Stackoverflow.com commentary about CodeRage III Virtual Conference
Here's a posting that starts with the leading question, Why weren't you at CodeRage III? Of course, lots of people were, but apparently not in sufficiently inspiring quantities. The results are also skewed by the fact that there's not much advantage to watching the talks in real time; you can just go watch the archived versions instead at your convenience.
The fact that they used LiveMeeting (= Windows client only) and their real-time IM thingy didn't use LiveMeeting (= have to load two weird apps at once), and the fact that you had to go through a complex registration process to attend (= too much effort) didn't help either. I wonder if there are any free webcasting services that would have worked better? I really like glance.net for doing webcasts, but I have a feeling 200+ attendees at once might bog the system down.
Still, I find the idea of a virtual conference really interesting, and IMHO it worked much better than I would have expected at first. The idea of having a pre-recorded webcast demo, but having the presenter live in the IM chat at the same time, is very clever. It means you get more than double the time for questions, and yet the presentation itself never goes overtime, since it was pre-recorded. Now if only you could view the live chat in the archives just like the original presentation...