Web conferencing is the way to go if you need to collaborate with people who are sitting miles away from you, may be in a different hemisphere of the globe. The thing about good web conferencing tools is that they don’t come cheap. You could of course use different tools, like Skype for calls and screen sharing, Google Docs or sync.in for collaborating on documents etc but there’s nothing like having a single tool that has all of that, and is free!
So, today I will introduce you to LiveMeeting, a new service that provides an entire range of web conferencing tools at the right price – $0. As you will see in the post, this tool is surprisingly feature-rich for a free tool.
Visit LiveMinutes homepage few minutes before you plan to host a meeting. If you are in a hurry you can click on Stat Sharing button to start your web conference but if you need to save your work for later reference then do signup, it hardly takes time.
As soon as you start a conference you will be given your unique meeting URL. You must now share it with all your contacts you need to invite for the meeting. Don’t forget to click on Join Now button to start the meeting before you start inviting anyone.
As any user joins the meeting he will be prompted to login. If the person doesn’t have an account on LiveMinutes then he can either make an account before he joins or just provide a temporary alias to begin the meeting.
Once any of your associates has joined the meeting you could get started. On the left sidebar you can see a list of all the participants while on the right you have the collaboration area.
To start video conferencing the user must click on the big green button next to his name on the left-sidebar.
On the right, you can do various things like using a whiteboard or upload and collaborate documents or create a map based survey. Users can use more than one collaboration tool at the same time. For example, if you guys need two whiteboards, one for lets say annual income chart and second for inventory control, LiveMinutes has option for that as well. You can also use Google Image search to import images.
Everything in LiveMinutes is reflected in real time. Like, if a person starts scribbling on a white board, it will be reflected on the screen of every associate in the meeting in real time. Also every member can see the mouse pointer of every other individual who is in the meeting.
If you think the video conferencing of LiveMinutes is a bit humdrum you can always switch to Skype from the web app itself. Again if your data connectivity speed is not able to cope up with all the live streaming you can always use the conventional text based chat to interact with your associates.
Finally when you are done with the meeting you can click on the Preview Minutes tile on home screen to get minutes of the meeting. The report contains everything said and written in the meeting so you can keep track for future endeavors.
So next time you host an online meeting you know how to make it collaborative and smooth.
LiveMinutes is an amazing tool to conduct web conference or an online meeting without the need to install any software and is completely free without any limitation of any kind. Simplicity is its USP, if you ask me, and it can be used by professionals as well as home users for different activities. I will use it to conduct my next project meet, what about you?