Last Thursday I found out via Jonathan Eisen's blog that there was a live stream of the Metagenomics 2007 conference. I tuned in over the next couple of days and got a chance to listen to some great presentations. Although, I didn't have any questions I had a couple of offers from people I knew attending that were willing to ask for me. How cool is that?!
I hope that more conferences start webcasting proceedings and/or making the recorded presentations freely available on the internet.
Regardless, there are a few things that are necessary to make a good webcast:
1) All presenters AND questioners must use microphones (this is a good idea regardless of webcasting)
2) High resolution video so that details of the presentation slides can be seen (this is usually a major problem)
3) A nice cross platform streaming media (no windows streaming media)
4) Good encoding so that the majority of internet users have enough bandwidth