ChatWing is a product that I've reviewed before, but was asked to take another look at it since they've made a lot of changes. It's a nice site - you can create your own chatroom really quickly. New functionality includes the ability to include video straight in the chat box, as well as images and hotlinks. You can also password protect chat and force login and change styles. It also supports 9 different languages. I tried it out yesterday, and it's quite impressive. I shall be using it on my multimedia courses!
Unified Meeting Experience This is another video conferencing tool, with free and paid versions. It says of itself that it's "a cloud service that provides a 3-in-1 meeting platform with HD video
conferencing, mobility and web meetings. UMX also offers the first
available mobile-screen sharing and an innovative hybrid cloud service." There's nothing to install - as long as you've got a webcam of course. The free version gives you an unlimited number of 1-1 meetings, unlimited group meeting for up to 25 people for a maximum of 40 minutes. It's got lots of good features, and though I haven't tried it myself, it looks good.
We're now getting to the point when running online presentations is the way forward. I've been playing around with a few tools to see what works well, and this is one called Knovio. It's really simple to use - you simply get a free account, upload your PowerPoint slides, then record yourself via your webcam, moving foward slide by slide as you do so. Knovio then stores the finished presentation for you, and you can share it via social media, a URL or via an embed code.
I've done a very brief one to show you how it works. The main gripe that I have is over the sound - it's really not very good at all. This may be a problem with my webcam, but I've recorded other stuff without any problems. I did re-record a few times, but it did it every single time, but I'll continue to explore it. I'm impressed enough with it to do so. It's entirely free, mainly because I think they're trying to sell another product off the back of it; KnowledgeVision.
Anyway, here's the video - apologies for the sound quality once again.
I am often asked about the availability of tools to make communications that much easier. HALL | Chat, Share, Connect is the latest one that I've discovered. There's a freebie and paid version, and this is what it does, taken from their website:
Group Chat Rooms
Create a room to stay connected with your team. Rooms
can be open for anyone in your company to join, or set to private for
only invited members.
Features include chat, @mentions, inline previews, file sharing and
Conversations are searchable across all devices.
Have something private to say? Start a side
conversation with a teammate or professional contact. Instant messaging
chat history is stored on the cloud making chat history available across
all your devices.
Meet with your team face-to-face to increase your team’s
productivity with meetings that hold up to 12 people and powerful tools
like screen sharing.
Show your team exactly what you're talking about.
You can share your entire desktop or select a single application window.
Desktop, Web and Mobile
The Hall desktop app runs on Windows and Mac. The Hall web app is 6 times faster than existing enterprise solutions.
Stay connected to Hall 24/7 with the free mobile web app and the iPhone and Android apps.
Your contact list is instantly populated with your colleagues on
Hall who registered with the same email domain.
You can optionally add contacts outside of your company to have your
professional contacts all in one place and ready to communicate in
real-time to get things done.
TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in realtime. You can encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs.
It says of itself: "Host your own online meeting or webinar.We’ve got everything you need – blazing fast desktop sharing, one-touch recording, free phone bridges, no participant downloads, and even attendee analytics – something you won’t find anywhere else…Get Your Free Account!" Confuses me as to why there's a whole section on credit card details and billing however... In the meantime, it looks fast, easy to use and efficient.
Cloudcasting Cloudcasting is an extremely flexible screen communication system. With a couple of clicks of the mouse, you can make your own ‘broadcast’. You can put together a message using powerpoint, text and video. You can enhance this with RSS feeds providing the latest weather forecasts, traffic reports, regional news and sports results. And you publish it. This way you control the ultimate TV channel enabling you to communicate directly and flexibly with your target groups, in a way that captivates their attention. This is a commercial product.