In May 1995, PictureTel announced LiveShare Plus as a general-use data collaboration product for Windows-based personal computers. The software allowed application sharing, user-granted control of a remote PC, shared whiteboard markup, file transfer, and text messaging. List price was given as $249 per computer. PictureTel referenced an agreement with Microsoft in its announcement press release, and a May 26, 1995 memo from Bill Gates to Microsoft executive staff and direct reports said "Our PictureTel screen sharing client allowing Window sharing should work easily across the Internet."
Depending on the technology being used, participants may speak and listen to audio over standard telephone lines or via computer microphones and speakers. Some products allow for use of a webcam to display participants, while others may require their own proprietary encoding or externally provided encoding of a video feed (for example, from a professional video camera connected via an IEEE 1394 interface) that is displayed in the session.
Real-time text chat facilities such as IRC appeared in the late 1980s. Web-based chat and instant messaging software appeared in the mid-1990s. The PLATO computer learning system allowed students to collaborate on networked computers to accomplish learning tasks as early as the 1960s, but the early networking was not accomplished via the World Wide Web and PLATO's collaborative goals were not consistent with the presenter-audience dynamic typical of web conferencing systems. PLATO II, in 1961, featured two users at once.
To attract more participants, you can start from some free webinars for certain times. Once you can get webinars well prepared, run webinars interactively and show the great value of your webinar, more and more participants will be willing to pay for your entire webinars and then it's a good chance to create paid webinars to monetise your expertise.
After you create your own webinar, it's crucial to prepare your webinars in advance and whenever you are about to undertake the process, be prepared to do a lot of digging. On the Internet, you might have to create an actual live demonstration that shows what the participants would expect from their attempts and other useful links they might need to host their own projects. Preparing a webinar for the learners or peers is an involving process and you must be prepared to spend time in getting all the details correct and going all over it with a fine-tooth comb to avoid releasing a half-baked webinar to eager participants. Only when you prepare the valuable webinar content and hit the market accurately, can you make your own webinar profitable.
Let’s face it. Your audience has been conditioned to think “show me the money” by all the scams, gimmicks and otherwise sketchy products out there (and if not that, through Jerry McGuire movie quips for sure). If attendees still haven’t purchased anything several days after your webinar, they are probably thinking, “Your product sounds great, but show me real results from real people like me.”
Web conferencing may be used as an umbrella term for various types of online collaborative services including web seminars ("webinars"), webcasts, and peer-level web meetings. It may also be used in a more narrow sense to refer only to the peer-level web meeting context, in an attempt to disambiguate it from the other types of collaborative sessions. Terminology related to these technologies is inexact, and no generally agreed upon source or standards organization exists to provide an established usage reference.