Virtual synod a success with viewers

Published September 1, 2001

Waterloo, Ont.

WHILE the meeting of General Synod was limited to about 400 members and visitors who packed the hall at the University of Waterloo, hundreds, perhaps thousands more people virtually visited synod via a broadcast on the World Wide Web.

Despite the occasional glitch, reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Former synod members and even one-time General Synod staff e-mailed Web site staff thanking them for the opportunity to share in the proceedings, which many felt were especially historic, considering the church’s vote for full communion with the Lutherans, the participation of indigenous partners and the possibility that it would be the last meeting of the national church in its current incarnation.

There were more than 5,800 connections made to the Webcast over the week; most of those (nearly 4,800) were to the live broadcast. (It is impossible to tell how many different people visited the Webcast; the statistics only reveal the number of connections or visits.)

In addition to the live broadcast, the Web site also archived many moments of synod so that visitors could access them later.

About 1,000 connections were made to the archived video.

Not surprisingly, the technology did not always work as planned.

The prolocutor routinely welcomed Web watchers each evening. The first evening, when Archdeacon Rodney Andrews welcomed cyber-visitors and thanked the diocese of Montreal for its financial sponsorship of the Webcast, it was momentarily dead.

The welcome was only heard by those in the plenary hall.

The Webcast cost about $2,000.


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