As volcanic ash clouds continue to spread across Europe, causing travel delays and cancellations, more and more businesses and people are turning to the web for conferencing and communication. In the past week, since the widespread air traffic bans began, video and web conferencing is thriving.
According to Advertising Age, web-conferencing services are reporting huge increases in traffic this week. GoToMeeting, a premier web-conferencing platform, saw their traffic double since the volcanic ash began shutting down flights and Cisco and Logitech have seen large increases in traffic as well. Cisco executive Simon Aspinell says, “While the Icelandic ash grounds the planes, we’re also seeing a huge spike in demand for some cloud-based collaboration tools.”
This travel crisis just proves yet again that the Internet makes the world a little smaller. With web conferencing, as well as social tools such as Twitter and Facebook, we are able to communicate with people from all over the world even if we cannot physically get to them.
Meetings and conferences that were planned throughout Europe and the rest of the world are not being cancelled as a result of the ash cloud. Rather, these events are being moved online. In fact, even the emergency meeting that was held Monday by European transport ministers was held via video conference on the web. It will be interesting to see if this rise in video and web conferencing continues, even after the ash cloud has cleared.
What do you think about this phenomenon? Do you think it’s possible that web conferencing and social networks could start to replace business travel in the future?
Image found via The Guardian