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How Skype Ruined My Morning (And How You Can Avoid a Similar Fate): 11/01/2011

How Skype Ruined My Morning (And How You Can Avoid a Similar Fate)

3 Web Conferencing Alternatives to Skype

5 out of 5 by 4 User(s)

Emily Williams Go to Profile Emily Williams
Published: 11/01/2011
Posted by: RET Staff

Have you ever been on a phone call and wished that the person on the other end of the line could see what you’re seeing? Have you ever wanted to review documents or MLS data with clients remotely, viewing the same screen at the same time? Well, here at RE Technology, we are “screen sharing” with others all the time. It is an invaluable tool that helps us work together with others . . . most of the time. Here is a story of a good tool gone wrong with some suggestions for free screen-sharing software that may come in handy for you.

It was a Monday. The coffee still hadn’t kicked in. And I was scheduled to have a quick demo for a product review. Fate, however, had other things in mind. The company’s Web conferencing account was already being used – and could only be used by one person at a time. So, we made the ill-advised decision to give Skype a try. Bad choice.

You see, my friend needed to share his screen in order to give me a demo of his product. With Skype, this meant sitting and waiting to see if we would eventually ever connect. Miraculously, I finally did see his screen . . . after 3 long minutes. However, when he moved his cursor, it took a full minute before the change appeared on my screen.

This wasn’t going to work. My friend and I tried valiantly for 10 minutes, but eventually had to admit defeat. We rescheduled our demo for a time when his Web conferencing account would be available.

The experience, although brief, made a big impression. I decided then and there to find a better alternative to Skype.  I began with the people I know who spend the most time on the phone – my colleagues Melissa and Victor. I asked them the same question: “What tools have you used for Web conferencing and which did you like the most?” Here are their suggestions:


Comments on: How Skype Ruined My Morning (And How You Can Avoid a Similar Fate)
by Matt Lavallee 2011-11-02 05:38:39
Try using a paid service? While not free, it's usually worth the $5 to have a robust experience and ensure that gaffes like the above don't happen.

by Kathy Roberts 2011-11-02 06:03:03
LogMeIn (not the free version) has a screen sharing feature. It's not webinar software with multiple people, but great for when "a picture is worth a thousand words".

by Mark Steward 2011-11-02 06:18:08 (from LogMeIn) is an excellent free service. The paid service adds a few whistles & bells (scheduling, dedicated personal meeting URL, int'l numbers), but the free service is very robust.

by Marilyn Wilson 2011-11-02 07:15:57
Fuze is another good service - not free, but it allows you to record a webinar or presentation you can share on your blog or website as well as completing a live meeting.

by Mark Garrow 2011-11-02 09:52:04
Another good option is TeamViewer.. There's both a paid enterprise version and a Free version.. I've used the free version with great success.

by Emily Youngman 2011-11-02 12:48:24
Thanks for these suggestions, folks!

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