Last Thursday, October 25, I participated in a webchat in Spanish for the US Embassy in Mexico titled Asegurando acceso equitativo a la información en Internet en Latinoamérica — Ensuring Equal Access to Information on the Internet in Latin America. It was my first-ever webchat. I’ve done webinars, however webchats are so different. They have a very rapid pace because once you welcome everyone, it is like a free for all. Everyone participating in the session sends their questions in, and all of a sudden you have dozens of questions popping in every two minutes while you try to answer the most you can.
Webchats are a superb communication tool to discuss topics and share information in real-time. I love webinars because they are more quiet, I can run the Power Point slides at my own pace and read my script. But it doesn’t compare to the thrill of a webchat! It is like having an intense conversation with many, many people at the same time – I can’t wait to do another one.
My pre-webchat preparation included sending a list of links to the Embassy organizers to post when I mentioned them. On the day of the webchat, I had half-dozen websites open on my computer, had a word document open with a list of most-useful links on the topic, and had few papers with extra information -just in case. I did post most links but everything happened so fast! I really hope I addressed most of the questions and concerns.
After all, it was fun and it was amazing that people from India, from all countries, were interested in access to information on the Internet in Latin America. I understand that many colleagues from Mexico and the Americas in general including USA, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay, joined the session. I am waiting for stats to share with you. Also coming up: link to the webchat’s transcription.
Many thanks to the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico and to Benjamin Medina for the invitation, and to Claudia for all the phone calls and messages!