Teleconferencing from India

Alternate title: Why we need poor virtual meeting environment visualizations in realtime!

I've never been a fan of 3+ person conference calls. I wonder if anything other than Cisco telepresence (from 24) will fix it.

After the usual "we have to setup webex" type shennigans where 20 people watch a WebEx installation progress bar, I spent two hours in a teleconference meeting hearing an introduction to scrum.

I heard the Pigs and Chickens story retold over a WebEx with a LiveOps' twist and that was funny.

The presenter did a good job of rolling through his PowerPoint presentation (window maximized into slide-show mode or not), but the handling of the Q/A went poorly. I think only 2 people were in Santa Clara: the presenter and one other individual (a PM), and the rest of the audience was in India.

Most of the questions came from the remote PM, but he did not speak into the phone and asked very long multi-minute questions that the presenter did not consistently repeat before proceeding with his answer. It really killed the meeting for me.

A representative in India pointed out to the PM a few times "we can't hear you over here," but the problem never got solved.

I wonder if there's some way of visualizing this "disconnection of communication" like some kind of teleconference gong-show. If enough people report the speaker is unintelligible, an alert is raised. People could provide feedback with an analog dial... Right side "I am able to follow the conversation" (green), left side "I can't hear a thing" (red), and the aggregate could be shared with the presenter or everyone so we'd know there's a problem.

It wouldn't need to be done through webex - an iphone app could post events to Varan - lol. Some other dial could register philosophic agreement, like those instant-feedback CNN overlays shown during the presedential debates. An individualized application like that might make Scrum "planning poker" a little more fun.

I think that'd be more helpful than just twiddling my thumbs waiting for someone to finish speaking and hope the next person is going to summarize what's going on so I can catch up.

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