A Few Good Options For Web Conferencing

Gnomie Joshua Thomson writes:

I watched your video where a viewer asked about Web conferencing. I use ooVoo; it’s a good conferencing program — let’s just hope it stays free after beta. Of course Skype is supposed to be implementing video conferencing, which I hear is supposed to handle up to 16 people at a time… but there are currently already a few good actually conferencing apps.

First is Vsee. It’s a decent conferencing app; I don’t know the limit on how many people can be on at once, but I’ve done up to four.

Then there’s MeBeam. Now this is nice because you don’t have to download anything! It’s Flash-based, and I’ve seen up to eight people on at once. You can create your own room, but be careful… there’s a “Random Room” button on the top that will, as it says, take you to a random room. From my experience, which has been just today, almost every room that you randomly connect to has some weird stuff going on. A lot of guys (doing inappropriate things, as you can imagine), just to forewarn you! Thus, I don’t know if you make a room and tell your friends the room name, if other people can click “random room” and join yours? There is no password protect, so it’s worth “testing” for a free non-download conference application.

And there is SightSpeed, which is kind of like Skype. It only offers one-on-one video chat for free and for conferencing you have to upgrade (which is a paid service).


I used to use instant messaging for work and personal conversations all of the time, but I’ve effectively eliminated it from my life because of the huge distraction that it poses. If you want to waste a few hours without even knowing it, then instant messaging is right for you, however, if you need to be productive on the computer, then you’re probably better off by avoiding it. Although I’m used to chatting live with text, I’ve never really tried using video to chat. An assortment of instant messaging programs enable you to do this, but MeBeam makes it easy for you and your friends to chat using audio and video without even needing an instant messaging client.

I really like the fact that this functionality is offered through a Web site instead of being tied to a specific piece of software because it truly makes it open to everyone. MeBeam couldn’t be simpler to use. Instead of requiring you to create an account, MeBeam just asks you to enter a unique name for your video room whether you’re starting it or joining it. You’ll instantly be connected with your friends, and you’ll probably wonder why you’ve just been using text to chat for so long.