Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Collaborating Locally

When we think of collaboration software, we think of IM (instant messaging) from our computer to someone else's wherever they are, which is usually at a different location than we are. But what if we could use collaboration software when we're in the same room with our co-workers? You may ask, "Why would I want to do that? I'm in the same room?" Well, we have all been in meetings where a topic is discussed. Usually it's a brainstorming session, or design review, or even a demo being given. We've been in those meetings where everyone brings their laptops to take notes as well.

In comes Yakkle. Now we can connect to everyone in the room and each participant can share their own desktop.

What does that mean? We might be the one with the design document, so we open it on our computer and share it to the group. Others might have supporting documents or marked up copies of the design document that they reviewed the day before. They can share their desktops as well. Now we hold our meeting. As the document is reviewed or ideas are discussed, we can capture them in real-time and everyone can see our edits instantly. If someone thinks we entered the concept or idea wrong, they can comment on it right then or better yet, give them control of our desktop to make the edit themselves. If someone else has some idea to chime in with, everyone in the meeting can jump to their desktop and see it. Imagine being able to capture everything being discussed in real-time and having our participants see the document come to life on their own computer. Rather than hand editing a hardcopy of the document, we don't leave the room until all the edits are made and everyone agrees with them. The design review is done AND there's no follow up review to be held to make sure the edits were done right. There's no need to.

So the meeting ends, but first we want to give everyone the latest copy of the document, so we use the built-in file sharing and push our document out to all the meeting participants. Yes, we could email it to them, but then they’d have to weed it out of their email, maybe they'll misplace it, maybe they'll say they never got it….

Now that's what I call a productive meeting!

Try this for yourself at http://www.yakkle.com

Oh, and while the meeting is going on, Yakkle will create a conference chat tab to allow a group chat, but will also let us send private messages to anyone in the meeting as well….

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