Think you can bail on that boring work-related web conference with a “my laptop has a dead battery” excuse? Sorry, pal: It’s not happening. You’ve long been able to use a smartphone for Cisco’s (s CSCO) WebEx service, but lucky for you it can get pretty expensive on a pay-per-use basis. And in these economic times the boss might schedule less of those dreaded meetings as a result. You’d better hope your employer doesn’t find out about PocketMeeting, a far less expensive but no less mobile, option at $5 for 24 hours of screen sharing.
The company says you don’t need to download any software and their inexpensive service supports the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers. You simply click “Start My Meeting,” enter billing info and invite guests. You won’t get the bells and whistles of a WebEx on the cheap, though: There doesn’t appear to be an audio call included, for example.
On the plus side (or the negative side, depending on your point of view), PocketMeeting supports the BlackBerry (s RIMM) Bold, so you can participate in that boring three-year plan meeting that seems to happen every six months or when there’s a change in leadership. The BlackBerry support is in beta at the moment, but sounds simple to use. Just click the invite link from your host and you’re set for a snooze scintillating screen-share meeting. Oh and you owners of a Storm or iPhone: Don’t think you’re getting out of any meetings in the long term. Mobile support is coming to those handsets, too!
If you do want or need accompanying audio or file storage, PocketMeeting offers these services through technology partner GeniusRoom. There you can find per-month subscription plans ranging from $9.95 to $59.95 for web conferencing services. Too bad they don’t offer an automated meeting attendee service!