As we covered on OStatic today, the excellent open source online conferencing application Dimdim is out in a new version 4.5. If you use other free online meeting applications, there were already solid reasons to consider Dimdim instead, and the new version adds a co-browsing set of features that could make it the application for you.
SynchroLive is a new set of features in Dimdim 4.5 designed to let web users share web data, pages, online videos in more on a synched basis. After you start a Dimdim “room” and send anyone the room’s URL, users on the other end can see what you see as you view content on the web, and you can whiteboard and chat as you share.
High-end, fee-based conferencing applications such as WebEx have long specialized in things like videoconferencing, but Dimdim is pushing to stay competitive, and offers many features that other free conferencing applications don’t have. For example, you can record Dimdim meetings without paying fees, and you can also have up to 20 participants in a meeting with the free version, while many other applications limit you to 10 attendees.
As I noted on OStatic today, a lot of the utility of the SynchroLive features in Dimdim will depend on performance, especially if meeting participants are going to share videos and the like. That is the goal. Dimdim envisions applications such as meeting participants viewing YouTube videos in tandem, while chatting about the content. The company is focused on performance with version 4.5, though.
Dimdim is also hooking up with several other providers of open source applications for mashups that may be useful to many types of web workers. Zimbra is now offering a free Dimdim zimlet for Zimbra’s e-mail systems; the free online e-learning platform Moodle is now integrated with Dimdim; SugarCRM now integrates Dimdim to allow teams to conference together; and Claroline is embedding Dimdim within its collaborative learning environment. You can find out more in the OStatic story.