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The State of Video Conferencing – The ooVoo Experiment

Tonight I just wrapped up my 7th and final ooVoo session (thanks to Sherman and Sean for a great chat). Just in case you missed it, ooVoo allows video conferencing for up to 6 people with audio for free. If you are familiar with Skype and have done video chat there, add 4 more people and you get the idea.

As far as best practices:

  1. Insist that all callers use headsets or earphones. Sound coming out of PC speakers that can hit the mic will cause an echo that can mess up the audio for everyone.
  2. Have some serious bandwidth, a solid 100kpbs per user on the call is a good place to start.
  3. As moderator you must keep control of the call – introduce topics and call out to bring everyone into the conversation. I also attended 4 other sessions and Steve Hall did a great job of keeping a call moving and I’ve tried to steal some of his style.
  4. Have your topics listed before the call begins – treat it more like a meeting than a casual conversation. Have an agenda and topics ready to go.

The best part of it for me was to have more of a two way conversation, you get instant feedback and it’s much easier to learn from others. On the down side, limiting the conversation to 6 creates a smaller overall audience. One thing I might like to try is to get a panel of 6 that can work well together and record it for release as a video podcast. I think it might be able to work if you had the right group of people.

Overall it was a great project, I’d definitely use video chat again in the future.