I recently graduated from college, and instead of taking a corporate programming job, my friend and I started our own web development company. Everything was going great...we were both working from home and enjoying small successes. However, we soon realized that text messaging could only go so far, especially when we hired several employees. Text messaging was slow, and was "noisy" when several people were in a chatroom. We quickly needed a solution.
Fortunately, we discovered web-based conferencing. Web-based conferencing has several flavors, including peer-to-peer direct conferencing, remote server hosting, and shared remote hosting. They all have their own benefits and disadvantages, which will be explained. First, general web-based conferencing has several advantages over call conferencing, which is done on phone lines. Web based conferencing includes audio and video, and displaying presentations such as powerpoint, making it far superior to call conferences.
However, web-based conferencing does have several drawbacks. If users in your internet meeting dont have sufficient bandwidth, the call conference can become laggy for all participants. Fortunately, broadband penetration is growing by leaps and bounds throughout each country yearly. Throughout the coming years, this issue will slowly disappear, as less and less dial-up accounts are used, especially in business settings.
As stated, web-based conferencing does come in several flavors. The cheapest is peer-to-peer direct conferencing, in which one computer acts as the host and others connect to that computer. This is a great solution for a business in which the main office has an excellent internet connection that can be utilized. However, direct hosting usually does not support as many features such as powerpoint sharing among clients, that remote hosting can offer. The big disadvantage of remote hosting is the cost, which can be hundreds of dollars a month in membership fees.
Whichever conferencing solution you find will surely increase productivity for your online meetings. Web-based conferencing is a huge improvement over chatrooms, due to audio, video, and slide sharing. It has greatly helped my business, where all programmers work from home, and can surely help for you as well.
Dan Goggins is an entrepreneur who is interested in real estate, computer programming, and family life. You can read about his experiences and advice about Video Conferencing.