Mar 282011

What’s the right mix of features for your online meeting? The terms aren’t all that consistent, the dust hasn’t settled, and the features set from different vendors are all over the map. Some call it a web meeting when multiple participants can all show video/audio and use a collaborative space for presentation/ whiteboard/ screen sharing. Some call it webinar when presenter(s) can talk thru a presentation/ screen sharing with a group of attendees. Some call it a web conference or online training or online meeting or webcast. A lot of creativity, and, confusion.
Videoblogging Webinar 5/20/10: Brightcove and Get Seen
There’s the big 2: WebEx and GotoMeeting/ GotoWebinar/ GotoTraining. There are pricey solutions costing $125+ per month or $0.33ish per minute per user seat. But none of those fit my needs or my budget.

I’m looking for one that’d do a few key things all in one, and it shouldn’t be that hard, but it sure has been hard to find. I’m looking for a web app (meaning no software download to install for presenter or attendees) that:

  • shows video from presenter webcam,
  • chat room for attendees’ interaction,
  • VoIP or phone dial-in for attendees in listener-only mode,
  • presentation area for powerpoint or desktop sharing,
  • and one-click recording of the session as a downloadable video file.

Other features would be nice but not necessary. I’ve found dozens of solutions that do all but one of what i’ve listed, but not one with all of ‘em. Sigh. Help?

Mar 112010

At SEALS: Southeast Asian Leadership Summit 2010 in San Jose, a conference of 140+ next generation Southeast Asian ministry leaders. Watch the main sessions as they’re being live-streamed. The organizer’s hospitality has been amazing — so encouraged to see the enthusiasm and heart of young leaders eager for God’s glory and caring for all peoples. Here’s a snapshot of who’s here:

I’ll be facilitating a workshop about social media, sort of a different angle than most of the other workshops that are addressing specific ministry issues. So my workshop, titled “Wielding online tools for connecting and collaborating,” is more about online tools & web apps and how they can be used for ministry. My slides are online [created entirely using Google Docs]. Based on discussions that flow from the 2 sessions of the same workshop, I’ll update this post with more links & references.

[updated] Links to Resources mentioned in workshop:

Aug 202009

Here’s what I tell people when I advise someone about which web tool they should use. Summary:

  • Choose twitter if you like to text
  • Choose blogging if you like to write
  • Choose audio podcasting if you like to talk
  • Choose video if you like to talk with your hands

When it comes to having an active online presence, it’s basically about content generation. It’s your personal voice. We’re not talking about having a website – which is more of a brochure, or an interactive one. We’re talking about how to get your voice out there, your ideas, your experiences, your thoughts, your questions, your desire to help make a difference in the world.

As twitter and facebook have become more mainstream, and I hear them talked about everywhere, or overhear it, and it’s not me bringing it up. I’m learning to avoid talking about work-related subjects, which is hard to do, when that work closely aligns with the things I love to do and dream about and think about. I’m avoiding an overused word that begins with “P”. Yes, that’s another blog series in the hopper that I hope to get online soon. Might do some during vacation next week. I am not doing an offline unplugged vacation. Oh, so that was off track rambling.
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Aug 112009

There are few places where followers of Christ can gather and thoughtfully reflect the impact of new media (internet, web, social media, and all that jazz). There used to be the Internet Ministry Conference, and used to be GodBlogCon.

Now there is Christian Web Conference! It’s happening just a month away, September 11-12, at Biola University. (That’s the Los Angeles area, for those of you considering travelling in from afar.) Here’s how the conference is describe itself:

Christian Web Conference is dedicated to fostering fellowship and establishing real life communities among Christians employing web 2.0 technologies to christianly influence the world. The power and appeal of web media technologies is vast. These technologies provide Christians with a new set of Great Commission opportunities.

And how they’re looking to do that:
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May 022009

I’m a web worker. But that term isn’t very common, yet, and I don’t want people misunderstanding it as if there was a connotation. I wind up usually saying, “I work from a home office” or “I telecommute.” More recently, that phrase has become: “I can work anywhere there’s internet.”

Right now I’m in the midst of a heavy travel season: travelling 4 weeks in a row. Not 4 complete weeks away from home, but every week I’ve got a trip away that’ll disrupt the normal routines at home base.

My road warrior gear, whether away or near home, usually consists of: my company-issued laptop (Dell Latitude D630), ear-bud headphones, webcam (QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks), condenser mic (Blue Snowflake), headset, compact power adapter (Targus Travel Power Outlets). I usually get out of the house even when working from the home office, because being home alone is not a healthy thing for my moods and emotional well-being.

