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The Raleigh-Durham Web Design Group Message Board General Meetup Talk › Request For Comments on an On-line Meetup Tool

Request For Comments on an On-line Meetup Tool

Mitch A.
Rolesville, NC
Recently, member George in Raleigh inquired about holding on-line meetings. One topic that came up was what tools are out there that will serve us the best.

We'd like your thoughts. This message will be posted to the message board in the General discussion area, and we'd appreciate any insight or feedback you might give on conferencing and collaborating tools for an on-line meetup.

We are a volunteer group, so free or low-cost alternatives are attractive.  Members use PCs, Mac, and even Linux systems, so single-platform clients are less attractive.  Some of the more obvious options are:

  • GoToMeeting
  • Join.Me
  • Yugma
  • ­Mikogo
  • Skype
Yugma's free offering stands out. It integrates with Skype, and allows up to 20 participants on-line. But what are your experiences with any of these tools in a conferencing scenario? We'd like to know.

- Mitch
A former member
Post #: 1

If you can find a server someone is willing to donate to the project, why not use an open source conferencing solution for free?

Here are two:

BigBlueButton was designed for University remote teaching, but works great.­

The other is DimDim, which has an open source version available here:­

Apex, NC
Post #: 59
Hi Mitch,

I've attended some webinars on GoToMeeting, though I've had connection issues during some of the events. There's also Webex, which is now owned by Cisco. Those seem to be the most popular.

A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Every one.
I moved from RDU area to Atlanta, GA and I miss attending the meetings.
My two cents worth for having a online meetings is and I am providing a link below.
I have watched the 30 day challenge conducted from Australia by Ed Dale
(­ ). http://... challenge dot co /training/ )

more than 1000 people can be on line.­
http: // www dot ustream dot tv / login-signup?ref=%2Fdashboard
I gave the alternate text in case the link fails.

This is a very good system. I actually used it to show my daughters wedding from my laptop to my family in India and who could not attend due to timing conflict.

This is very easy to use and I would love to attend the web design meetings so,
count me in.

Hi Mitch, if you want to try and see how this works, I can establish a channel and we can have a dry run to see how it works. Please let me know.

A former member
Post #: 36
jfyi - I recently encountered problems with using GoToMeeting on a Mac using Firefox.

After missing 40 minutes of an hour's seminar I finally got hold of someone in support who informed me that I should be using Safari if I want it to work properly.

Something to keep in mind if you end up with GoToMeeting.
Don R.
user 13360571
Morrisville, NC
Post #: 1
Hello All,

We use, and are a hosted solutions provider of, Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). The Live Meeting component has a very user-friendly desktop sharing function. The solution comes with voice and video conferencing and secure Instant Messaging (IM) with Presence Indicators so you can find out if the person you want to connect with is at their desk before you launch a meeting. There is no limit on the number of simultaneous connections. Additionally, we provide Public Instant Message Connectivity (PIC) allowing you to use a single Instant Messaging platform that integrates with Microsoft Live, AOL and Yahoo IM so you can switch between secure and non-secure IM transmissions.

Sorry to be so tacky with a plug for our services but this is an option that was not considered in the original post.

if you are interested in learning more about Microsoft OCS go to -­. Pricing for this solutions starts as little as $3.95 monthly per user.

BTW, if it’s a choice between Go To Meeting and Webex, Go To Meeting gets my vote. It always seemed a lot more reliable and faster than Webex. However, I prefer Microsoft OCS with Live Meeting.

Hope this helps,
Mitch A.
Rolesville, NC
Post #: 175
We're looking to brainstorm right now rather than artificially restrict, so rather than comment on any of the replies so far I'll just say that the earlier suggestions were meant to facilitate discussion rather than to be restrictive.

Thanks for all the replies. Any other input is of course welcome!
Mitch A.
Rolesville, NC
Post #: 176
OK, so in response to today's canceled meetup, I decided to look at Skype a bit.

I'll be available on Skype for voice conference calling. Anything beyond that on Skype looks like it could be a really horrible rabbit hole from what I've just seen.

I tried Mikogo and the SketchPad extras, and uninstalled them both almost immediately.

With Mikogo, I installed and invited another account. The other account had to install the extra too, after which it asked if we wanted to invite others to use Mikogo. I invited the other account again. Again, it acted as if the extra was not installed and re-installed it. I tried again, and again... restarted Skype on both ends... it was an endless loop.
During the uninstall process my AVG antivirus warned me that it was trying to do something fishy, apparently trying to launch the browser. I downranked it on Skype and moved on.

SketchPad installed, both ends. Then an invite was done, which did not show up on the other account. Apparently this is a known problem, because the SketchPad screen mentions that invites can be done through IM. I send an IM invite, which doesn't show up right away because the IM chat screen is closed by default on the conference call screens. The link is there, however, it does not work. Nothing happens when clicked. I restart the Skype, check the versions, etc etc.

Nothing "just works" in Skype beyond making phone calls and peer-to-peer chat, which seem to just work great.

Those kinds of experiences are what motivated me to set this thread, and the topic for the January meetup, since it can cost several hundred dollars of one's own time to serve as a software crash test dummy.
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