Thursday, July 28, 2011

Web Conferencing Tools - High & Low End

If you've been following me you will know that I think a lot about design, user interface and usability. In looking for other web conferencing apps I was happy to finally find a graphic oriented conference program, Sococo. About 8 years ago when I first got involved in eLearning and was doing a lot of investigating, I wanted what I couldn't find. Sococo has it. A total rethinking of the way web conferencing / remote business should be conducted.
  • Everyone gets an avatar that displays connectivity and spatial information.
  • There are offices and meeting rooms that look like offices and meeting rooms.
$50/month gets you 1000 participants and you can set up multiple spaces. There are a slew of other features that make this app something to consider including multiple teamscreens/app sharing with a built in browser for surfing the net together while in a conference rather than relying on an external browser and an app share for the moderator.

I hope that other companies follow this model because it makes so much more sense than what everyone else has and does. Look-See-Understand.

On the other end of the web conferencing spectrum is Big Blue Button, an open source web conferencing app. Those interested in open source and have the ability to deploy apps from their own servers should look at this one. Though it is not graphically oriented but follows the same layout as all the rest, it looks like a promising alternative to commercial products. It integrates with a few eLearning platforms such as Moodle and Sakai as well as some CMS such as Drupal and Wordpress. It does not yet have the full feature set of others but I'm sure it will if there is continued support and development.

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