On my most recent trip, I used a wired headset (ear-bud headphone + mic) with my iPhone 3G. This does get me more clarity than a bluetooth headset, and I didn’t have to carry the accompanying power adapter. But, in the hustle-bustle of travelling, the wire did get in the way.

A couple weeks ago, I lost my favorite bluetooth headset, Jabra BT500. I’m getting by with a less-comfortable headset until I need a replacement. Doing my part to be frugal in times like these.

Dec 152008

[update 12/17] As this chart shows,chart tokbox spiked as a trend on twitter just 2 days ago, when Tony Steward and crew gathered 50+ people for a group video chat, and locked up browsers everywhere. Watch this one — it could well be the beginning of a viral movement, and not an anomaly. Would be sweet to see another video from Lauren*. + catching on I tell ya, there’s a tokbox multi-user video chat at now. [/update]
[update 12/17 5pm PT] Tokbox is temporarily down. Another sign of viral movement, eh?
Remember the Twitter whale? Sometimes a website being down means the website is getting more popular and the server can’t handle all the people who want in. Or, a website being down means hardware or software failure. [/update]

Yes, 60 people video chatting at once with !! on TwitPic I had signed up for a tokbox account months ago, but didn’t have people to try it out with. So my account signup sat buried in the inbox.

Now webcams are going more mainstream. I noticed (almost?) every laptop at the retail store (starting with the letter B) had a built-in webcam, even the tiny 8″ netbook. And then to hear 2 of my non-tech colleagues get webcams and using Skype for the first time in their lives. (!)

Now that webcams are mainstream (and having broadband internet becoming common helps the cause), I googled for a free web-based multi-user video chat web app. I don’t want to mess with software downloads and installation. I don’t think non-techies want to mess with software either. So, to find tokbox again was a treat. Too bad it locks up when all the CPU cycles are eaten up.

aside: yes, Tokbox handed out tacos outside of Yahoo last week to spread info about their job openings, and spread the good cheer

Dec 112008

While interaction is what makes the web more webby, I’d like to think there are more ways to use the web/ internet.

What I’m thinking of is inbound web content. That is, one-directional internet; you could even call it mobile broadcast.

For years, the President of the United States can freely turn on cable tv to watch CNN or Fox News, so why couldn’t the POTUS pull out a modified blackberry device or gphone or iPhone and get mobile web content?

Having worked at a telecomm company in the past, I’ve heard colleagues say that the said company provided customized telephony to the White House. So, it’s already been a business and government precedence set for custom services to be developed. And, there are cell phones now that get their built-in cameras turned off, right?

It’s reported that Obama will be the first president with a computer on his presidential desk [mobile ver] in that Oval Office. That computer is most likely going to be a MAC. Will Obama using a Mac accelerate its adoption into mainstream? This month was the first time that Windows dropped below 90% market share. [aside: this blog post was composed on 2 Apple products, iPhone and MacBook Pro]

I think he oughta have a unidirectional mobile smartphone to receive near instant inbound web stuff. That’ll keep the questions about the Presidential Records Act moot, and we can keep technological progress progressing. I’m with Bill Brenner, that Obama’s BlackBerry is no security threat: Taking it away could isolate him from the real world.

NOTE: I confess that I haven’t kept up with the news on developments with this issue, so I don’t know if it’s already been resolved. Someone can quickly fact-check and inform me in the comment section.

Yeah, there are possibly many more ramifications and implications that I haven’t considered. Want to voice how frustrating it is for me to see how the laws of the land isn’t able to keep up with the ever-changing ever-developing digital technologies. We’re in an increasingly paperless society.

Oct 092008

Greg Atkinson has been more than zealous during the past year or so in hosting local forums. At these meetups, he’s connected church leaders with one another and surfaced stories of creativity and innovation among followers of Christ. And he’s capturing many of those stories in a forthcoming book that he’s co-authoring with Cynthia Ware and Tony Steward. I’ve lost count of how many Church 2.0 Forums he’s pulled together. And, Greg’s got 3 more lined up for this Fall in Boston (10/17), Tulsa (10/24), and Portland (11/7).
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Sep 012008

Chrome is the name of the new Google browser, releasing on Tuesday, September 2nd. The buzz is spreading all over the web, and onto the mainstream media too.

The official Google blog announces it as: A fresh take on the browser. It’ll be released in a beta version, of course.

Google Blogoscoped has early scoop and screen shots, along with TechCrunch and SearchEngineJournal.

The comic book introducing the concepts behind Chrome was drawn up by Scott McCloud, and is available online here or there or over at agglom.