I’ve posted a couple of times about Vyew, a free web conferencing site that I’m pretty fond of, but recently someone referred me over to another one worth checking out. While there’s quite a few contenders in the video/web conferencing arena, Yugma is one of only three free ones that are worth checking out right now.
Yugma is java based, so it’ll run on both Windows and Mac. If you’re version of Java is out of date, it’s a free download to upgrade it. Its biggest strength also happens to be its biggest weakness: it’s simple. Really simple. Total breeze to get running and begin a conference with other people. Voice is handled via teleconference and all the info you need is right there at the top of your screen. I like using teleconference for the voice because it saves you precious bandwidth that you’ll need for screen sharing.
It has public and private chat, whiteboarding, and the ability to share a desktop. That’s it. Seriously, that’s everything. Of course, sharing a desktop is incredibly powerful because you can use that to do Powerpoints or Keynotes, to demonstrate websites, show images, etc… And since that’s all there is, there’s no way to get confused. During my test, I have to admit that sharing was pretty smooth. Not smooth enough to share videos that way, but impressive for a free service.
Oh yeah, there are a few restrictions with the free service. You can only have 10 people in the conference at a time. You can’t record your sessions, nor can you make use of the 100mb of shared space that the paid accounts receive. Then again, you can’t really complain too much about not getting every feature when they are providing the basic service for no cost at all.
Anyway, if you’re branching out into the wide world of webinars or need a way to patch somebody in remotely for a meeting or class, Yugma is worth checking out.