Webex's core product MeetMeNow was quietly updated last night with some new features. New on the list is support for Webcams (both PC and Mac), which will automatically be detected and let the conference host know who's got video-conferencing capabilities. They've also condensed all video into one area of the interface, where the host can choose which cameras get broadcasted to others in the meeting. It's a quirky system, and not nearly as advanced as some of the collaborative services that offer up multiple user Webcams at the same time like Octopz (review), or even chat … Read more
Answer: Most likely.
Valleywag first heard the news when a keynote speaker at a Vancouver-area "Facebook Developer Garage" event on Tuesday had to cancel in advance because he learned that he had to be present for a company all-hands meeting that day. The gossip blog promptly speculated that something rather big might be on the way very soon.
To do some investigation, I promptly checked my Facebook friends list to see if any company employees who have kindly "friended" me had anything incriminating in their "status" messages. I won't quote them directly, nor … Read more
Outgoing and adventuresome types who don't like lunching alone might want to try out Noonhat, an experimental site that connects people looking for midday companionship. (For lunch, you pervert.) The site launched nationwide during Gnomedex. It's simple to use: you locate your position on a Google map, select the radius you're willing to travel for lunch, and enter in your e-mail and your desired lunch date. On the morning of the date, you're sent a notification with e-mail addresses of people looking to dine in the same area, if there are any.
And that's it. … Read more
Microsoft's Tahiti project (not to be confused with the forthcoming Fiji update for Vista), has been given a new name this morning. Now known as SharedView, the 3MB download is available to anyone who wants it, assuming they've got a Windows Live ID, a Windows PC, and collaborators willing to install it.
It's a little early for a hands-on with SharedView, but it feels polished for a work in progress. Here are my impressions so far:
Sending invites to join SharedView is fairly simple, although Microsoft assumes you're using their services, including Windows Live Hotmail and … Read more
Octopz (pronounced 'Octopus') is a Web-based, online collaboration tool for small groups. It's one of the many companies presenting at next week's Web 2.0 Expo here in San Francisco, and is making its public launch on Monday.
Octopz runs in its own browser window and uses Adobe Flash to mix a whiteboard space with live text, voice, and video chat. The workspace has an area to upload and share files with other group members. Each uploaded file gets its own folder, which houses any edits made by group members. For example, if you're making notes on a digital photograph, other members can create a copy of that photo and add their own notes. Each version is neatly stacked underneath the original. All group edits are saved and stored, and can be shared and edited later for asynchronous collaboration.
Things get a little tricky with Octopz's multiuser controls. Anyone can grab control of the workspace at any time, which in testing led to some minor power struggles. There's also not a way to keep track of which group member made which edits, either with a history or differentiating colors per each user. Despite these issues, Octopz handled a four-person conference from three different geographical locations smoothly.
Octopz comes in at $99 per month per license, which is twice the cost of the standard version of Adobe Connect. However unlike Acrobat Connect, Octopz lets businesses create an unlimited amount of rooms and users, something you don't even get with Adobe's professional level of Acrobat Connect service.
Update: Fixed pricing clarification regarding comparison to Acrobat Connect. Also, Octopz was picked as one of our Top 5 favorites from the Web 2.0 Expo earlier this month.
For more screenshots of Octopz in action, keep reading.
Microsoft is hard at work on a new consumer-targeted screen-sharing and collaboration tool, code-named Tahiti. Microsoft's landing page describes it as an "easy way to share documents and screen views with small groups of friends or coworkers; anytime, anywhere."
Each group member is assigned a mouse pointer and an editing color when working the group works together on Office documents. There's also a feature called 'handouts,' which is a storage space for documents or files you want to share with the group. The tool has no integrated voice or chat features, but Microsoft will likely add … Read more
Zoho, makers of more than a dozen office and productivity tools, have announced a new meeting app called Zoho Meeting. It's currently in private beta and will be available to all Zoho users next month.
Zoho Meeting is screen-sharing without the need to install an application, as we've seen with Vyew, Yugma, and others. It also integrates Zoho Chat, allowing participants to talk without the need for a separate phone solution, although an integrated VoIP solution is said to be coming soon. What may be the standout feature is the ability to record, save, and share meetings for … Read more
The deal with Zoodango is it will attempt to combine the over-sharing personal elements of MySpace or Facebook ("lifestyle information"), the impressive-credential listing and resume jargon ("professional information") of LinkedIn, and the time-honored coffee-shop get-together. Yes, Zoodango has a fairly novel approach to … Read more
Planypus is a new service that lets you set up a group event or outing without knowing all the details. For example, you can create a "Drinks tonight" plan and send it to a bunch of friends with several different places and times to meet. Your friends pick the options that work for them. You, as the organizer, select the one combination that's best for the group (or for you, depending), and when you press Finalize, everybody gets an update with the plans, which they can import into their calendars.
It's the social counterpart to the … Read more
From the Web 2.0 Conference:
Most of us waste a lot of time trying to find times for meetings. Inside a company, Microsoft Outlook users (on Exchange servers) can see the times their coworkers are free and busy. It's a good start, but when we want to schedule a meeting with multiple people or meet with people outside our company, everything can quickly fall apart. TimeBridge is trying to solve this problem, with a system that handles the negotiation of finding meeting times.