Update: There have been some changes to Meeting Burner since I originally posted this article. Here's a link to an updated post that includes a couple of other solutions.
When considering hosting a meeting on the web, most people will at least look at the big boys; GoToMeeting and WebEx. They're alright, but not perfect in themselves.
Over the years, I've tried a lot of different packages, but most were slow, with clunky interfaces.
Enter the current online meeting little guy – MeetingBurner.com
The people over at MeetingBurner.com are trying to come out with the next great meeting software and in my opinion, they've done a decent job out of the gate.
There are other sites out there, but MeetingBurner packages everything up nicely.
Two user experience benefits for better meetings
There are two features I really like that I feel will help provide a positive experience for the participants.
The first thing is that you don't need to download anything, unless you're a presenter. In fact, you can set things up, so participants barely have to sign in too.
The second thing is the ability to dial in using Skype. It can be a real pain to call numbers in different area codes, or different countries, so this takes the hassle out of it.
The biggest reason for me to like this site is that it has everything bundled together, and it seems to be simpler and more intuitive than other sites I've used in the past. It's not perfect, and depending on who you are, you may still want to consider one of the big, paid versions, but compared to other free options, it's one you should keep an eye on.
- Nothing to download in order to view the meeting
- Screen sharing, web cam, phone lines are all part of the system
- Clean site layout
- Records video
- Host can dial in using Skype
- Text message reminders for participants
- It's free
- Participants can use Skype to call into the meetings, but the little button is so small, that you can barely see it.
- The audio on my initial test did have a few hiccups, but I was using WiFi and had a bunch of other windows open at the same time, so I'll need to go back and give it a fair test.
I've tried MeetingBurner.com with a sample meeting and had a good experience overall, so the next step will be to use it for something bigger. In the interest of good blogging, I'm going use it for my Mega Productivity release (Mid February 2012), and I'll report back with my results.
1. If you plan on hosting an online meeting in the next year, check out MeetingBurner.com. If you sign up now, they'll grandfather your current service level when they start charging.
2. Leave a comment and tell me about your experiences or alternatives.
3. Tweet, Like, Share, Bookmark, Etc., and let your friends know about this.
The people over at Meeting Burner sent me a link to an interview of the founder John Rydell on Mashable. It's a cool video (even though the sound effects are a bit annoying) that will give you more in-depth knowledge of the product.