Saturday, November 24, 2007

Can You Say DimDim

This past year I have had the opportunity to experiment with many of the Web 2.0 tools which have allowed me to share my desktop (,, do video-conferencing (Skype, OoVoo) and to collaborate with others. Using a host of these services has extended my reach shall we say, and I know that the upcoming new year will bring me opportunities to further reach out and provide a host of services that were once just not possible. With broadband access it is now possible to have a genuine presence and provide both tutoring, consulting and training with your computer. Having access to high quality video conferencing through a service like OoVoo changes the playing field and provides a level of communication and feedback that was not possible through email or instant messaging.

While many of us have participated in webinars through services like WebEx or GoToMeeting some of these services may be out of the reach of individuals and would not make much financial sense if you were going to be hosting a limited number of workshops. With a monthly subscription fee starting out at around $50 dollars it maybe just too much of an obligation to sign up for. While doing my regular trolling on the web I came across a new Web 2.0 company that was offering a free open source web meeting service. I sent Dimdim an email and they provided me with a free account and I was able to log in and start a web meeting within seconds. Dimdim is a browser-based web 2.0 service that allows anybody to share their desktop, show slides, as well as talk, listen, chat, and broadcast via webcam. dimdim´s hosted service is available for free and can be easily used for small gatherings, to seminars with hundreds of attendees.

Finding this service I had to jump in and check it out. It was hard to believe that such a service could exist for free! I logged into dimdim and entered my password and user name and was able to immediately start a session using my webcam for video and audio. Once I got to the presenters screen I was able to import my PowerPoint presentation and also had access to a virtual whiteboard to write some notes. While using my MacBook I could import PowerPoint preventions, for some reason I could not get access to sharing the desktop or sharing an application. I suspect that this feature has not been implemented yet. I was successfully able to share the desktop and share applications on the Windows platform. Moving through my PowerPoint was effortless and the audio and video really helped to have a presence as I was doing the webinar. Overall, dimdim performed well and the interface was easy to use without the need for any manuals or directions. If you are looking to provide webinars and do more of your training and consulting via the web then take a look at dimdim and let me know what you think. The price is right!

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