Monday, November 30, 2009

A Friendly Smiling Face

Stella has been working on her videoconferencing as of late. Skype is great for some stuff, but it seems to be relatively disinterested in driving my webcam for longer than a couple of minutes. And after reading through like a year's worth of discussion board discussions about this issue, I'm just at the end of my rope in trying to deal with it. The fine institution for which I work is looking at some higher end stuff from Tandberg that seems quite promising, but they're still piloting that. And it's not going to deal with my main videoconferencing problem: most of my colleagues don't yet have desktop cameras.

So most of the time I'm doing straight up phone conferencing and desktop sharing. I call into assorted conference rooms, I fire up a GoToMeeting (my go-to tool for desktop sharing), and we all yak and look together. It is generally okay, but sometimes it feels like there is a barrier of communication. Everyone is sitting in a room looking at each other, but I feel like sometimes they're not one hundred percent sure I'm there.

Lately I've been trying something new: showing them me. I'll fire up the camera on my GoToMeeting rig and show them my smiling, awake, non-pajama clad self. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I feel like having me visible on the screen helps to build trust, because I'm not afraid to show you me even if I can't see you.

1 comment:

laura w said...

I usually work with web-based applications like http://www.showdocument.com
I use it for sharing my designs and documents with partners and clients,
but i guess it can used for other purposes too. If you're looking for a free solution you should check it out.
- Laura W.