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.
A trademark for the term WEBinar (first three letters capitalized) was registered in 1998 by Eric R. Korb (Serial Number 75478683, USPTO) and was reassigned to InterCall. The trademark registration was cancelled in 2007. Learn.com filed a claim for the term "webinar" without regard to font or style in 2006 (Serial Number 78952304, USPTO). That trademark claim was abandoned in 2007 and no subsequent filing has been made.
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.
Webinars are a form of online education whose purpose is to pass skills or knowledge across to those who want to learn. They are very useful and highly detailed in their nature and if they are explaining a concept, nothing will be left out of the explanations. Webinars are important in the modern world where putting together pieces of information in order to muster a skill or some knowledge becomes very hard and involving. However, the use of a webinar cuts down the costs and brings lots of benefits, even including making money with webinars.
Web conferencing software is invoked by all participants in a web meeting. Some technologies include software and functionality that differs for presenters and attendees. Software may run as a web browser application (often relying on Adobe Flash, Java, or WebRTC to provide the operational platform). Other web conferencing technologies require download and installation of software on each participant's computer, which is invoked as a local application. Many web conferencing vendors provide the central connectivity and provisioning of meeting "ports" or "seats" as a hosted web service, while others allow the web conference host to install and run the software on its own local servers. Another installation option from certain vendors allows for use of a proprietary computer appliance that is installed at the hosting company's physical location.
Rather than the 7% or so fee investment banks may charge for flying planeloads of investment bankers around the world, companies like Slack can simply hold a webinar. — Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "After Slack, the IPO market might never be the same," 19 June 2019 Emily's List: An organization dedicated to electing prochoice Democratic women to office by guiding women through their campaigns from start to finish, with trainings, webinars, and volunteer support. — Glamour, "Here’s How You Can Help Women in States With Extreme Abortion Bans Right Now," 15 May 2019 The Liquor and Cannabis Board plans to hold a webinar on October 16 to address questions about its reevaluation of edibles. — Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Washington to ‘reevaluate’ marijuana edibles, crack down on products that might appeal to kids," 5 Oct. 2018 The initial program ran for 12 weeks, with three in-person gatherings in New York, in Austin, Texas, and at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., as well as weekly webinars and weekly individual training sessions with each publisher. — Lukas I. Alpert, WSJ, "Facebook Gives Local Newspapers Tips on How to Boost Subscriptions," 2 Aug. 2018 Correction: This story has been updated to reflect FMCA’s planned webinars are on social media training and video recording. — Maria Elena Vizcaino, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida League of Cities launches organization for local government spokespeople," 26 June 2018 Those looking to ditch their day jobs and start an online business that’s more than a side hustle can tune into a webinar with Regina Renaye, who founded her own virtual assistant business, Anywhere Admin. — Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Weekend business agenda," 29 June 2018 The proceedings will appear via webinar at https://alabamadcnr.adobeconnect.com/redsnapperconference . — Frank Sargeant, AL.com, "White bass, wild turkeys and red snapper in the outdoor news," 21 Mar. 2018 Those looking to get started in the real estate business, even with no prior knowledge, are invited to log in to a webinar on how to make money in real estate investing. — Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Weekend business agenda," 7 June 2018