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Open source web conferencing gives users a way to participate in meetings, seminars and other conference-style activities via the Internet, but there are some etiquette tips users should follow. Users should announce themselves the first few times they contribute to a discussion, until all participants are acquainted with one another. If the user needs to speak with someone not associated with the web conference, the microphone should be muted. With an open source web conferencing program, the administrator should recognize the program’s code and be familiar with the user community. When the user is speaking and using a web cam, he should look into the camera and not the computer screen.
In open source web conferencing, it is not uncommon for participants who do not know each other to come together. This means it can confuse some users when someone begins speaking, because they may not know who the speaker is. Proper etiquette dictates that each user should announce himself the first few times he speaks, so everyone knows who is talking. If the conference is for a business meeting, then users also should state their position.
It's not uncommon for someone’s phone to ring or someone not associated with the conference to try to speak with the user during an open source web conference. This can lead to awkward and distracting conversations that may have nothing to do with the conference. To keep distractions at a minimum, the user should mute his microphone in these instances — or avoid such instances by turning off the ringer and letting people in the office know he is going to be unavailable for a bit.
Administrators, and regular users to a lesser degree, should have knowledge of the open source web conferencing program’s source code and its programming language. The source code can be examined and changed in an open source program, which allows users and administrators to optimize the web conferencing program for speed or power and will help fix malfunctions. Being acquainted with the web conferencing user community also can help to correct any issues.
Many users have a habit of looking at their computer screen when participating in a web conference, especially if they are using a web cam. If users do this when they are speaking, though, it appears as if they are looking in another direction and are not paying attention. Users may instead want to look directly into the web cam, because this will make it appear as if they are looking directly at the other users.
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