After the recent closure of Dimdim, many of us have been looking for affordable and easy-to-use alternative alternative screen sharing and web conferencing solutions. CrunchConnect, a new service from SalesCrunch, is entering private beta today, and it’s worth a look.
CrunchConnect’s web conferencing and screen-sharing system has some useful features, including:
- Dedicated web addresses and phone conference numbers (users can also have the service call them directly)
- Option for participants to sign in via LinkedIn, so others can see their profiles; the system also displays participants’ Twitter profiles
- A “waiting room,” where participants can communicate before an event begins
- Ability for hosts to upload presentations in advance
- Ability to record meetings
- Analytics tools, to track what parts of presentations are viewed and for how long.
CrunchConnect was developed with sales in mind, so it has some SlideRocket-like features, such as being able to update presentations even after they’ve been shared. A “company” function will shortly be added, for creating libraries of slides that can be shared and updated centrally. CrunchConnect doesn’t have the sophisticated online editing functions of SlideRocket, though; you’ll need to create your presentations offline and upload them. The service supports PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) formats, as well as JPG, PNG, and GIF images. PDF support will be added soon.
I experimented a little with CrunchConnect as a presenter and as a meeting participant, and so far, I’ve found the web-based system works pretty smoothly. It doesn’t require any software to be downloaded, which is helpful. There’s not much documentation yet, although I haven’t really felt the need for it.
CrunchConnect is currently in private beta, but the developer has provided 500 WebWorkerDaily readers with access. You can sign up here. The service is free for now; after the beta period has ended, users will be able to choose from free and paid plans.