December 8, 2014

The Goldilocks of Online Collaboration

Goldilocks and the 3 BearsTarget audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamI love my Gerris-branded Join.me but it’s limited in scope. It’s perfect for a virtual meeting, for a conference call, for a screenshare, and in support of a pitch, sales call, demo, or razzle-dazzle. It’s international, there are loads of global local numbers so that people can even call in locally, even if they’re at a cafe in Berlin, so it’s pretty handy and it gets global. But it’s not the right tool for webinars or virtual classrooms. There is GoToWebinar, of course, but the price point sells me a mega-yacht when all I really want is a very lovely and blue sea capable sailboat. Join.me is the boat I tow to the launch but I needed something that I could take on an around-the-world blue water cruise. I don’t need an ocean liner for that and GoToWebinar starts at ocean liner.

ClickWebinar has been the Goldilocks solution for me.  While GTW starts at a minumum of 100 attendees for $79/month billed annually ($99 for month-by-month), ClickWebinar starts you off with only 25 attendees for only $22.50/month billed annually ($30 for month-to-month). If I need more, I upgrade.

In addition, you can brand ClickWebinar white label, allowing me to make it my own. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have lived around the world and ran a DC-based business from Berlin, German, for a couple years. Like Join.me, ClickWebinar gets global. It’s been developed abroad and is known for its Simultaneous Chat Translation. Simultaneous Chat Translation allows attendees who are not native English-speakers to engage in the conversation via chat using their own language, automagically-detected, with the understanding that their Spanish, German (and 50 others as it uses Google Translate) will go from their native tongue (where they’re their smartest) to your native tongue (where you have the best comprehension).  The reason why it works is that there are a lot of people who may well comprehend English, for example, but might not feel a little shy about participating in English. It’s a very powerful equalizer, both for Q&A and for mutliligual training and support.

Of course, ClickWebinar also has all the other stuff: destop, browser, or presentaiton-sharing, audio & video conferencing, social media sharing, polling, moderated Q&A and chat, and meeting recording. Like Join.me and GoToWebinar, the littler and bigger, the too hard and too soft, the too small and too big, ClickWebinal also offers mobile support via tablet, Android, and iOS devices.

In a perfect world, I would be able to work from anywhere with absolutely anyone. Thank you, Internet. For me, it’s all about finding my Goldilocks solution, finding the solution that’s just the perfect fit for me.  Until now, I only knew about the dinghy and the yacht. It’s good to know that there are quite a few Enterprise-level solutions for the thing that we digital nomads find ourselves doing more and more: taking all of our meetings online, be it via a quick IM, Skype call, conference call, or full-fledged webinar.

For me, it’s all abou the perfect tool tool for the job. Not too big, not too little, but just right.Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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