I've been asked to pull together a summary of web meeting tools and I'd like to make sure I cover the main contenders in the 'free' and 'paid for' space. If anyone in this well-informed community has a starting point of a resource or has research to share, I would be very appreciative. I will also check out Jane Hart's pages.
And I was interested to note that 'webinar' appears in the banned list of words for 2010 that the Local Government Association (LGA) publishes. This is a list of words and phrases that the public sector are advised not to use when communicating with the general public. Take a look for yourself at http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=17636724
I have recently been involved in the tendering process at work and for me the main contenders were Cisco WebEx and Adobe Connect.
WebEx has Meeting Centre, Training Centre and Event Centre. They are all very similar flavours of the same product. The type of licence you would have would determine cost etc. Adobe Connect is less expensive than Cisco WebEx but isn't as versatile although you can upload courseware into should you wish to do so.
I would check out this page for a good comparison:
Thanks John. I'll take a look through the site you suggest.
I should've mentioned that I am a WebEx user currently. The reason for doing the report is to provide a guide that can be used by some of our colleagues/partners who may not share the same budget (or have nil budget) required for something like WebEx or Connect but are keen to utilise some of the same features that they are familiar with. Also needs to be something for a UK audience.
I'm very interested in this as we are one of those charities with nil budget but a need for webinars (and I definitely don't think there is anything wrong with that as a word! Does what it says on the tin type thing.) I have looked at go-to-webinar and webex. Both a bit costly for us sadly. I'll go and look at Adobe Connect now.
I too would be interested in your evaluation. We currently use AT&T (formerly interwise) and there have been issues with IE7 and IE8 compatibility. Having said that our research has indicated there are no real outstanding leaders in this field and they all have their pros and cons. We are currently looking at Adobe Connect but there are other providers such as Nefsis which is a personal favourite because of its high quality VOIP and video delivery. AT&T are going through an upgrade next month and all bugs should be removed...they say...we await the new version with anticipation but are very receptive to other providers and forums such as this are very useful.
You may want to check out the Adobe.com site re their online collaboration and meeting tool connectnow.
It has the ability to screen share with attendees and connect through chat and voice.
It is very easy to use.
I have used both Adobe Connect Pro and Webex Training Center extensively over the last five years to deliver soft skills training and technical/knowledge content.
I'm currently using Webex (as part of a wider firm-wide licence), but Adobe Connect Pro will always be my favourite. It's extremely flexible and versatile and with a bit of thought, can be configured in such a way as to replicate what you might achieve in a face-to-face classroom.
Webex Training Center, on the other hand, is less flexible and more rigid in terms of how it handles the various features you might want to use to inject interactivity into your sessions. I often find I'm having to flex my webinar designs to fit the capabilities of the Webex software, which you have to do less of with Adobe.
On the plus side, if you're a novice webinar user, then having less to "play with" might be an advantage.
During Tuesday's Learning and Skills Group Conference, we saw lots of great examples of how Adobe Connect Pro could be used to deliver a virtual classroom session. We just need to be very mindful that other platforms may not be as accomodating.
We've used InstantPresenter, DimDim (properly installed on a server), GoToMeeting, and we're now using Elluminate. We've also had successful meetings on Skype, and have also tried out SecondLife. All have pros and cons, happy to share if you wish.