In the Wall Street Journal, Jared Sandberg makes a beautiful case for video conferencing.

People are easily distracted. The wireless and laptop technologies available today have really given the economy a great productivity boost, but at a huge etiquette cost. These technologies made it easy for people to work any where, at any time, and unfortunately they do.

Haven't you participated in a conference call where:

  • somebody flushed a toilet
  • someone had a TV blaring in the background
  • somebody put the conference bridge on 'music on hold'
  • somebody was supposedly listening in, but burst out laughing or otherwise causing a disruption
  • somebody sneezed directly into the phone
  • somebody on speakerphone made an off-color remark that was overheard by someone causing an embarrassing moment
  • somebody is doing something else during the conference call and when called on needs to have the question repeated

Video conferencing can bring us closer to the undivided attention of the participants mode, in more appropriate venues (I dare you to bring a video cam into the toilet stall with you).

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