First rule of online teaching: Backup plan!

I’ve been working for months on a series of three webinars on how to use social media  marketing for business. Practiced them with a host of very patient friends, clients, and acquaintances. I finished tweaking the first one (again) this morning. The first class was scheduled for this afternoon. (I was going to start the series last week and had to postpone due to a bad cold. I still have a bit of a cough.)

Then the universe played a very bad cosmic joke. My content was tweaked, proofed, ready. I had even read the webinar service’s manual. I was ready to teach in half an hour. Then, my wireless router went out. No internet. I went upstairs, rebooted the router. It’ll come back on. It always does.

Not this time. My network had disappeared. Poof! Only 20 minutes to showtime and I had nothing. Nada. Bupkis. This was kind of like the bad dream where you’re in front of an audience and you realize you’re totally unprepared.

Well, I wasn’t unprepared. I was completely cut off from my audience due to the failure of a little black box. Now what?

In my panic, I remembered that I did have a live internet connection. I just couldn’t plug into it in the basement where my office is. But I could bring the computer to the modem. Two very rapid trips up the stairs with laptop, keyboard, mouse, notes and headset. Plugged in, and connected. Started to breath normally. All with 5 minutes to spare.

It did make a good opening story for the webinar. But I’d rather lead with something else next time.

Tomorrow (after I buy a new wireless router) I will add to my list of preparations for the next webinar.

Router goes out. Backup: use direct connection upstairs.

Hope I don’t need it again.