Esther Schindler at CIO.com wrote a nice article that gives pointers on how to run effective virtual meetings. As management consultant Steven M. Smith notes at the top of the article, many people in organizations don't know how to run effective in-person meetings. With so many organizations having geographically dispersed workforces, developing those skills and applying them to virtual meetings is critical to productivity. Pet peeves get deserved prominence throughout the article.
One of the first pet peeve examples, a meeting participant subjecting the entire team to hold music, ranks high up there in terms of being disruptive to productivity. Giving the meeting host the ability to mute the offending line really makes a difference. If one participant has dialed in from a phone with poor line quality or a cell phone, it can net the same result, the static or street noise can override other participants trying to weigh in.
Even for people that have good meeting skills, I recommend looking it over. The article is a quick read and positive reinforcement on the basics often lost to hectic workdays, e.g. including meeting agendas in invites, should pay dividends at least for the next month or two of meetings.
On the topic of editorial, I wanted to give my congratulations to Dan Farber and Larry Dignan at ZDNet. Dan Farber is taking over editorial operations for ZDNet's CNet's sister site, News.com. Larry Dignan is taking over for Dan as Editor in Chief of ZDNet. Having worked for Dan when he was Editor in Chief of PC Week (now eWEEK) I can say he is an excellent manager, editor, and writer. I also worked with Larry at PC Week and eWEEK, he too is a top notch manager, editor, and writer, best wishes to both.
Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebEx