Over the past six months, I’ve experiemented with a number of tools for both web presentations and virtual meetings (and even learned to think about the difference between the two!). I’ve used ReadyTalk, GoToMeeting, AdobeConnect and Skype (with a plug-in).
GoToMeeting was dismissed in one instance in favor of ReadyTalk’s larger capacity, recording capability, and integrated voice and presentation link. In another instance, the audio only connected via phone and not online.
ReadyTalk has a great low-cost subscription on TechSoup (and a free trial online). Plus, they have free webinars available to anyone, awesome customer service, and they are a Colorado-based company. What more can you ask for?
Being the Luddite I am, though, I’m going to hang with Skype for the time being.
Mostly, I need an online meeting tool, but since those can drag on, it’s nice to be able to share screens and chat. Unyte is a plug-in for Skype that does just that. So does Mikogo, apparently. I haven’t tried either, but as a comfortable Skype user, they are next on my list. This dual-solution is not going to be the best for formal presenations like trainings, or recordings.
My other favorite tool for sharing info online, though it doesn’t really count as a presentation tool per se and it doesn’t have audio, is the free, recordable ‘chat’ function of CoverItLive.
Other tools I’ll try:
Wiggio 10 participants, dial in only via long-distance #. Good ongoing collaboration tool, as it calendars dates, has a chat and a message function, and allows file upload and management. No cost (September 2009)
Jing is a lot more hip–it’s more into instant sharing, and you can also record a training on your computer via screen shots, e.g. going through a PowerPoint. It’s currently free and the site says it plays well with other upgrade plug-ins.
Vyew has options for both phone and VoIP audio, and lots of control feature like hand-raising and polling.
Plus–I’ve heard these are worth investigating: dimdim, vimeo, moodle, yugma, audacity, google moderator, and glance…
Idealware covers some of the web conferencing tools out there. Today, many are full-featured enough to fulfill needs for online meetings. So, if you’re holding meetings rather than conducting trainings online, check out some of the free online conferencing tools–they may just meet your needs and are overlooked when you think about webinars and online training.
Lastly, TechSoup is the best resource for any kind of tech comparison or reference for non-profits seeking software solutions–and they recently held a webinar on producing webinars. Listen to the recording and find lots of helpful ‘how-to’ info here.