Welcome to the first instalment of our StartSpace blog series on digital connectivity.
We’re disappointed we can’t meet you in person at our brand new physical space at the Library, but are looking forward to connecting with you in the virtual world.
Now that we’re all working remotely, we wanted to share some of the online platforms available for video conferencing and scheduling. You may find these useful for setting up your virtual office and meeting room at home.
Many of these platforms have integration options with Microsoft and Google, making work much more efficient – and don’t forget to check out their security features!
Zoom is one of the easiest video conferencing platforms to use as your meeting invitees don’t need an account – they just need to follow a link. It’s easy to set up a free account, which lets you host a 40 minute meeting for up to 100 people. The paid version removes the time limit and gives you access to a host of additional features. Check out this WIRED article for tips on using Zoom, from setting up virtual backgrounds, touching up your appearance and how to avoid Zoombombers.
Skype is an app you can download on your computer or smartphone which allows you to communicate with text messages, pictures, videos, make calls and set up video conferences or chats. It’s a popular all-in-one communication tool and is great for face to face conversation or you can host up to 50 people.
Webex can host up to 100,000 people on a teleconference. It hosts its own products and platforms which you can purchase for a more professional edge.
GoToWebinar is great for creating professional, engaging online events and webinars.
Slido is a Q&A and live polling platform that gives your audience a chance to interact online. You can use it in conjunction with a video conferencing platform to field questions from the audience that can be addressed during the conference. Watch Slido in action.
And finally, some general tips on videoconferencing.
Doodle is great for coordinating multiple diaries to find a suitable time for everyone to meet, even across timezones.
Calendly lets you share your availability, so people can book appointments without the constant back and forth of emails.
So explore some of the platforms, test to see what works best for you and most importantly don’t worry too much about getting it perfect (things will go wrong!) – we’re all learning as we go along.