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Summary:

As a web worker who routinely switches back and forth from Windows to Mac, I look for web conferencing services that are Mac-friendly, because we no longer work in a strictly Windows world. Citrix’s GoToMeeting, part of the Citrix Online collaborative suite, is one such service. […]

GoToMeeting_Citrix_LogoAs a web worker who routinely switches back and forth from Windows to Mac, I look for web conferencing services that are Mac-friendly, because we no longer work in a strictly Windows world.

Citrix’s GoToMeeting, part of the Citrix Online collaborative suite, is one such service. It also meets one of my other prime requirements — the client is easily installable by users of all levels. One thing that will spoil a web conference before it’s even started is when participants have a hard time installing the local client so they can’t join the conference. This issue can happen to even the most experienced web worker, not just the technology neophyte.

GoToMeeting2

I am sticking with the Mac client for this post, but Citrix also provides a similar user experience and features in the Windows version. Neither client is a permanent install.

Web Workers and Web Conferencing

Today’s web conferencing tools have to be more than just a venue for team meetings — they need to be full collaboration tools to help web workers and their project teams communicate seamlessly.

Citrix GoToMeeting Features

Citrix GoToMeeting for the Mac supports up to 15 conference participants, and includes the following features:

  • Screen Sharing. Screen sharing is useful for online demonstrations, collaboration on documents and spreadsheets, and online training. As travel budgets remain tight, screen sharing and some creativity can help geographically dispersed project teams stay in sync on projects.
  • Meeting Recording and Playback. Taking meeting minutes is an archaic, mundane, and bureaucratic task, and GoToMeeting includes meeting recording and playback which keeps an audio and screen recording of the entire online meeting. This is a better record, because it spares the misunderstandings and gaps that can sometimes creep into note taking. It is also more efficient for an online team to move to meeting recording because participants can better focus on the meeting. UPDATE: the Mac version of GoToMeeting doesn’t support meeting recording — it’s only available on the Windows version.
  • VoIP and Telephone Support. Web conference attendees can dial into the conference via a VoIP or landline phone. Currently, GoToMeeting offers free VoIP and phone conferencing. You also have an option to use your computer’s mic and speakers for conducting audio communications.

gotomeetingcp

Launching meetings takes place within a few clicks, making GoToMeeting an ideal choice for teams that need a web conferencing platform that users of varying levels will have no problem using.

GoToMeetingSuite
GoToMeeting is available for purchase from GoToMeeting.com. (A free trial is available.) The site includes the latest licensing and pricing information.

Which web conferencing tool do you use?

  1. Will – thanks for the great rundown of GoToMeeting, it can be a great tool to work with people in different locations, but is a pricey option for small and even mid-size businesses in this economy. While I am not unbiased here (I am the CEO of TimeBridge), I wanted to also throw TimeBridge into the hat for cross Windows/Mac conferencing. It is 80% cheaper than GotoMeeting, but even better than that – does not require your participants to download anything since it is Flash based. It also has the bonus features of video support, co-browsing and whiteboarding, and you can even collaborate on a document (rather than share your screen if you want). It’s also fully integrated with the rest of TimeBridge’s offering which supports the whole meeting process – scheduling, agenda setting, SMS reminders for quick attendee round-up, Action items… I encourage you to check it out as well.

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  2. I don’t think the Mac version of GoToMeeting supports recording – I think this is a windows only feature.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out, Stephen — I will update the post.

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  3. I was just speaking with a partner about this tonight. He said he just needed to run parallels.com and gotomeeting worked fine for him on his Mac.

    Hope this helps.

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  4. And Dimdim is FREE for up to 20 participants and works just as well on Mac! To be clear this means that ALL the features work identically on Mac as well as Windows. This has not been the case for GoToMeeting or WebEx.

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  5. And another thing. When scheduling a meeting on a Mac, we discovered that the checkbox for Provide Audio Information only works for Windows. On Mac, it acts like it works, but it really doesn’t. Mac Users should ignore the check box, and be sure to pick between letting G2Mtg set up audio, or provide your own audio. It has to be one or the other, and without making a choice it will default to G2Mtg setting it for you.

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  6. Another product that works between Mac and PCs is the Turbomeeting web conferencing appliance by RHUB. You can record meetings as well for any platform.
    For more info:
    http://www.rhubcom.com

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  7. Neatcall is also a great solution for web meetings

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  8. Hi Will,

    Have you checked out Mikogo? It’s a cross-platform desktop sharing app for remote support, online meeting and web conferencing. With it you can share your screen live over the Web with up to 10 others. It’s very easy to use and free for both commercial and private use. If you would like you can find more info here: http://www.mikogo.com or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Thanks!

    Hsiang-Yi Cheng
    The Mikogo team
    Twitter: @Mikogo

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  9. I have to agree with you on ease of set-up being a key component. I typically use these remote access programs to give tech support to my family members. I cannot tell you how nice it was to not have to get a headache explaining to my Mother how to install the program.

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