Conferencing Methods: SacProNet's Computer Committee Experience

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

The Computer and Web Committee is in charge of maintaining and improving www.SacProNet.com. It also works with social Web sites, such as www.LinkedIn.Com and www.Twitter.com/SacProNet. The Committee has conferences on most Thursdays; http://www.sacpronet.com/calendar records their meeting times.

Until recently, the Computer Committee met at a Panera Bread restaurant in Roseville on the first Thursday of the month. However, the Internet is not available there during much of lunchtime. The bandwidth there is not suitable for online/voice conferences. Additionally, meetings in person often require considerable travel time and gas money.

More recently, the Computer Committee has been having online/voice or Web conferences in place of onsite meetings. In fact, most Computer Committee conferences are now Web conferences.

Web conferencing is a service, supported by Internet technologies, that provides for distance conferences. The service usually provides for one sender and several receivers, all in several locations. Web conference applications include training events, lectures, or slide-show presentations. Use of Web-conferencing requires a minimum of preparation, training, and practice.

The Computer Committee has tried two Web-conferencing service and software providers, www.AnyMeeting.Com and www.Mikogo.Com .  Both support presenters and participants. Both permit the changing of presenters. Neither requires the configuration of firewalls.
 
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each service. Here are some of the major features of each.

Feature Any Meeting Mikogo
Ease of Use Easy to use. Must study at least some documentation Easy to use. Must study at least some documentation
Reliability Issues involve Web cams, temporarily cut-off phone connections, freezes of plug-ins, sizes of screens, & malfunctioning videos. No major issues
Participant List during session and support for multiple participants per session. yes yes
Documentation Videos and documentation
FAQs
Adobe Acrobat files
one video. FAQs
Compatibility PC and Mac PC, Mac, & Linux
Screen sharing yes yes
Record session yes yes
Schedule in advance yes yes
Text Chat yes yes
System Test Yes. Needs Java 7.5      installation.  Most people have it on their computers. no. Java 7.5 not needed.
Web cam yes no
White Board no yes
File Transfer no yes
Cost "Free."  Paid for by advertising Monthly fee
Other features are listed at  http://l.anymeeting.com/fullfeatured and http://www.mikogo.com/product/features.

However, thanks to the efforts of one of our own Computer Committee memebers, Mikogo representative Ms. Bernadette Gotz made a special offer to SacProNet. As the result of this offer, Sacramento Professional Network would receive up to three simultaneous sessions for one year, and SacProNet would not need to pay the monthly fee. In exchange, Sacramento Professional Network would promote Mikogo in its professional work as its unique online meeting and presentation medium and solution. In addition SacProNet would post Mikogo’s logo and Web site link on www.sacpronet.com ‘s public home page and provide publicity for Mikogo.

A Mikogo product description is available at http://www.mikogo.com/downloads/docs/mikogo-product-description.pdf. Other documentation including user guides is available at www.Mikogo.Com/download/documents . Alternatively, visit the http://www.sacpronet.com Web site, go to the “Supporters” rotator on the top right-hand corner of that Web page, wait for Mikogo’s blue, green, and white icon to come into view, and then click the link under it.

For more information regarding this blog, please email Webmaster@SacProNet.Com.