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The_Ethernopian

The Virtual Team and Virtual Meetings?

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I am working with a team that is spread out over a large distance, which makes it impossible for us to having meetings in person. I was wondering if anyone has experience working in such a team, and if so what tools did you use to pull off successful team meetings? Specifically, does anyone know of software (preferably free) that would allow a group to have a virtual meeting in which everyone could share a virtual whiteboard? Thanks, The_Ethernopian

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This may not help much, but I do know that the latest version of MSN Messenger includes an integrated Whiteboard application. I've never used it myself, but it may be worth checking out.

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I've played around with that a bit, but there doesn't seem to be a way to get more then one person in a whiteboard conversation with MSN Messenger, and seeing as we are still in the early development stages it would be nice if we could have multiple people participate in the whiteboard session.

The_Ethernopian

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GoToMeeting.com or GatherPlace.com (beware webex and MS livemeeting...too expensive)

Combine with telephone conferencing and either one will change your life as a remote team.

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I use teamspeak for a voice client. It's a wonderful tool (and good for online games as well). In addition MSN messenger has a nice whiteboard feature that you can use. We also have some internal development forums. With email to boot and lots of cell phone minutes it works pretty good. Still not as good as having everyone in the same room, but manageable.

cheers,
PD

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Quote:

Those look good - but any free alternatives?


For what you want, I haven't found.

Other collaborative alternatives are dotProject and phpGroupWare. Both are free Open source collaborative websites and as such as Asynchronous unlike GoTo and Gather which are Synchronous.

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It may be difficult to find a free virtual Meeting tool because those type of tools are almost always hosted applications. This means it costs someone else for you to have a virtual meeting with other people, they have to recoupe their money somehow. We use WebEx at work and is a pretty amazing product, but as fastlane mentioned, its expensive to run.

I've had a look around on google and found these that you might want to check out, but some functionality you are looking for may be missing.

http://www.cuworld.com/video_conferencing.htm
https://www.gotomeeting.com/m/g2mnopassLMlp.tmpl
http://www.download.com/ShareItNow/3000-2654_4-10308912.html?tag=lst-5-6

The best being
http://www.groupboard.com/

Hope these help in someway

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As a temporary solution I think my team is going to use NetMeeting. It is free from Microsoft, and and allows us to host a whiteboard with multiple people viewing the whiteboard (something we couldn't get MSN Messenger to do). The only problem we've run into with it is the fact that sometimes if you paste an image into the whiteboard it will scramble it at the other end (sometimes it won't scramble either though, still trying to figure out what's going on there). It seems to be a decent solution, and is the right price (free).

The_Ethernopian

EDIT: Oops that wasn't the only problem, we also had problems with firewalls and routers not letting the invites through, but were able to solve that with some google research to figure out what ports needed fowarded.

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