Combining Online Meetings and Skype

I’ve written before about my favorite, free online meeting and collaboration application: Yugma. Mac, Windows and Linux users will find this application to be a very slick solution. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with some features in Yugma that I hadn’t been using before. A couple of these may be very helpful for anyone doing meeting or screen sharing online.

Yugma has worked with Skype for a long time, but now users of Skype who just want to add conferencing and screen sharing features, can tack it on with one download for Windows, or for the Mac. This is an excellent way to combine visual and audio collaboration without incurring fees, and a good way to get the Skype community going with Yugma.

I’ve never been the hugest fan of Skype on its own, but the integration with Yugma is good, especially for anyone who sits in long phone meetings. This YouTube video provides a good demo of how Yugma works as a plug-in for Skype. And, as Lifehacker notes, Skype users who already have their contact lists fleshed out can get going with Yugma without setup hassles.

Yugma also now lets users join a conferencing session even if they haven’t downloaded and installed the application. The “Join a Session” link atop Yugma’s home page is all participants need, although users who haven’t downloaded the application do stay in View Only mode. It’s a good way to try Yugma out, though.

Yugma comes in a Premium Edition for $9.95 a month, and one of the features you get in that edition is the ability to record online conferences. I’ve considered upgrading to that edition solely for that feature, and it would be smart for one of the free conferencing solutions out there to add that capability on. Then, I could mail conference recordings around with ease, similar to sharing SightSpeed videos by e-mail.

Do you have a lot of people you want to be on the same online meeting? If so, the free version of Yugma only allows 10 participants. However, the open source, free conferencing application DimDim allows 20 participants, and I’m also a fan of it.

What online meeting solution do you use?

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