Monday, October 13, 2008

40. DimDim

Yep, the name of the service I'll be showing you all today is DimDim. Silly name, very cool idea. The idea behind the silly name is to bring simple web conferencing to the cheap! With DimDim (yes, I do like typing the name, why do you ask?) you can get web conferencing tools - desktop sharing, slide presentation, chat and voice chat capabilities - without paying for them. DimDim uses Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to give you voice chatting for free - instead of calling in via a telephone, you can plug in a headset with a microphone to your computer (or use a laptop which generally has a built in microphone included) and talk over the internet. There is nothing to install in order to use DimDim, so it's nice for people who want to collaborate without involving their IT department and it's easy to use even on very old computers.
Just like most "free" Web 2.0 services, however, it does have paid versions that give you more features. The free version allows for 20 people in a "room", but that's really the only limitation - all the other features are included. A bit more money, $99 a year, and you can put your logo on your room and have up to 100 people connected at a time. For a LOT more money each year ($1998), you can have your own custom logo, multiple meetings happening at the same time and the limitation on people per room is 1000.
DimDim, unlike many of the tools we've been profiling over the course of the last year, is social in a "synchronous" way - meaning that it requires people to be present at the same time. Because of that, I'll be on DimDim and hosting a meeting on Wednesday morning at 11am (room URL is http://webmeeting.dimdim.com:80/portal/JoinForm.action?confKey=webgoddess, meeting key is MRRL) and again on Thursday afternoon at 3pm (sorry evening folks, you'll have to play with this one on your own). I'll post the Thursday afternoon one in the comments later. If you need a headset to join the meetings (only necessary if you want to voice chat, text chatting is always available as well), come see me and we'll work something out!

14 comments:

I Don't Know How She Does It! said...

I love Robin's line about a person wanting to collaborate without getting the IT department involved...it's a win/win situation, right? I wonder if this might be a good way for salespeople to "meet" with me or perhaps with a group of selectors? I hope to login into the meetings you're hosting and see what it's like.

betterlate said...

What an interesting idea! I really never need to speak with more than three or four people at a time! It is nice to know it is out there!

Francesca said...

Yes - C. it is a win-win situation isn't it. I can see using it to talk with my husband when he is out-of-town on business or to other relatives. This is one of the few times I've been surprised the technology has been made available so quickly (to the masses). Soon small cameras and vid will be part of this accessible-to-most transaction and online classes might come close to the quality of ftf classes. I agree w/ betterlate, that I'd rarely need more than a few folks at a time - but then again, maybe I lack some imagination. When the vid is integrated, perhaps one could play a boardgame with remote family members online.

Robin said...

I've been noticing that it's getting hard to get a laptop "without" a camera attached to it these days. All of our training laptops have cameras in them - cheap, accessible video conferencing is here!

newbie said...

That is very cool. It makes me wish that I had something to actually hold a wab conference about.

heather said...

Oh no! It looks like I just missed the conference. I think this presents a very good tool for people to use. Librarians from different states could use this as a way to communicate without the cost of gas or a ticket to make it to a conference.

moonbeam said...

What a great tool!! And free! That's even better. There is so many ways this can be helpful.

Eric said...

I'm going to try out DimDim this weekend, to record three of us for a podcast episode. Thanks for offering something so useful! I would be happy to wave goodbye to Skype.

justme said...

This is something that would make board meetings easier. I'm hoping to talk my other boss into some new and more laptops after reading this.

Marion said...

Definately an interesting idea. Sharing ideas no matter how far about you are without the cost of travel these days could help a lot of library budgets. I also shared this with my husband since they do conferences over the phone, but only certain phones at the hospital will work. Thought this might give them another alternative too.

leslie said...

I can see the possibilities for those teachers with homebound students and needing to conference with the parents/admin/etc. using this. Also, to contact a group of friends, say to plan a reunion and everyone can put their 2 cents in at the same time. It doesn't have to be business related at all to take advantage of this. Great tool!

Nikki said...

I like that you can use it for free if you are doing a smaller class. I heard both good things and bad things about VoIP at the latest conference but I think that all depended on your connection. Which I don't think we have a problem with that. So it's good to know that I can do a class online if necassary and do it for free!

sexybeast said...

Like everyone else, this is a great idea. It makes you want to meet with a bunch of other people. so many great ideas in these lessons.

madmusing said...

Definitely a useful service. It would be great for nonprofit board meetings. I'm involved with some statewide groups, and it's always difficult to get people together from across the state. DimDim would be an answer for some, but not all, meetings throughout the year.