Tuesday, September 19th was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Did you utter, “Arrrgh?” I know I did. In addition, I joined a video conference call. Actually, there was little video used, and the biggest part of our team was meeting in person, but Tuesday brought together both talking like a pirate and conferencing software. It was a match made in . . . well, at sea.
Now, if good old Captain Jack Sparrow was looking for a way to talk to his mates across the pond, he would know that he needs good software to make this happen. Pirates are peculiar and they want to be able to see and hear everything.
Just like pirates, and Captain Jack, WordPress designers need to be able to talk to clients regardless where they are in the world. Several tools exist to make this happen.
If you have a remote team, you rely on this kind of technology to make your team more connected. Consider our friends at Zappier. They are fully remote and they have tried many tools as they point out in their breakdown of the best conferencing apps,
As a fully remote team, Zapier relies on video conferencing to hold team meetings, share ideas, and check in on each other. We’ve tried a lot of video call apps—and have suffered through one too many terrible calls. And so, after trying nearly two dozen video conferencing apps, we’ve settled on the ones that consistently work well.
Today we are going to look at four tools you can use to talk like a pirate, or, visit with our clients who are located in another city, or country, or continent.
At the top of my list is Zoom. It just works and works well. Get an account and you can send a link to someone to join you in a conversation. You can make the chat with a video share or not and you can record the conversation for feedback, etc.
In fact, several entrepreneurs are using Zoom to handle webinars. I have attended a handful using Zoom and have been impressed with the quality of the video and sound.
I think being able to record within the software is a great benefit because, often, you need to be able to look back at the video or chat to help discern answers and seek clarification.
Lots and lots of video chat! Virtually every meeting inside the company is held over video chat (we use Zoom, which we’ve found to have excellent fidelity even at lower bandwidths), and we encourage our clients to join us for video chat as well. Seeing some face to face, even if it’s over a screen, still builds empathy and camaraderie in ways “voice and text” conversation does not.
Skype is the industry standard and has been around for years. Recently, they have rolled out a Desktop app version for Windows users. Microsoft also now owns Skype, so this was an expected move.
The software program is pretty robust. You log on and you can begin chatting with contacts immediately. For a fee, you can make calls to a phone which can be handy for an interview.
Skype can be a little buggy sometimes, but it is a good option, especially if another software program fails and you need a backup. Because it has been around a while, there are lots of extensions, much like WordPress, that will allow you to do more.
Skype has a pretty good mobile app as well which allows you to keep up with your team when on the move.
When asked about effective tools for remote team communication, Alice Hendricks, CEO of Jackson River, a digital agency, noted,
Skype chats – we have tons of chat groups. We have project-based ones for each project, location-based ones for each region (wherever there is a mass of people) and by job role (our developers have a chat group and our PMs do too). At any given moment, you can be participating in multiple conversations. We also use Skype as our primary method of one-on-one communication with each other, whether through instant messaging or Skype calls when we need a longer conversation.3
Every other Thursday I have a meeting with a fellow writer. It is a time of encouragement and accountability. And, she talks like a pirate (not really, but .. . )
We hope on Google Hangouts and most of the time it works really well. Google Hangouts is very intuitive and built right into the Google suite of tools. This makes it easy to jump on a call with a client without dialing long distance.
Google Hangouts can also be used on your phone which makes it great if you happen to be mobile.
Asked by GeekWire how Black Pixel Design runs meeting for their team, he replied,
How do you run meetings? “With our design team being fully remote, everything begins and ends with Google Hangouts. We’ve tried a number of different online meeting options (GoToMeeting, JoinMe, Uber Conference, etc.) and while they’ve all got their advantages and disadvantages, Hangouts is the one that’s stuck for us. Having the chance to see one another regularly throughout the week is wonderful, and it’s helped bring a greater degree of closeness to a group that’s spread across more than 5,000 miles.”4
Go to Meeting
Go to Meeting has been an industry favorite for years. Easily the vast majority of webinars I have attended used Go to Meeting. You have all you need at your fingertips including, video, chat, audio, and screenshare.
The longevity of Go to Meeting means that it will be a solid product for years to come. Go To Meeting is reliable.
About to Go To Meeting from Wikipedia
GoToMeeting was developed in July 2004 by the Online Services division of Citrix in Santa Barbara, California, using the remote access and screen sharing technology from GoToMyPC and GoToAssist to allow web conferencing. The later release of GoToWebinar in 2006 and GoToTraining in 2010 expanded GoToMeeting capabilities to accommodate larger audiences.
Looking for a comparison of the various web conferencing software? Here are a couple of resources:
- Review of online meeting and webinar software
- Best Web Conferencing Software – Web Conferencing Software
Remote working is the reality for many of us today in the WordPress ecosystem. Whether it’s a teleconference, client call, internal meetings, or discovery meetings with a potential client, we need to find efficient ways to handle meetings.
Web conference software such as the ones we mentioned today come in handy. You have the opportunity to both hear and see those you are communicating with which raises the level of communication.
Now, over to you. What web conferencing apps do you use in your business. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to talk like a priate. . . and tell us your favorite web conferencing app below in the comments.