­ca­tion in some netmee­ting soft­ware allows users to share most forms of data in an inter­ac­tive environment.

Advantages of Netmeetings

Netmee­tings save on travel time and expenses. Internet confe­ren­cing and web presen­ta­tions are conducted remo­tely in an inter­ac­tive envi­ron­ment through the use of netmee­ting soft­ware. Some online meeting soft­ware offer more features than others. Webinar soft­ware allows meeting parti­ci­pants to view the presenter’s remote desktop and presen­ta­tion, with limited inter­ac­tive access with the parti­ci­pants during the presen­ta­tion. In most Webinar meetings, parti­ci­pants are only allowed to interact with the mode­rator at the end of the presen­ta­tion to avoid frequent inter­rup­tions from poten­ti­ally thou­sands of parti­ci­pants. The mode­rator poss­esses the control over the amount of inter­ac­tion he or she would like from parti­ci­pants during a presentation.

Using online colla­bo­ra­tion soft­ware, the presenter can iden­tify items of inte­rest in the presen­ta­tion with a poin­ting tool on the white­board. The presenter can also circle points of inte­rest and write special notes on the white­board, as if he or she were in a board­room presen­ting slides.

An online colla­bo­ra­tion tool is also useful in educa­tional envi­ron­ments such as distance lear­ning soft­ware for the purposes of online educa­tion. During a netmee­ting, the tutor or instructor can write a mathe­ma­tical equa­tion on the white­board. Then, the instructor can assist the student by solving the equa­tion and coaching via text chat or via voice chat. Assis­tance can be furthered by remote access, which will allow the instructor to remo­tely control the mouse and keyboard of the student. The tool allows indi­vi­duals to meet quickly when travel is not an option.

How Netmeetings Work

Netmee­tings can be conducted through the use of Ethernet, VOIP and messa­ging appli­ca­tions. In order for callers to connect to an indi­vi­dual via the Internet, each user must be online. Once each user is online, one user initiates a call to another by an iden­ti­fying email address. Alter­na­tively, the user may be given a login and a pass­word to access the webinar from a parti­cular web page.

Once the connec­tion is estab­lished, each user can initiate certain actions. The user can listen, view the visual presen­ta­tion, and respond. In some netmee­tings, the user can initiate the white­board sharing appli­ca­tion or a file sharing appli­ca­tion, if the soft­ware is available. The user’s actions at one loca­tion are viewed by other users at a remote loca­tion in real-time. It is helpful to have a mode­rator, so some sort of meeting protocol or etiquette is estab­lished. If the user plans to utilize the audio portions of netmee­tings, the computer should be equipped with a sound card. Audio is not neces­sary for data sharing only.