Daily Archives: February 8, 2007

Yugma Conferencing – tough to beat free

The Webinar Blog: Cheap And Easy – Yugma Web Conferencing

More about Yugma (related post) from a blog focused on Webinars/WebConferencing. The author spent time reviewing Yugma and talking with Yugma’s COO, Karl Lukas, about the product and company.

Karel tells me that the company spent time analyzing how to meet the demands of the largest possible market for web conferencing software. They decided that the masses were calling for several features: They wanted something that was easy to learn and use, with a very simple interface. It had to work on a variety of computer platforms. And it had to be inexpensive. Yugma built a product dedicated to fulfilling those goals.

Karel says that while real-time group collaboration is the “sweet spot” for Yugma, it has also been successfully used for 1-to-many presentations with up to 50 people in the audience. Still, the product at this time doesn’t support formal structured webinar features such as audience registration, password control, polling, and reporting, so I am more comfortable classifying it as a collaborative group conferencing product at the moment.

There’s much more in the blog post, but all in all, it looks like my initial analysis was right: it’s not as full-featured as some other conferencing apps, but it certainly has enough to do what I, individually, and many small companies, would need. And they have an active development plan, too!

[tags]Yugma, webinar, webconferencing[/tags]

Animated Star Wars – gettin’ ready to rock

Slice of Scifi – Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » Animated Star Wars Moving Along

The animated Star Wars series is on track. Some tidbits from Ron Coleman, animation supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic:

  • Fifteen episodes are currently in various stages of production
  • One episode is fully completed and two more are nearly done
  • How do they look? “They’re looking fabulous, they’re looking great….,” stated Coleman. “Our stuff is incredible compared to what’s out there…”
  • Some licensees have reviewed available footage and the reaction has been very positive

[tags]Star Wars, animation, TV[/tags]

Collaborative Storyboarding

Why Collaborative Storyboard Technology Is Mission Critical

This is an excellent article extolling the virtues of collaboration for storyboarding your courses (and a little push for storyboarding itself). It doesn’t specifically promote a single commercial product, though it does highlight XStream Software’s tool at the end, but rather focuses on the generic benefits of collaboration in the Instructional Designer/Subject Matter Expert interaction.

I’m an easy sell for this kind of thing, but it certainly sold me on the concept. Less administration, more confidence, more accountability…. I’m in.

I was hoping to find a good, fully mature tool. I’ll have to keep my search going. However, I’m starting to investigate wikis and this seems like a good use for the right wiki. Unless I really luck out, I don’t think a wiki will do as good a job as a focused tool, but it may be close enough.

One thing I really like about this article, though, is the summary sidebar, “Storyboarding at a Glance.” It does a good job of providing the overall structure for the article’s arguments.

[tags]instructional design, wikis, collaboration, storyboarding, training[/tags]

Web 2.0 applications / free conferencing

Okay, the term “Web 2.0″ is utterly useless, but you gotta admit, there’s some cool stuff out there.

Instead of listing all the cool apps that will make your life wonderful, I’ll just list one: Go2Web20.net will help you find the app(lication) you are looking for. It’s basically a [tag]Web 2.0[/tag] enabled index of a slew of Web 2.0 tools.

For example, searching that site for “[tag]webconferencing[/tag]” got me to Yugma – which is a free, cross-platform alternative to expensive business tools like Microsoft’s Live Meeting, or WebEx. My guess is that it’s not as fully featured as the corporate tools, but it seems to have everything I’d need for personal use, like helping my sister-in-law troubleshoot some issues on her computer. And for a small business it still may do the trick. It even seems to place a value on security, which is excellent.

In trying to find some more information on [tag]Yugma[/tag], I also ran across a competitor – the equally free Vyew. There are some technological differences between the two (e.g., [tag]Vyew[/tag] is [tag]Flash[/tag]-based, while Yugma employs some Java and requires an installation), but their goal is the same – [tag]information sharing[/tag] and [tag]collaboration[/tag]. They both even offer free [tag]teleconferencing[/tag] bridging (though not toll-free numbers).

There have been a few times that I’ve been tempted to use my work conferencing account to make some personal tasks a little easier (though I’ve managed to hold off). Now I think I might just have found a viable option!

[tags]WebEx, LiveMeeting, Go2Web20[/tags]