Thought I’d throw this up as I’m not long off a session at OnlineMeetingRooms.com with Bernie Goldbach, Joe Garde, Conor O’Neill and Antoin O Lachtnain (author of Making an Impact Online: Creating a Website That Really Works Without Breaking the Bank (Business on a Shoestring)).
The invitation was made to participate in the meeting with the bulk of questions coming from Tipperary IT students calling on various aspects of Antoin’s book, myself adding two cents on photography online for music and hotels (which hopefully made sense). Whatever about the content, the technology available via Online Meeting Rooms provided a perfect opportunity for me to link up with 4 others in various locations (Conor in Cork, Bernie in Limerick, Joe and Antoin in separate locations in Dublin – myself in Kilkenny) and enjoy streaming video and audio, along with an interactive drawing board (multi-user) and separate chat window for making notes, sharing links etc.
My own set up via the iSight (running OSX and surfing via Firefox) was a breeze, Joe guiding me quickly through the Flash setup to get the camera and audio up and running. The option of Flash video of course means that the solution, catering for up to six people at present, is browser and platform independent. Of course, I had already poked around through the screencasts on OnlineMeetingRooms.com and figured out what to do once the meeting room went live but chatting with Joe added a nice personal touch to it.
The whole event also meant I got to sit in on some of the activity at Limerick Open Coffee and get involved in the discussion there, saving a few euro on diesel in the process. The overall experience was very enjoyable, great quality audio, great video too depending on your bandwidth and web cam quality though Bernie had no real difficulties on a shared WiFi node at Absolute Hotel. I think the iSight camera wins hands down in terms of quality though 🙂 I think Conor mentioned something in discussion about becoming more accustomed to online video as a means of delivery and I think I’m the same, having tested out various means of video calling amongst the KilkennyMusic.com crew.
If you need to step away for a minute (as I had to do at one stage – when nature calls, nature calls) you can disable your video and / or audio feed while remaining within the window no problem. Prior to joining the full swing of things at 11:30am I was happily listening to the background banter between Conor and Joe while wolfing breakfast in the office, posting quietly in the chat window (nobody really needs to see you eat breakfast at your desk).
When all is said and done, the experience was a very enjoyable one, something I would have no problem in getting involved in again. Thanks to Bernie for the invitation and Joe for setting it all up.